How to Improve Cornering

Go-Kart Racing Tips: Cornering

Go-Kart Racing Tips: Cornering

26 April 2024

Go-kart cornering is the difference between a win and a loss. Whether you’re new to go-karting or a regular karter looking to brush up on some essential skills, this guide on how to corner in a go-kart should help you get one step ahead of the competition.

This article will cover:
  • How to corner in a go-kart
  • Understanding the racing line
  • What is a corner apex?
  • How to enter a corner
  • How to exit a corner
  • Types of corners
  • Steering around corners
  • Braking around corners
  • Overtaking around corners

How to Corner in a Go-Kart

Follow this step-by-step method to learn to corner in go-karting and beat your competitors to pole position:

  1. Position your kart on the outside of the track, staying on the gas.
  2. Brake firmly as you reach the entry point, staying as straight as possible. 
  3. Come off the brake as you start to turn in.
  4. Turn gradually into the corner, keeping control over the wheel.
  5. Aim for the corner apex, but if you can’t get to it, stay as close to the inside edge as possible.
  6. Maintain consistent power throughout the turn, and accelerate as you exit.
  7. Practice, practice, practice! Your approach will have to shift with every unique corner, so honing your technique is the best way to get an edge on your opponents.

But let’s take a step back - why should you approach go-kart cornering like this?

Understanding Corners

The key to go-kart cornering is simple: If you understand how the corner works, you can figure out the fastest path through it. While factors like how you steer and brake are important, the path you take through the corner is crucial. 

This ties into the bigger idea of understanding the racing line. The “racing line” is essentially the fastest path you can take around a go-karting track, and mastering it is the easiest way to improve your lap times and beat your competitors.

To get through a corner as quickly as possible, you have to know the three parts of a corner: the entry, apex and exit. You want to enter, hit the apex and exit the corner to make the racing line as short as you can.

What is a corner apex?

A corner apex is the middle of the corner, on the inside of the lane. You probably already veer towards the inside of the lane because it provides a shorter path around the track, but this is especially true with corners. Hitting the apex of a corner in just the right way significantly reduces the angle you have to turn to make it through the corner, so far less steering and braking is required. 

How to Enter a Corner

When you enter a corner, two factors are important. 

Firstly, make sure you’re on the outer side of the track - approach from the outside of the lane and steer inside the lane, into the apex. You could do this when you’re level with the exact middle of the corner, or turn late if necessary and hit a late apex. 

The sharpness of the corner is a factor here. Take, for example, a right-angle corner – you want to approach this kind of corner from the outside, go through as close to the inside as possible, and exit near the outside again. This massively reduces the angle you have to turn. 

Secondly, aim to build as much momentum as possible going into the corner. How you accelerate and brake at this point will affect the success of your go-kart cornering - we will discuss this further in the braking section. 

go-karting racing line

How to Exit a Corner

Your strategy for exiting a corner should mirror the way you entered it. Once you’ve hit the corner apex, you need to go from the inside of the lane back to the outside. This helps to reduce how far you need to steer, making the turn far smoother and quicker.

You also want to accelerate out of the corner. Go-kart cornering inevitably slows you down, so recovering quickly and regaining your momentum is important. After you’ve passed the corner apex, straighten the wheel and start picking up speed. 

Types of Corners to Consider

What many people don’t consider when they learn how to corner in a go-kart is that the corner apex changes depending on the angle, and this also changes how the racing line would look for different types of corners. 

Once you’ve learned how to improve cornering around one specific kind of corner, you can apply what you’ve learned to all of them. Part of what makes go-karting so exciting is how many different kinds of corners there are across different tracks, including:

  • Hairpin
  • Double hairpin
  • Increasing radius curve
  • Decreasing radius curve
  • Connecting/Linked curve
  • Double apex
  • Chicane

The severity of the corner, and how much room you have to exit it, affects where the corner apex is. With hairpins, for instance, the apex may be different from the exact middle of the corner - you may spend longer on the outside of the corner and approach the apex not long before you exit.

We recommend you get to know your local track well, and practice your approach to each racing line until go-kart cornering is a breeze.

Other Factors to Consider when Cornering in a Go-Kart

To learn how to take corners in go-karting, you have to consider the other factors that affect your speed and control over the kart.


When it comes to go-kart cornering, the trick with steering is to do as little as possible. 

Changing direction suddenly is the opposite of what you want to do, as turning sharply around corners either slows you down or makes it hard to keep in control of the kart. To maintain control, you need to:

  • Steer gradually. Start thinking about the corner early, as you’re approaching it, so that you can position yourself in the right place.
  • Turn the wheel slightly. When you’re speeding around a go-karting track, you don’t need to turn the wheel sharply to make corners. For go-kart cornering, turn the wheel in small increments until you have the angle you want.
  • Hold the wheel steady. By keeping steady, you keep control of the kart and can execute the corner flawlessly.
  • Straighten the wheel as you exit. Accelerate out of the corner, and that’s the technique!


With go-kart cornering, braking is just as crucial to maintaining control over a kart as steering is. You don’t want to drift around a corner - strategically braking at the entry point and accelerating at the exit is the best way to corner as quickly and safely as possible.

There are several different types of braking that pro-racers might use - including threshold braking, cadence braking and trail breaking - but for our purposes, threshold braking is the one you need to know. It involves breaking fairly hard as you get close to the corner, slowing you down as quickly as possible so your lap time stays low. Mastering this will take your go-kart cornering to the next level.


Of course, it’s unlikely that you’ll be the only one on the track, and the positioning of your opponents may affect your go-kart cornering technique. Passing on the inside forces your opponent out of the racing line, so getting on the inside ahead of time is a technique that may work for you. Test test test!

Hone your craft with TeamSport

Why not come and test out your go-kart cornering at one of the 30+ TeamSport indoor go-karting venues? 

TeamSport offers the perfect space to build your go-karting skills - our tracks are completely accessible to beginners, and we’re making the switch to e-karting so you can race to your heart’s content and produce far less carbon in the process.

Whether you want to join a regular Grand Prix or get all the exclusive perks of a #GRID membership, TeamSport is the place to go. Make use of our exciting tracks and expert advice today!

Find your local track, and start practising your corners today!