Getting Started In Karting: Qualifying Tips

Getting Started In Karting: Qualifying Tips

July 10, 2016
7 minutes read

Welcome To KartByte

If this is your first time reading KartByte, welcome! If you would like to get up to speed with the Karting series, you can read our introductory article here, and our previous article on how to prepare for your first race here. This time around we’ll be covering Qualifying in Karting. Providing you with handy tips for both Rookies and Veterans alike.

“One Of The Most Important Sessions in Karting”

Apart from the race, Qualifying is one of the most important sessions of the weekend. The Qualifying session generally determines how your race will pan out in karting. If you qualify towards the back of the grid, you may find yourself stuck in that rowdy bunch where accidents are frequent. This rowdy bunch also tends to engage in constant battles for position which may end up costly as they lose time to the drivers ahead or behind.
It’s for this reason that you want to qualify as high up the order as possible. You want to make sure you’ve got as little to worry about at the start of the race as possible. Aiming for a top 10 in Qualifying is realistic. It will come with it’s challenges however and will require much dedication in practice and testing sessions leading up to the race weekend.

The Guys At The Front Know What They’re Doing

The drivers at the front of the pack will generally know how to race without incident or time loss. They are more likely to be the more experienced drivers of the bunch, and it may be wise for a Rookie to follow them during the Qualifying and race sessions to accelerate their growth. Don’t get too close to the driver ahead however. It should come as no surprise that nobody likes to be punted off while they’re on a flying lap. Especially not when a Rookie loses it under braking.
More experienced drivers tend to understand that the race is not won in the first corner. They also tend to race with more maturity. There is no room for an unnecessary do or die move. Do or die moves tend to cause unnecessary accidents and create a lot of frustration for the drivers involved. This is why you should aim to qualify as close to the front as possible. You want to skip past the Schoolyard Scrapping Brat Pack, and mix it up with the mature and cool-headed racers instead. This is where you’re likely to have the most fun, and where you’re likely to grow into a more professional driver more quickly.

The Key To Qualifying in Karting

The key is to make sure that you manage to get at least one clean fast lap. This is what’s typically referred to as a Banker Lap. A Banker Lap ensures that you don’t get slapped with an unnecessary penalty. You don’t want to spend your race driving amongst the Brat Pack. The other laps are irrelevant once you have your Banker Lap in. From there on, you can push as much as you like to improve your time. Just make sure you don’t experience a costly off-track excursion and bin it into the tires.

A Useful Tidbit

Before qualifying you need to make sure you are placed well on the grid. Try your best not to become stuck behind people on your flying lap. The cars generally grid up in the pits, and it’s usually first come first serve. As a Rookie, you want to place yourself behind a more experienced and faster driver. This way you’ll have someone to follow without losing time. This will also accelerate your growth and will help you set faster times a lot quicker than if you were on your own.

Ah, Fresh Rubber

Whilst on the track, make sure you get the most out of your new tires. Qualifying isn’t a session where tire conservation is important. You need be aggressive to extract the most out of your tires in order to get that perfect lap. Worry about saving tires during the race session, in Qualifying it’s Balls-To-The-Wall. Qualifying sessions are generally 10 minutes in length. This time flies by, but don’t get frustrated if you can’t get a decent lap in at first. Just relax and find some space in the field, then put that clean lap together! Make sure that you are calm and focused on hitting the apex. Be smooth out there, you need to make sure that you don’t scrub off any of that useful speed.

The most useful advice in Karting?

“Make sure that you are calm and focused.”
Be calm, be smooth, learn how to channel your aggression and channel it into the fastest lap time. If you can get that right, you’ll be at the front of the grid and out of the Brat Pack in no time!

Want more?

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

If you enjoyed this article or found it to be useful, please share it with your friends. We’ll appreciate it and so will they.

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