I have good laptimes but my biggest problem is the gas partialization, it costs me all the time that I lose from the fastest drivers. I know that it requires lot of training to improve it, but for work and money reasons I go karting 2 or 3 days per month, when I have the regional races.
I wonder if you have any tips for me, regarding my approach to the throttle or the calibration of the pedal, that I can follow to improve my partialization. When I go to the gas exiting a corner in most cases, especially exiting a very slow corner, I can’t find the right % of gas to have a perfect traction: once I bounce, once I have too much gas and I slide with the rear.
What kart class do you drive? Im x30 and i find it good to tie a small rope to the pedal and the steering wheel. After the apex when the stering wheel goes back you acceleate so the rope doesent snap. So for example you turn and press full gas the rope snaps. If you start turning the stering whell back on the exit start accelrating (slowly) but not to slow so that the rope has slack. If its done correctly you should only be able to press full gas when the steering wheel is straight. And dont rely on the rope try to get it as muscle memmory.
Sim, basically. You can work on all the basics in sim. It’s not perfect but it’s close enough that you can benefit from it. This is my opinion based on 4+ years of doing lots of sim and karting. Any sim, doesn’t have to be a karting sim. Car sims are really quite fun, also. Car sims and karting sims follow the same rules and techniques so it is transferable to karting. As far as seat time is concerned, it’s all you can eat. I think I did about 5 sessions yesterday:
Tanguy is really good at karting and he’s saying that in the wet with slicks, you learn about how the kart wants to slide around and therefore when and how to put power down to catch and steer the back end. Wet driving is tricky and teaches you alot.
Many times, accelerating too hard out of a turn is an instinctive reaction to realizing that mid-corner speed is too slow. If you feel like you can/need to romp on the throttle as soon as you get to the apex (after the kart rotates), then focus on optimizing turn entry and managing rotation so the kart is truly at the limit mid corner, then you will instinctively feel that you need to roll onto the throttle instead of jumping on it.
Often, what appears to be a ‘throttle on’ problem is actually a ‘rotation management’ problem… especially in low speed turns. That is, the timing of rotation and throttle application is critical. If you time throttle application just before (or exactly when) the kart rotates into a neutral or slightly understeering trajectory (relative to the line you are driving), then the load transfer tends to ‘lock’ the rear end down so the acceleration forces drive efficiently through the kart’s center of mass.
If you are even the slightest bit late getting to throttle (meaning the kart rotates past a neutral trajectory (or you get on the gas when the kart gets to a neutral trajectory, but the momentum of rotation carries it past the neutral trajectory) then you end up ‘spilling’ acceleration forces into the outside rear tires, which is inefficient, is hard on the tires, and ultimately limits how aggressively you can accelerate out of the turn. This means that in turns where there is a lot of rotational momentum, you often have to anticipate when the kart will get to a neutral trajectory, and you have to start accelerating just fractionally earlier then when your ‘instincts’ tell you that you should so that you can ‘check/stop’ the rotational momentum before the kart gets into an oversteer trajectory.
Last week, a KP member & top-level driver: Nik Goodfellow (@NikG) posted a P1 qualification lap video in the (Weekly) KartPulse Racer Videos Thread, that pretty well demonstrates expert rotation control. I encourage you to watch it multiple time (in slow motion too), and pay attention to how he manages the orientation of the kart on the line he is driving, throughout the whole lap… but especially pay attention to the exits of the slower turns.
@Bimodal_Rocket if you think KartKraft is the best simulator I will try with it. That’s a really good idea, I had never thought about it.
Two questions: which pedals and steering wheel do you think are the best in price/quality for KartKraft? And there is a way to put into this game some customize tracks?
This point is very interesting. So, if I understand and it’s what I see from the video, I have to go on throttle not when the rotation is over and I see the exit of the corner, but when I’m still in the rotation with front pointing outside (this means I’m in understeer moment) in order to have the “push” from the rear to point the kart to the correct turn exit without sliding?
Correct. It’s a VERY subtle change in technique… the difference in timing between optimal, and not quite optimal initial throttle application is very small, but it make a huge difference in corner exit performance. Also, I don’t necessarily mean you ‘stamp’ the throttle earlier; sometimes you just have to ‘crack’ the throttle to ‘set’ your kart’s orientation, then you can roll on the throttle more aggressively.
Also, if it was not clear, if you have the kart at the limit (your mid-corner speed was optimal), and then you control rotation/throttle well, you will be in a neutral to slight understeer orientation to begin the exit phase of the turn. However, as you apply more and more throttle out of the turn the loads on the outside rear tire will build and you will generate increased slip angles; this is what allows you to finish the turn… it gradually puts the kart into a very slight oversteer orientation (optimal rear tire slip angle) for the last 1/3 to 1/4 of the turn.
So rotation management let’s you control the initial ‘load’ on the outside rear tire when accelerating out out of the turn, and once you have that critical location/moment managed (and therefore have your kart oriented optimally), then you can get more aggressive with the throttle without overloading the back end and pitching the kart into excessive oversteer.
This idea is related to the ideas of energy management, rotation control, and tire loading, which are covered in a bit more detail here:
A couple of points i’d like to make. Firstly, I’m not a top driver . Secondly if you watch closely you’ll see all the pedal movements are smooth if the steering wheel is being turned at the same time. So coming off the brake is a smooth exercise too, its not on or off. And coming on to the gas I tickle the throttle through most of the corner. Its actual an artifact of driving rotary engines “at the turn of the century” (lol) when it was required to preload the with fuel. It actually works quite well as a technique on float carbs too. And doesnt seem to slow down diaphragm carbs on reed valve engine’s.
I cant say for sure, I’d probably need a throttle trace, but I’m aiming to not be at 100% throttle until the steering wheel is straight. Up until that point all effort is put into keeping the kart on three wheels for as long as possible.
Thanks everybody guys, very useful as always to hear your very experienced opinions. I’ll try to put all these information together to improve myself, both on tracks and on simulator.
I’m not sure but I think that while you are on three wheels you have not to go on throttle, because you have no traction. I think the goal is to rotate on three wheels in the fastest way possible and than quickly go the lifted wheel down in order to have traction and go on throttle as soon as possible. But I may be wrong. @speedcraft what do you think about that?
You should be getting to the throttle just before apex for most corners, but this doesn’t mean FULL throttle necessarily. You may need to very slowly roll into throttle or hold partial throttle u til you can get the wheel straight enough to get proper traction.
You want to keep that inside rear unloaded for as long as possible to keep the kart free but it should probably be dropping as you approach the apex. So it coincides with you starting to apply throttle.
As you start to approach apex and you’re finishing your turn-in, you will start rolling off the brake and begin applying throttle. Your goal in this phase is to control the transition from brake to throttle and the transition from turning to unwinding the wheel without big inputs to keep the kart stable and keep the inside rear unloaded as long as possible. This is where many people struggle to keep smooth.
Check out this video and corner at 1:57 and keep an eye on my hands and feet. This is a good example because you need to be quite patient on the throttle in this one and really roll slowly into it so you can watch the overlap of all the inputs better. And watch in 0.5x speed for a better view.
I spent a lot of time trying to be always in throttle, always inducing understeer, always pushing. The thing Nick is doing takes a ton of mental discipline. It’s probably a trained habit, this not pushing mid-corner. Every single time I accidentally do what Nick is doing there, it confirms that speed is receptive to progressive throttle and an unstressed kart.
If you can play with this early on and internalize it, it will stand you in good stead. Find the “power line” and learn to stay within the rubber and the kart. In this place what needs to happen feels absolutely correct, balanced, effortless.
I’d say the vast majority struggle with overdriving as we learn. It’s in our nature to push, I think. If you can skip that step and learn to be patient and methodical with power, pace will come.