Newbie: Speed into turns

This is probably a difficult question to answer, but I’m wondering how steep the learning curve should feel trying to keep up with other TAG Masters drivers? I have about 30 laps in my FA KART with ROK GP and maybe 10 K1 Indoor type experiences.

I wouldn’t call myself fearless but normally I feel pretty comfortable around machines, planes, cars etc… It seems impossible to take some of the turns these guys are taking flat out. Is that just something you get used to? Maybe spin out a few times? Is there a “safe” way to practice this with minimal access to track time?

About one season is not uncommon. Karting is simple but not easy. Some of what you’re seeing could be down to chassis setup. How far off are your lap times and do you have any onboard video?

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As @KartingIsLife said, usually 1 season is required to get up to speed

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I certainly think 95% of it is driving and not knowing what speeds/handling the kart is capable of. I’m just sort of wondering if the only way to find out is to just hammer down and if it sticks the corner it sticks the corner. I’ve gotten so used to the slower indoor stuff theres no fear factor there. I think i’m probably 5-7 seconds off a 40 ish second lap

I think i have a “reasonable” setup to start. N OTK axle, standard/factory camber/castor on 2017 401S Tony Kart, get close to 14k rpms on straights 67-70mph

about 12psi on new Le Cont Whites, factory spindles/rear hubs 1030mm axle

I won’t know the “feel” of changes too much yet I don’t think

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5-7 seconds is all driving. It just takes time to build up the confidence and know what the kart is capable of. Until you get within a second of the field, the kart isn’t going to flex and work the way it needs to anyway, so setup changes are useless at this point.

One big thing I work on with drivers is braking confidence. Set up a cone on the edge of the track during a practice day and try to brake at that spot every lap. Each session, move the cone 5 feet closer to the corner until you find the limit of the brakes.

Where are you racing? Watching on-board videos of faster drivers also helps.


Awesome thanks!

Good ideas.

Track is Canaan in NH.

I’m pretty comfortable on the tighter technical courses but about 75% of this track configuration is apparently flat out so I’ll just have to learn how to trust the kart/speed at some point.

I wouldn’t expect miracles after my 40 laps total experience in a TAG Kart

Yes, but also no. Take a gradual and methodical approach to the speed increases, reviewing others video or your own observations of other driver. At some point you’ll spin probably, not big deal. But I wouldn’t say spinning is a goal perse. Trying to find the limit coming out of turns is probably the safest what to start. See how hard can drive the kart off the turn.

Yeah 40 laps is probably not even quite enough for a veteran to get back up to speed after they’ve been away for a while.

Keep diggin’ as they say, since track time seems to be so limited for you, might be worth looking for lessons\coaching to make the most of whatever track time you have.

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It’s usually a result of refinement over time of technique and understanding gained from experience/practice.

The faster folks have reduced the lap to what’s required and are likely earlier to throttle and later to brake. They are also slowing enough (but not too much) etc.

Basically you want to try to folllow them and learn where they gap you (and why). In time your inputs tighten up and your gap to the leaders will too…

Then you become the fast guy. :sunglasses:

You can expedite this by getting some coaching and have the stupid stuff excised from your driving. Fast is different than what I thought it was, for example. I had to change that understanding to get faster, personally.

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If you want to speed up the process, you could do some exercises with cones :

  • Slalom (to get the feeling of grip)
  • Cone gate for the braking exercise
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Oh yeah. Make pals with fast drivers like Tanguy. Go racing with them, then pick their brains until you are as fast as them or as close as you will get.

Driving is a lot like golf. Play with better golfers and suddenly you become a shot maker. Race fast guys and get similar benefit.

Btw it’s perfectly normal to feel like you aren’t getting it and that you really suck. (See above comment about needing to understand what speed actually is).

Somewhere in your first couple years you will reach an inflection point where you go from incompetent to competent. Around this time you also start having the ability to just drive and race without thinking/worrying about it. Eventually technique is ingrained and semi-automatic.