Fuel Load During Qualifying

So this is something I was thinking about when it came to kart races. During qualifying, how much fuel load do guys put? Do you guys put a full tank or do you guys put enough fuel for let’s say 5 laps or so that there’s less weight in the kart?

I aim to be a few pounds over minimum, so however much fuel that takes.


I’m always over weight so yeah. Exactly that. Enough for ten minutes which is the length of quali for me

I try to make sure there’s fuel in there… You might laugh… but I’m serious :smiley:

For sure you want to have weighed your kart on the day to see where you are on weight before qualifying. It can vary a lot and nothing sucks more than to get a DQ for being 1lb under.

I’m normally about 10lbs over plus fuel load, I don’t gotta worry about that lb :rofl:

I know I know. But I really hate the gym it bores the crap out of me :grin:

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So basically the goal is to put as little fuel as possible without going under the minimum weight? Right now I think the best way to do that is make sure the kart weighs the min weight during qualifying and then when it’s race time adjust the fuel load so that when you finish the race you’re still above the min weight. Might take a few calculations I’m assuming

You can do that, or just top the tank off and send it. Really depends how deep into the weeds you need to get and how much time you have on the day.

You hear more about fuel loads in F1 because their minimum weight requirements assume empty tanks. Minimum weight in karts includes whatever fuel you have added - you literally just roll up to the scale right as you pull off. They aren’t draining the fuel prior to weighing you. If you’re looking to save as much weight as possible then you’ll probably want to run with as little fuel that you can get away with. Otherwise I’d just factor in having a half-full to full tank when adding your ballast/lead and add fuel between runs to keep around same level you started with.

It’s really not that complicated. Weigh yourself in practice, take a Sharpie and mark how much fuel you have in the tank and what you weighed, and then just use that a reference.

1 or 2 pounds isn’t going to make or break you. There are faaaaaaar more important things to worry about.


A sharpie and marking the tank level is useful.

I was thinking something like let’s say if you wanted to figure out how much fuel is used up during a 12 lap race, on practice you would use a full tank, and after the 12 laps, you check how much fuel is left in there, so at the start of the actual race, you put in just a little more fuel than the bare minimum based on what you got in testing and make you kart weighs the minimum weight requirements without any fuel, that way you’re not worrying about getting disqualified cause of being underweight

I unfortunately (and fortunately I guess) have to worry about this, since I’m a scrawny 145 lbs strong :joy:

That’s sorta what I meant with sharpie. Fill tank to whatever you think makes sense. Weigh. Mark tank level with sharpie. Then, go run practice session. Weigh kart. Note new weight. ETC.

I will admit to getting a little close once and having to put my finger and gently push against the tent ceiling to not get disqualified for that last half pound. :sunglasses:

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Yo that’s awesome :joy:

And I figured that’s what you meant, just tried to word it so I could if I knew what I was talking about somewhat lol

I use a small 3qt tank in 206 racing and shoot for the minimum weight + 1lb dry. Small tank is so I don’t have to put as much in the make sure it picks up the whole time.

Shifters, we use like 3/4 of 9 qt tank in a final, so I still try to weight for minimum almost dry. I try to make sure I have a 2-3 pound cushion post race.

Would you rather have weight in the form of fuel or as lead?

When I started I was 130… I’m at 141 right now. My dad hurt his back lifting y kart up once

The scales we use are pretty bad and bounce a lot, so even if you’re a pound light it may bounce over and under and they’ll let you by. Worst comes to worst you pretend to faint and than chug water

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Fuel moves so I prefer having more lead but I usually keep the fuel tank about half full.

Yeah, ours were all over the place. If you did not like the results, get off and try again and it would change. :grinning:

Lucky I guess, our scales are usually within a pound. Being a big guy, I always roll with the least amount of fuel possible. Always enough that I don’t run so low the pickup sucks air. Usually come off track with about a quart left in the tank…aka just under 2 lbs. By the way, I have zero lead and still come in 20 - 25 lbs over minimum.

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