If you ever find yourself in one of our win-by-position races, whether it’s part of a corporate event and you’re racing a Grand Prix, or its one of our Friday Night Endurance Races, you’ll want to follow our advice for how you can get the checkered flag.
First things first, make sure you have proper positioning in the kart (grab a seat insert if needed), sit up straight, and keep your hands on the wheel at “10 and 2”. Now that you’re all set up, follow these 5 tips & tricks and you’re guaranteed to be the champion!
#1 Don’t Drift
Avoid drifting and sliding at all costs. If you enter the turns sideways, the high-grip tires slow you extremely fast and you won’t have any power to exit the corner. Not to mention, when you slide to a stop on the track, you’ll have to wait for a track marshal to come bail you out, losing precious seconds on the track.
When you enter a turn, don’t be afraid to use the brake to slow the kart. By slowing the kart, you’ll have a lot more control which will help to keep it straight, have a higher exit speed, and an overall faster driving style. Just be sure you’re braking before the turn. One of the most common mistakes people make is braking in the turn, causing them to slide out.
#2 Follow the Racing Lines
To establish a racing line for the entire track, you’ll want to remember that sometimes the fastest way around a turn may not be ideal for your overall speed on the track. The racing line is the line that allows you to turn the least and use the slightest steering input (the less you turn the wheel, the faster you go). Ideal racing lines in go-karting consider how you approach the turns – braking point, the turn-in point, the apex, and the exit.
Generally speaking, the best racing line is to start on the outside of the turn, get close to the inside at the apex, and exit on the outside of the track.
Following the correct racing lines can be the difference between winning, and watching the other racers from behind. Ask your Event Captain for our recommended racing lines for each of our tracks – we’re happy to show you how to best take the turns.
#3 Drive Fluently
You may not consider karting a smooth or graceful activity, but the more you can make sure you keep things steady and avoid abrupt changes in direction, the better. It may seem like common sense, but being alert and aware of other karters both ahead and behind you will help you to pass seamlessly and prevent others from passing you. Your lap times will be drastically affected by how precise your actual driving skills are.
#4 Weight Transfer
This next tip is quite advanced, but knowing it will definitely separate you from the pack. To understand this concept, we’ll have to take some basic science into consideration. When you accelerate, weight and traction transfers to your back tires, and conversely, the weight shifts to the front tires upon deceleration. If you find the kart isn’t turning, come off the gas a bit. If you start to lose traction, you can apply a slight throttle to force the rear tires back into traction. This will all take a bit of practice as you learn how throttling/braking affect the weight transfer of the kart.
#5 Pass Like a Pro
Bottom line… if you want to win the race, you’re going to have to learn to pass. But this is also the fun part. This is a crucial part of how you can win if you don’t have the fastest lap time (since you won’t be starting in first position).
When passing, you will usually attempt to pass on the inside of a corner. This will force your opponent out of the racing line and give you a shorter distance to travel. Wedge your bumper to the inside when taking the corner and you will now have the inside racing line.
Perhaps the most important tip of all is to be sure you’re having fun. It may sound absurd to you, but the whole point of coming here is to enjoy yourself, and if you’re stressed or angry you won’t be making smart decisions on the track. Keep your head clear, and remember it’s all in good fun.
So there you have it. Five top tips (plus a bonus) to help you finish first the next time you decide to battle it out at Unser Karting & Events. Contact an Event Planner today to book an event.