Student becomes the teacher (This is weird)

So being 18 months into this sport I am in no way any expert in (anything). But I find myself in a peculiar position where I have a racer from anothr class entering mine for the first time. So after several practice sessions (on his own) he asked me to run with him today and I have to admit, this dude is fast, really fast, on modified 4 stroke and 2 stroke. But he is dipping his toe into LO206 for the first time, and although he spent the money and went with a highly known ($$$) LO206 engine builder for his first engine, he is increadable slow which shocked the living hell out of me. . .

This dude is a really good guy, but in other classes I feel like you can make alot of mistakes and pull yourself out of it with your HP; which obviously you cannot do in LO206 as if you make one mistake you can lose 4 positions in a blink of an eye.

Struggling to help this guy as he is obviously fast, with a ton more experience in everything non-LO206, but man I have to admit in LO206 he was extremely slow and I was really shocked at just how slow he was (given his excessive amount of experience, which dwarfs mine 365 days per year!)

How do you help someone who is obviously better than you? Seat time seems to be the answer, but I’d like to see him get there ASAP as he is really that good outside of LO206? But in practice I was around 3-5 seconds faster, which shocked the living hell out of me if I’m being 100% honest. Because in most settings, I’m a mid pack guy in Lo206, where in everything this guy does he’s on the podium 99% of the time.

He helped me when I was just starting out, even though he wasn’t in my class, but he really tried to make me better even though he knew nothing about my class (Lo206). I kinda want to repay the favor but I’m not 100% sure how to accomplish that . . .

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Don’t sell yourself short!
Say it as it is. You’re not gonna hurt any feelings. You see something he’s doing wrong, ya tell him what he’s doing wrong.

206 requires some specific competencies but if someone is truly really good at driving other karts, he should be able to adapt and figure a 206 out. It almost sounds like something is wrong with his kart… or he’s just not as good as you’re giving him credit for. :sweat_smile:

I’m with Elias. Just because you are new and he has been around doesn’t mean you can’t offer him information that will help. It might be mechanical or driving but obviously, he is struggling somewhere. I have all of 10 laps on a LO206 and I could tell right away that it will require a significantly different way of driving vs my KA. If this driver is used to buying the most HP and being the fastest I don’t think this matters as much in LO206. It would appear the margin of error is very small and as you explain, one small mistake will cost you. He might be making the same mistake(s) every lap and there are your seconds of difference.

To answer your question…How do you help? Break down each corner, and compare braking points, apex lines and kart placement. It’s likely not one corner, its probably every or most corners to be off by that much.

Wouldn’t happen to be a margay would it? I kid.

That’s odd. I’d say go out there and trail him for a bunch of laps and see if you can see where he’s slow. It might be kart maybe? You’ll see where you pull on him and I bet it’s consistent in each corner.

Also it’s kind of fun trying to figure out.

If you both have mychrons you can compare data with each other and analyse where one is faster.

Remember that to help someone you don’t necessarily have to be a total expert, you just need to know a little more than the student and be able to help them move forward.

There’s badass drivers that are terrible coaches and there’s great coaches that are not great at the execution of driving, but they can still help other drivers (That are better than them) improve.


Swap karts for a session and see if it’s a chassis issue. A lot of us at our track swap karts for comparison purposes.

So this is what we did and I noticed with my VERY limited amount of experience:

  1. His Lines- He was taking different lines than I was, and I was all over his rear bump. I tired to stay behind him and push him around, but I could have passed him in almost any part of the track (Straights and turns) and I made sure we were on the same gearing.

  2. We swapped karts and I found his Birel to be very planted and overall a much better ride than my TB Kart. However, his kart pushed like an SOB, whereas with mine, while not as smooth overall, was 1000% better on exit. My TB was much more nimble if that makes sense . . . whereas his was more smooth and planted.

  3. His motor was extremely smooth as well, and although he would hold a higher RPM on corner exit, it wasn’t necessarliy faster than mine. It was smooth power, but not power-power if that makes sense. Mine would roll faster, just not smoother. I don’t know how thats possible. Its funny rolling on some else’s kart, as I had never done that before. So my Kart is all I’ve really known.

  4. He said he was shocked how one mistake in LO206 could scrub so much speed and really mess up his mojo into future sections of the track. Like I said before, although I’ve never run higher HP kart, it seems more forgiving if you make a mistake as you have the HP to pull you out of mistakes where you don’t have that in LO206.

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I mean this in the nicest way possible, but the guy is not as good as you give him credit for. If he was, he wouldn’t be 3 seconds off the pace in a 206 ever.

Start with the basics. Work together. Compare notes.


I’m not so sure about this. Yes, lo is massively unforgiving of inefficiencies… but so is 2-stroke (but it can be more subtle).

If he has the skill set to hoof a different kart package well… he’d have that same skill set in the lo206. He would understand the subtleties of making (and losing) ideal grip.

I suppose (given my margay experience) that I could be totally wrong here. Maybe lo has a totally different way of being driven (well). I felt like I couldn’t drive for beans on mine. Just endless push. And yet I’m fine on hard tires and low hp rental karts.

Gearing for both of you? To me, as I add teeth, kart gets buzzier, more nervous, peppy. As I take them away, power becomes smoother and more deliberate.

To me, gearing changes the character of the kart as well as it’s sense of acceleration. Might be different gearing?

If he truly is on the podium in other classes and from what you can tell is a good driver, it seems like something is fundamentally wrong. Even taking a different line in 206 shouldn’t constitute 3-5 seconds per lap. Thats a ridiculous amount especially on the same gearing.

I get that LO206 is lower horsepower, but its also so low horsepower that different lines actually work. Ive had it where taking the traditional line is slower simply because its a longer line.

I would say something is wrong with the chassis or the motor. What is the clutch setup? Is it in decent shape? Is the driver/kart over the weight limit? How does the chassis scale up on weight distribution? Is the seat in the manufacturer recommended spot? Is the carburetor using a restricted slide?

Something big is off. Maybe its the driving, but I’m not totally convinced.

Yeah and presumably if he were to hop into a non-mangled kart, he’d be fine.

So given this, how were your laptimes in his kart compared to yours in your your own kart?

What was the deal on corner exit? You said yours was 1000 times better. What behavior was his kart exhibiting on corner exit?

His kart pushed so hard, I found myself taking more time to get the kart realined so I could get back on my normal line. Whereas my TB Kart would exit very close to the area of the track I expected, so getting on my line was automatic where on his, I was so far off the line, it took a moment to get it back on track (I hope that makes sense).

As for my times on his Birel, I was 2 seconds slower than I was on my TB. But in all fairness, I had never been on another kart before (enter manufacturer here) so I think it was more of one of those situations were I knew how my kart behaved, where on someone elses it was crap-shoot and I could never gauge where on exit the kart would place, so I was always chasing my normal line. But I will say on entry, and during the turn- his Beril was SMOOTH! On exit (due to the push) it was terrible.

Our gearing was 3.45’ish (me on a #219- him on a #35). I think it was closer to 3.45 (me) 3.42 (him). Its a 1.1 mile track and a drafting track. So all of our lap times are without the draft.

He texted me today and said he scaled his kart and I think he said he’s 60% -40% (with no weight added) and he said he picked up 3-4 seconds today. So he would be real close to my lap times, maybe about a tenth or 2 slower. Which (IMHO) is pretty good if he is on a new chassis and a new engine platform. I feel like if he got some more seat time, and adjusted his lines, he could do some damage. But like I said, I’m pretty new and not all knowing, which is why I’m here on KP cause the knowledge base here is insane.

So you were massively off pace in his kart as well.

But then, the next day, he found 3-4s with no changes?

It could be that he’s “learning the track” but at his skill level that level of disparity is inconsistent with what you’d expect to see.

Gearing is same so thats not it and you confirm a bad push. Its not clear to me if the time he gained today is attributable to the scaling (ie changes were made) or despite it (no changes).

He made changes, I think he swapped out the clutch from a Fire to a Flame, went up in air pressure, and I know he made some chassis adjustments. That is how he picked up time. The track is one he has run for over decade, just never on a 206. He might have done more, that’s just the adjustments he told me about via text.

More data needed… a good excuse to go karting again I think.

It had to be driving. Simple adjustments like air pressure doesn’t yield multiple seconds.

Again, I think you just gave him a little too much credit to start. Sounds like he was just trying to adapt to the new engine the first session and it took him a little while.

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Spoke to him today, said his axle shifted so he was rubbing on one side of the brake caliber. He said he is addressing the pushing issue.