On track problems


old fart
I'm real quick to run my mouth asking others to tell us and describe, what their on track problems are.

I have said on here, before the crash, ... btc, that if I do have a skill it's being able to identify on track problems from behind the fence. Well if it's that important to me and I think it's important for others to do the same, maybe we ought to talk about how to see and what to look for in "on track problems".

I'll throw out a few easy ones and describe a hard one to see to get things started. I'm sure there are a lot of them that are obvious when shown to us, but easy to not be able to see unless pointed out.

I'll take the easy and say look at the steering wheel and how it's being turned compared to what the the race vehicle is doing. Notice I say race vehicle. If there true on track problems, they will carry across the board to cars. Next easy one is do they back into the wall or run into the wall. ... :)

Here's a tough one. Are you able to see when weight transfers from the left to right rear tire? I almost feel from the other side of the fence, I can 'feel' it happening watching rear tires.

next? anyone? don't fear your tongue. ... :)

edit: for what it's worth if you ever see me at a track, I'm the person standing in the weeds watching karts enter the turn way far away from the pits and from where everyone else stands. You'll wonder what the heck that guy is doing out there where nobody goes, ... well, he's checkin out your kart from where you never even think to see it. You who race for points, have you ever thought that you watch the race from the same old place every week, seeing the same old things every week? Ya know, you get jaded to the speed and everything else your karts doing out on the track, if you watch from the same place every week.
Iam glad you have that sixth sense. Somebody had better hire him to be there crew cheif before he gets away.
I am the dad that stands behind the fence in the weeds watching my son make laps watching his hands an tires. Weigh transfer is hard to see with high air pressure. Still working on that one any pointers
before I got behind the wheel of the kart, I was the owner/crew chief/ mechanic/chief bottle washer and all round "you do it" guy for our mini stock...I learned long ago that you watch everything....first it was getting into the corner towers (we have one on each turn) and look down at the car...seeing how it enters, middle and exits the corner. then I started looking inside the car in the corners and seeing how Jeremy (son) was turning (either fighting it or just smoothly turning). then I started looking at the tires themselves. once he got back to the pits, I took tire temps and pressures to see if they grew or where stable, where the high and low temps were across the tire and the wear pattern...to help see the roll of the tire in the corner, I used duct tape (usually florescent orange or yellow)....putting it from inside the rim to the contact patch. then after a practice or heat, i'd look at the tape. this helped show me how much the tire was rolling over in the corners...only so much of the tape would wear off leaving the edge of the tape that didn't touch the track. this also helped in showing me how far the weight it transferring from left to right. I also looked for heat patterns...the bluing on the tire showing where excess heat was building at the edge of the tire from either too much pressure or not enough.

there is so much that the tires can tell you about your setup and how the kart is handling on the track. now granted, I race on asphalt, but all of this is used on dirt as well. the tape trick...well it helps me to see how far the tire is rolling over in the turns. when it looks like its getting almost to the rim, then it means that I have to come up in pressure...when it stops right at the edge of the contact patch with very little roll over, I got too much and the tire isn't gripping, it slipping...

oh...and if you try the tape trick...it also helps to see the tire! it's hard to see what the tire is doing with a black rim, black tire and under track lighting!!

I was also in the weeds watching....from the inside of the track tho! i'd lay down (we have a wall around the inside that it higher than the track surface) right at the edge and really look at the car as it was rolling thru the corners. you'd be amazed at what you can see if you really look...