Racecraft tips & tricks

a lot of switchbacks for me personally. I make sure the driver in front knows i’m right behind, usually makes them nervous, can force mistakes if they’re not seasoned. I’d like for them to think i’m about to lunge. They’ll often try to brake later to make sure i don’t lunge down the inside, then you just use your extra exit speed you gain from a slower entry (aka braking a little earlier) and pray the next turn you’re on the inside. I don’t like to be a physical karter, so if i can’t pull alongside them on the straight, i’ll just try to force a mistake or switchback. It’s to me the safest move to avoid collisions because you’re not alongside mid corner.

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Im glad this thread is starting to get traction…
Are there more racecraft tips?

#2 also interests me in that I had a recent battle that had me hitting the guy a couple times. I was able to “whoa Nelly!” the impact for the other guy but each time I hosed my own momentum. Vastly different braking points but he was a good driver otherwise which was confusing.

I can toss the battle up if anyone wants to look at me running into a guy a few times and comment

that is a great idea for a thread “KartPulse Stewards”

Like stewards who decide wether you should have a penalty? Guilty as charged. I enjoy opining upon our moral failures.

I’m certainly interested in having a look!

Thanks Terence, that wasn’t directed at you but I’m honored… do you want my rumination as it occurs? If so, here we go:

There were some nice sends into the downhill right. I love a bit of that, especially with the opposite lock on the way in.

How to deal with someone braking earlier than you like that.

I would suggest you match them and brake early, and take the benefit of easier exit runs.

That way you have a nice easy time of it, then you can pick your favourite spot to make your move. You might find this enables you to get an easy pass from drafting, followed by the chance to tie together some quick corners that he can’t match. Maybe you could break the tow that way, and drop him

Your race will be a lot tidier that way.

That’s assuming there isn’t a pack of drivers behind waiting to pounce, and it is just the two of you out front.

So Terence, if I understand, basically don’t pass. Instead pass on exit if you can arrange a better run out.

Is there any legs to the idea of instead of slowing to his earlier braking point, maybe be like half off track (assuming no spin from rear on other surface) or something to be able to slow kind of alongside him so you can

a) pressure a bit (why is he alongside me under braking? Aaah!)

b)maybe the extra width of being hanging off the side of the track, I can have some width to do an interesting run out?

I guess in general, when he was ahead, I felt pretty pinched on entry from his really early braking.

Yeah, or run with him until you get an easy spot to pass on the brake… But since he brakes so early, you don’t even have to brake particularly late, so you can still get a good fast exit.

The idea is you can make your life easier by adjusting to his braking point for a couple of turns, stay super close to him, then pop your move on him without running particularly deep in the brake.

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Thanks Terence! I appreciate the thoughts and will deploy this wisdom soon, I hope.

I think I get it. Habituate yourself to his driving by matching him. Then exploit what you learn there. So instead of literally bouncing off his butt as I try to adjust our pace differentials, I should become his butt.

To your point, this only is if we are alone. I’d have to dump him somehow if I had a challenger. That might be easy as letting the challenger go deal with him and me getting lucky. :sunglasses:

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@Terence_Dove in the YouTube video in your article that you linked above, the driver does something I’ve seen dirt bike racers do - at the beginning of the turn, they momentarily steer the kart in the opposite direction which gets the rear end to slide out and then they manage the kart through the turn in essentially a controlled power slide. Yes?

Can you walk through the steering, accelerator and brake inputs from beginning to end or if it is in your book, share roughly which chapter or page to look at? I have your book and will look it up there.

Also, any tips on how to practice this technique and learn it?

Many times I wish there was a large wet flat skid pad to try things at…

Thank you in advance!

Edit: fixed a couple of typos

In the braking phase, steer the opposite way then counter steer. By holding the brakes you will hold the angle. At the entry pint of the turn, release the brakes

I’ve got quite a lot on braking like that, although I don’t think I outline how to throw it sideways so violently.

There isn’t much call for it, but if you want to use it as a practice drill to really get on top of your kart control, then it could be useful.

It’s no different to the hard braking technique I talk about, he’s just steering as he hits the brake to guarantee he rotates the kart in the direction he wants.

I’ve got a new article about the braking here:
Refine braking
That’s about getting off the brake after the initial hit.

In the book, in the braking chapter look at page 47 -taking ‘lock-up’ braking into a corner

In the book, in the chapter on loading there’s definitely a part that is not as extreme, but I do talk about how you would go about getting the kart into that shape.

How you load the kart and the line you take in order to put it sideways like that, and onto the racing line.

Go to page 98 - how to take up slack for a sneaky advantage… You just need to exaggerate the method there.

By the way, all the sliding and drama has to be tidied up by the time you apex, you don’t want excessive sliding on exit… Unless you are just going wild and having fun


Thank you. I’ll read all those sections today.

Is this applicable/something that should (can?) be done on a low horsepower kart like lo206? 8.8HP.

Ill take a crack at it. If you are talking about sorta juking it under a guy in that sort of 4-wheel drift, you are gonna need to be doing a free-rolling in slip version of it thats gonna have a very round arc. I was able to use that 4-wheel “drift” type turn at amp t2 with track limits abolished.

The low HP karts really cannot afford to lose anything rev-wise, given the pack nature of low hp racing, and if you were to slide it under 4-wheel fast in, power out hard version (think shifter V), you’d get your lunch handed to you by the 4 guys behind you over the next two corners. But, in slip/countersteer, so long as you can make sure that power stays up and throttle isnt late, yeah you can mess around. But, I doubt it would be used in anything other than a pass, as it would be slower/longer travel.

But yeah, that would be a cute pass to have thrown under you and I can see why you’d associate it with the “dirty” guys. It is a little naughty, at times. Totally a Max move, and he’d do it really pretty.

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If the slide job is on a driver running the same lap times, usually you have to block on exit and it’s likely the other driver will have to move off line to avoid contact.

It’s quite a lot harder with lower power of you have relatively good grip.

But, if you use it as a training drill to sharpen your skills, then it’s great.

I would think a very clean on-rails style would be the easiest way to be fast though.

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From working with my son, I would say no. The only time pitching the kart has ever been fast is when grip is low and the track section is tight. Otherwise you scrub too much and pay for it on the corner exit.

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