Karting is a sport that can be practiced at two levels: recreational or competition. Here are some of the basics of this sport and some very useful tips. When the sport is practiced in leisure, it is always useful to have some knowledge about the fundamentals of competitive driving. Thus, following these tips, you will see your lap times will reduce gradually, while fine-tuning your driving style. Unlike many other motor-sports, karting does not require long hours of driving; in half an hour of karting you’ll be set to compete. Quicker than in any other sport! So grab every opportunity to drive karts, if only 5 or 10 minutes.
Watch out for oversteer & understeer
The oversteer occurs when the rear of the kart loses traction, it can result from many factors, such as early acceleration out of corners, late braking, or wear of the rear tires. Whatever the reason, you have to react quickly, otherwise a spin-out is inevitable. This reaction is called against-steer. It consists in turning the wheels of the kart in the opposite direction of the turn, in order to restore balance. For example when negotiating a right turn you feel the rear kick-out, steer immediately and firmly to the left, until the karts back in the line with the track. Attention during a turning-against is very important, be sure not to slow down , as this would intensify oversteer. The best may even accelerate, while less experienced drivers will simply release both pedals and let the kart slow.
The understeer is simply the opposite of oversteer, discussed above. Indeed, it occurs when the front wheels loses traction. The main cause is overspeed, and the result is complete loss of controlled turning!
The only remedy to understeer is the braking . In fact, by reducing the speed, the load is transferred from the karts on the front tires and find the lost grip. It is possible to regain control, and start dominating again. However, be careful not to brake and steer at the same time, as this may cause oversteer (which you know now how to control).
What causes oversteer or understeer on a gokart from center of gravity standpoint? This video shoes how the center of gravity effects the steering of a go kart and what the optimum postioning of the center of gravity should be. To calculated the center of gravity visit go kart guru.