Tomorrow is my first day on the track...any advice?

Hello All,
I am new to the sport. I just picked up an FA Kart and I’m excited to be heading out to the track this weekend. Everyone keeps telling me to throw what I “think” I know out the window because it’s nothing like driving at K1 or Pole Position. So now, I’m a little nervous as I don’t want to suck…but the way people are describing it makes me feel like it’s going to be inevitable. Do any of you experienced kart racers have any advice or suggestions? Any techniques I should practice? Anything I should watch?


Hat. Shades. Water. Sunblock.



LOL…Thanks! Will do.

I don’t think I am the ideal person to give you advice about driving a high performance kart, but since your big day is tomorrow already, you must be waiting for tips.

Any karting experience is welcome, even if it’s from a rental kart, so don’t forget it all. The basic theory of the ideal line is still outside-inside-outside.

My advice would be, don’t try to do too much at once. Don’t bother too much about setup, that is only useful if you are anywhere near the limit. Maybe some checks about tire pressure but I think that should be it for the first time.

If you are worried that you annoy the other drivers, please don’t. We all have been there. Just drive your lines and they will find ways to pass you cleanly.

Look further ahead than you are used to, because you reach your marks much sooner.

There is so much more, but first relax and enjoy!


Welcome @Cliff! Where about are you?

What engine\class are you running?

Disagree. It will feel very different, probably a lot more intense. But the principles you learned will apply. Lines, looking ahead, planning, driving without excessive sliding.

You’ll probably suck. That’s OK, Even Gary Carlton got lapped in his first race.

Main technique to practice, relax, have fun. Then when you’re comfortable with the kart start pushing.


Thanks a lot man. I appreciate it.

I am starting at 100cc. I’m in Southern California in Riverside County. Thanks for the advice. I truly appreciate it!

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Oh, I wonder if that’s related to what @David_Gallaher was talking about earlier.

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He actually may have been referring to LAKC which is taking place at Cal Speed Kart track this weekend I think. I am not at that level yet, so I’ll actually just be putting in some time at Adam’s in Riverside, CA. I’m not actually competing yet, just practicing with a few guys.

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I’m in a very similar situation. Not racing yet, have done my very first session. Rotax Max.

I’m super keen to hear some tips in terms of basic driving techniques, I won’t offer any sorry.

I will say that I found the first time to be pretty intense in terms of how much of a step up it was from indoor karting (we don’t really have much outdoor rental karting here in New Zealand). I just took it super easy to start with, and would recommend the same.

Good luck. Post up any learnings please.


Largely, just relax and focus on having fun. You won’t be fast right away, but basically no one is.

This is a great opportunity to ask a ton of questions from other racers (like here on the forums. ;)).

Treat every session as a learning opportunity as much about the kart, as yourself and how you handle certain situations on track.

Awesome to see you taking the next step. Come back and let us know how you’re getting on!


Hey Cliff,

I’ve raced LAKC, Tri-C, and F100 and SDKA (when they were still around in ‘16). The 100cc Community really is one big family and many folks are great to hang out with both on and off the track. So don’t be afraid at all to reach out and talk to folks for little bits of advice.

Have no fear! Take it slow if necessary. No need to go full throttle and brake late. You’ll pick things up quicker than you might think as each lap is completed.

I was a rental karter prior to my first big jump to 125cc Rotax. I babied that for a while. Realized 100cc would be a better fit and it sure was. If you have a KPV, you’re off to the perfect start. It doesn’t have a powerful low end torque. If you have a KA, it will be just ever so slightly quicker which will have slightly faster top speed and easier to spin on cold tires. Just be mindful, respect the kart, and finish each lap.

Adams is a good track to start at. The staff are nice and will help out if they have people there. When you get on the track, take a lap or two easy. It’s a fairly flat track minus the Monzas, and the turns towards the south end of the Track can be a bit rough. Gravel, rocks get picked up from the drifting cars so don’t stay too close to the fences or edges of the track. Made that mistake first time there practicing lol

Highly recommend you find a shop that fits your needs and goals in karting regardless. They’ll be able to come out to the track and have knowledge and parts on hand just in case. Plus on race days the Track gets swept so less gravel to worry about.

Let me know if you have any more questions! Unfortunately I just recently moved out of the area, but still keep in touch with folks out there!


KA vs KPV was a big debate earlier this season, but for the most part folks have settled into their respective series and class structures. There’s some behind the scene stuff still going on. If you want to get into the finer details, you’ll just end up with scrambled eggs for brains imo. It does play a part in how the culture ebbs and flows out there, but it shouldn’t affect the average karter. What’s important is having fun with the folks that you’re with. We do that, we’ll enjoy whatever series it is we join.

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Nice to meet someone almost as “green” as I am. Anything I learn I’ll be more than happy to share. I’m finding that most people are reiterating the same sentiments of relaxing and taking it easy on my first run, so that’s what I’ll do.


Thank you so much David! I had the greatest time there at Adams’. Also thank you for all your advice. It’s great to be able to connect with such knowledgeable people in this sport.

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So thank you everyone who contributed to this topic and thanks to everyone who is still contributing. I had the greatest time out there. I’m in love with the sport and my kart. I think the 100cc is perfect for someone starting out like me. I had no experience with a real kart prior to this and although I did end up in the tulies a few times…I learned a great deal and actually ended the day faster than when I first arrived…lol.

So there were some tips I picked up from some experienced racers at the track. They were very inviting and welcoming and it seems to be much of the case with the entire community so everyone pitched in to help me and by then end of the day they were just as excited about my progress as I was.
Tips for beginners:

1.) take it easy for a couple laps when you first get out. No need in gunning it and ending up in the dirt.

2.) stay on the track and don’t worry about being in the way. The experienced drivers will move around you.

3.) LOOK AHEAD…so don’t focus on where you currently are on the track. You should always be looking ahead at your next apex or exit. Believe me, this kept me on the track and improving lap times. By looking at what’s coming next, you not only have time to prepare (ie braking, setting up your lines etc.) but it also makes everything seem to slow down which makes you proactive when preparing for your next move rather than being reactive and making a hasty and risky move.

4.) Don’t be afraid to ask questions

5.) Humble yourself. There will be little kids out there who are far more experienced than you and as humiliating as that may seem, they are more than willing to give pointers too. Accept their advice. I got advice from an 11 year old that actually improved my exit out of turn.
6.) HAVE FUN!!!

That was pretty much all I could remember from today. I got a lot of track time in and met some really cool people. Don’t get discouraged and stick with the sport. A bad day at the track is always better than a good day at work or school…LOL

Thanks again guys!


Awesome work!

Great tips that you picked up, thanks for sharing. Cool that you had fun!


I’m sure you’ll pick up some additional tips and have a great time as well!


I really like this tip!