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K1 Speed: Nuts and Bolts of Indoor Kart Racing
Facility News

Q:Congratulations to the both of you for being named one of San Diegoís Top 5 Entrepreneurs! After becoming aware of K1 Speed and your story, I have to say that you are both so inspiring and motivating. Letís start with what exactly K1 Speed is and how it began.

Susan Danglard: It has definitely been an amazing journey, starting this company and watching it grow. Our company, K1 Speed, is Americaís Premier Indoor Kart Racing Company with locations nationwide. Founded in 2003, we were inspired by European concepts of gas-fueled indoor karting centers and dreamed up an electric facility with minimal environmental impact and a greener, more energy efficient footprint.

Q: That not only sounds really fun, but I also love that the idea was to do something more environmentally friendly than what was being done in the past. How did you and your husband come up with the idea for this business venture?

SD: After making a significant and unlikely career transition from 12 years in the wholesale denim industry, we decided to share our passion for racing. David and his brother have been racing go-karts from a young age and have had the drive to be a part of the racing industry.

Q: Wow, that is a huge change from denim to driving. What inspired you to make this drastic career change and try something new?

SD: Well, itís honestly pretty simple. We both wanted to have the American dream, so we did everything necessary to make that happen. Once we knew what we wanted to do business wise, we took steps to ensure that we could make it work. We sold the existing business, house and toys, and worked 24/7 on every aspect of the new business for the first two years. After the success of the first location in Carlsbad, we decided to open the very first indoor karting chain in the US.
ďTo be an entrepreneur, one must be a dreamer willing to reach out and grab something higher, to let go of ties to the old and familiar and reach for something new. In a nutshell, you should follow your dreams and never give up.Ē

Q: It all sounds so simple now, but at the time that was a huge risk you both took giving everything you had to make your dream a reality. Obviously, with that kind of passion, Iím not surprised at all at the success youíve had. So, this began in Carlsbad?

SD: Yes, our first location opened in Carlsbad in 2003. We were the first company to bring electric karts and indoor go-kart tracks to Southern California. We witnessed an explosion in the industry, which fans and racers a-like appreciated. This helped make everything we did next possible.

Q: Iím sure there were so many people excited about the business, especially when you first introduced it to this part of the country. What was the hardest part about starting this business?

SD: To be candid, the hardest part was not knowing if you made the right decision. What if we donít attract enough customers? How are we going to pay rent? What if we fail? Will we be able to get our old jobs back? We put everything into this business and fought tooth and nail to be where we are today with 20 locations nationwide. We couldnít have done this without the help of our partners, employees, friends and family.

Q: Definitely a risk that paid off for you, not only with the business being so successful, but just the fact that youíre doing exactly what you wanted. What would you say inspires and motivates the two of you?

SD: Well, everyday at work, we offer both enthusiasts and amateurs an authentic and genuine racing experience in a safe, comfortable, accessible and unique environmentónot something that you can find just anywhere, so the uniqueness of what we do is definitely motivating. Also, the fact that racing is our passion, so everyday, we do our best to provide the closest thing to sitting in a Formula 1 car for our customers.

Q: That sounds like something I would want to give a try! The best part about your business is that itís something so exciting and fun. Do you have any advice for future entrepreneurs?

SD: The best thing that I can tell anyone looking to start something new or make their passion their work is to just take that first step to start your companyójust start your new adventure. You will not regret the things you will learn from this journey. To be an entrepreneur, one must be a dreamer willing to reach out and grab something higher, to let go of ties to the old and familiar and reach for something new. In a nutshell, you should follow your dreams and never give up.

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