5 Quick Tips for the Perfect Lap
Looking to improve your times? Here are some quick tips on how you can go faster and get in the “perfect lap” during your next K1 Speed visit!
“Slow In, Fast Out”
It’s a common expression in racing which means you want to slow your go kart before entering a turn so you can be faster when you’re exiting. Sounds simple enough, right? But you’d be surprised how tempting it is to dive straight into a corner at full speed. When you enter a corner too fast, a couple of things can happen: you understeer (turn the wheel, but the kart keeps going forward), or you spin the kart, or you simply crash into the barriers. Next time, have your kart at a controlled speed before entering a corner so you can hit the apex of the turn and get a great drive into the next turn.
Be as Smooth as Possible
Hear a ton of tire screeching when you’re out on the track? Chances are, you’re overdriving the go-kart. Be conscious of your steering and try to be as smooth as possible. The smoother you are on track, the faster your lap time will be. The same applies to the brake pedal – slamming on the pedal will likely throw the back end of the kart around. Be smooth but fast with your braking in order to slow your kart in time to keep your front end pointed in the right direction.
Brake in a Straight Line
So you’re charging up on the first turn, and it’s a sharp one. Many beginning racers will try to brake and turn at the same time. The result? You’ll be facing the wrong way in no time. When you’re braking for a corner, try to make sure your steering wheel is STRAIGHT. This will settle the kart before you make your turn, allowing for maximum grip and a better exit speed. Only once you’ve mastered braking in a straight line can you start experimenting with other techniques like trail-braking.
Obey the Blue Flag
When you race in our usual Arrive & Drive races, you’re competing for fastest lap – not the first position on track. Passing karts or trying to keep karts behind you will only slow your overall lap time. When the track marshal is showing you the blue flag, this means you have at least one driver who is going faster than you right behind you and you need to pull off to the side and let him/her pass. If you’re on the straight, pull over to the side of the track. If you’ve got a left turn coming, stay to the right – right turn, stay to the left until the kart passes you. The sooner you move over, the sooner both you and the other racer can go back to attacking the track, rather than each other. Failure to let the racer pass you can lead to a decrease in your kart’s power – which you certainly don’t want.
Discover the Racing Line
If you’re wondering why other racers are going faster than you, it’s most likely to do with the racing lines they are taking around the track. The “line” is the path you drive your kart on through the course of a lap. Your goal is to create the shortest path around the course that maximizes your average speed. So think of how you can take the course in the straightest line possible while carrying speed through the turns. Make sure you hit the apex – that’s the closest your kart is to the inside of the corner – of every turn by taking the shallowest angle and positioning yourself well for the next turn. If you’re wondering what the line of your local track is – be sure to ask our track staff! They’ll be more than happy to show you their favorite line around the track. But remember – there’s not just one line to a track – discover what works best for you!
Interested in learning more? We offer an e-book called, “The Perfect Lap”, that provides professional racing advice that’ll maximize your performance on our race tracks. Purchase your copy today for just $10 by clicking the banner below!