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Basic Go Kart Training Skills

Once your child is equipped with the right go kart gear and ready to hit the circuit, the next step is learning the basics on how to drive. Here are some fundamental skills that all young drivers need to master:

  1. Understanding the Kart

Kids need to familiarize themselves with the various parts of the go-kart, including the steering wheel, pedals (accelerator and brake), and seat. Understanding how each part works is crucial for smooth and effective driving. Drivers want to have good posture in the kart, have a slight bend in both their arms & legs and be snug in the seat so they don’t move around when cornering.

  1. Steering and Control

Learning how to steer correctly is the foundation of go kart training. Kids should practice:

  • Smooth Steering: Avoiding jerky movements and maintaining a steady hand on the wheel. This helps with kart balance, and keeping your RPM (revolutions per minute) higher.
  • Cornering: Understanding how to approach, navigate, and exit corners efficiently. There’s different types of turns, some with undulation and some with different camber. Each corner needs to be respected.
  • Counter-Steering: Techniques for correcting oversteer and maintaining control. Drifting in go karting isn’t an efficient way to drive. It also wears your tires out quicker.
  1. Braking and Acceleration

Mastering the use of brakes and the accelerator is essential for controlling speed and navigating the track:

  • Progressive Braking: Applying the brakes smoothly and progressively to avoid losing control. The lower performance categories don’t need to utilise the brakes as much, but it’s still important to have confidence and an understanding on your brake performance.
  • Throttle Control: Using the accelerator to maintain consistent speed and control. The faster the kart, the more important controlling the throttle is. Also in the wet conditions, this will help rear traction.
  • Brake-Accelerate Transition: Coordinating the transition between braking and accelerating for optimal performance. Ideally karts don’t want to be off both pedals for too long. So understanding the balance between braking and then re-applying the throttle is paramount.
  1. Track Awareness

Kids need to develop an awareness of their surroundings on the track:

  • Racing Line: Understanding the optimal path around the track for the fastest lap times.
  • Positioning: Knowing where to position the kart in different sections of the track.
  • Situational Awareness: Being aware of other karts and anticipating their movements. If you are slower, that’s normal when starting out. But holding your line is important to not get in the way of other karts.

Advanced Go Kart Training Techniques

As kids become more comfortable with the basics, they can start working on more advanced techniques to improve their racing skills:

  1. Race craft

Race craft involves the strategies and tactics used during racing:

  • Overtaking: Techniques for safely and effectively passing other karts.
  • Defensive Driving: Strategies for protecting one's position and preventing overtaking.
  • Drafting: Using the slipstream of another kart to gain speed and overtake.
  1. Qualifying

Participating in qualifying helps kids focus on improving their lap times over one lap. As that’s what sets the grid for racing.

  • Lap Timing: Using timing systems to track and analyse lap times.
  • Consistent Performance: Working on maintaining consistent lap times throughout a session.
  • Analysing Data: Reviewing lap data to identify areas for improvement.
  1. Physical Conditioning

Go karting is physically demanding, and kids need to be in good shape to perform well. Parents often overlook the g-forces and grip strength require for younger drivers to handle and drive a kart quickly through the corners.

  • Stamina and Endurance: Building cardiovascular fitness to endure long races.
  • Strength Training: Focusing on upper body strength for better control of the kart.
  • Flexibility: Maintaining flexibility to handle the physical demands of racing.

 

Conclusion

Go kart training for kids is an exciting journey that offers numerous benefits, from developing essential driving skills to building confidence and discipline. By following this comprehensive guide, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable introduction to the world of go karting for your child. Remember you don’t need a coach right away. Begin by trying to learn yourself, then once you’ve hit a plateau then look to engage a coach who can level you up with their experience.

At Kart Class, we offer tailored coaching programs designed to help young drivers develop their skills and reach their full potential. Our experienced instructors are dedicated to providing the best possible training experience, ensuring that your child is well-prepared for the challenges and thrills of go karting. Contact us today to learn more about our programs and start your child's go kart training journey!

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