The delay you see is about what the reviewers are stating.
They recommend that you press the shutter button half-way down to achieve focus lock and then wait for the action. Then press the button the rest of the way down.
If you do that, there will only be about a delay of about 0.1 second to capture the action.
Just two weeks ago, I used that method to take photos of a go-cart race with a Minolta Z2 and it worked fine for me. A couple of times I tried to snap off a quick shot and just pressed the button all the way down, and I completely missed the go-cart. I was only five to eight feet from the go-carts as they whizzed by.
There is no magic cure for shutter delay.
You might try using the manual focus on that camera.
If I am really interested in getting some action shots, I dig out my Canon AE1, SLR film camera, with manual focus.
...is as bad as they say. I'm averaging 1.2 - 1.5 second delay. Combined with a grindingly slow autofoucs, this makes action shots nearly impossible. Much better performance out of our older, cheaper Sony DVS. Other than abondoning autofocus, any tricks for getting around this delay? I love Canon but I'm about to feed this one to the pidgeons so advice is appreciated.