Bruce’s karting tips for 2016
Yes it is that time of year again; time for my top tips on improving your race potential, becoming master of the leaderboard and being the only one of your mates who’s a regular feature on the podium.
So here we go:
Stay in line
I harp on about racing lines a lot but you really can’t fail if you find it and stick to it. The best racing line will always maximize your speed into and out of corners, show you where to turn without losing speed and not waste energy unnecessarily. As we all know, a race is often won by a split-second, so maximizing your race speed is imperative. Our track managers have all mastered their track a millions times over, so if you want the low-down on the best line per track, take them to one side, bribe them with chocolate and they will divulge.
Look like you own the track by keeping your moves consistent and controlled. The erratic drivers always look like they are making waves, but you can guarantee that they will make a mistake sooner or later. Focus, control and consistency will win the day.
Your centre of gravity is an all-important factor for balance and how the kart handles, so make sure you get your position in the kart absolutely right. If you are tall, you may be encouraged to push your chair back and extend the pedals forwards, but this is not always the best thing as it spreads your centre of gravity. Find a position that does not push your knees up to your chin, but is still a snug fit.
Making sure that you are not dehydrated sounds silly, but if you are dehydrated your brain won’t work as fast, your reactions will be slower and your muscles will be prone to cramps. Grab a bottle of water before you start and get it down your neck (but remember to visit the bathroom before you get behind the wheel…!).
Slow in, fast out
This is the tip that every karter should have mastered by now. If you haven’t, get on it, as it is one that will save you precious seconds. When you enter a corner, kill your speed. Your entrance should be slow enough that you are sure you can make the turn but fast enough that you don’t unnecessarily lose places. As soon as you start to turn the wheel to get out of the corner, put your foot down. Your exit is the most important bit and will be where you gain position.
This goes for your hands, feet and tyres. They all work better when they are warmed up so if you have five spare minutes before getting behind the wheel, do a quick bit of jogging on the spot and hand flexes. As for your tyres, go all F1-esque and weave about during your practice lap; not only will this warm up your tyres but it will give you a good feel for the kart too.
So now for my top tip: Practice, practice, practice. If you have mastered your consistent driving style, the racing line for the track, your centre of gravity and your pre-race prep then you just need to put them all together and get practicing. It won’t take long for you to find a style that suits you, that you can utilize to improve your racing tactics and lap times.
Final tip: Get on the track and enjoy.