Im new....Dont know what to do

Where are you located?

Washington State

What age bracket are you in? Junior (<16), Senior (16+) or Masters (30+)

  1. Running in 360# class

On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate your mechanical ability, or willingness to wrench on things?

  1. Built time attack cars from the ground up. Live in the middle of nowhere so often don’t have anyone but myself to turn wrenches

Talk a little about your racing experience so far.

Had lots of karts as a kid. Dabbled with 2 wheels. Drag raced. Then found time attack. Been my passion for the last 7-8 years. Currently hold a SCCA pro time trials license

What’s the main thing you need help with to get you started.

Not really sure what I am doing. I got a 10+ year old chassis. Slapped it together and sent it. Did one practice day. Played with tire pressures a little but was hard to get real feedback since the track was damp to drying. Did one race so far on a terrible day of cold and rain.

Guess I just have been reading chassis setup and trying to decipher my way through that cryptex. Chassis has minimal adjustment available so basically determined ill end up using this one to develop race craft while I decide on a new chassis to buy.

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Welcome. Good luck with the new series. We have a bunch of guys from the PNW here as well. Anything n particular you need help with?

Hey @highSRT, welcome to karting!

If that is indeed a picture of you and your kart, while it isn’t modern, it certainly should have quite a bit of adjustment in it! There are so many different things to try adjusting on a kart, often it’s an issue of which to choose rather than having too few options.

So far, what have been your biggest challenges handling wise?

If you ever want to chat karting or karting setup always happy to here or via messages.

@Eric_Gunderson that is indeed me. I have no caster/camber adjustments. Just toe from what I can see. And from what I have googled pills don’t seem to be available.

Handling challenges. Hard to say. First time out was a practice day. Super cold. Wet track. But I only had a single set of rains. So I went out on slicks. Got comfortable but due to the track being wet, dry and cold corner to corner was unpredictable.

Second time out was in the picture. Rain Rain and more rain. Temps I think were around 40 or so. Honestly Kart felt great to me. But I’m not sure how much of my lack of setup was masked by a brand new set of Vega rains.

Im sure my biggest problem is just not knowing how to drive a kart. My race car is 2300 lbs with 800+ horsepower and a ton of aero. Momentum driving is something I have never done. I have been keeping it pretty neutral in setup and the only thing I have played with at all is slight tire pressure adjustments and I did a gearing change at the last race.

I do have a race Sunday so we shall see how that goes.

I think the hardest problem is my complete lack of karting knowledge. So even knowing what questions to ask is the part im struggling with. Coming from a sport where the answer of “how to go faster?” is throw more money at it. This is a hole new ball game.

Karting is not far off in the money aspect. It depends how far you want to go. You can easily spend $10,000 for a weekend SKUSA race if you wanted to.

@Dennis_Smith oh I am sure you can. I was more specifically referring to just my chassis and staying in LO206. For now this is just something to keep me behind the wheel year round. Its already spiraling out of control however. I keep buying more wheels/tires and looking at other things to waste money on. I haven’t gone full commit on a spares package yet however as im unsure if I am going to stick with this chassis or upgrade.

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This is about the only thing I can find of what the kart was doing setup wise. That at the end of a long straight heading into T1

How are you on the basics? No diff, for example.

I think once you can hustle a kart at 100%, equipment matters, but its marginal, and skill based. I cant see how one could spend big bucks chasing a performance edge in LO206.

It would appear that you are riding in the rain a ton. Rain setup is different than dry.

What chassis are you running. It is suprising caster/camber adjust pills are not available. I started racing in 1998 and they were available for many then. Even if not originally available I took a kart from the early 90s and found a kart with same spindle size. I drilled the frame and used those pills.

Even without that there is typically a lot of adjustment. They just seem small compared to cars. It also backwards some. For example more seat struts stiffens rear of kart and tends to add rear grip. With cars softening rear end adds rear grip.

Welcome!

For now I would just continue to try and get some laps in to develop a consistent baseline. Once you are consistent in your laps, then I would recommend spending a day with a driver coach or someone who can explain some of the more in-depth things.

Car vs. kart driving is quite a bit different, especially with the low power of the 206. As you’re learning, momentum is king and the lack of differential means you need to be ultra smooth to keep in the inside rear unloaded so the kart corners without scrubbing.

Basic general tips:

  • Only use one pedal at a time, either be braking or accelerating and try to eliminate coasting. Coasting is going to set that inside rear wheel down and make the kart scrub.
  • Start out braking in a straight line and find how deep you can brake. Try to keep away from trailing the brakes into the turn-in point for now.
  • Smoothness on all inputs is key. Smooth hands on the wheel, smooth pedal inputs… both will contribute to the kart working and rolling through the corner nicely. The kart is inert, so it only reacts to what you do. If you crank the wheel, the kart will respond accordingly. Seems like common sense but you’d be surprised how many seasoned drivers don’t understand this.

I wouldn’t worry too much about setup or times yet. Until you find the limits of the kart, you’re not really going to notice much from the setup changes or engine tuning. When you figure out how the kart feels when it’s working right, then you can start to experiment with some setup changes and find how that changes the kart’s dynamics.

Most importantly, have fun.

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TJ nailed most of the basics. Get ton of laps, take your time and have fun.

Personally, I’d advise learning how to keep the kart safe and bolted together as well. I’ve lost count how many drivers have lost wheels, just by not having a checklist to remind them.

Thanks guys. Since I’m far from new to racing. I have a checklist. Same things get checked every time before I head out on track. First race I qualified p8 out of 26. So there is some speed there. I’m running within a .1 or so on clean laps. In traffic I’m learning karts don’t care about bumping and rubbing. Time attack you’re either on a flyer or getting out of the way. Haha. Let me upload a video to YouTube and I’ll post it here from the last rain day for critique.

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@tjkoyen and @DavinRS @alvinnunley

Not sure why it uploaded in SD but here is a clip

Feel free to rip it apart.

Rain driving a whole different animal, but it looks pretty decent. Just remember that in the rain, the grippy line is the outside of each corner, opposite of the dry, as the rubber is slippery in the rain. Doesn’t look like you’re struggling too much with rear grip though and you’re passing karts, so whatever works. Just a something to experiment with next time you’re out in the wet. Not that familiar with the track and the grip levels so can’t really say anything too specific on line etc.

@tjkoyen yeah I did some running off the rubber in practice. Wasn’t any more grip out there that I found. And the guys at the front were essentially running dry line. Figured that was the place to be.

This weekend might be a whole new animal. 32 degrees is the projected temp. No rain. But it’s Washington in the winter. So sure the track will be damp.

The rain driving looked good and I do not envy your fingers in the next race. Winter gloves for sure.

In terms of setup, to an extent you will tune a kart to behave like a light FWD car. Not having a differential means that the rear wheels will scrub of course. The way that this is countered is by unloading the inside rear wheel, somewhat like an FWD vehicle.

The kart uses a combination of caster and a diagonal wheel drop on the front to mechanically unload the wheel on entry. Then as you get to apex and exit and start to unwind the wheel, the unloading is managed by chassis stiffness, seat struts and axle selection.

That lack of a differential is what make kart chassis setup so cool, but sometimes maddening.

You look like you’re doing pretty good to me though. It takes even the most seasoned racers a while to get to the pointy end of a karting field, so don’t sell yourself short.

Very curious to see if you end up building something crazy for karting :slight_smile:

Looks like a Birel or Monza in the 2006-2011 range - definitely caster / camber pills available if so. Do you have any pics of the spindle/kingpin assemblies?