Consider a rental kart race as the first thing you do after quarantine

It is not about how fast you are in a straight line, but the speed you can carry through a corner.

14w ago


Feel free to tell me in the comments if you will be karting after quarantine.

There are many different types of so called rental kart races. These are races organised by a specific track or organiser where everything is provided for the driver, the only thing they need to do is turn up, pay the admission fee and try their best.

I will start by addressing what many will scoff at and that is the little power in a rental kart, but the truth is that having little power is a good thing as it will teach you to conserve momentum. The fact that the driver does not have engine power to count on means that messing up on corner entry and/or exit will mean less speed on the following straight. Furthermore rental karts have a tyre compound that is quite a lot harder than a racing tyre. For illustrative purposes let's say rental karts have something like the F1 hard compound tyre and professional karts use something like the F1 super soft tyre. Again these hard tyres combined with low engine power means that driving a rental kart is quite easy to do at low or normal speeds, but means that in a rental kart race, when you are looking to get 100% out of the kart it can be quite easy to slide the kart thus losing speed. That means that in a competitive field sliding the kart can result in loss of positions, which can be even more profound in a qualification lap. That can also happen in a racing kart but with loads of engine power to help recover from the slide, the loss of time would be less profound if not in an extremely competitive field. Also the fact that rental karting is more affordable than any racing kart it would mean more participants and thus more competition. In these type of races there are people of varying skill levels so you can always find someone to race with and try to pick up new tricks from the faster drivers.


Trying different lines in a rental kart is a must

These types of races also mean everyone races in nearly identical machines and so it is mostly up to the driver to make the difference. Rental karts can be found with something like a Honda GX 200 making about 6 bhp like the one in the video which exaggerates the use of a proper technique. In a low powered kart what you want to do is break sharply without locking up the rear or sliding, followed by a very slight turn of the wheel in the direction of the corner and throttle application while still in the corner to achieve a better speed on exit. You should avoid sharp movements of the wheel as that will scrub off speed. As Jackie Stewart has said numerous times a smooth driving style is essential for fast and consistent lap times and that can be acquired through driving low powered karts. Of course there are karts such as a 13-15 bhp powered karts and they would still require the same sort of driving style and with more power they can be more difficult to drive on their limit as more speed in the braking area would mean that braking is more tricky to judge but having learned the essentials on a lower powered kart you will absolutely know how to handle the extra speed while still being as smooth as possible.


13 bhp powered kart

Now I know I may sound like James May in claiming that driving an underpowered vehicle will make you faster, but the fact of the matter is that it is true. Of course you can say that you can sit in a racing kart and get used to the speed that way, but that will take a longer time to achieve and maybe result in damage to the kart or you. In the end if you try to do it that you you'll still be slow in a racing kart, but if you build up to it, you will have the proper technique and be able to extract the maximum.

Furthermore, apart from the normal sprint races you also have the other discipline - Endurance. Which apart from just the driving part will teach you to figure out on the go if the kart you are currently driving is as fast as the other karts around and if not you can choose to pit and change. There is the element of strategy on when to pit or when to push in order not to get stuck in traffic or not to get worn out.

Finally as you know many kart drivers progress in to different forms of car racing thus illustrating that kart do really make you a good driver. It is not something I want to promote as I think karting should be viewed as a standalone sport as it really has so much to give.

Last but not least let's not forget that in general it is easier to go fast in a straight line than testing the limits of grip in a corner.

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Comments (4)

  • We are prepped and ready to get on track ASAP

      3 months ago
  • Can It be second? I really want to do a burnout.

      3 months ago