it's not commonly known that the /RESET pins on most AVRs is not ESD-protected in the same way as all other I/O pins - its almost impossible to find this out in the data sheets - its very obtuse indeed.
I believe that is so it can be set-up for high voltage programming where (I think) +12vdc is wired to the reset pin. Perhaps the datasheet section covering HV programming might explain the reset pin functions better. Obviously the normal clamping diodes from Vcc to pin wouldn't work for this pin.
due to the kart size it can not be moved far from an engine
How do I know it had been reset?