Tuesday, November 29, 2005

New Karting Site

A new site has been launched dedicated to giving kart racers seriously valuable information to help them win kart races!
Its called karting1.co.uk and covers advanced driving techniques, data-logging, interveiws with the drivers winning big races and tips on getting sponsorship

Check out the newest karting techniques at www.karting1.co.uk

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

If You Want to Win Karting Events....You Need to Know How to Brake

How to Earn Your Title as the Karting 'Last of the Late Brakers
How do I learn to brake like those flash Super 1 karters?

This is where you're going to get the answers you need. And in my usual tradition I'm going to give you nice'n'easy step-by-step instructions from Terence Dove

Braking like a Karting Superstar

One thing I used to marvel at as a young kart racer was the way top class drivers used to drift into corners like they were effortlessly floating around the circuit. Then I would try it out myself and completely mess it up. I had no idea why they were doing it or how to do it, just that it looked cool.

Trail Braking- It Looks Cool but What's the Point?

The reason why drivers have the rear of the kart sliding into corners is because they are using a technique called trail braking, which allows you to brake a bit later and deeper into a corner. So, the point is that you can get around a track faster by braking later without losing exit speed.

Here's how to do it:-

First you need to understand a bit about how kart tyres work. If you imagine that a tyre can only provide so much grip, let's call that 100% grip, then you would want to use 100% grip for maximum braking, then 100% grip for maximum cornering speed. Normally you will brake for a corner, come off the brake, turn in and then accelerate away. Generally people will tell you that braking and turning together will cause you to spin, because if you are using 100% grip for braking, there isn't any left for cornering, sounds like good advice right? Well it's not as simple as that because there are parts of a corner between hitting the brakes and the apex when you can be turning and braking at the same time. If you visualise this situation then you will understand how it works.

Imagine you are belting down the straight into a tight corner, you brake a bit later than usual and you still need to slow down more as you reach your turn in point. You know you will spin if you are still hard on the brakes when you turn in, BUT you still have to turn in!
Here's what you do, you come off the brakes a little and turn in, the cornering grip required of the tyre isn't maximum yet because you aren't turning very sharply at the early stages of the corner, let's say you are using 60% of your grip- That leaves 40% of your grip to use on braking.
So you can carry on braking into the corner, gradually easing off the brake as you turn more sharply. What you will find is that you will be blending your braking into the corner with your cornering and then blending in the throttle as you exit. If you are looking ahead as described in a previous lesson your mind will be way ahead and you probably won't even notice how cool you look to spectators!

This technique does require practice, and you will probably spin a few times, but it is definitely worth the trouble because it means you will become a genuine 'Last of the Late Brakers'. And doesn't every racer want that title?

Popdex Citations

Karting in the Wet. How to Win Wet Kart Races

How to Become a Karting Rain Master.

How to learn to love karting in the wet and whoop everyone else.

Karting in the wet is the ultimate way to learn how a kart works, and how to become a super-sensitive kart driver. The other great thing about the wet karting is that it will magnify any driving problems you have, so you can spot them easily and nail them straight away.
When you get the hang of these techniques you will be laughing, because the first rule about wet karting is that nobody else knows what the hell is going on. Half the karters on the grid won't have a clue where to brake, so you'll be out-braking all of them.

Ok, let's get into the details of karting in the wet.

First off, driving in the wet is completely different to driving in the dry. Pretty much at every circuit the fastest racing line is different, and frankly quite weird and counter-intuitive. Why? Two reasons.

1) Similar to most circuit racing, the dry line is covered in rubber which is a bit greasy when wet- therefore the less used parts of the track which are cleaner have more grip.

2) The way karts work requires you to take a very late entry into a corner.

I am going to talk about high speed corners, mid speed corners and low speed corners separately.

Low speed corners

Let's say the first corner you encounter is at the end of the straight, and it's pretty tight. First thing you need to do is brake, and you need to learn the latest braking point the same as you would in the dry. You may even find it isn't much different to the dry braking point. So you already have an advantage over all the fools who won't practice karting in the wet.
The key to braking in the wet is getting the tyre to bite without locking, you need to be super-sensitive and you need to be quick to release braking pressure when you feel the wheels about to lock.

Turning in
Karts don't like to go round corners in the wet. And to get them to turn you need to get the inside rear tyre off the ground, or the damn kart will just run straight on. Here's the technique:
Brake a little later than usual, and plan to run wide and deep into the corner. Turn the wheel to full lock in a really purposeful aggressive way. You want to almost surprise the kart, in a split second you go from a straight wheel to full lock. The kart will almost ignore you, then when you lose enough speed it will bite and turn sharply. Normally to encourage the kart to turn you can lean forward to the outside front wheel. By now you are so deep in the corner you will be on the cleaner more grippy part of the circuit, and have better traction to accelerate away. Once the kart has turned you need to sit back to get weight over those back tyres for traction. Carefully feed in the throttle to avoid wheelspin.

High speed corners.

Karting in the wet is about traction....lose the wheelspin
Understeer in fast corners in the wet is quite nice, so just drive the kart through the corner nice and smooth. You shouldn't need to lean forward or do anything drastic with the wheel. Just make sure you get all your power down and avoid wheelspin. The line shouldn't be a lot different to that in the dry.

Mid Speed Cornering

This is where you will need to use a mixture of techniques. Usually there will be a different racing line for the wet, normally a wide line is preferable. You will probably need to be aggressive on turn in, but a faster corner may need a less aggressive approach. You may need to lean to the outside front wheel, but maybe not. I know, I'm being vague. This is why you need to get out on a wet track and I would strongly advise that you get a driver coach to watch you in the wet.


Sunday, March 20, 2005

How to Stop Getting Stuck Behind Slower Karters, and How to Overtake ANY Karting Driver You Want.

Karting can be a frustrating business sometimes

Are you finding that you don’t get the results that your lap times say you deserve?

Do you find you catch drivers easily and get stuck behind them way too long?

Would you like to blast past drivers first chance?

I get so many emails from drivers who find it hard to overtake and even more from parents who are going nuts watching their driver sit behind slower karts. And the problem is that everybody thinks that they should be more aggressive, more courageous, and if they can’t break through this overtaking problem then they may as well pack in karting.

Well I’m here to say this:-

1) For God’s sake don’t give up Karting, because you will always regret it
2) Learning to overtake in karting is a step-by-step process, you don’t need to be more aggressive or change your personality

You just need to know the secrets of overtaking and braking and to practice them. Then all you need is a nice new cabinet for all the trophies you’re going to win!

What is it that stops drivers overtaking?

Well it’s quite simple….fear. Fear of what will happen, will I collide? Will I spin? Will I go wide? etc. When you go to overtake another kart, there is extra pressure, you are on a part of the track which you wouldn’t normally be on so your visual perspective is different. So, your brain kicks in with basic survival reactions and goes into self-preservation mode. Perfectly normal and logical behaviour too!! So, you decide not to take the risk, since diving into the unknown simply isn’t worth the trouble, and you let yourself off and decide to try again later

Now, most people would assume that it’s a good idea to beat fear by force, for example force yourself or your driver to be brave…just close your eyes and do it etc. Well, all this achieves is to frighten the driver even more, to the point where they dread driving and will avoid getting close to other drivers, to avoid feeling scared in the first place. It also causes a lot of arguments and bad feeling, which turns karting from the most fun you can have, to quite a tedious activity

So, that’s enough of how not to do things, let’s get on to answer the problem

How to Fix a Karting Driver’s Overtaking and Braking Problems…Step-by-step

Ok, the most obvious overtaking move is to out-brake the opposition into a tight corner after a straight. So, step one of the overtaking master class is to become an expert on the brakes.

When you brake in a kart you have to hit the pedal hard and fast, not gently and gradually like in a car. You have to hit the pedal in a flash, so that the tyres almost lock up, and give you a sweet chirpy sound when they bite. Be ready for the kart to kick sideways, and release the pressure slightly to control the rear as you start to turn in. You will find yourself trail braking into the corner and believe me, the grin factor in mastering this is fantastic!

Now, doing this is difficult and you will need to lock your tyres to know how hard you can brake. So instead of scaring yourself, brake earlier than normal to get a feel for how hard you can brake. Then once you have mastered braking real hard brake from your old braking point, then brake even later once you are confident in your control. And do use a braking point, find marks on or beside the track, this is essential because you need to know exactly where it is safe for you to brake.

So now, you are braking as late as anyone can, and you are able to control the kart on its braking limit…you are a very skilled driver by now, and your confidence will be high.

Out-Braking Other Drivers- A Step into the Unknown


When you are on the inside of another driver ready to overtake, you might not be able to see your braking point….or you might think because you are on a tight line it’s too risky to brake so late. So what you need to do is practice using an overtaking line. Its simple- approach the corner as if you are overtaking and find new marks on the track as braking points. Do this over and over until you can slide the kart into the corner, all crossed up and in all sorts of trouble….slide wide, spin, hit the kerb or whatever.

Eventually you will learn where you can brake when on the inside line and be able to get round the corner. That way, you will know exactly what you are doing in the real situation. When you are on the inside of another kart you will know how late you can brake, how much grip there will be, and how wide your exit line will be. There will be nothing to be afraid of because you will have seen it all before.

Don’t Focus on the Other Kart….Focus on the Gap

This is the key to pulling off wild looking overtaking manoeuvres, which other drivers will marvel at, and it is relatively simple. When you are driving you will drive where you look. This can work to help you, or can really mess you up. Have you ever watched another kart spin and find yourself watching it until you almost hit it!

I have, and in fact I did hit it…a few times!- that is an example of me driving where I was looking. Now, to take advantage of this phenomenon, you have to look, yes physically look with your eyes to where you want the kart to go. So in an overtaking situation, you will notice that your brain will want you to look at the other kart- so you won’t hit it. This makes you jump into self-preservation mode and usually you will back off, or turn in way too early.

So next time you want to overtak another kart, look into the gap between the kerb and the driver you want to pass. Force yourself to stare into that gap, and if you are braking into a hairpin say, actually drive the kart into that gap, even let off the brake a little extra and keep looking into the gap. I promise you that you will get past the driver if you do this, maybe he will get back past on exit, but you can fine tune your line next time to stop that.

So, don’t forget….look into the gap, choose a point on the kerb to focus on and aim for it, look for it and leave the other karter to worry about avoiding you….because when you come steaming through you can bet he will be watching you, and loosing his concentration!

That’s it, overtaking feels very natural when you follow these steps and karting becomes even more exciting and fun. So give it a try and get hold of me if you have any karting questions. My contact details are at the end of this article

Terence Dove
EvenFlow Karting Coach

Get a free copy of "Astonishing Insider Secrets to Instantly Faster Lap Times and Absolute Kart Control" from the evenflow karting site

Friday, February 11, 2005

Weight Problems!!!!

I got this question from a driver today, below is my response, please add further comments if you wish!
Get your free 28 page ebook on Secrets to Karting Sucess

Although very fit, I do carry a bit of excess weight over my fellow
karting competitirs (from a few years of lifting weights) and find this a hinderence
trying to get quickly out of corners. Can you suggest some tips on how I can
carry the maximum amount of speed through and out of the slower corners. I
have seen more experienced kart racers flick the rear of the kart around the
corner and shoot through the corner with limited amount of lock on the wheel
maximising acceleration on the exit of the corner....how do you do this
karting technique??
Many thanks


And my response...

Thanks for your email, obviously excess weight will always hinder your corner exits....but all is not lost, I just spent a weekend training with a chap giving away 30kg and we got him to within a second a lap of the quickest times from the summer.
Now, the way we did that was to use leaning techniques, shifting body weight around the kart to literally make it behave better. For example, exiting hairpins, my driver would lean to the outside of the kart to help the kart release. When you do this you dont have to turn the wheel so much and you can actually feel the difference in speed.
Flicking the kart in....i know what you mean, but if you consciously fick the wheel to get the effect you will run into problems. Try instead to take a wider entry into the corner, and to brake with a sharpness so that you work the rear end harder. take a look at my karting braking article If you do follow those braking techniques, you will start to drive like the guys flicking the kart in. it comes quite naturally.
So in summary, next time you practice concentrate on a hairpin....try to brake hard and sharp, turn in later, hit a late apex and try to lean your body slightly outward during the turn. This is a bit tricky and of course you can always drop me an email to arrange a coaching session to guarantee that you master it.


Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Beat the Drivers Spending Loads of Money!

It is absolutely possible for you to go out and beat drivers with all the top karting kit available. Why? Because half of them can't drive properly! And my mission is to teach as many karting drivers as possible how to use simple karting techniques to go out and win.

I have been making a living as a karting coach for a year now, and I've had some fantastic results with my drivers. I'm going to be writing articles here giving away my most up to date driving tactics, and my answers to your specifc questions on how to drive a kart fast.

Iit would be great if you can add your own comments to my karting articles. You can ask me a question directly, or if you like start an arguement! Whatever so long as it is all about driving karts.