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Old 11-30-2013, 07:07 PM
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Mark Dreyer
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Default Karting

How many of ya'll do karting in between (or in lieu of) tracking your car? If so, do you find that this helps hone your skills in a car at the track? I did a Kart event for the first time ever today in a junky looking rental kart-probably top speed around 50 or so.

My observations:

1. Dang, there is a lot of vibration. Is this part and parcel of a kart not having a suspension, or could it be the fact that I was driving a cruddy rental kart?

2. I had read that these karts can pull 3g's. Not sure if I was anywhere near that, but I can say that the cornering was impressive, more so than I can do in my car which is set up with an AST suspension. I eventually learned that many of the turns could be taken without much if any braking. The cart seemed to stick like glue through the turns although I did manage to exceed the grip level a couple times and spin.

3. I was getting nauseous. I never have this driving my car at the track. I felt like I was fairly smooth. I imagine this problem was due to the high g's through the turns? Have any of ya'll experienced this and can I expect it to decrease if I perservere in this hobby and get smoother/more used to it? I wear a scopolamine patch when I instruct at the track since I sometimes get nauseous with some students. Maybe the patch is the answer?

4. Even though I like to think I'm an ok driver in my car at the track, I totally sucked in the kart. I worked 4 seconds off my time over the course of three ten minute sessions. However I was still several seconds off the pace of the fastest drivers. It was a one mile course.
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Old 11-30-2013, 07:47 PM
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Best driving and racing IMO, and many F1 drivers still kart in the off season as they say its the closest thing to F1 minus the aero.

I love karting but its very tough on the body, because of the high G's and close racing i have seperated and broken a few ribs in the last year or so and that was not fun... but I was back in the kart and the race car as soon as they healed!

Also have a karting hobby and a racing hobby together can get expensive really fast.. but I can race my kart with new tires, gas, and crew for a weekend for less than 2 slicks on my cup
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Old 11-30-2013, 08:30 PM
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I race a 2 stroke Rotax DD2 Kart, but I am pretty new to Kart racing. Here are my observations based on your observations.

Originally Posted by Mark Dreyer View Post
1. Dang, there is a lot of vibration. Is this part and parcel of a kart not having a suspension, or could it be the fact that I was driving a cruddy rental kart?
Karting is a physical experience, but vibrations? Some yes, in fact you really need to pay attention to your screws, nuts and bolts that keep everything together because over time they will come loose thanks to the vibrations. But very high levels of vibrations are more likely the result of you driving a clunker of a rental.

Originally Posted by Mark Dreyer View Post
2. I had read that these karts can pull 3g's. Not sure if I was anywhere near that, but I can say that the cornering was impressive, more so than I can do in my car which is set up with an AST suspension. I eventually learned that many of the turns could be taken without much if any braking. The cart seemed to stick like glue through the turns although I did manage to exceed the grip level a couple times and spin.
Sounds like you were driving a 4 stroke. You won't get anywhere close to 3Gs in a 4 stroke. My DD2 can get close to 3Gs in the high speed sweepers, but it is still lower than 3Gs. Something more like 2.5-3 Gs. The full blown Shifter Karts are the most physical Kart you can drive and in my DD2 as well as the Shifters you better believe we have to brake. In fact we have two front brakes to go along with the one rear brake. The 4 strokes do brake, but not a lot. It's a different driving technique between the 4 strokes, 2 stroke Rotax Max and the Shifters.

Originally Posted by Mark Dreyer View Post
3. I was getting nauseous. I never have this driving my car at the track. I felt like I was fairly smooth. I imagine this problem was due to the high g's through the turns? Have any of ya'll experienced this and can I expect it to decrease if I perservere in this hobby and get smoother/more used to it? I wear a scopolamine patch when I instruct at the track since I sometimes get nauseous with some students. Maybe the patch is the answer?
Fatigue yes, but I've never experienced nausea due to the physical nature of the sport.

Originally Posted by Mark Dreyer View Post
4. Even though I like to think I'm an ok driver in my car at the track, I totally sucked in the kart. I worked 4 seconds off my time over the course of three ten minute sessions. However I was still several seconds off the pace of the fastest drivers. It was a one mile course.
Practice ... it's a different kind of driving. When I first showed up at the Karting track I was a good 3-4 seconds a lap slower than the speeds guys were lapping at in the races. But in time you do knock time off as you get used to the Kart. Knocking seconds off your lap times at the beginning is the easy part. It's the last few tenths that is the harder part. There is a fellow at my club who also races the Rotax DD2 and he has more experience than I have. It didn't take too long for me to get my lap times down to his times. But for sure he is a smoother driver than I am. My Kart is easy to over drive. But it is still a blast.

Google the "Rotax DD2" if you are not familiar with it. It's not as popular than the "Rotax Max", but it has more performance and is a blast to drive. It's my mini-formula car.

Last edited by My993C2; 11-30-2013 at 09:06 PM.
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Old 11-30-2013, 11:10 PM
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Shifters are extremely physical, a 20minute sprint would take the same out of me as a 3hr race in a car. (Moto125) The end of the day you are spent. No room for a kool shirt either. If it fits you the seat is very tight, brusing on the sides and ribs is a regular deal and your neck will ache from the G's. That said there is no racing like it that we mere mortals can experience. Vibration should not be that bad, a lot of rental places mount real hard tires for wear, if so forget comparing your times to the pointy end of the field. It would be about like comparing yourself to the same car with slicks while you're on dot Rs. Different world. Weight and tire pressures are vital in setup and spring rates are adjusted with axle thickness and chassis rigidity.

If you try and drive it like a car you will be slow. They need to be thrown and drifted to be fast, it's the nature of the wide fixed axle. But they are rewarding and a blast to drive.

Motion sickness isn't unusual as a passenger but a little odd as a driver. I wonder if you have a close target fixation, you may need to get your eyes up and out.
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Old 11-30-2013, 11:33 PM
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Originally Posted by J richard View Post
Shifters are extremely physical, a 20minute sprint would take the same out of me as a 3hr race in a car. (Moto125) The end of the day you are spent. No room for a kool shirt either. If it fits you the seat is very tight, brusing on the sides and ribs is a regular deal and your neck will ache from the G's. That said there is no racing like it that we mere mortals can experience. Vibration should not be that bad, a lot of rental places mount real hard tires for wear, if so forget comparing your times to the pointy end of the field. It would be about like comparing yourself to the same car with slicks while you're on dot Rs. Different world. Weight and tire pressures are vital in setup and spring rates are adjusted with axle thickness and chassis rigidity. If you try and drive it like a car you will be slow. They need to be thrown and drifted to be fast, it's the nature of the wide fixed axle. But they are rewarding and a blast to drive. Motion sickness isn't unusual as a passenger but a little odd as a driver. I wonder if you have a close target fixation, you may need to get your eyes up and out.

They do make a cool shirt for karting!

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Old 11-30-2013, 11:44 PM
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My how things have changed...of course I even had to push start my kart back in the day...
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Old 11-30-2013, 11:51 PM
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Spent the day at AMP scouting things. Thinking of selling the car racing stuff and getting a TaG 125 cart for me & my daughter to race next season. They ain't exactly cheap at around $7500 new but storage, upkeep, tow vehicle requirements etc. plus entry fees make it a lot more reasonable than club racing.
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Old 12-01-2013, 12:49 AM
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I also felt sick last summer on my 1st try in Rotax. Was ok on that front 2nd time i did it, but fatigue was still a "problem".... I just pulled the trigger on my 1st kart last week. Used 2013 chassis, no races, just lapping. About 50% of msrp, good value. Cant wait for that white thing now covering the grounds to melt!
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Old 12-01-2013, 07:28 AM
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Karting is great practice for the big cars. Like as said before, it is a huge amount of wheel time for a relatively low amount of money. I run a rotax tag in the masters class. I use a carbon rib protector which makes it a lot more comfortable. A rental kart compared to a tag or dd2 is like a stock street Porsche compared to a fast gt3cup. The rentals are 15 second a lap slower than the tag at our local track (.7 of a mile CMP). Its easy to over drive a kart. Being a drift king is fun but slow. Trail braking and adjusting the handling of the kart with just a rear brake is very challenging.
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Old 12-01-2013, 08:05 AM
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Originally Posted by AMGsound View Post
I also felt sick last summer on my 1st try in Rotax. Was ok on that front 2nd time i did it, but fatigue was still a "problem".... I just pulled the trigger on my 1st kart last week. Used 2013 chassis, no races, just lapping. About 50% of msrp, good value. Cant wait for that white thing now covering the grounds to melt!

Brand?

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Old 12-01-2013, 08:34 AM
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I ran a 125cc shifter kart for many years and as others have noted the physical demands of driving are much higher than what you encounter in your average production based track car. The driving style on a shifter generally requires more of a point and shoot mentality. Square off the corner more to get the kart straightened out so you can put the power down early. Lower power karts like 4 strokes demand a smoother, momentum style approach. The techniques required for setting up a car and a kart are quite different. Driving a shifter kart, things happen at warp speed compared to my track 951. I think that was the biggest benefit to running karts is that I feel my mental processing and reflexes improved so that I seldom feel I am getting behind the car when tracking the 951.

Last edited by crooster; 12-01-2013 at 09:11 AM.
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Old 12-01-2013, 09:19 AM
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I do 1 - 2 endurance carting races with two stoke carts in Europe per year and always get reminded that the best way to shave off a second is to lose 20 lbs.
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Old 12-01-2013, 11:12 AM
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I raced a Rotax Max about 10 years ago and did DEs with an M3 at the time and thought my driving was better with both skill sets complementing each other.

The karting was very physical, and you need several weekends to get in "karting shape" with the neck muscles needing to be conditioned especially during the end of long races. Summer heat made it even more demanding.

The karting helped the car driving insofar as everything seemed to be in slow motion in a car and there was a lot of time to do things. Conversely, the car driving helped the karting because you didn't having to manage 3000 lbs. of car and limited grip levels that may reach 1g, therefore you could really attack corners in a kart and still have that sense of balance established from the car driving.
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Old 12-01-2013, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by chrisc View Post
Spent the day at AMP scouting things. Thinking of selling the car racing stuff and getting a TaG 125 cart for me & my daughter to race next season. They ain't exactly cheap at around $7500 new but storage, upkeep, tow vehicle requirements etc. plus entry fees make it a lot more reasonable than club racing.
Karting budgets can easily exceed club racing budgets....or so I've been told.
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Old 12-01-2013, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by ltc View Post
Karting budgets can easily exceed club racing budgets....or so I've been told.
I budget 5k for the year

1k to freshen motor and 400 per weekend for tires , prep, hotel and consumables over 10 weekends


I run TAG at the Wilson circuit at Pittsburg international... Formerly beaverun

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