That’s awesome! Welcome to the sport.
Thank you @KartingIsLife!
@LiveHappy welcome to karting! Looks like you’ve got a lot of reading there, let me know if you have questions!!
@Eric_Gunderson1 - Thank you for reaching out - I started on 101 last night. Great read so far!
I’m thinking I should buy these!
Best investment you’ll make honestly.
Hate to be “that guy” but there is no better investment than seat time. Nothing will beat hands on seat time. I bought some books earlier this year after being out of karting since i was 14 (now recently turned 30) and found them to be useless. What i learned as a kid was practice practice practice. The stop watch determines everything. I guess i was lucky as a kid to know more than i should but the books are nearly useless now, at least for what i read. Seat time wins all.
This is where I’d put a meme of the kid that says “why not both”
Seat time is only useful if you are improving. Turning lap after lap is only helpful up to a point.
Reading\leaning is only useful if you put it into practice and observe the results.
It’s the combination of the two that moves the needle. I think it’s a little different as a kid vs an adult too. But more than anything, people learn differently.
Conversely, seat time is useless if you’re only practicing bad habits.
You probably had a good base from racing when you were younger, so you understood some fundamentals that a true “newb” wouldn’t have.
Im sorry but you both basically are saying seat time is irreverent. Seat time is not only useful if you are improving. Seat time can show where you are not improving. You must turn laps to see where the readings/improvements can come from or not coming from. Its trial and error. My fathers dedication and mine werent for nothing. We broke track records strictly because of consistent weekends or even weekdays spent at the track. NOTHING beats seat time and thats because of the information you can gather each time you turn a lap. Im honestly shocked by your comments.
I was easily considered a true noob when i started but we worked our butts off in such a short time frame. There was no base to start from, we built our base on our own. I was the true “newb” who broke records with a pickup truck and one spare engine in under 2 years. The reason the happend? practice, practice, practice.
I don’t think that they are saying seat time is irrelevant. But one point TJ brings up is that seat time is worthless when practicing bad habits. Read up, learn, apply those techniques to your track. It helps new drivers especially. Eventually you’ll move more towards seat time than reading but I think each has its place. I think saying only do this or that to get better is horribly inaccurate. If seat time were the only way to get better there wouldn’t be a forum with people constantly asking questions.
Comer80 club championship, and 2nd in NYS only because my chain broke on the final lap with two turns to go (i broke the track record that day) Worst pain i think i will ever feel.
Seat time only works if you can find the pros and cons of how you are managing your lap times. I am talking about before time sectors were even a factor with aim or who ever. Seat time is everything. It always has been. Nothing is more important than the clock.
People also peak. Sometimes you need your eyes opened to think differently and drive better,
For most people, getting from A to B is easier with a map. The ones that can rely on intuition alone the the outliers.
Nobody in this topic has said that seat time isn’t important. Pretty sure we all agree that’s a given. Rather, the point being made is that are things that can augment it and the quality of that seat time is important.
It seems like what you’re saying is that your own personal experience is the only valid one. The reality is that people learn differently, have access to different resources and are at different development stages of their driving. It’s up to the individual to figure out what works for them in a given situation. What worked for you, worked for you and it’s great that you found something that worked really well…
I agree, most will benefit from reading the books or being mentored by someone with experience. For someone just starting it is likely not immediately obvious the difference in line for low horsepower and high horsepower vehicles. Coming from cars someone may not appreciate how backwards setup for karts is compared to cars. Then seat time, seat time, seat time. Then read some more. There is surely nuances to the book missed until you have spent some seat time. Books are a source of theory. The track is the real world. It helps to have some source of theory before to try to implement in the real world, but practice, practice, practice is usually the only way to successfully turn the theory to results
That’s actually literally what I’m NOT saying.
If you go out and you drive around 100 laps but you missed every apex and screwed up your braking for every corner, that wouldn’t be a good day’s work. Unless you understood that you were making mistakes and were able to work on that and improve next time. If you don’t even know you’re making mistakes, you’re just going to drive around and miss the apexes until someone tells you you’re doing it wrong or you read up and learn some things.
Here’s MY anecdote. Just like you, I also won the club championship in cadet in my first full season of racing, out of the back of a pick-up. Then I moved up to junior and realized I actually had no idea what I was doing behind the wheel, we had no idea how we were supposed to tune the kart, and we barely understood how gearing worked. We were totally lost in junior, and going to the track a practicing every week wasn’t helping us. Then I got some coaching, read some books, scoured the EKN forums, asked questions etc. and learned a lot and understood what lessons I needed to start applying. Then I started winning races again. Then I went to regional racing and got my ass kicked all over again. Asked more questions, read more stuff, got more coaching, understood again what I needed to change, and started winning regional races and national races. And even now, I look at my data every race day, break down what worked and what didn’t, applied knowledge gained, and went out and adjusted my driving or the kart based on that data.
I am in the seat 3-5 times a year the past few years. That’s it. I’ve done probably two practice days in the past two years. Anything I learned was definitely NOT from seat time, since I don’t have any. It’s been from reading, learning, and analyzing my own data.
So no, I’m not saying seat time is useless at all. I’m saying seat time is incredibly useful, under the condition that you’re working on the proper things and not just getting in the kart to get in the kart.
A baseball pitcher who throws for hours a day, but isn’t gripping the ball right isn’t going to improve his curveball. If his pitching coach comes along and says, “you need to hold the ball this way” and he practices for hours throwing with the correct grip, that’s useful. Otherwise he’s just wearing out his arm.
Anecdote re seat time and I’m gonna be boring and talk sim again.
The whole point of sim is seat time. I run at least 100-200 laps a day.
If seat time were all that really mattered, my progression would likely be consistent and “time based”. And, to a certain extent, it is. I work my way up the leaderboard by virtue of seat time (rather than thinking about it).
But, there inevitably comes the wall. Without fail, something significant puts up a mental/physical roadblock that I have to push through.
And that’s when I have to think, ask etc. I refer to all the stuff Warren and TJ shared with me to try to understand how to get fast. Pavles recent thoughts opened up a whole new t1 at Avenger for me, for example.
And, when I am shown the way (or figure it out), it becomes a permanent part of my driving language. It becomes mine in a very real way.
Specifically, once I acheive whatever it is that I had been unable to do, I mentally absorb it, accept it, and stop questioning wether I can do it, and just do it from then on.
Learning is mental.
All things are old. Nothing is new. All art refers to past art, for example. We don’t exist in a vacuum and the march of progress is one that is collective. Individual brilliance will make the big intuitive leaps. But, even the natural and intuitive driver benefits from collective wisdom and experience. It provides him with the context to learn and grow and also provides a valuable way to leapfrog the bits where you are stuck.
Getting stuck is real. I spent 3 weeks trying to shave 1/10 to drop sub 45 on AMP. Three weeks of thinking/working on S1.
Now that I am past that hurdle, new hurdles have come up and the thinner the air, the less talent I have… I need all the help I can get.
Maybe reading isn’t your thing. Maybe you don’t absorb info well that way. Some folks are more “show me”.