Here are 10 tips for beginners getting into karting. Some of these tips can be bent, some broken as you get better and more involved in karting.
- Make sure you’re sitting correctly. It sounds minor, but your posture can actually make a big difference in how the kart handles and accelerates. Sit comfortably with your back up against the seat, and resist the urge to lean forward as you race. That actually slows you down.
- Grip a symmetric grip on the wheel. Whether you’re at “10 and 2,” “4 and 8,” or another combination, just make sure your hands are mirrored and symmetrical so you have a sturdy grip, which gives you more control when you turn and maneuver. With a lazy grip, you’ll end up wasting time and inertia correcting your path.
- Don’t lose momentum. Look ahead of the track to anticipate the moves you’ll be making next. That way, you avoid unnecessary braking and slow-downs, and will keep your speeds and momentum high.
- Stay straight for as long as you can. The longer you move forward without altering your path, the more likely you’ll be to reach top speeds. Turning and/or swerving around other racers will reduce your speed.
- Keep the ride as smooth as possible. Braking, swerving, altering acceleration—these cause you to lose momentum and will impact your finish time.
- Avoid braking while turning. Your tires could lose traction, causing you to spin out more easily. Braking is smoothest when you’re going straight.
- Don’t apply the brake and accelerator simultaneously. Doing so will cause the engine to stop.
- Follow the leaders. If you start to trail during the race, follow the path of the faster drivers who are most likely avoiding the slower drivers. Work your way up (still keeping a safe distance), and, at your first opportunity, zip past them!
- The driver with the fastest lap wins. It may be instinct to pass other drivers to move you up in the ranks, but keep in mind that we judge our winners off of who has the fastest lap time! Passing other drivers will not give you a better chance of winning.
- Have fun! It may seem basic, but karting is all about having fun. Bring friends, family, and your best buddies for fun, competition and bragging rights!
What other beginner tips did we miss? Let us know below!
- Smoother is faster around most race tracks including the bead-blasted concrete surface at Pole Position Raceway. Be smooth with all of the controls including the go kart steering wheel, brakes and throttle.
- When riding go karts you should strive to carry as much momentum as possible around the track in most instances, but there will be a few compromises. The best way to carry momentum is by using wide lines around the race track that allow you to carry more exit speed.
- One of the best ways to reduce lap times is to follow faster drivers. When following faster drivers, try to duplicate their race lines as close as possible, but make sure you stay within your own safety limits.
- In most cases you want to limit sliding in the turns. At most of the tracks, you should strive to find the razor’s edge of where the tires begin to lose grip, just like in other forms of racing. Controlling front tire grip is generally more important than the rear, and it’s usually acceptable to allow the back end to slide a little as long as you can maintain safe control of the kart.
- It’s usually best to do all of your braking in a straight line. When brakes are applied while turning, it generally causes the tires to lose traction easier and quicker.
- When competing for best time, it’s generally best to give yourself plenty of space between you and the closest driver ahead of you at the beginning of the race. This will minimize the chances of a slower driver getting in your way that could prevent you from getting the fastest lap possible within your ability.
- Avoid making contact with the barriers or other karts since it will disrupt your kart’s handling and will instantly slow you down.