The REAL epidemic😮

jaymancds

Premium User
This post may not be for everyone but there are so many people that will benefit from realizing the driving is where their effort is best focused to get improvement. Sure, it’s obvious you’d love to have the perfect kart/engine setup, but it’s simply not worth sacrificing the opportunity to work on driving to pick up a tenth working on the kart. “Don’t step over dollars to pick up pennies!”
So I preface my comment with this, I am new to karting, I have made a total of about 30 laps on a test n tune day.

I understand that my "style" is definitely not consistent yet. I am going in eyes open to how I need to learn how to drive the kart fast. However, in my case, my test and tune day, I realized very quickly that my setup was absolutely terrible. Not even in the ball park of decent. I was trying different lines and techniques to try and help it, but it was just abysmal. So my first question was a mechanical/setup question because I don't want to learn a bad habit because of a terrible setup. I know that I need to learn the lines and styles, but until the kart is drivable, I couldn't hit a good line to save my life.

I also know, that there is no way on earth someone can tell me what it will take for ME to be fast. I have to learn what works for me. I will take suggestions from the fast guys, such as the 4 time track champion, but even he can't tell me everything I need to do. The idea that somebody can just jump on any kart, and be fast simply by learning the technique is a pretty narrow view point IMHO.

To your point about "driving styles", it may not be the best term for what I believe to be "how to be the fastest you can be, while being comfortable so as not to wreck". And everyone has a little different style. Maybe you like a tight setup and I like a loose one, you may not be fast on mine, and I may not be fast on yours. No matter the line or technique, if the setup doesn't fit you wont be fast IMHO.
 

JPMKarting

Premium User
When it comes to kart racing, there is no such thing as "driving style" as Gary mentioned.

Whether it's sprint or dirt oval, "driving style" is virtually non existent. Maximizing the speed of a track is all that matters. When you are working with low horsepower racing machines, driving style goes out the window. This is even more apparent on dirt ovals, where the groove is what the groove is, and the kart needs to be 100% to maximize speed over a run.

Consistency while driving, is another story. Really good oval racers can run laps within hundredths of each other. In the sprint world, I would suspect the same, maybe within a tenth or two would be considered consistent.

I work with people all the time that tell me, "I like a loose kart". Sorry bud, this isnt a 410 sprint car. If you are going sideways, you arent going forward, and going sideways is slow. The fastest oval karts are the ones that are just on the edge of a push. Maximizing forward drive.

I would suspect the sprint side of things likely requires a kart that is a touch free to be able to rotate as the kart transitions left to right. But i've ran maybe 15 road course races in my life, so take that for what its worth.

On the sprint side, I could run a 32.7 and Gary could hop in and run a 32.0. On the oval side, if Im running 13.2's, Gary can hop in and is going to run 13.2's.
 

gary10

Member
I routinely work with newer drivers that drop multiple seconds in a day by me telling them how to drive.
And I will tell you like anyone else I coach. There’s never an excuse to run a poor line no matter how bad the kart is handling. But yes, you are correct that you would be better off learning habits on a proper handling kart. However the best drivers can adapt their technique to make the kart follow the proper line. That is why good drivers can and will get in your poorly handling kart and instantly go faster than you think your kart could ever go in it’s current condition. Guaranteed.
 
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flattop1

Dawg 89
So I preface my comment with this, I am new to karting, I have made a total of about 30 laps on a test n tune day.

I understand that my "style" is definitely not consistent yet. I am going in eyes open to how I need to learn how to drive the kart fast. However, in my case, my test and tune day, I realized very quickly that my setup was absolutely terrible. Not even in the ball park of decent. I was trying different lines and techniques to try and help it, but it was just abysmal. So my first question was a mechanical/setup question because I don't want to learn a bad habit because of a terrible setup. I know that I need to learn the lines and styles, but until the kart is drivable, I couldn't hit a good line to save my life.

I also know, that there is no way on earth someone can tell me what it will take for ME to be fast. I have to learn what works for me. I will take suggestions from the fast guys, such as the 4 time track champion, but even he can't tell me everything I need to do. The idea that somebody can just jump on any kart, and be fast simply by learning the technique is a pretty narrow view point IMHO.

To your point about "driving styles", it may not be the best term for what I believe to be "how to be the fastest you can be, while being comfortable so as not to wreck". And everyone has a little different style. Maybe you like a tight setup and I like a loose one, you may not be fast on mine, and I may not be fast on yours. No matter the line or technique, if the setup doesn't fit you wont be fast IMHO.
Your new and have ran 30 laps .
Still you want to disagree with the experts .
It is going to be quite hard to have the setup on a 2016 ultra max exceed that far off . Driving technique and the ability to listen is paramount to learning how to get faster .
 

gary10

Member
While most 206 racers run sprint, most members on this forum run dirt oval. My comments are mostly directed towards sprint but can often apply to both. Dirt is easier to be close on lap time Being that there is only two turns and many times you barely need to let off the gas let alone use the brakes.
 

jaymancds

Premium User
Your new and have ran 30 laps .
Still you want to disagree with the experts .
It is going to be quite hard to have the setup on a 2016 ultra max exceed that far off . Driving technique and the ability to listen is paramount to learning how to get faster .
I disagree with the idea that there is no "driving style" in karting. I have no problem with someone who knows what they are doing being faster than me on my kart. I truly would expect nothing less. I will also agree that listening and learning, and application of learned principles are the best way to get quicker, but all of the advice in the world wont fix a poorly setup kart. It may help, but it wont fix it.
 

gary10

Member
Lots of good things here. This may be unpopular, but it is my own personal experience. If anyone is not a believer, I have a very easy test for you to do.

I think all guys who have dyno'd 206s would agree that the new spark plug is a power gainer over the old (reportedly between 0.2-0.3hp). We, as engine "builders", would kill for that extra 0.3hp (let alone for only $5). So, do an on-track back to back. Send your driver out with the old plug. Then send him out with the new plug. Then send him back out with the old plug again. I think you will find that the middle run was not magically a few tenths faster than the previous runs. In fact, I bet you will find the runs overlap with a few faster laps and a few slower laps in each run.

I'm just trying to prove that even a huge power gain like 0.3hp (in a spec 8hp engine class) will not give you the magic "half second" you are looking for.
I really like this post. Mainly because you have a known gain in horsepower of 3/10 approximately and it’s hard to notice anything on the track. But at the same time, you have people chasing a quarter turn on the airspeed screw or changing the needle clip one notch and you don’t even get HP To change as much as a spark plug affected. This should indicate how much a waste of time it is to try to tune essentially meaningless when so many people are off more than half second. It just further proves how much more important driving is than fine tuning a 206 package when you are off the pace.
 

Chuck61

Member
I have to give Gary a ton of credit for bringing this virus subject up. For years I have sat back and read post after post about the "Magic screw" that can be turned or twisted and "Bam" your National Champion. It doesn't work like that.
When it comes to driving coaches in my opinion, Gary does a fantastic job. Especially with kids. My kids would listen to others quicker than listening to me.

I have read tons of posts from Brian, Jimbo, Steve, Gary and I give these guys a lot of credit for putting up with the "I'm new to the sport" questions they get and hear every week. It is needed so badly for new racers to ask questions and get knowledgeable answers.

There are few short cuts in racing that I have found.
Seat time, seat time, seat time. When you think you had enough seat time, get some more and get a coach. There is no substitute!!!

There is nothing wrong with wanting answers to mechanical questions. But this for a new person only fixes the smallest portion of the problem.

THE NUT BEHIND THE WHEEL (driver) is what is in need of the most attention for a person new to this sport.

Karting in the USA is probably the most difficult sport to get involved in. We have so many classes and options 2 cycle (Tags ,Roks, Shifter ,KA, KT), 4 cycle, (206, clones, Predators, Vintage, Tillotson) Oval (dirt and paved) Sprint and road course. This doesn't even start on chassis's for the karting.
This is not like playing football, basketball or baseball.

How many rule sets are there for karting in the USA?

This sport is overwhelming to get involved in not only mentally but financially. In my opinion The 206 has been a God send for this sport.

Top drivers make it look so easy!!!

So learn setups. Learn about engines. Focus on becoming a driver, that will get you to the winner circle and keep you there.

Thanks Gary
 

flattop1

Dawg 89
The three look ask do for me .
Look at engine verify its adequate.
Ask about gear .
Put new tires on .
That leaves only driver and chassis .
 

paulkish

old fart
@gary10 if you could finish this sentence..

We are a half second off, I am going to put down the wrench and look\ask\do these three things.....
Per the jist of this thread ...

When ever my son would come it and rpm's were down(and lap times) the first thing I always asked him was do we need to put more gear on.

Each and every time he would turn, look at the track and think for awhile.
Each and every time he would then answer me "no dad i'll fix it with air pressure".

No more discussion was needed, we understood each other and the rpm's would go back up.

... nuff said?
 

Tutwiler9

Member
My question was somewhat hypothetical. It was a follow up question to the original premise of focusing on fundamentals over tuning. I get pretty good feedback from my driver. Where he loses or gains...where grip may be lacking etc. We have worked pretty hard on the communication part of it. However, I do look at times too deep into mychron data, small adjustments...etc

Sometimes I wish it were as easy as the taller gear trick.
 
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gary10

Member
@gary10 if you could finish this sentence..

We are a half second off, I am going to put down the wrench and look\ask\do these three things.....
1. Walk the track with the driver and talk about turn in points, when to brake and accelerate, and using the entire track. Depending on age and maturity start one corner at a time until each is mastered and expect to have to come back to a corner as they forget.
2. Review Go pro footage and discuss same topics above.
3. Review and compare Mychron GPS data to your own best laps as well as another faster driver ideally. More for you own knowledge than the young driver to be able to focus your teaching on more specific areas.

That is the approach I take working with drivers.
 

Tutwiler9

Member
1. Walk the track with the driver and talk about turn in points, when to brake and accelerate, and using the entire track. Depending on age and maturity start one corner at a time until each is mastered and expect to have to come back to a corner as they forget.
2. Review Go pro footage and discuss same topics above.
3. Review and compare Mychron GPS data to your own best laps as well as another faster driver ideally. More for you own knowledge than the young driver to be able to focus your teaching on more specific areas.

That is the approach I take working with drivers.

Thank you Gary.

Now we can say enough was said.
 

Jimbo

A trial w/o witnesses is like racin w/o tech
Gary did a chassis seminar for our local club a little over a year ago and also talked a little bit about driving and i can tell you that everyone that attended was very impressed.
If you are looking for a very educational presentation Gary's your guy. (y)
 

jjchat

Member
If your downloading and analyzing data, Gary's suggestion number 3 has been a breakthrough strategy for kids I work with. There is also a split analysis page you can open that will show the best theoretical which helps to keep a kid motivated when they think they can't go any faster. Also, you can identify the quickest time through a segment and then compare that lap / segment to an more average or even bad lap and segment on the GPS and line data pages. When a kid sees the difference a good line makes, it is much easier to keep them on that line.
 

paulkish

old fart
I think kids loose interest in things explained by adults because they get it quick because their young minds are so much brighter and better then the mind of the adult explaining. The experience they lack because they are so darn much smarter sinks in much quicker when explained then adults realize.

The quick lack of interest is not because they get board it's because they get it quickly and the adult is still going on and on and because they didn't get that the kid understood, the boredom is real because the adult does become boring and redundant.

If your an adult and you read this far you just read a perfect example of redundant boring stuff. ... :)
 

Jimbo

A trial w/o witnesses is like racin w/o tech
And some people say the school systems are failing out kids.
My grand kids are doing math in grades 1, 2 and 3 that amazes me.
Their parents are also very supportive and spend a lot of time with them.
 
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