Racing technique is something that every driver who wishes to be competitive will practice as often as possible, from those just starting out to even the most seasoned veterans. While making your car (or kart) go fast with its technical setup is paramount to your performance, the best drivers can still win on race day even without the fastest car on the track thanks to refined driving skills that allow them to move their car around the track in the most efficient manner possible. By following these few quick tips, as well as getting in a few practice laps from time to time, you can see your lap times at your local MB2 Raceway location improve dramatically.
FOLLOW AN OPTIMAL LINE
An efficient race line is vital to your success on not only our tracks, but any race track in any vehicle. While a track is a circular path on which you race, think of a race line as a sort of secondary path within the track itself that allows your car to move around it in a fashion that maximizes your efficiency not only in distance traveled but speed maintained.
While it is common knowledge that the shortest distance around a corner is right next to the inside edge, that route is not always the fastest in auto racing. G-forces and required braking may force you to actually lose more momentum and speed by sticking to this edge than you would by taking a wider route for part or all of the corner. A skilled racer will often use a technique called “apexing” a corner, which is following a racing line that allows them to get as close to the inside of a corner at its peak, or apex, while moving smoothly to and away from it. This allows the car to carry as much momentum as possible through the turn, reducing the time it takes for you to reach top speed upon exit of the corner. Following a strong race line is the single best thing you can do to help improve your lap times.
SMOOTHER IS FASTER
You may not look like you’re moving really fast around the track, but in many cases the driver who is making the smoothest turns and appears to be taking every corner gradually and deliberately is the fastest driver on the track. Smooth drivers will make very few sudden-jerk turns of the steering wheel or have to slam on their brakes. Every move will be considered ahead of time, making execution simple. When you have finished with one corner, immediately start scouting the next one to help you plan out the smoothest line through it.
CARRY YOUR MOMENTUM
In general, a smooth and efficient race line will help you by allowing your car to carry as much speed and momentum as possible through a corner, thus reducing the amount of work your engine (or electric motor in the case of our MB2 karts) must do to get you back to your optimal speed. Cars that carry more momentum through corners see higher overall speeds on straightaways and give themselves more momentum to carry through the next corner. That being said, knowing when and how much to apply your cars brakes is also vital to a good lap time, as no car is going to be able to carry itself through a tight corner at full speed, but maintaining as much momentum by braking as little as possible through a corner will help your lap times shrink significantly.
KEEP YOUR WHEELS GRIPPING
While this is not always true, “drifting” your cart around the corners is not the fastest way round the track the vast majority of time. This is especially true with go-karts that have very little weight and an already extraordinarily low center of gravity. These features make them capable of turning very sharp at high speeds, but make them not very effective drifters. You’ll lose a lot of speed by drifting, and your kart will have to work extra hard to get all that momentum back, which in turn will cost you time out on the track. Take your turns smoothly, keeping all four wheels firmly gripping the track surface and you’ll see a nice drop in your lap times.
This one is really pretty simple. You obviously don’t want to hit anything dead-on as this can not only cause you to lose significant speed and momentum, but it can also injure you and cause significant damage to your car. But beyond that, even just slight rubbing contacts with things such as walls or other racers can cause you to lose speed and therefore slow your lap times down. In short, rubbing against something creates friction and friction slows you down. So while bumping and rubbing might make for some exciting, action-filled racing, it’s definitely not the fastest. When battling for position on the track, avoid making contact with your opponent and the retaining barriers as much as possible and you’ll have a much easier time chasing them down.
If you’ve got the itch for some high-speed racing action, head on over to MB2 Raceway for a heart-pounding indoor go-karting experience. Whether you are a seasoned racer or have never rolled around a track in your life, all drivers who are over 57” tall and at least 12 years old can have fun experiencing the exhilarating high-speeds of our fully-electric European-style go-karts. Public races are available daily at any of our five locations, and all safety equipment is provided.
Call us at (866) 986-RACE today for more information or contact us online with any questions regarding our state-of-the-art public racing facilities.