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Author: Subject: Karting tips
james h

posted on 29/11/15 at 07:01 PM Reply With Quote
Karting tips

I went karting for the 4th time yesterday, first time in the damp/wet with a couple of mates. It was at Lakeside Karting in Essex, there were two 20 min arrive and drive sessions.





Great fun! But I ended up frustrated. The first session I was second out of my friends. One had been there several times before, the other once (and in similar conditions). My fastest lap was 3 seconds up on the latter.

For the second session, we all ended up in different karts. It drizzled on and off, but I couldn't improve on my time from the first session. I had horrific understeer, much worse on the longer right hand corners than before. My other mate went quicker by 5 seconds! So at the end of the day his fastest lap was 2 seconds quicker than mine.

I don't want to admit my driving wasn't up to scratch (nobody does!) but I want to get better. So any tips? How do I drive better in the wet? I'm going to look into some karting coaching as long as it isn't too expensive, any suggestions for either in the North West or around the Heathrow/Slough area?

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daniel mason

posted on 29/11/15 at 07:17 PM Reply With Quote
I've only done it once and was way too aggressive, I was full bore into corners and just chucking it in! It was great fun but I wasn't as quick as some of the less agressive guys although they had also done it several times and it was my first time

[Edited on 29/11/15 by daniel mason]

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balidey

posted on 29/11/15 at 07:31 PM Reply With Quote
Who was the fattest?
With something as light as a kart, the driver makes up a huge percentage of the all up weight.
So there is a good way to be faster next time. Lose weight.





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james h

posted on 29/11/15 at 07:34 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by balidey
Who was the fattest?
With something as light as a kart, the driver makes up a huge percentage of the all up weight.
So there is a good way to be faster next time. Lose weight.


There was probably a stone difference between the three of us. I try not to eat too many pies

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bi22le

posted on 29/11/15 at 08:07 PM Reply With Quote
Watch F1!!

They are the kings of driving in the wet and its all learnt from karting. They even reference "the karting line" in the commentary.

Basically wet lines are off of the dry line and wide. Reduce your scub / turn angle as much as possible. Soft chassis, average your speed.

Jenson Button style





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perksy

posted on 29/11/15 at 08:12 PM Reply With Quote
Been a few times now and you really need to be as smooth as possible, also tyre pressure seem to make a huge difference
and the difference between slicks and normal tyres is night & day

We had an apprentice at work who took it seriously (had own kart and raced) and even starting at the back he was always up front at the end

When watching him he was just so smooth compared to the rest of us, Little bastard

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joneh

posted on 29/11/15 at 08:43 PM Reply With Quote
When I last went the winner was an 18 stone ex army guy. He was so heavy he could floor it around the corners without spinning.
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Barkalarr
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posted on 29/11/15 at 09:24 PM Reply With Quote
That circuit is not far from me...

I did karting in Brentwood, Rayleigh, Witham and Ibiza and got the hump with the karts being so different I went and bought my own !
All the lads who did karting in Ibiza have bought rotax karts and we play down at Lydd and Bayford meadows.

Do what I've done and get your own kart - it's a scream and goes like stink. You don't have to pre-book. If the weather is pants then you don't need to sign on for the day. There's a lad on here who's got 2 to sell for approx 1k

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bozla

posted on 29/11/15 at 09:32 PM Reply With Quote
I haven't been to Lakeside in a long time but it's a great track. Basic kart driving:

On some of the rental karts you can adjust the seat. Move it forward to put more weight on the front to cure understeer (especially in the wet!)

Karts have no diff so the geometry of the front is set up to lift up the inside rear wheel. This makes the steering very heavy. You can lean outwards in the seat to help lift the rear.

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AdamR20

posted on 29/11/15 at 09:47 PM Reply With Quote
Lean forwards and outwards. Moves weight to the front to help with understeer, and unloads the inside rear so it doesn't bog down.

Edit, oops, too slow!

[Edited on 29/11/15 by AdamR20]

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eddie99

posted on 29/11/15 at 10:04 PM Reply With Quote
IMO videos and instruction!





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BenB

posted on 29/11/15 at 10:05 PM Reply With Quote
Remember to brake? I did an entire gokarting day and only realised afterwards I wasn't really ever using the brakes, I was just slamming it into the corners and drifting. Great fun and I wasn't the slowest. But I would have been quicker had I used the brake. I didn't learn my lesson either- last track day I did in the Locost I was drifting it as well! Instructor took me round in my car and I was "Jeez what's with this sudden braking buisness"
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daniel mason

posted on 29/11/15 at 10:26 PM Reply With Quote
I follow bens theory. Drifting karts is so much fun!
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hicost blade

posted on 29/11/15 at 10:44 PM Reply With Quote
Have a look at:

http://www.karting.co.uk/KandK/Tech/WetDriving.html

Some more driving technique information on the site if you have a look.

I did the whole rotax max thing for a bit and ruined my ribs before Mr Tillett (the seat man) told me how to drive it properly, the ribs never healed properly so I had to give up.

Buying your own competitive kart is defiantly not cheap, cost me at least 300 a meeting just to run, the kart was 2200 for a 2 year old chassis with an average sealed engine, although you can get an older kart if you just want to 'go round', it is pointless if it keeps breaking down, also rotax have electric start with a centrifugal clutch which is very useful when you spin.

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Surrey Dave

posted on 29/11/15 at 11:23 PM Reply With Quote
Don't Do This!!!!






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Adamirish

posted on 29/11/15 at 11:28 PM Reply With Quote
There is quite a difference between hire karts even if the owners say there aren't. The key is smooth, in the damp/wet don't trail brake, get the braking done in a straight line. I guess you were on slicks as I have never seen any hire kart with anything else. You will get less under steer in the damp if you have your foot on the throttle. Not to the point it's trying to spin but the rear wheels have more traction than the front, with a solid axle it just wants to plough on. So foot slightly on the throttle will break traction on the inside rear and help with cornering. Drifting in the wet can be fast but you need to be very accurate and not over do it. Hire karts don't have enough poke to control a slide.

The best thing to do would be buy your own. This is what i did. As others on here have done I raced a rotax snr max at my local track in a summer/winter series. Mine cost a grand. It was a 2007 kosmic t11 chassis(same as a tonykart) with a 6hr old jag sealed snr max engine. It was rapid! Hire karts lap record at my track was around 54secs. My fastest time and rotax max lap record for a while was 40.1. If you do decide to buy one, get one with the new style clutch, the old style are crap(as I learned the hard way). They are pretty cheap to run, all I ever really replaced were clutch springs(see above), chains and sprockets. Only run them with the best 2 stroke oil too. I always used silkolene race 2T. It expensive but a lot cheaper than a rebuild. Also keep the power valve clean, they get coated in carbon and get sticky.

Proper karts really are head and shoulders above hire karts, they are worlds apart.





MK Indy 1700 Xflow

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daniel mason

posted on 29/11/15 at 11:49 PM Reply With Quote
How long can you expect a motor to last? And how much for a rebuild?
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Adamirish

posted on 30/11/15 at 12:22 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by daniel mason
How long can you expect a motor to last? And how much for a rebuild?


Rotax quote 50hrs before a rebuild. Competitive racers will rebuild every 10-15hrs. There was a lad I raced with had a max with over 75hrs on the motor and it was still ok, didn't have the top end of mine but it was fine. I got rid of mine with 40hrs on it, the engine had never been opened and was still very fast.

As for a rebuild its about 6-700 depending on what's needed iirc. There are only a few companies that can do it and reseal the motor.(jag) if you weren't worried about national races then they are supposedly very easy to rebuild yourself. The resale value will be half or less though. A good rebuilt motor will be 1200-1800 to buy depending on the year. Like fine wines I guess, some years are worth more than others as well as who built the motor. It's not always the newest ones either. Mine was a 2000 bottom end with a 2006 barrel. What the difference is I don't know.





MK Indy 1700 Xflow

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t11

posted on 30/11/15 at 09:51 AM Reply With Quote
re karting

Hi all if anyone is interested I have a brand new kart suit size 50 full fia spec......offers, thanks Gordon
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SJ

posted on 30/11/15 at 11:49 AM Reply With Quote
Last time I went I managed to flip the cart. Shorts and a shirt aren't the most protective clothing either. Suffice to say it wasn't in the UK.

After the guy running the place had poured some iodine over my wounds I re-joined and finished my session!

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nick205

posted on 30/11/15 at 04:58 PM Reply With Quote
In my experience karting is great fun, but takes some effort to pull off!






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sonic

posted on 30/11/15 at 08:23 PM Reply With Quote
Hi guys

Go karts are not as simple as they look to setup, if you go on hire karts they are heavy and usually twin 4 stroke 160 5.5Hp engines. if you are heavy you loose allot of speed on pick up out of the corners, they are ok for a bit of fun for half an hour down the local track.

Rotax max karts are a total different ball game, light weight the parts are proper made race items and the engines are 2 stroke twice as powerful, they have power bands which kick in at around 7000 rpm adjustable and rev up to 14k at which point depending on the track and gearing can do silly speeds.
15 mins on one of these around corners etc will make you feel like you have done 10 rounds with Mike Tyson the next day if you are not fit!!

To get them handling well is all down to personal driving style, you can adjust of remove torsion bars, loosen seats to create movement and loosen side pods to create chassis flex add to this fully adjustable castor / camber and tyre presures.

My son and i have 2 Rotax max karts that we have only ever used for fun time permitting on a Sunday afternoon, we have often given up knackered after 20 mins with arms pumped up, neck muscles shot and aching thighs if you have a fast session.


It certainly makes you realise how fit these formula 1 guys are

If anybody is interested both of our karts are for sale, see pick in my archive

Mick

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