Parking lot training exercises

Hi guys,

I’m looking for some training exercise ideas to do in a parking lot.
Let’s say you have some cones that you can use, what are the exercises that one can do?

For example, threshold braking (gran turismo style)
Hairpin, Esses… etc…

Thats an interesting question but I’m not sure how relevant training in a parking lot would transfer to a dedicated race course. Parking lots are usually dirty (dirt, sand, stones, etc) and you likely would never have the grip a dedicated track would have. I’m sure it would be fun and if you have the approval of the parking lot owner to do this it might be fun for a few guys to get together and have some grins.

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I’m kind of thinking along the same lines as Bob. I took my son out drifting last night and it occurred to me that the roads and parking lots are a lot chunkier than our tracks. I was thinking that maybe setting up cones for braking might help but you’d likely find the surface too rough.

Also, here in the northeast, I would not try karting in a public space like a lot. Too much noise and too many people around here. We’d get rolled up on pretty quick.

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I’ve taken my KZ for a rip on the street in front of my shop.
Never again. Way too slippery if its not hot mix asphalt, nearly ended up under a skip bin.

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Whatever you feel weak on. For me decreasing radius turns. I suck at those.


Why is it easier to turn right than left? Hand eye dominance?
I find that with right side dominant I tend to “feel” the outside right tire grip level whereas left turns tend to make me feel inside left front grip level.

Finally, I guess someone should say it. Karting fatalities go up disproportionately when used in public roads etc. Be really careful and remember that cars are really high up comparatively and you are sorta invisible.

Sorry to be preachy. But, I don’t think we’ve lost anyone yet (other than natural causes).

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I don’t see a benefit to practicing in a parking lot. As many have said, it’s dirty, low-grip, and probably not the best idea to be ripping around in a public space, even if it’s unused.

I’m not sure what you would learn. Any drills you run will be different when you get back to a real race track because the grip levels and everything will be vastly different. And how will you measure your progress in a parking lot? There’s no lap timing or way to tell if what you’re practicing is benefiting you.


Thank you all for your responses.

A little background information. I don’t live in the US, so we race in parking lots.
We don’t have a track yet on the island, we race in parking lots. They are working on a track, not sure when it will be complete.


Well if it’s a controlled lot then, have at it! Maybe set up a course and TT it.


Ok so found this and it’s telling… also I am NOT piling on @Pippen_001. It’s clear that his practice area is a dedicated and controlled lot. No cars.

Here’s a bit from a us gov study. The fatalities occurred in the 80s and 90s in this study.

The actual fatalities support the idea that driving anywhere where vehicular traffic isn’t controlled or where there are thing to run into is a terrible idea: Also, NO KIDS IN LAPS.

Collision (27 cases)
A 3-year-old boy died of multiple chest injuries after he
was crushed against the steering wheel of a go-cart driven by his
brother when the go-cart collided with a parked tractor. He had
been sitting on his brother’s lap.
A 4-year old girl died from chest injuries sustained when a
4-wheel ATV hit and ran over the go-cart in which she was riding
with her father.
A 6-year-old girl died of severe head injuries. The victim
was driving a go-cart in a circular driveway of her parents’
mobile home trailer at approximately 15 miles per hour. She
drove the vehicle into the bottom of her parent’s trailer.
A 6-year-old girl was driving a go-cart in the front yard of
her aunt’s home when she lost control of the cart, went into the
street, and was struck by on-coming traffic. The victim expired
in the emergency room of a local hospital an hour later as a
result of a fractured neck.
A 6-year-old girl died due to massive chest injuries while
riding on the lap of her mother who was driving the go-cart. The
go-cart struck a retaining barrier head-on at 15-20 mph. The
victim was pinned between her mother’s chest and steering wheel.
A 7-year-old boy (driver) died and an 8-year-old girl
(passenger) suffered brain injuries when their go-cart travelled
down an embankment at 10 mph onto a paved highway. They went
into the path of a pick-up truck travelling at about 50 mph.
A 7-year-old boy died after a go-cart collided with a bumper
rail of the go-cart track. He had been riding with his father in
the same go-cart and his father’s body may have pressed him into
the steering wheel. The cause of death was a ruptured aorta.
A 7-year-old boy died of blunt force injuries of the abdomen
when he hit a 6-8 inch curb while driving a homemade go-cart.
The vehicle did not have any safety straps. The victim wore a
An 8-year-old girl died of injuries after the go-cart she
was driving was hit and run over by a pick-up truck pulling a
boat. The accident occurred at dusk and the go-cart did not have
any lights.
An 8-year-old boy sustained fatal head and chest injuries
when his go-cart went out of control and struck the axle on a
tractor trailer. The victim was transported to an emergency room
and was pronounced dead on arrival.
An 8-year-old boy was riding as a passenger with a 25-year-
old male on the go-cart down a gravel road. The driver pulled

out of an intersection and struck a car. Both the driver and the
passenger of the go-cart were thrown onto the road. The driver
of the go-cart received severe head injuries and the boy was
An 8-year-old boy was driving his go-cart about the parking
lot and grounds of an auto facility. He lost control of the cart
and crashed into a parked truck. The victim, who was under his
father’s supervision during the drive, died of cranial injuries
after hitting the truck’s steel bumper.
A 9-year-old girl was driving her go-cart near a pipe fence.
She inadvertently depressed the throttle pedal instead of the
brake. She drove the cart under the fence, received multiple
head injuries, and died.
A 9-year-old boy was riding a go-cart on private land when
he ran into the back end of a utility trailer. He died of head
and internal injuries.
A 10-year-old boy drove a go-cart from a driveway of his
home into the side of the pick-up truck moving along a rural
road. The impact with the truck broke the boy’s neck and he died
at the accident site. He was wearing a helmet when the accident
A 10-year-old boy died from massive blunt head trauma while
driving a homemade go-cart in a high school parking lot when he
struck a 15 inch high metal chain which was blocking a dead-end
access road behind the school. The victim, who was not wearing a
helmet was driven to the hospital where he died a short time
later. A passenger on the go-cart sustained a deep laceration to
his neck.
A 10-year-old boy died from extensive head injuries when the
go-cart he was driving struck a curb on a paved street, flipped
over and landed on top of him. The victim was not wearing a
An 11-year-old girl died after crashing her go-cart into a
parked truck. The medical official believed she may have gone
under the truck and hit her chest on the truck bed.
An 11-year-old boy was struck by a vehicle while riding a
go-cart. He pulled out of a private driveway into the path of
the vehicle traveling on an asphalt county road. The victim was
transported to the hospital where he died due to skull fracture.
A 12-year-old girl died from head injuries when a 2-wheel
motorcycle collided with the left side of her go-cart as she
attempted to make a right turn out of her gravel driveway onto
the south bound lane of a paved road. She was not wearing a
helmet and was pronounced dead at the hospital.

 A 13-year-old girl was driving a go-cart on the go-cart

track when her vehicle hit the tires that were located in a turn
beside the track. The vehicle’s front end went up, threw the
victim out, and came to rest on the victim. She died of a
massive basal skull fracture. The victim did not wear a safety
belt or a helmet at the time of the accident.
A 13-year-old boy was fatally injured when the home-made go-
cart he was operating failed to stop for a stop sign on a paved
state road. His vehicle was struck broadside by a car passing
through the intersection.
A 13-year-old boy was killed when he lost control of the 4
horsepower go-cart he was driving. The victim was struck in the
chest by a broken limb. The limb transected his aorta. A
passenger friend was not injured.
A 13-year-old boy was killed when he drove a go-cart into
the path of a truck, after he had failed to stop at a stop sign
at an intersection. He died of blunt head trauma. A 12-year-old
male passenger was hospitalized for a broken collar bone.
A 13-year-old boy died from blunt force injuries to his
trunk when he drove a go-cart into the right front bumper of his
father’s parked car and got his chest caught between the high
back go-cart seat and the bumper. The victim had driven out of
his father’s automotive shop at a high rate of speed and failed
to negotiate a right turn.
A 13-year-old boy, a passenger, died from head injuries when
the go-cart struck a metal chain strung across a road. The sun
may have impaired the 13-year-old driver’s vision. The victim
died at the scene. The diver was taken to the hospital. Both
were wearing a helmet.
A 14-year-old boy was killed when the go-cart he was driving
struck a bus. He drove through a stop sign at an intersection of
two paved streets. He hit the bus on its side and was thrown
under the bus rear wheels.

If I am not mistaken, all of these fatalities with the exception of one occurred on karts driven on public roads.

Not trying to dilute the obvious dangers of driving a motor driven go kart on public roads, but I’d have to say it’s not clear how many of those are go karts as we know them. When I was 6 I almost died whilst driving my go-kart, I went straight down the drive (which was a decent incline) and into the road right in front of a JCB.

My go-kart was like this


I do get you all guys. Safety first!
However, this is getting out of topic here.

What I’m talking about is a well controlled parking lot with no cars, nor pedestrians.

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If you are like me, threshold braking practice is always needed.

I recall a coach setting up a brake marker cone and then moving it closer over time.

Yes, thanks Dom.

I’m thinking something similar with a hairpin and keep going deeper in the the braking zone.
I do know that it’s not the same grip wise as on a real circuit, but better than nothing.

Turning left is easier for me. Skiing as well

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@tjkoyen @speedcraft

There’s gotta some “drills” that coaches would use. Like back when I was a tennis player, it was drills over and over and over.

What’s in your coaching bag of ticks, drill wise?

Most of the “drills” I would run would be difficult to practice in a parking lot with cones. I think practicing your technique in a parking lot is akin to practicing tennis with no net or court lines and using a racquet ball instead of a tennis ball. What’s the point? You’re not practicing in a real-world scenario. You’re practicing in a fictitious setting on a grip level that you’re not going to experience normally.

You’re better off driving on a sim.

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That’s actually a great idea! Sim!

I’m going to agree with @tjkoyen’s comments, and especially the part about practicing on sim if that’s a possibility for you.

However, depending on your current level of karting skill, and if you have a data logger, you could potentially benefit in a few ways:

  1. As you mentioned, threshold braking drills could help you improve your feel for braking, but that’s only part of the objective. Braking is done for a reason (to reduce speed to a level that will allow us to just barley get around a turn… on the limit). While going for ‘the limit’ speed may not be the best idea in a parking lot, you can do your brake drills with the objective of getting to a ‘target turn-in speed’ in the shortest amount of time. and if you have data logging, you should be able to see how quickly, accurately, and consistently. you are able to hit the target speed. That may be a skill you can scale up to racing levels once you get back on a track.

  2. Basically the same as #1, but add the hairpin turn, and shoot for a ‘target apex speed’; work on combining braking and turn-in to consistently and accuracy hit that target apex speed (you don’t have to be at the limit for that).

  3. Continuing with the theme, accelerate out of the hairpin turn, working on consistency of throttle application location, and consistency of throttle application profile/rate on the way out of the turn.

  4. Play at getting the back end unhooked while exiting the turn, so you can working on feeling/predicting available traction, and on ‘automating’ the correction reflex. Only do this if there is plenty of room in the parking lot.

  5. When driving to the parking lot, and home… and EVERYWHERE, work on feeling the slip angles of your daily driver’s tires. On the street, unless you’re being a wingnut, the slip angles you create should be VERY subtle (maybe 2-6 degrees), but if you pay attention you can feel them. Feel them grow, peak, and recede… feel how they change when you subtly change loads on the tires. This is a skill you can practice often and safely, and it will pay huge dividends on the track.


Thanks for the feedback @speedcraft .
I do have a mychron5, and have been playing around in race studio analysis for some time.
Also I’ve been checking the speedcraft site (intuitivespeed) also for tips & things to look for. I simply don’t have a track to put it into practice.

Sim racing is also something I’ll be working on this year.
However, I don’t really feel that I can reduce the sensation of speed in a virtual environment.