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Race Starts

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The beginning of the race is the best opportunity as a racer you have to better your position. This is the closest all the karts will be together, so drivers with confidence can maximise their opportunities to pass. If you are a driver who’s fortunate enough to start towards the front of the field, this presents a chance to break away from the rest of the field and build an advantage early on in the race.

To begin with, you want to look at the opening sequence of corners;

- Is there much run off room in case you get squeezed off the circuit?
- Which direction does the next corner go (don’t want to get stuck on the outside)?
- The drivers on the row in front & behind you (are they nervous or attacking drivers)?

Once you have this information in your head, you can start to prepare, visualise and plan out the scenarios in your head that you envision to happen if it all goes well. By trying to mentally prepare before a race start, it gives you a chance in the heat of the moment once the lights go out to try make more calculated decisions that give you the best opportunity to succeed.

If I am towards the front two or three rows, my first thought is to try stay towards the inside of the race track. This doesn’t give me the best chance to make up positions, but from this starting position I’m not looking to risk making up 2-3 spots but also the chance I place myself in a position where I could have an accident.

If I start in the mid pack, this is where I would like to take more risks. Assess the drivers starting in front of me, and also looking to see whether I can attempt to go around the outside to make up multiple positions in the one corner.

Finally, if I am towards the back of the field, I am looking to take larger risks with a care free attitude and will put myself in more confined gaps in the hope to create opportunities.\r\n\r\nLeading into a race start, I have already gone through the warming up tyres process, now I am getting myself mentally prepared to execute. Staying right on the bumper of the kart in front of me leading into a race start (maybe with a couple of light taps) so I don’t leave any space for the driver on the opposing side to slip into my spot.

I personally like to ride both the throttle and the brake leading into the race start. This means I don’t need to guess when the light will go out, but I can just release the brake pedal at the start and away I go. Drivers that are on and off the throttle leading into the start straight can be caught out by not timing it correctly and miss the initial jump. I only do this leading into the start line straight, not the entirety of the lap.

From experience, I have found that the more aggressive drivers (although they get caught in incidents from time being) are the ones that pave more gaps for themselves, rather than waiting for stuff to unfold. The tentative drivers are the ones that tend to get pushed into incidents as they are backing off waiting for something to unfold, the aggressive drivers are likely to push them into incidents.

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