The Apex in simple terms is defined as the inside of a corner which follows the racing line. The apex is also a marker that helps drivers identify when to get on the power. Every corner you face will have a different and unique apex because all corners have different dimensions, and adapting to it is what makes a good driver. So, to help, here are the different types of apexes and when to use them.
Also, known as the geometric apex, this type of apex can be found in the middle of the corner. Out of all the apexes we will talk about, this is the most basic form of apex, and the one that is often used. By taking the middle apex, you are also taking the smoothest racing line that takes the shape of a curve. Furthermore, because this is the usual line that drivers take, there is a ton of grip that can be found, which can help in carrying more speed throughout the corner. It’s best to identify the racing line and apex by the rubber that is laid down on circuit.
A Geometric Apex. The Ideal Racing Line (Source: Driver61)
The late apex is an apex that can be found also on the inside of the corner, with the main difference being that it is located near the exit of the corner. The best time to use a late apex is on hairpin corners, or corners that lead onto a very long straight. This is because the main use of late apexes is to increase the length of straightaway you have, which can help you maintain a higher speed for a longer period. To hit your late apex, you must have a later turn-in point. Furthermore, more turn-in is required when compared to taking the geometric apex as taking the late apex involves sharpening the corner, which requires more turning. Drivers looking to utilise a late apex can generally get on the accelerator earlier and concentrate on a fast exit.
A Late Apex when compared to the Ideal Racing Line (Source: Life at Lean)
The last type of apex we will talk about is the early apex. As the name suggests, it is a type of apex that can be found the moment you enter a corner. In simpler terms, when it comes to the inside of a corner, the early apex is parallel to the late apex, and is on the opposite end of the corner. Early apexes are not used as often compared to the other two apexes that we have discussed. However, early apexes can be a good option for sequences of corners or corners that quickly follow each other. This is because an early apex can help open your entry for every succeeding corner. Contrary to the late apex, you must brake earlier than usual and initiate early turn-in. The kart will understeer heavily on exit with the tighter entry point forcing the kart to exit the track quicker.
Early Apex (Green) when compared to Late and Geometric apex (Source: RacingJunk)
Put Emphasis on The Next Corner Too
In choosing what apex to use, it is important to use the one that will set you up well for the next corner and the ones to follow. Drivers need to anticipate and prepare for what comes after every corner because the fastest times are not earned in one corner, but over the course of the whole lap.
For more relevant information on apexes and more, we can help you further understand the basics of driving, make sure to join the Kart Class Beginner’s Program. Here you will learn the basics of kart racing and what you can do on and off the track to stand on top of the podium.