When is it the Kart, when is it the driver

PeteL

Member
I have three race weekends, while I am improving, I am currently 3 seconds off the pace. How much of that difference is my driving v. Kart/engine setup.
I run LO206 on a sprint course. Getting lots of practice and a seeing improved lap times each session, but still way off the pace. My lap times generally stay within one second of eachother, with very little variance. So at least I am consistent.
 

racing promotor

Moderator
If your lap times are improving with NO changes to the kart or tires it's not the kart, once that stops and you feel it's the kart it saves a lot of time and frustration by having a more experienced racer take it out and shake it down, if there quicker that confirms work on you if not work on the kart.
I do this a lot with newer kids on dirt oval racing when it's clear to me it's the driver but parents think it's the kart.
 

PeteL

Member
Good point. I am getting to know some of the racers at my track, and intend to ask one of them to take my kart out and see what they think. Another racer followed me for a few laps at a practice session, and said for the most part, my line was good, except for the hairpins, where I was turning in too early. The only changes I have made, are gearing per other's advice and minor tire pressure. Appreciate the response. FYI for all, I run senior heavy, would be a master if we had that class.
 
I started racing karts in 1980, street races and asphalt then switched to dirt. Once my equipment was up to par with everyone else I would get as much practice as I could. The main thing I would do is find the fast guys and get behind them and follow them and mimic their driving and their lines. This way you see where they are hitting the apexes and what parts of the track they are using. You`ll have an inherent fear of spinning out but by doing this you will learn the limits of the track, your kart and your driving ability. Also, while they are on the track go stand along the fence and see where they are hitting the apexes compared to other slower drivers. Keep notes of any and all changes you make to the kart so that you can review whether they worked or not. If you get someone to shake down your kart maybe they`ll let you try theirs so you can feel the difference.
 
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fatboy1dh

Member
What kart are you on? What track? Most modern karts are capable of running within a few tenths of each other. If you are only 3 race weekends in, just keep driving! You will get there. Like said before, take lots of notes. Attention to detail will help speed up the process (pun intended).
 

alvin l nunley

Site Supporter
I know you don't want to hear this, but, +/- .5 seconds is not considered, by anyone I know, consistent. When you get it down to +/- .1 then you can consider yourself "close". A good driver can put laps together that are +/- .050, consistently. It took me 3 or 4 years to even get close to that.
Engine or driver, that is the question? Another question; engine or kart? Tuner or engine? To eliminate the engine from the equation, find someone with a dyno and test your engine! It may be a bit expensive, but it's all part of a process of illumination. Eliminate/confirm the question if your engines good or not. Ask the dyno operator if he has tested an engine like yours before, and tell him you want to compare your dyno curves to others.
 

sundog

Member
How tall are you and how big is the track? I have several karting championships on short tracks but I'm 6'1" with a big upper body and I'm 5 sec off the pace at a 1 mile track because of aero drag. Also, having someone else drive your kart isn't going to help unless they are the same height and weight as you. So much depends on vertical CG on asphalt. Make sure your toe is straight ahead and get your kart scaled. More seat time will help but if you're making the same mistakes over and over you have to learn another way too. Slowing down before the turn then drive perfectly through it is better than going as fast as you can into the turn then sliding around. Try not to skid the tires anywhere with a low powered kart.
 
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PeteL

Member
Thanks for all the responses... I am at Bushnell in Florida, the chassis is a 2015 MGM, and the engine is lo206, probably several years old. Plan is to run the last race in November, and during the break between seasons get a new engine for next year. This year I only ran the last 4 races, and I get out to practice, twice between races, at least. My class minimum weight is 390, and I am usually within two pounds of that depending on my body weight. 5 10, 220 for an average weight.
 

flattop1

Dawg 89
As too the engine . Dyno testing as stated would confirm or deny that issue .
They say the lo206 last a long time , the main thing needed for preformance is a valve job .
 

alvin l nunley

Site Supporter
How tall are you and how big is the track? I have several karting championships on short tracks but I'm 6'1" with a big upper body and I'm 5 sec off the pace at a 1 mile track because of aero drag.
That reminded me; in about 1988, we built a Sprint SIT-UP KT for Sears Point Raceway. 2.2 miles I think. My driver, 6 foot 1, (he sat very tall in the seat) led the race from start to finish. Ray Bobo, a consistent winner at that track, a rather short guy, couldn't get past us anywhere on the track. He could only keep up because of the draft.
 

Ted Hamilton

Helmet Painter / Racer
^^ My buddy lost (came in 2nd) in the WKA RR championship with Rotax FR125 because the winner was a [EDIT:]disabled driver who could basically disappear behind the nassau panel on the long track straights.... Kinda' hard to dog the guy for that advantage, but was frustrating for my buddy for sure! He'd whip that guy in the twisty slow stuff, but on a long track, there's just not enough of that to matter... /endhijack
 
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alvin l nunley

Site Supporter
^^ My buddy lost (came in 2nd) in the WKA RR championship with Rotax FR125 because the winner was a disabled amputee who could basically disappear behind the nassau panel on the long track straights.... Kinda' hard to dog the guy for that advantage, but was frustrating for my buddy for sure! He'd whip that guy in the twisty slow stuff, but on a long track, there's just not enough of that to matter... /endhijack
Hard to picture that. What does the loss of your legs have to do with the height of your head when you're sitting in a Kart? In northern California they have rules for sit-up sprints that cover the seat. Basically, it has to be a Sprint kart style seat and can only be laid back so far.
 

Ted Hamilton

Helmet Painter / Racer
HE turned completely sideways in the seat.... and scrunched helmet down. He had less frontal area, and on a long track like Mid-Ohio, that makes a difference.
 

ClarkSr

Member
Wow Ted, I remember that guy. I believe he had a throttle he would operate with the side of his leg. I don't believe he had feet on either leg. The one good hand operated the brake and did most of the steering. No hand on the other arm as I recall. A major birth defect I believe. And he was very fast!!
Sorry off subject.
Along with what everyone else has suggested, it's always worth having a fast guy take your kart out for a few laps. They can guide you on what your kart may need, make suggestions, and let you know very quickly if it's the kart and/or you. Even if the kart is OK for them, they may have suggestions on how to make it a little more freindly for a new driver. Don't be shocked if they turn a LOT better times then you, because they will. You can waste a lot of time chasing setups when all you need is more time in the seat.
Clark Gaynor Sr.
 

bm130

Member
Thanks for all the responses... I am at Bushnell in Florida, the chassis is a 2015 MGM, and the engine is lo206, probably several years old. Plan is to run the last race in November, and during the break between seasons get a new engine for next year. This year I only ran the last 4 races, and I get out to practice, twice between races, at least. My class minimum weight is 390, and I am usually within two pounds of that depending on my body weight. 5 10, 220 for an average weight.
Bush Nell’s are hard track to drive plus to 20 pounds in a master is 206 class at 3:90 that’s a lot of weight and binds the card up it’s going to slow you down a lot I’m having that trouble now and a Masters class
 

PeteL

Member
Bush Nell’s are hard track to drive plus to 20 pounds in a master is 206 class at 3:90 that’s a lot of weight and binds the card up it’s going to slow you down a lot I’m having that trouble now and a Masters class
It's definitely a fun track. With the weight class, I am right at 390. Sometimes I need to add 5 lbs, but most of the time I am within a pound or two of the minimum weight. (390) I am not giving up any weight. There were only 4 SR HVY karts last weekend. 3 ran both races nose to tail within 10ths of eachother, then there was me. So at least I know what I am chasing.
 

mike97760

Site Supporter
When youre with faster karts in practice or races, do you see places on the track where they are faster than you on a consistent basis? Straights, sharp turns, faster turns? Corner entry or exit?
 

PeteL

Member
When youre with faster karts in practice or races, do you see places on the track where they are faster than you on a consistent basis? Straights, sharp turns, faster turns? Corner entry or exit?
Hairpins probably cost me the most time.
 
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