How to Successfully Drive a Go Kart
If you are just learning to drive a go kart or hoping to win your first go kart race, this article will teach you the basics. Whether you want to start a hobby, drive better, or just get in first, this is the ultimate guide to small scale go-karting!
Driving Faster Safely
Pick a fast kart (if you can), but be careful because if a kart is going too fast you may drift and lose control.If you are selecting from seemingly identical karts, look for karts with fresher tires or from karts that have been winning previous races that day at the track.
Enter turns slow, exit turns fast.This single tip is the most important lesson of fast go-karting. Winning a go kart race is about maintaining momentum throughout the entire track.
Be smooth.You may think you are cool slamming on the accelerator, but sliding and jerking actually slow you down. Accelerate smoothly, brake smoothly to retain momentum and be faster all around that track.
Plan your drive path as "out-in-out", the wide path will help you maintain momentum.For example when you are entering left turn you stay at the right side, then cut in the apex. Then drive to the right again. For a right turn, vice versa.
- When you are just learning, it can help to follow a fast driver to duplicate her race line as closely as possible.
Limit the sliding in your turns.Sliding and drifting may look cool, but they aren't actually fast techniques for the beginner or intermediate driver.
- Brake at the end of the straightaways before you enter the turn. If you start breaking during the turn, you will slide.
- Control your front tire grip. If your front tires stay in control, your kart will stay in the line you want. It can be OK to let the back tires slide a bit.
Time your passes carefully.Don't pass when there is risk that you will end up in the tires.
Do not crash into people, it may sound obvious now but out on a busy go kart track it is an easy mistake to make.Also, most go kart tracks will make you leave if you repetitively crash into people.
Learn your way round the track and its history.If you go a lap without crashing then push a bit more and you might gain some seconds. If you crash, slow down a bit. Also learning about its history if it's quite old and quite big can help you "get into touch" with the track.
Picking a Track
Find a style of go-karting that is right for you.If you are a beginner, try one of the smaller tracks without a lot of hairpin turns. As you get better you can move on. If you feel extremely confident with handling, you could try slick-racing.
Try it out at first.A small track, with only one or two karters, will help you start getting the feel of the kart. Drive cautiously.
Move on to larger, more complex tracks and slick tracks as your expertise grows.Even the best karters spin out on slick tracks and slippery ovals.
QuestionIs leaning forward into turns for more grip on the front wheels effective?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerLifting your bum off the seat when exiting a turn can be slightly more effective, so leaning forward going into a turn could help a bit. But we are only talking half seconds.Thanks!
QuestionAre go karts automatic?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes. Some professional ones aren't, but you will always get an automatic when renting.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I level out if I am spinning out?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou shouldn't be spinning out in the first place. Try letting off the gas, turning the wheel the right way, gently braking, or crashing safely into a wall. The guys will help you out if you crash. To avoid spinning out, stop drifting so much and try to avoid bumping into objects and other cars.Thanks!
QuestionIs there a special technique to maintain speed while turning?wikiHow ContributorCommunity Answer"Smooth is fast" sums this up. You have a limited amount of traction and, at a very basic level, you can either use this for braking, turning or accelerating. Smoothly transitioning between braking, turning and applying power on exit will allow you to use this 'traction budget' to the maximum throughout the phases of the turn. In reality, the turning and braking/acceleration budgets are separate to a degree, and 'trailing' your brakes can load the front wheels more, allowing for a more aggressive turn-in, but at first, using all controls smoothly is going to get you a much better foundation upon which to develop those more advanced skills.Thanks!
QuestionWhat is the basic trick for a first timer to get a competitive lap time while karting?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerBrake as little as possible.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I stop sliding?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerTry to brake before you make any turns and accelerate when coming out of the turns. That should reduce your sliding.Thanks!
QuestionCan a go kart be revved?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerNo. All rental style go karts use a centrifugal type clutch, which is the same used by chain saws. This means if you press the accelerator pedal to try and rev the engine, it will start moving!Thanks!
QuestionIs lifting off the accelerator better or worse than braking for a corner?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerAlways come off the accelerator when braking, or this will damage the kart. Brake and don't just lift off, because this will slow the kart down much faster.Thanks!
QuestionWhat should I do in case of a crash on a go kart?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIf it's safe to reposition yourself and carry on going, do that, especially if its after a blind corner where other drivers can't see you. If it's a bad crash, or you can't move, wait for a marshal.Thanks!
QuestionIs there stick shift Go Kart at Go Kart tracks?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerSome karts called Shifter Karts can shift with a stick movement behind the wheel. Individual Go Kart locations might have Shifter Karts, but you would have to check with them individually.Thanks!
- Lift your bum off the seat when exiting a tight turn, this will give the engine a bit more ability to accelerate you quickly into the straightaway.
- Try racing next to an experienced friend, it will help.
- If you feel unsure, it is ok not to proceed to a greater track. Do what you are comfortable with.
- If you lose don't get mad and quit. Instead keep practicing.
- Listen to instructions and always follow the rules, they are the simplest and best part to be victorious!
- Be sure to wear appropriate protection while riding.
- If you have any medical conditions, be sure to consult a doctor before attempting go-karting.
- If any of this information contradicts posted rules, follow the posted instructions.
Video: Top 4 Go-Karting tips from a Professional Racing Instructor!
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