Finding grip is essential to keep the go-kart on track while turning for a corner. However, finding grip is easier said than done because grip levels can change from session to session & day-to-day. Factors such as weather conditions and rubber on-track can affect how much grip is on track and where you can find it. So, with many variables to consider, where and how do you find grip? This is what we are here to tackle today.
Finding Grip on A Dry Track
The racing line is the most basic concept in racing. It is defined as the shortest distance around a racetrack, whilst not losing any speed. (On dry conditions. We will discuss the fastest way in wet conditions later). Conveniently, this is also where the grip can be found. Because many karts use the racing line, grip slowly builds up as time progresses.
But What If the Track Is Wet?Grip on a wet track is very hard to come by. Here, you can expect the kart to understeer and the speeds when entering and exiting a corner will be much slower compared to a dry track. But a general rule of thumb to follow is to use a wider line. The dry line, also known as the racing line, in wet conditions, will provide less grip and the kart will oversteer and slide, costing you valuable time. That is why, when you look at onboards taken in the wet, you will see drivers take much wider lines into a corner and hit later apexes despite the distance being much longer compared to the dry line as this is where the grip can be found. The idea is to look for a more abrasive surface for the tyres to bite into.
Adaptability Is EverythingKeep in mind that all these textbook rules when it comes to grip are not the end all be all. These definitive rules have their exceptions. Not because it is dry does it mean you always have to use the dry line, and not because it is wet does it mean you always use the wet line. Take for instance using the dry line. If there is a bump in the regular line, you may need to take avoiding action and take a slightly wider line. Furthermore, things such as banking and camber affect the line as these present angled corners with varied grip levels. The wet line is not the only line used because conditions are very unpredictable. Drivers can position their kart in the middle of the track, and even as wide as possible sometimes depending on the conditions. Drivers can also use a mix of both the dry and wet line, and sometimes still use the dry line if the conditions are not too wet.
A Good Setup HelpsLast but not the least, a good setup is one of those things that you can control which can help you in finding grip. Having the right setup gives you performance and confidence to perform on track. Small setup changes can make the biggest difference on track. One example of things you can change that affect grip would be seat height. A higher seat gives more grip but won’t be required in all conditions, while a lower seat provides the opposite and is suited to taller drivers. Finding and making the setup that suits you and your driving style is optimal to find grip. Our kart setup program provides members with the required information to make suitable changes to the ever-changing conditions.
That concludes this lesson on grip. Grip can be found in different parts of the track depending on the conditions and having a good setup will also contribute and assist you finding grip on track.