Standing starts With a Four Stroke Kart

Hey everyone, I have a small issue I would like to workshop with everyone. Concerning standing starts, I am able to get of the line relatively quickly. The problem arises around the the first or second corner where I seem to get shuffled to the back and have to work my way back to the front. Is there a strategy to retaining your position through the first lap with blocking? I am currently driving a 2013 top kart with a lo206 strapped to it.

Without blocking? No, other than driving faster.

@Terence_Dove’s book goes into good detail about opening lap things. I’ve been trying to get some of my drivers to do the same thing. They often have the pace of the top 5, but get shuffled back into the blender on the opening lap because they don’t defend.

It could also be a confidence or mindset thing. Often drivers aren’t able to get into the racing mindset right off the bat in a race, resulting in them driving at 80-90% until they get settled in again. It could just take some laps and practice to get comfortable and get to the limit immediately when the green drops.

I’ve seen countless races won by the 10th fastest kart who just happened to get a good opening lap and settle into their groove immediately while others took time to get up to speed or battled with the pack behind.


Thank you TJ, I just received my copy of Terence Dove’s book and am in the process of reading it. I think I fall into the category of not being at 100% when the flag drops. That is something I will have to work on.


Thanks @tjkoyen for mentioning my book! and @codygeiser I hope you enjoy it!

It might help you to study as many successful race starts as you can find, and apply what you find to a plan for your own start. When you make a plan it has to be detailed enough that you can visualize it - and also it needs to feel right, so that it gets you fired up and confident to give it a real good shot.

It will be cool if you come back and let us know how it goes!

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Your clutch setup has to be on point too. Here’s a basic way to tune it in the garage.

One technique to test out engagement speeds that I’ve read about, but have yet to try, is the “Bathroom Scale Method”. Basically put a bathroom scale against the wall and have the kart depress the scale. Try different engagement speeds (And maybe even some carb float settings), note the results of each test and see what you uncover.

Hey all, sorry about my silence, but I believe I have remedied my issue during starts. I have had two race weekends since my last post. I was able to hold generally hold my starting position during the first weekend and was able to actually advance my position during every start over the last weekend. I watched many videos of mine and others videos to understand my short comings. It turns out (for at least my track) taking a very defensive line (i.e. driving down the middle of the track) through the first corner is key to retaining position, as we have a turn right at the start making it very low speed. Thank you again for everyone’s help!

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