Rooted in the rain (wet) conditions

(Matthijs Hofman) #21

Lee, I don’t think we’re on the same wavelength yet. I think to drive as straight off a corner as possible is the best solution for a high performance two stroke, but not so much for a rental four stroke. In a high performance kart you may sacrifice cornering speed for maximum traction and acceleration, but since a rental kart is so low on power, you can drive the corner much more round in order to keep the speed up. Although, there might be situations when you want a straight exit line, for instance when you still want to hit the apex after a very late entry (common in wet). But in many cases on slicks the outside line is the way to go.

The way to go fast is to drive close to the limit. I am not saying anything new here, but if you are not close to the limit, the kart will just not properly react to your inputs. So you really need to hussle the kart at the entry, like TJ described, otherwise the kart will not rotate from straight. Right after the turn in, you can apply some throttle, just for some minor wheelspin (you can hear the pitch of the engine is quite stable). The wheelspin is just enough to maintain the rotation you created with the big steering input at the entry. So after the entry, the steering input is close to minimal.

I think the exhaustion you mentioned earlier is the result of not driving the kart close to the limit. You must have experienced massive understeer, which is indeed exhausting. So unfortunately I reckon you need ‘the fancy stuff’ but I think you can go much faster with less fatigue!

(TJ Koyen) #22

All correct I think John.

Full wet setup, max caster, max front width, narrow rear etc. The corner is a tight double-apex left approached at high speed, so there’s a fair bit of braking.

One thing I’ve learned in the wet is you need to have the confidence to attack the entry of the corner. As you said, slowing down enough to get the kart to turn on it’s own is going to be slow. On these tight turns you need to charge the entry, get the kart loaded up, and when you hit the grip (off the normal racing line), it’ll really hike up and start to rotate.

(Matthijs Hofman) #23

That’s the essence indeed. It’s a spiral: confidence equals better input equals more grip equals more speed equals even more confidence.

(Dom Callan) #24

I’m starting to wonder how much rain you get in Holland. You seem to know an awful lot about this subject!

(Lee Swindell) #25

Spiral: Where have I heard that term before?

No doubt you’re on to this, but in case you’re not:

(Lee Swindell) #26


Awesome. :sunglasses:

This is pretty clear advice - and TJ confirms it below - reef the wheel hard into the corner to force the kart to jack, and slip it around gently on the gas.

You’ve given me a technique to think about, which allows me to see what else I was doing - which was sliding into the corner locked up, tweaking the steering, and opposite locking to the track limit on a trailing throttle. I felt like a hero, but later realised I was probably wasting more than a second off the brake and off the gas.

If I’ve understood you guys, I think I can see that I was either being too nice at the turn in, or not turning in at all (instead letting the kart rotate when it felt like it, after I’d given it a nudge if rotational momentum).

This is a great conversation. Please continue!

(Lee Swindell) #27

“On these tight turns you need to charge the entry, get the kart loaded up, and when you hit the grip (off the normal racing line), it’ll really hike up and start to rotate.”


(Lee Swindell) #28

Well John, I hope you’re not reluctant to write because:

“The thing (without a diff.) will plough straight on as long as the inside rear is loaded”

Is one of those nuggets that everyone kind of knows, but doesn’t really know until it’s said a certain way by someone else.

This is a penny-drop for me and dovetails with what Matthijs and TJ are saying:

Drive to get that inside rear off the deck.

It’s easy to forget.


(Matthijs Hofman) #29

Dom, I don’t think it rains that much in Holland, although we like to complain about it! :slight_smile:

The last few years I’ve raced with rental karts only. When it rains, you cannot change the setup, the tyres or the tyre pressure. Going fast in the wet is all about driving technique. So don’t ask me about engine setup and stuff!

I’ve been thinking about writing a blog or even a small book specifically about rental karting, so topics like these are a great way to find out if my experiences are helpful to others.

(Lee Swindell) #30

Do it mate. We’d all read.

Much of it is already written in this thread in fact.


(Matthijs Hofman) #31

Lee, I haven’t read Spiral to Speed, thanks for the info!

(Dom Callan) #32

You totally should write that guide. You do seem to have good info that undoubtedly would be useful to many.

That video was very cool. I am fascinated by how savage you were with the wheel, forcing the kart to turn, slide, grip-up etc. it looked a lot like WRC rally driving, actually.

(James McMahon) #33

Thanks. For sure there are others that can do it better and faster… but it does the job.

Here’s another one. Again, scrappy (esp when I go off the track :joy:) but you get the idea. It starts to get wetter as the session goes on and you can hear the more ingesting water.

Thinking back on this one, I could feel something “funny” happening on the left front… next session the spindle sheared :open_mouth:. I have a video of that somewhere too.