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What Makes Go-Kart Drivers Athletes

Go-Kart drivers do more than just whip a kart around in circles for multiple laps on end. There is so much in the world of grassroot motorsports that simply cannot be described in a few statements. One can even say that they are athletes. Aside from the competitive and intense nature of racing (even with this it is already proof that Go-Kart drivers are athletes), there is more to write home about. In today’s blog, we will look at the myriad of factors that justify Go-Kart drivers as athletes that can go the distance.

 

  1. Withstanding G-Forces

Withstanding G-Forces

While Go-Kart drivers do not pull as much g-forces as Formula 1 drivers do, it is important to not discount their efforts. When it comes to regular (TaG) karts, as much as 2 G’s are possible. If we want to take it up a notch, this number goes up to even 3-4 lateral G’s if we are talking about shifter karts.

 

The G-forces experienced during braking and cornering take a toll on a driver, especially in their necks that bear most of the brunt force. It is also important to consider that heats are around 10-12 laps, and final races being as long as 20. That is how long these drivers tolerate such immense G-forces.

 

This is why drivers go through intense training, specifically for their necks. This can affect how a driver performs as well as how their kart may handle. When it comes to go-kart racing, maintaining center of gravity is a core principle in order to keep balance with the go-kart and not disrupt anything within it. Therefore, by having the proper workout and training, this can be achieved.

 

  1. Cardiovascular Endurance

Cardiovascular Endurance

 

A study conducted back in 2011 by the University of Toyama found that go-kart drivers had high beats per minute (BPM) when driving go-karts. The study involved three amateur drivers, with no medical complications prior to the study. It would be discovered that their heart rates on average reached 140 bpm if we are referring to driving around solo on a race track. That in itself is already high and remarkable for any human.

 

It does not end there however as when it came to racing, this heart rate would increase to roughly 165-170 bpm! It is safe to say that driving a Go-Kart, much less in racing conditions, is certainly not for the faint hearted (no pun intended).

 

Therefore it is not a surprise to see that go-kart drivers who race casually or professionally, are able to maintain this level of intensity in other activities such as cycling, running, or any activity for that matter that involves a lot of cardiovascular endurance. It is these same activities that they use as well to train their bodies for high-level competition.

 

 

  1. Able to withstand different conditions

 

Able to withstand different conditions

Go-Kart drivers are truly resilient in the face of any daunting task. Being able to adapt to any condition on the track is a skill that every racer must have. Be it sunny or rainy, cold or hot, being able to rise to the occasion is a skill that not everyone possesses. The conditions may affect a race, but Go-Kart drivers are never fazed in the event of a sudden change.

 

Why is this the case? Does it present any sort of benefit? Well, yes there is. People are bound to make mistakes the more a situation gets to their head. Keeping a calm and cool demeanor that pretty much every go-kart driver has, this can help them make the right decisions, ones that are not emotionally charged.

 

  1. Mental Fortitude

Mental Fortitude

 

Not everything goes in our favor every single time, and this holds true as well for Go-Kart drivers. In victory, drivers may have a brief moment of celebration, but ultimately they later return to focusing on winning the next race. This level of mental fortitude is something that cannot be seen in other sports. This can be seen even more so in moments of defeat, the hard days, and days when things just do not seem to go right. Drivers are always able to pick up the pieces, even from a bad day. They turn this into motivation and are always able to improve with each passing race week.

 

There is also another aspect to this mental fortitude of drivers, and it can be seen in their actual on-track racing through their anticipation skills, concentration, reaction time, and so much more! These skills are almost superhuman when it comes to go-kart drivers, which are also things that they train for. We have all seen the viral clips of Pierre Gasly doing Tennis ball reaction drills. Guess what? The same routine of training is done by these go-kart drivers. We can see now that as low as the grassroots level of motorsports, these mental attributes are developed from a young age.

 

  1. Able to adapt and adjust

Able to adapt and adjust

 

We have briefly touched on earlier on the adaptability of go-kart drivers. Aside from weather conditions, there is so much more that drivers seem to pick up with ease and in a matter of minutes. Let us take for example, learning a new track.

 

More often than not, drivers can pick up a new layout of the track pretty quickly. This is not just referring to the layout, but every nook and cranny of a race track. From the braking zones, overtaking spots, and where grip can be found on the race track. Drivers' ability to find these details is what makes this sport unlike any other as they are able to figure these out in less than ten laps. Combine this with the fact that they continue to improve over the course of the weekend to find that extra tenth, Go-Kart drivers are truly athletes on a different level.

 

And that wraps up our article on what makes Go-Kart drivers athletes. Many seem to look down on go-karting, and motorsports in general as a sport. It is often passed off as a hobby or maybe even a recreational activity. But once we look deeper like how we have done today, we see that there is more than meets the eye.

 

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 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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