How To Go Kart Like Lewis Hamilton
How To Go Kart Like Lewis Hamilton
Karting is one of the most exciting and exhilarating activities you could wish to take part in. There are very few things quite like the thrill of buzzing along at up to 50 miles per hour at only 5 cms off the ground! Here is Videojug's guide to the techniques that will get your motor running...
Step 1: Throttle and Brakes
If you've never driven a kart before the first thing to remember is that the throttle is controlled with your right foot whilst your left foot controls the brake. You should only use one or the other, never both at the same time as this will burn out the brake. Apply them smoothly to ensure fast and controlled driving. Harsh application of either pedal will upset the kart's balance and cause the kart to lose grip.
Step 2: Steering
Your hands should hold the steering wheel in the quarter to 3 position, and your grip should be as loose as possible. Not only will this combat hand fatigue, it will also improve your sensitivity to any feedback from the wheel. When cornering, concentrate on controlling the steering-wheel with progressive movements in a smooth arc. Always remember to unwind the steering wheel with just as much care when exiting corners.
Step 3: Basic Cornering
To negotiate a corner you need to make your line through it the one which offers the widest radius, this is known as 'straightening' the corner. Basic cornering can be broken down into 3 phases:
- The Turn-in - Approach the corner from the outside edge of the track. After the initial braking zone, begin to turn into the corner so that you are aiming towards the inside of the track, known as the apex.
- The Apex - This is the mid-point of the corner, closest to the inside edge of track, and is what you should be aiming to clip as you guide around the corner
- The Exit - As you come out of the corner you need to work your way to the outside edge of the track as you reapply the throttle. This will ensure that you exit the corner as fast as possible.
If you enter a corner in a smaller diameter arc the tyres will become overworked and you will lose traction, causing the car to slide or spin out.
Step 4: Hairpins
Applying the basic principles of cornering to a hairpin, the only thing you need to change is delaying your 'Turn-in.' This will mean you have to steer more sharply into the corner, but this should be manageable as you are travelling at a slower speed. Aim for a very late apex, allowing for you to build your speed back up as quickly as possible when exiting.
Step 5: Overtaking
Before attempting to overtake a competitor, you should follow directly behind them, in what is known as their slipstream, before moving out smoothly to take advantage of the reduced drag on your kart. If you wish to make a pass before a corner you need to get alongside them during the breaking zone and take control of the inside line. Once your front bumper is past the halfway point of their kart you're in a strong position to out brake them into the corner. If you stay as close to the racing line as possible and hit the corner's apex correctly, you should come out in front.
Step 6: Weight Shifting
Once you've mastered the basics you can enhance your karting abilities by using your body weight. When cornering try leaning to the outside of the corner to transfer more weight to the outside tyres. This will aid their traction and decrease the load on the inside tyres, allowing the kart to corner more efficiently. When exiting corners you should also try leaning back to enhance the traction of the rear tyres and hence your acceleration.
Now you know the basics, get practicing, and who knows, you could be the next Lewis Hamilton!