The mentality of go-kart racing drivers is unique and cannot be compared to any other sport. The skillset and mindset it takes to excel in the world of racing is one that is hard to replicate with other sports. From the outside, it may look easy. But when it comes to racing, the smallest differences have the biggest effects. So, what exactly does it take to have a driver’s mentality and how can you develop and nurture it? Well, this is what we are here to discuss in this blog.
Go-Kart drivers are always one step ahead
Go-kart drivers are always under control
Go-karting and motorsport in general is a fast sport, one that sees a lot of things happen quickly and even simultaneously sometimes. With that in mind, this is why Go-kart drivers are always one step ahead and anticipate what may happen in the next few corners. First, by doing this, being one step ahead gives the driver more time to analyze and process what is happening on the circuit, as well as figure out the fastest way at that part of the track. This is why drivers tend to expand their field of vision by looking ahead instead of what is in front of them. Another reason why drivers are always one step ahead is to avoid any accidents and prepare themselves for the worst. By doing so, drivers can minimize incidents on track, and potentially even get off scot-free. This can be seen in the first few laps of a go-kart race wherein everyone is fighting for position. By being one step ahead, drivers can make the right moves to gain positions, as well as to anticipate any potential accidents and avoid being involved in them (For more on this, see our article on how to have a good first lap, https://kartclass.com/blogs/news/how-to-have-a-good-first-lap)
Go-Kart drivers can slow things down
A lot happens in go-kart racing (Source: Stuff.co.nz)
You may be wondering how slowing things down can help you become quicker on track. After all, that seems counterproductive and is the exact opposite of what you want to be doing. However, when it comes to slowing things down, it doesn’t mean to slow down on circuit, but rather it means training your brain to take the time to process what is happening on track as well as to handle problems one at a time. With so many things to remember in racing, it is easy to feel stressed and overwhelmed with everything a driver must do. From memorizing the track layout and braking markers, to making setup changes and figuring out if the change was effective. Combine that with the fast and high-speed nature of go-kart racing, you can easily be consumed by stress and anxiety, which hinders performance and your potential to be fast. So, to avoid this, slow things down and carefully handle each aspect of karting one by one. In doing so, you can gain valuable knowledge, be quick on the racetrack, and have fun while you’re doing so.
Go-Kart drivers can adapt to change quickly
Go-kart drivers are always alert (Source: The Napa Valley Register)
It is no secret that go-kart racing is a sport defined by the smallest of margins. But it is also defined by millions of other factors that can completely change the result. Things such as equipment that a driver has, the weather at the racetrack, and even the pressure and stakes that come with every race. With so much at play, plus the fact that these factors are sometimes not expected and not prepared for, it is important that drivers will not be fazed by the sudden and frequent changes that come every race weekend. One way to do so is to always seek and gain knowledge and experience with every race you take part in. Experience is the best teacher when it comes to racing so make sure to always find takeaways for you to know how to handle changes to things such as weather, equipment, and track conditions.
Go-Kart drivers are analytical
Always coordinate with your mechanic (Source: Premium Karting)
Aside from being a quick driver, it is also important to be analytical one. Being an analytical driver means analyzing everything, from your onboard footage to the technical side of karting. As mentioned earlier, with karting being a sport of small margins, it is also one where the smallest of changes can make the biggest of differences. Therefore, every change matters. To figure out what is the best from your onboard footage, watch and analyze everything from where you brake, to how much steering input you apply. For the technical side of karting, be sure to note all the changes you make in your kart and learn to describe how it feels to drive the kart with those changes applied. Once you have analyzed the data, the next step is to figure out what can be improved upon. Whether it’s braking a few meters later or adjusting the setup just a little bit. Figure out what needs to be done with the kart by analyzing every part of it.
Go-Kart drivers are resilient
Go-kart drivers bounce back from challenging days (Source: BirelART South Africa)
At the end of the day, even with all the preparation you do and all the hours of practice you put in, things won’t always go our way. There will be issues that are unexpected, and events that will affect us despite not being at fault, such as first lap accidents. However, what’s important is that a driver is resilient and can bounce back from these low points in racing. Because ultimately, it is these hurdles that you bounce back from, those are the ones that make you stronger. Do not focus on the event itself and how things turned out. Instead, focus on what you can learn from moments like that, such that they do not happen again.
That concludes some of the traits of a driver’s mentality that you should possess if you want to become faster and more resilient on track. To put these skills to the test and develop them further, always be sure to get as much seat time as you can, because being on track is where you really grow. Also remember that it is important to expand your knowledge on karting as this goes hand in hand with a driver’s mentality. So, if you want to learn more about karting and take your racing abilities to the next level, then sign up for Kart Class’ Champions Program! Guided by 18 x Australian Champion David Sera, here you will learn the skills it takes to be a go-kart race winner and champion!