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Inside The Mind of A Go-Kart Racer

The mind of a go-kart racer goes just as fast as drivers do on track. With so many things happening on track, drivers make sure that every nook and cranny of a race is under their control, and that is what truly separates the good drivers from the great ones. In today’s blog, we will look at some of the things a go-kart driver pays attention to over the course of a race weekend.


  1. Looking Ahead

Being a phrase as old as time, looking ahead is the first thing a driver is taught once he/she has nailed the basics, as it is what takes a driver’s ability to the next level. Looking ahead means giving the mind ample time to process what will come in the following corners. This is most evident in the apex, wherein drivers look at it prior to turning into the corner. Then, once the kart has reached the point, the driver should already be looking at the exit. As mentioned earlier, this is what helps prepare and condition the mind to what will follow.


Aside from the apex, drivers look to anticipate other things on track as well. For example, if an accident happens a few corners ahead, the goal now is to place your kart in the right spot to avoid the accident. This can involve predicting where the karts related to the accident will be located the moment the driver arrives at the scene of the accident. The same goes for debris that may be on track.


  1. Spatial Awareness

While looking forward is important, so is checking your sides and being aware of what is around you and not just in front of you. While a go-kart may not have side mirrors, a quick glance to your left and right will help in knowing where a driver’s opponents are relative to yourself, which can help prevent accidents.


But what about drivers behind you? Looking behind or turning your head slightly more when cornering can give drivers a glimpse on how far their competition is behind them. If a driver is close enough, drivers should be able to hear the kart behind them, allowing them to maintain focus on what’s in front and not looking behind.


  1. Anticipating A Driver’s Next Move

In the context of battling another driver, this requires a different level of anticipation than what was mentioned earlier in this blog. This is because a lot goes into this, which helps in deciding when to make an overtake or when to defend.


Knowing the driver in front or behind you is key. Things such as what parts of the track they are fast and slow at, where they brake and accelerate, all of which are important. If you are the aggressor, this can help you put pressure on the driver in front to make mistakes and open up a potential overtaking opportunity.


On the other hand, if the driver is on the defensive, knowing these details about the opponent can help identify when to capitalize on a driver’s weak points to eventually leave them in the dust.


  1. Being at one with the go-kart

Having this synergy with the go-kart is very difficult. Sometimes, the three or so days in a race weekend are never really enough as there will always be room for improvement. But nevertheless, the goal is always the same and that is to create the ideal setup for your go-kart.


  1. The Bigger Picture

Ultimately, what all these drivers think of contribute to the bigger picture, that being the story of their race. Every race has a different story, and what a driver has done last race may not necessarily work on the next race. From setup, all the way to decisions on the race itself.


And that concludes our in-depth look at what a go-kart driver looks at over the course of a race. As you progress in your racing career there is a lot that goes through a driver’s mind. It may seem intimidating at the start, but one thing is for sure, “Drivers are born adaptors”. Therefore it is only really a matter of time before you will get on top of it.


To elevate your go-kart racing career to the next level, Kart Class has your back! Under the tutelage of a multi-time race winner and 18 x Australian kart champion David Sera, a variety of training programs are in store for you. For beginners and champions alike, and even track guides on the most notorious race tracks out there, Kart Class will be sure to take you from the back of the pack and all the way to the winner’s circle!

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