Prepping for First Race - Advice?

We called them “Whirley visors”. They worked really well.

Make sure you have a rain cover for your air filter
ask for help tuning your carb if you need it
warm up your engine, it can be hard to start in the cold
if you have multiple visors on your helmet choose the clear one, and maybe buy some rainx too for the visor
If your helmet fogs a lot you can have it just a crack open
Bring extra clothes
All these things above are pretty easy and minor things that’ll make your day much easier, rain days can be tough if you arent prepared.
Most importantly, have fun. my 2nd time in a real kart was in the rain, I had a blast
Im not sure how much experience you have so Im not sure if youll want to make set up changes.
If you have lots of seat time just no racing, I think trying a wet setup will be helpful. If this is your first time in a kart, dont sweat it.

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One guy at NHKA uses it. He swears by it and says it works incredibly well

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TIL. I have never seen such a contraption. The Graham Hill shot is unexpected.

And they say the halo blocks your vision :joy: hes got a strip going across the middle of his vision

Those turbo visors look pretty crazy…but also appear to work given what I’m reading online. I learned something new today! Thanks @E13 for the tips! I did manage to get a rain cover for the air filter. Good call on the warming up the engine. My WF engine only has a couple hours on it right now so definitely will make sure to warm it up.

The main setup changes I’m going to look at are going up a couple teeth on the rear sprocket from standard for this track and will remove the front torsion bar and go with 4mm toe-in. This is per Kosmic’s setup guide. I’d like to try widening the front a bit and narrowing the rear slightly but I don’t have any hubs other than what came with the kart so I need to see how much adjustability i have there. It’s a Kosmic Mercury R chassis.

You want toe-out, not toe-in.

Max front width, narrow rear are the important ones.

Here are relevant threads:

More importantly, have fun. As noted in the above comments, given your experience level it’s unlikely chassis changes are going to yield a ton of time or difference in feel for you. Focus on driving and building your confidence in the limits of the kart first before going headfirst into the setup.


Different length rear hubs do not change track width, only the amount of flex at the hub end of the axle. On an OTK Chassis, the front hubs have spacers that can be repositioned inside or outside of the hub itself. The traditional wet setup is to move the front hubs out as wide as possible and move the rear hubs in (seated against the axle end) as much as possible with the general theory that the front tires will plow a path through the water for the rears to maintain traction.

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Weather forecast still says ~60% chance of rain, but unless there’s a front due in from the Pacific, I’m not currently seeing anything on NW the radar, so maybe there’s still a chance for a dry race weekend.

Race weekend wrap-up…

So, this weekend’s ICP Cup events were definitely a learning experience. Coming into the events, I thought I was going to walk in and at least be mid-pack. I learned very quickly that, while my past motorsports experience transfers to some extent, I still have a TON to learn about racing on pavement in an open-wheel vehicle. Hanging the back end out is not fast. 😛

I ended up only racing one class (World Formula) as I got advice from those wiser than I that running both 125cc TaG and WF would gas me pretty quickly. I’m glad I made that decision. Three days of racing and I came home last night absolutely beat. As we all know, karting is an insane upper body and core workout.

What went right?

  1. I steadily improved my times the entire weekend and posted my best times in Sunday’s main.

  2. I learned a bunch about how my kart handles in both the wet and the dry and what I do and don’t like in terms of setup.

  3. I got my first taste of how an event runs and so next time I won’t be so overwhelmed.

  4. I made a ton of friends and got a lot of great guidance from those who have been at this longer than me.

  5. I didn’t take anyone out of the race and I didn’t crash (except one minor trip into the grass during a practice session).

  6. I learned I can be pretty fast in the wet given my past rally experience. Rain is the great equalizer.

  7. I had a really good time and can’t wait to get on the track again!

What went wrong?

  1. I broke a ball-end hex key off in a socket head cap screw in the right rear hub trying to loosen it to narrow the rear. 🙁

  2. I realized I really need a crew or need to join a team…doing it alone doesn’t work.

  3. I realized I should really get a trailer if I want to travel at all from my home track.

  4. I need a checklist for things to check on the kart between sessions and I need a magnetic bowl for fasteners.

  5. I need to learn my kart more and get better at understanding setup.

  6. I need WAY more seat time.

Overall, it was a great experience. I had a lot of fun, but it definitely is discouraging watching the pack run away from you at 3-4 seconds per lap in the dry. In the wet I was only 1-2 sec off the pace. Even worse when the leader laps you just before you cross the line for the white flag and your race ends there. But, I survived my first two races and now it’s on to getting faster and faster. I’ve only been at this a month so I guess this weekend was as good as I could have hoped for.


You will get quicker believe me. My first race at rack track I was in the same boat, and I was with a team. A good 2.5 s per lap off the class leader and almost 5 off the whippet out front.

One season and a hundred laps a week through the summer later same track following season opener only 0.3s off the pace of the class leader.

It will come, just enjoy the ride.

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Thanks for sharing that. I am sure a new racer ready to go out the first time will derive much benefit from this assesment.

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To be fair I think you did pretty well. ICP cup is pretty competitive!

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I would not sweat this. If I am not mistaken, you have motorsport background. The gap will narrow as your familiarity with kart increases. Your inputs are gonna get timed much better as you start feeling the kart under you. You are a few secs off because you are probably late to throttle relative to the folks who have been at it a while. Your braking will get shorter and your transition to throttle will be sooner, faster.

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:rofl: :joy: :rofl: :joy: :rofl: