10 Best Electric Go Kart Racing Tips
Looking to beat your friends at K1 Speed? You’re going to need some electric go kart racing tips to lower those lap times and rise up the leaderboard. Here are 10 of the best electric go kart racing tips so you can win at K1 Speed during your next visit.
Electric Go Kart Racing Tips and Techniques
Go Kart Racing Tip # 1: Let Faster Racers Pass You
I know what you’re thinking: “What?! Let people PASS me? How is that a go kart racing tip?” But remember, when you do Arrive & Drive racing at K1 Speed, you’re racing for fastest lap – not position (unless you’re visiting during Grid Night). Don’t spoil your own lap time trying to defend from a driver that’s trying to get by. You won’t climb the timesheet that way. Instead, obey the blue flag, let the driver pass, and try to stick with them. Study what racing line they’re taking, where they’re braking and other differences that’ll help you reach their speed.
Tip #2: Mind Your Posture!
When you’re sitting in the go-kart, you’ll feel inclined to lean in to the turns or hunch over the wheel. Instead, sit up straight and keep your head upright while driving. You’ll be surprised how even these small details can affect your on-track performance.
Go Kart Racing Tip #3: Brake in a Straight Line
If you’re new to karting, one of the first things you’ll try to do is brake while you’re turning. You’ll be surprised when your kart suddenly snaps away and you’re facing the wrong direction. You need to maximize your grip when you’re braking, so make sure you keep that steering wheel straight before quickly, but smoothly hitting those brakes. Once you’ve slowed down to the appropriate speed for the turn, lift off the brakes, turn, and get on the gas as soon as you hit the apex (or the middle) of the corner. Which brings us to our next point..
Go Kart Racing Tip #4: “Slow In, Fast Out”
You’ll notice that more ambitious karting beginners will try to keep the accelerator planted on the floor as they navigate a corner. While this may work at family-fun centers that offer slower go-karts as a side-attraction, things are a little different when driving European-style all-electric go-karts at K1 Speed (or any other more powerful kart).
If you go charging into a tighter corner with full beans, you’ll either:
- Understeer (when you turn the steering wheel, but the kart keeps pushing forward) and potentially crash into the barrier or another kart.
- Spin and potentially crash into the barrier or another kart
Even if you don’t crash, you’re going to lose a ton of time as your kart drifts away from where you need to be.
You’ll need to apply the age-old racing lesson of “Slow in, fast out”. Make sure you slow down your kart (in a straight line, remember) until you’re at a comfortable speed to take the corner without any of the prior happening. Then as soon as you’re at the apex of the turn, jump on the gas fly out of there.
Tip #5: Smooth Steering is a Must
Though it certainly sounds fast when you’re squealing the tires, you’re actually losing precious lap time in the process. The tires are telling you that they’re losing grip, and when it comes to speed, grip is king.
You see, karting is all about maintaining momentum. Your goal is to make sure you maintain a quick average speed throughout the whole lap without needlessly slowing the kart. Therefore, you need to be smooth with your hands to avoid any “scrubbing of speed” that may occur when your tires squeal.
Smooth steering = higher average speed = lower laps times = being the fastest of your friends.
Tip #6: Learn the Racing Line
As far as go kart racing tips go, this one’s a big one. When racing, it’s critical to understand the racing line if you wish to do well. The basic principle is that it’s fastest to go in a straight line than turning. So when you’re on the track, you’re trying to find a route that allows you to go as straight as possible throughout the course.
Take a look at the photo to the right. While the line isn’t straight, it minimizes the amount of time you’re turning a sharp right and maximizing the amount of time your wheels are straight. This helps you carry a great deal amount of speed then turning super hard into the turn, squealing the tires, and losing speed/time.
Tip #7: Use Only One Pedal at a Time
Now this is a very important go kart racing tip. Don’t be tempted to press the brake pedal while you’re still stomping on the accelerator. We get that it sounds fast, but it’s the opposite. When you press on both the accelerator and brake pedal, your kart will cut out in power and stall in most cases. This will throw the yellow flag while a track staff member gets to your kart to restart it – ruining your fun and your lap time. Press on just ONE pedal at a time, either using your left foot to brake OR right foot on the accelerator.
Tip #8: Give Yourself Space
Again, you’re racing for fastest lap NOT position at K1 Speed. If you find yourself trapped behind another driver for more than a lap, do not continue trying to pass them. Seriously. Beat them by allowing yourself plenty of space between you and other drivers. Then, set a blistering lap time they can’t top. Having clear track in front of you is your ultimate goal and your best chance at finishing as the fastest driver.
Tip #9: Relax!
When you first try go-karting, you’re likely going to be giving that steering wheel a death grip. But that’s only going to make your hands tired and that “smooth steering” lesson from before becomes harder to apply. Resist the urge to grip the steering wheel tightly – you’ll need to provide enough force to steer the kart but try to relax your hands when you can. The straight is a perfect opportunity to hold that wheel a little looser.
Tip #10: Look Ahead – Not at the Corner You’re Already Attacking
Now this may sound strange, but when you’re racing, train yourself to start looking at the upcoming turn. Most often, your kart goes where your eyes go. Use this to your advantage by looking at your entry point for the next corner before you even get there. As you approach the corner start looking at the apex. When you’re braking start looking at how you’re going to exit the corner. While at the apex, start looking at the approach to the next corner. You’ll find your kart will go precisely where you want it to go while your subconscious handles the current corner.
The subconscious is incredibly fast at processing so let that manage any small adjustments while you’re focusing on the challenge ahead.
On the same note, if you see a kart crash into the barriers and you’re focusing on it, you’ll probably end up in the barriers with them. Instead, focus on the gap that gets you by the other kart and you’ll find your kart heading on the right path.
So there you have it! Next time you visit your local K1 Speed, try applying some of these lessons and see the difference it makes to your lap times and final results!