In the world of go-kart racing, here you will experience the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. The victories and milestones you achieve are very rewarding, but the incidents and mishaps that come along will sting. However, always remember that there is something to be learnt from everything you experience, including the negative ones. In fact, it is often at our lowest points that we learn the most. It is these moments that help us grow, improve, and mature as drivers. With that, in this article, we will tackle how to take those steps of progress, big and small, and improve overall as a driver in go-kart racing.
Understand The Situation
For starters, before you even enter a racetrack, take note of things such as track conditions to adjust accordingly. When on track, always be alert to things such as how the kart feels and pay attention to how it behaves in certain conditions (i.e. fast corners, slow corners). When in the pits, be sure to observe the changes that are made and get a feel for what has changed in the go-kart once you are on track again.
The ability to observe is crucial for any driver. More specifically, being able to observe and take things in at a quick glance and be able to process things quickly is essential given the fast and quick nature of go-karting and motorsports in general. If you don’t have this, it is easy to get left behind. From the technical side up until the actual racing itself, observation is everything to stay ahead of the pack.
Ask Advice From The Right PeopleThe people with the best advice are the ones who have been through the most. Given that experience is everything in motorsport, to improve, it is best to ask questions and learn from the best and those who are very much familiar with the inner workings of karting.
In the event you have the chance to be paired up with a more experienced teammate, take that opportunity to ask questions on areas you may not be familiar with. When the mechanic makes changes in your go-kart, be sure to ask them what it is that you changed and how exactly does it affect the go-kart. If you have the resources, hire yourself a coach who can guide you in what and what not to do. For starters, Kart Class offers you the opportunity to access valuable content that was created by David Sera, an 18-time Australian Karting Champion. In short, asking questions and seeking information from credible and experienced people is one way to improve and make progress.
Rely On Data AND Instinct
Just like mathematics is the language of science, Data is the language of motorsport. All changes made to a go-kart; every feedback given by the driver, and every advice given by your mechanic, all this and more revolve around data. Therefore, to be able to make big strides in go-kart racing, you must learn how to collect data, analyze, and figure out how to make the needed changes based on the data. Data is a very broad term and can refer to many things. But to narrow things down, data usually refers to the track conditions (hotter or cooler conditions; dry or wet weather) changes made on a go-kart (caster, track width, tyre pressures), and what you observe when driving the go-kart (tends to understeer, lack of grip in certain corners, frequent locking up). All these parts are crucial because this helps you figure out the problems and what hinders you. Then you know what affects the kart positively and negatively, and overall increases your knowledge and experiences in the driving, handling, and tuning of go-karts.
However, it is easy to think that data will be the only thing you rely on for every single race. After all, the setup that worked before surely will work the next time around, right? Well, that couldn’t be any further from the truth. Even if you were to race at the same track every single day, there will always be multiple changes a track will undergo that will completely change how you tackle said circuit (Track Evolution). That is why, while data is a crucial and important thing a driver must possess, it is also important the driver will not be a formulaic one that is always reliant on data. There will be times you will feel something with the kart that data cannot collect nor explain. Therefore, drivers must also have an instinct in order to figure out when a setup change is needed, when the current formula is not working, and how to handle a problem that cannot be explained by data.
Never Stop Learning
Imagine you are already winning at a consistent basis and feel like no one can take you down. Even if that is the case, be sure to never stop learning and to continue your pursuit of knowledge. Not doing so will limit you and make the competition catch up to you. This means that not only do you seek improvement at your low points and when you lose, but also when you achieve victory and win. Because while you learn a lot from your losses, there is still some learnings to be salvaged from your victories. An example would be while on your way to victory, you may have noticed a big loss of grip during the last few laps. While this did not affect your result, not giving it attention may come back to bite you in the next race. Therefore, try to pay attention to every little detail. From every instance, you are guaranteed to pick up new knowledge every time.
Don’t Beat Yourself UpLastly, always remember to never beat yourself up too much for mistakes that you may make along the way. Remember that often, no matter what you do or how much blood, sweat, and tears you put in, there will naturally be some things out of control that you cannot change which can affect how things go in a race. Things such as accidents you may get caught up in or ones that we do not wish to happen but can’t avoid either. Therefore, in hard times like those mentioned, it is important to always keep your head held high, knowing that you have done your best. And despite this incident, make it not deter from you continuing to consistently push and strive for results. Make sure to keep this up, and you will be set up for nothing but success.
That concludes this article on “How to Improve in Go-Kart Racing”. With how big the world of karting is, it is easy to get overwhelmed with all the things that come with it. On top of that, knowing that missing small details may serve as the difference between finishing first and second, this could make you anxious. That is why, knowledge is your best weapon in go-kart racing. Knowing not just the important details, but also the specific and intricate details separate the good drivers from the great ones. Be sure to always learn something new every day. Whether it is something as big and crucial as how to find the best tire pressure for optimal performance, or something as small and intricate like knowing how to tackle a certain corner, always stock up on this knowledge, because you never know when you’re going to have to use it.
To help with improving every day as a go-kart racing driver, Kart Class has the perfect program for you! Their beginner’s program is best for drivers just getting into the sport. With this program, Kart Class will make sure that you are well-versed in the basics of karting, ready to take on bigger challenges and handle much more pressure.