10 Ways to win your next Go-Kart RaceJuly 16, 2018
7 mistakes that all Karters makeJuly 16, 2018
- Gear Up
You’ll need comfortable and correctly fitted racegear to focus on your driving with no distractions – and most importantly to keep you safe. Ask a member of the team if you’re not sure about sizing.
- Know the rules
They are there for a reason, and that is to keep you and everyone else safe. More often than not, making contact, sliding or driving erratically or aggressively will not only slow you down, but will risk you being removed from the track. This will not improve your laptimes.
- Be Aware
Other drivers may not drive predictably – so you’ll always need to anticipate and look well ahead to spot (and react to) any obstacles, opportunities and signals from the marshals. Anticipate early, and you’ll always have the advantage.
- Know Your Limits
It may not look it, but karting is a physically demanding sport. If you feel excessively tired or unwell, pull into the pits and let us know. You won’t win any medals for finishing the race at the cost of your personal wellbeing. The same goes for ability – if you don’t feel fully in control, turn the speed down a notch.
- Enjoy Yourself
Most people perform at their best when they’re enjoying what they do, so don’t ‘overthink’ your driving – go out, enjoy it, improve your driving one step at a time and your speed and improvement in technique will come to you naturally.
POSTURE / SEAT POSITION
When you climb into the kart, sit back and get comfortable. A good seating position will cause your legs to bend slightly at the knee with your feet just touching the pedals.Slimmer drivers may need a padded insert to minimise movement in the seat. Our karts have adjustable seats and pedals, so if you’re unsure, ask a marshal to get you into the ideal position.
Keep your hands fixed at roughly the ‘quarter to 3 position’ (either side of the wheel). This utilises the biggest muscles in your arms, and allows good pivoting from left to right – helping you to maintain precise control with minimum strain.
- Body Positioning
Karts are rigid chassis with no suspension and a fixed axle. A kart turns by the inside wheel lifting slightly which releases the grip on the inside rear enabling kart to turn. A fairly relaxed and neutral stance will generally help the kart to perform well in most cases.Don’t lean into the bend like a biker – when you get to an advanced level, we can teach you how to use your body to further help cornering in various situations.
THROTTLE & BRAKE
- Kart Throttle
When you press on the throttle pedal (on the right), power is transmitted directly to the rear wheels. Rear tyres also provide you with grip, so watch how much power you use – too much gas whilst cornering, and you’ll lose grip and therefore speed.
- Throttle Control
Kart throttles are very simple – the more you press, the more power you get. So you’ll need to use the power carefully and smoothly – get a nice clean drive out of the bend to spend maximum time driving forwards, minimum time going sideways. If you start to slide, release the power to let the rear wheels regain some grip.
- Kart Brakes
When you push on the brake pedal (on the left), the kart brakes engage on the rear axle. Only the rear wheels will break, so – like the throttle – you’ll need to be careful with the brakes. Push them too hard, and the rear tyres will lock up and the back of the kart will slide out.
- Brake Control
Contrary to popular opinion, brakes help you go quicker! Your aim is to slow the kart down to a speed that the kart can corner without losing grip – in the shortest possible time. This means ‘squeezing’ on the brakes enough to slow the kart quickly, but not so hard that the back steps out. Kart’s don’t have handbrakes, either…so when you’re at a standstill, keep yourself stationary by keeping the brakes on.
- When approaching a corner, generally speaking you need to keep wide. This is to make the corner entry smooth and reduce the angle you need to turn.
- In a straight line, before turning in, lift off the power completely.
- Once the power is off, start to squeeze on the brakes to reduce your speed.
- Lift off the brakes, and turn in. The tighter the corner, the more you need to turn
- Aim towards the apex – the centre-point of the turn on the inside – you want to be as close as you can to this point in the middle of the turn.
- As you pass the apex, start to straighten the wheel. Generally, you should start to aim towards the outside of the circuit again to let the kart run wide.
- Start to feed the throttle back in as you straighten the wheel. As you get more advanced, you can ‘get your foot down’ earlier and earlier in the corner. Remember – your kart will go quickest in a straight line, not whilst turning, so you want to get that kart pointing smoothly out of the bend to maximise speed.
- As you reach the outside of the track again, you can increase the power to full and get the steering straight.
THINGS TO REMEMBER
This is when the rear of the kart loses grip resulting in the back ‘stepping out’. This can happen if you accelerate or brake too hard, or turn the wheel too sharply. To correct the oversteer, gently lift off the pedals and steer into the slide.
This is when the front of the kart loses grip resulting in the kart failing to steer or ‘pushing on’ into the corners. This is usually caused by a sharp steering action making the front loose traction.
Every corner is different, so you will need to adapt your racing line to different corners and especially to different sequences of corners – sometimes you will need to compromise lines into the first bend in a sequence to get the best drive out of the last one.
- Key Corners
Always identify the key corners – these will be the ones that lead onto a fast, ‘flat out’ part of the track. Get these wrong, and the lost momentum is multiplied down the next straight. Get ’em right, and you’ll be blasting past your opponents.
The easiest place to pass is on the inside, before your opponent turns into the next bend. Set the kart up to give yourself the best chance of passing cleanly – you may have to move off your normal racing line. Chose the right corner. Everybody takes corners differently, watch the driver in front, and work out where you could be quick enough to pass.
Momentum is key. You’ve got to build up the momentum needed to get past someone on track, this means distancing yourself slightly from the drivers in front to allow space to build that up.
Anticipate others. Half the game is anticipating and exploiting other people’s mistakes. Be ready for them and you can make up some easy places.
If you see the karts ahead battling for position, be prepared for any eventuality. You may need to bide your time and wait for a good chance to pass. Turning a two kart race into a three kart race may end up with you all going slower!
Rubbing is NOT racing, karting is non contact, so when starting a race, make sure you watch the space around you. Don’t throw away your chances of winning by trying to bully your way to the front in the first corner.
Be aware that a kart behind you, may be overtaking. Always be sure to give a quick glance to check it is safe before turning into a sharp corner. Don’t rush! You’ll run the risk of throwing away the race in the first few minutes. Plan your moves carefully for each corner.
- Commit Correctly
Don’t get too close. You run the risk of bumping them into a corner, and your kart will slow itself down. Look ahead, not at the bumper in front. If you are fixated on it, chances are you’ll hit it. Commit in the right places. When overtaking into a corner, make sure you get past them before they turn. This means a little commitment is needed to get past safely.