Racing Lines – what are they and why do you need them?13 Feb 2015
Before you jump into that Kart there are a few things you should know to improve your performance on the track and score bragging rights in the pit lane.
You might have heard Martin Brundle talk about racing lines while watching the Formula 1 – well just like the right racing line can take seconds off a lap time in professional racing, getting the racing line right in Go-Karting can be the difference between a podium finish and paying for your mate’s lunch.
What are Racing Lines?
The racing line is the theoretical path a driver should take around corners, so that they slow down less, go through the corner faster and exit with speed. So how does it work?
Approaching the corner
As you approach a corner, you obviously need to slow down, especially if you are coming off a straight. At the same time you need to position your go-kart on the outside of the track.
The aim here is to optimise the angle of the path you take, so that you do not lose too much speed coming into the corner and so that you get optimal speed coming out of the corner.
Going through the corner
Assuming you have taken enough speed off your go-kart you want to turn into the corner, aiming to get as close to the apex as possible.
Exiting the corner
Once you feel your go-kart stop resisting the turn and as you leave the apex you want to accelerate out of the corner. How fast you accelerate is dependent on what is coming up next, but in general you want to give the go-kart a good go so you can get back up to top speed.
A Few Tips
- You want to do most of your braking before you start to turn into the corner, if you’re braking while you’re turning you have probably gone in too fast.
- If you are new to Go-karting it’s generally a good idea to start off slower through the corner and then build up your speed as you get a better feel for the Go-Kart and the track. In fact you may find by slowing down sooner you actually improve your corner speed and track times overall.
- More advanced techniques look at earlier or later braking points, which can be dictated by how fast you want to exit the corner. For now though, it’s probably best to focus on getting through the corner in a smooth manner at a speed you’re comfortable with!