Getting Started in Go-Karting: Preparing For Your First Race

Getting Started in Go-Karting: Preparing For Your First Race

June 12, 2016
7 minutes read

Welcome Back

Welcome to the second iteration of KartByte. Our first instalment covered your first day in the go-kart and what to expect from it. This time around we’re going to talk about what you need to do in the opening sessions of your first race meeting in karting, and every other race meeting further on. So without further ado, let’s get into this KartByte segment.

“Oh Man, I’m Nervous!”

The classic words you’re almost guaranteed to hear any newcomer utter in the lead up to their first race. This is very normal. Driver trainers will always help their drivers combat the nerves. Instructors will also teach their drivers how to channel the nerves into something positive. A driver will feel nervous on a level which they’ve never felt before. The nerves will also be much harder to control than the first time the driver got into the kart.

What To Do

The best way for a driver to prepare for their first race meeting in karting is to go through the kart. Stripping the kart and cleaning it is the best way to start a race weekend in karting. The driver should do this as it allows them to check every nut and bolt. It allows the driver to see that all is OK with the kart. Make sure nothing is stripped. Go through all aspects of the kart to see whether anything looks like it’s cracked or could break and cost a valuable race finish. The most important reason for this to be the drivers duty, is that it will help the driver build up their confidence levels and it will also accelerate their learning curve.

"Go through all aspects of the kart"

Once the driver has cleaned everything on the kart and assembled it all back together, they’ll then be ready to start their practice. After a drivers first practice session, it is recommended that they do a spanner check. This is when a driver goes through their kart. Make sure to check every nut and bolt in order to ensure that they’re all tight and that nothing has become loose. This process should really only take 15-20 minutes. Drivers mustn’t become lazy with this process and just think that everything is OK. Rather be safe than sorry.

Improving Throughout Every Karting Session

The track will improve every session as more karts will be driving around, laying down more and more rubber. This extra rubber will give the circuit more grip in dry conditions. A driver may need to start adjusting their kart setup for the relevant conditions. A driver should keep fine tuning until they are satisfied with their kart setup. Drivers shouldn’t put their entire focus into setup though. It could end up wasting valuable time or suck a driver into thinking that the kart is the problem and not their own driving when they’re losing pace.

Make The Most Of Every Karting Session

Drivers need to make the most out of every session throughout the event. There should be no messing around in any of the sessions. Drivers need to focus on getting their lines right in order to go faster and to be more consistent. First time competitors should follow other drivers. However, they should not be too close as they could get involved in an unnecessary incident. Drivers should follow others for the sole purpose of studying their competitors lines and building up their own confidence.

"Try not to get distracted between sessions"

Try not to get distracted in between sessions. Drivers should be fully focused on the task at hand. A driver should not start doing any activities which may cause themselves harm or which may cause them to lose focus on karting. Focus on checking everything on the kart first. If there is spare time to walk around, converse with more experienced drivers and ask for tips or advice. There’s bound to be a friendly competitor with mounds of experience just waiting for someone to ask for their advice on something, so drivers need not be shy or afraid of approaching them.

Don’t Get Spooked

Drivers need to ensure that they do not allow themselves to be spooked by others. The world of motorsport can be cruel. Drivers may find that there’s a competitor in their class who feels as though they need to spook others for fun. Don’t focus on these people. Get rid of them as quickly as you can by ignoring them. Chances are that they’re more threatened by you than you are by them. Don’t bash them into the tires on the circuit, this will turn out to be a very costly and very embarrassing endeavour. Just ignore them and their comments, and move on to the next duty. Politics should be left to the politicians and not to the racing drivers.

Want more Karting content?

We hope you enjoyed this instalment in the KartByte series. We hope you’ll join us again for the next instalment of Kartbyte, as we take you through Qualifying sessions and how to handle them!

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