Passing and/or waiting

So I’m working on trying to be careful about momentum and where it takes me relative to folks I have the pace on.

I am trying to learn how to drive through traffic effectively, without losing too much momentum to knucklehead, half-baked pass attempts. This means riding the bumper of another driver until I have a “done” pass present itself. Basically, I am forcing myself to lift and get back in line, hoping to get better exits and not come together mid turn.

I think it’s overall going pretty well but I can’t help but think maybe I am being dumb. I got passed a couple times by faster drivers while trying to wait for the newer drivers to make mistakes.

It makes me wonder wether there is a balance here between forceful passing and organic passing. I had multiple occasions where I am being split from a faster guy by him being more forceful to a slower guy between us, ahead using cage a bit to get by (at slower driver’s expense).

I would ultimately close back up but time is lost. I suspect I still am bad at navigating traffic as there was a young guy who seemed to not have my same issue. He’d get by cleanly without bumping folks. So, it’s possible.

Any thoughts on all this? I am forcing the issue with position. Taking an inside line, getting alongside and claiming the apex first. Sometimes it is forceful in that they would have to turn into me to complete their turn. Or, just waiting for them to make a mistake or open the door.

Other than putting myself in a position that negates their corner speed, don’t know what to do, really. I feel somewhat frustrated by being slowed and having to wait patiently as the guys behind catch up. Forcing my way by seems to be a bad habit and I don’t want to keep enforcing that. But, I feel like I might have gone too far in the opposite direction and am maybe being too patient.

So, those of you who have been here, trying to take the next step in racing and learning how to flow in traffic, what helped you get smoother and more confident navigating the crowd?

Edit: one thing to consider is the fact that we are caged in rentals. The closed wheel wells changes things. In theory, the rules of engagement are the same as open wheel, but in practice, not. Driving incidents that would result in wheel to wheel contact are off the table so folks are generally much more aggressive on defense/offense. This is largely due to how the rental races are “judged”. There’s a ton of leeway given by the marshals and there appears to be more “sloppy” driving in caged rentals as opposed to non-caged forms of karting.

If you go to 20:30 and watch to about 24:00 you can see how much time I lose to this nonsense:

As we discussed in some of our coaching sessions, you need to learn when to just send it and when to wait, which is obviously easier said than done. But every time you second guess an overtaken and fall in line, only to be passed from behind, you should be storing that in your brain as info and data for the next time that situation comes up.

The old adage, “If you’re not passing, you’re being passed”, tends to ring true for a lot of these situations. When you’re bunched up in a pack, you sort of have to chuck it down the inside sometimes, even if you’re not fully confident in the pass. Commitment is more important than confidence. If you can commit to the pass fully, and give it 100% effort, even if you’re a little wary of it, you’ll be better off.

As I say, no window shopping. And maybe in your case, don’t even leave the house unless you intend to buy something!

Also, hopefully my tone isn’t off-putting here, I re-read it and realized it might come off a little harsh. You know I’m speaking as your coach Dom. :smile:

I watched Nick send it repeatedly and pull it off by the skin of his teeth. That seems counter-productive to the whole “no window shopping”.

That’s more like throwing a brick through the shop window and running off with the plasma tv?

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Sometimes you need to shoot-and-loot. Eh, sensitive reference maybe, but you get the idea.

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Ok I’ll start sending it. This should be interesting. Hopefully you don’t chastise me too much for my sins.

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It has a lot to do with knowing when to send it. If you look over your shoulder and some guy is hot on your heels, you better make it a priority to make the move on the guy in front so you don’t get swallowed up.

I think it also largely depends on who you are following and how much time you are losing by staying in line. If I’m behind someone who is much slower than me, I’m going to be more likely to send it rather than wait for a better passing opportunity or a mistake. My thinking is that the time I lose by waiting is likely going to be greater than the time I lose with the overtake. On the other end of the spectrum, if I’m behind someone who has more pace or is more consistent, I’ll be more likely to wait for a better opportunity rather than just throwing it in first chance I get since I’m losing much less time staying in line and I don’t want to compromise my positioning with a big move. This is where I’d prefer to make a pass that’s more “organic”, as these overtakes usually result in less time lost.

Of course there are tons of other variables to consider - is there someone else right behind you, how many laps are left, who’s left to catch beyond the guy ahead of you, etc.

Thanks Jake. That’s a good way of thinking about it. You make a forceful pass on a slower driver, odds are they don’t have the chops to defend. Additionally, any pass that isn’t organic is likely to be something that slows you slightly. So I have to bear that in mind.

So, to your point, it’s a question of priority. If I come upon slower traffic and I have someone on my back, I need to be more ready to “dive” and execute the first available pass, regardless of it being done or not ahead of time.

If I have room, maybe be patient and see if there’s a better opportunity next turn.

Yeah pretty much. Really, any overtake is going to cost you some time. In most cases a big send is likely going to lose more time than something that happens more organically, but there are plenty of instances where that time loss is worth it - maybe someone’s putting pressure on you from behind, maybe it’s late in the race, maybe the person ahead is slower and you’re losing a lot of time behind them. These are all circumstances where I’d say make the big move and prioritize your position over your total time. However, making a big move at the wrong time could mean that you lose that opportunity to catch that next kart ahead of you, or it could allow you to fall into the clutches of that pack that you previously broke away from.

It’s a lot to consider with not a lot of time to consider it, but I think that’s what makes racing fun!

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Enjoying this thread. I explain to outsiders and new drivers how much different passing is to being fast. I do not think people really believe it until they get there themselves.

Send it or don’t is a tough decision, but catching someone mid corner in my opinion is always wrong. Too late for the corner your in and too early for the next straight. So working on getting that timing right is important


I’ll be making some review videos of my own past footage here soon to help convey some of the coaching principles I often harp on. I’ve got a few good ones on overtaking that might be applicable for this topic.


That’s sort of what I was thinking. If I am not alongside them other guy, I rarely send it in, under the logic that it’s going to be a mess: the guy I’m shooting under will turn in, most likely.

I suppose if you do this quick enough, you can get under the wire. I suppose it’s a question of odds. Can I send it without getting bonked and thus losing speed (or spinning out)?

I suppose the only way to know this is to spend a time being “that guy” and developing a mental vault of “go/no go”. Hehe, Verstappen early days. :heart_eyes: didn’t he have a bit of a rep at first? But got more civilized as he became unarguably a front runner?

Great topic.

Team training Saturday we ran a bit of a race, I went from 2nd to 4th when 3,4 jumped the off before the yellow line. The guy in front managed to pull away for about 5 laps then I dunno if his tyres went off or mine came in, or I just settled into a rhythm but I was catching him about a kart length each lap. Took that time studying where he was slower - chicane. He didn’t have the confidence to take it flat, or ride the entry kerb to straighten the line.

In the end there wasn’t enough laps to get close enough to make a run up the inside out of the chicane, but I knew exactly what my play would be if I got close enough.

Timing is everything

Too far back?

Here’s a send that I wouldn’t have considered as it appears too risky and likely to result in bonking. What you think? Stupidly risky or smart move?

Also, is it normal for kids around 15-16 to get much more aggressive in their driving? Nick goes for stuff he wouldn’t have a year ago. This isn’t hugely dramatic but it seems to me that there would be a chance this could slow you if you get it wrong. Tight turn no bail out.

24m08s approx.

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It was a great move. The kart in front is making a hole, so you know the outside guy isn’t going to be able to come down at the apex. Nick just followed him through the hole.

It doesn’t always work out that a hole stays open like that but in a hard braking zone like this with plenty of space and a good run, that was a good’un.

Next move was good too. Placed the kart confidently up the inside with good commitment before apex.

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Thanks! He will be happy to know that and I’ll try to be 15 again.

I noticed this hole you speak of on track… Sometimes the guy in front can be your wrecking ball.

The uphill left after the cutback seems to be the natural passing zone for this complex. That’s where you can usually close the door on a slower guy.

My pal Tanguy (very fast but also 225lbs) was crying many tears about the uphill run after the cutback. It really punishes you if overweight.

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Maybe I’m a terrible human but I would have gone for that 200%. Even if a little bonking was involved.

Speaking of send…

Yes, @KartingIsLife, certainly not unreasonable. But as a older guy, I have to beat the caution out of me. All I see is the, bonk and subsequent loss of speed. But as Jake was saying, risk is situational, so its in my best interests to send it from time to time.

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I’d love to get some of my footage critiqued professionally