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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys,

I've recently gotten the MS3 and in preparation for the upcoming autocross season, I've begun Kart racing at a local indoor karting facility. It's a pretty active facility with enough of a competitive environment to make it fun. I've done around 42 laps(50 secs per lap) since January and am having some problems controlling the kart. When I exit the corner, the rear tires can spin(not all the time though) and I get super frustrated from it. I go weekly and see small improvements until that last 14-21 laps I've driven where I've hit the wall and only do 51-50 secs a lap. The quickest time at the track is 44.8xx.

Notes about the track:

1. Rented Electric Karts with a detuned top speed of 30 mph. The condition of the karts are unknown and there's some variation from kart to kart. I've had Kart's veer to the left under heavy braking and other stay completely straight during the same corner.

2. The track consists of 5 hairpins out of 16 corners and the length of the track is 2000 feet long.

3. During the major straights, the road is bumpy and some kart's bumper guards(since I don't know the real name of these contraptions) actually hit the ground.


Some notes about the last 7 laps I've driven(Yesterday):
1. After constant reading about racing techniques and reviewing material I SHOULD know from years of web surfing before I got my license, I've come to the conclusion that I've been turning in too early! Now the explanation for that is because I always thought that the quickest way around a corner is the geometrical apex of the corner. However, I've read articles and forum advice and read that the quickest way around a corner is mostly a late apex to prepare for the upcoming corners and straights and sometimes even an early apex. I've tried to apply this concept to my driving yesterday and actually felt VERY comfortable with my Kart and induced little tire spin. I was however, a little slower from my fastest lap of 50.3 -> 51.2. I'm sure this is understandable because I'm trying something new.

2. Confused about "smooth" in terms of driving technique. I watch autocross videos, hpde's, and kating videos and their steering is so different compared to mine. I'm sure watching videos of completely different driving environments doesn't help at all. I'm still trying to find that perfect blend of quick steering input and how close I should get to the maximum steering angle of kart. How hard do I have to brake and how long I should hold onto that brake. Brake so quick that my feet are a blur or what? How about when I'm depressing the accelerator out of a corner exit? These are all questions that go through my head before the race and during the race.

3. A person who's very quick(one of the few to hit under 44 secs at the track) had a TTOD of 47.xxx and when I raced with him got a 48.xxx. This is a tidbit to hopefully close of uncertainty about track conditions and other variables which could result in a lower time, although I'm 100% sure that my driving technique is at fault.


This thread will serve as a little endeavor of a newbie to racing and my debut to autocross and motorsports(In real life - Had PLENTY of video game experience! :p). So if there are any comments, feedback, experiences, or suggestions, just post up!


-- Happy Motoring!
 

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Karting is really fun! These are things one of my friends who's one of the fastest drivers at our local karting place has told me... maybe they'll apply to you too?

Make sure to get off the brake and onto the throttle as quickly as possible to accelerate out of the turns. It should be like one fluid motion. Also be sure to roll quickly into and out of both acceleration and braking, don't ever just stab the pedals, that's usually when the tires break loose or you scrub off speed.

Steering input should be quick, but not too large... you want to hold the wheel at the lowest turning angle possible to stay on the line. For example if you have to turn the wheel further than you expect to make a turn, you're probably entering too fast. If you enter the turn a little slower you won't have to turn as sharply and will be able to get back on the throttle sooner and harder.

P.S. don't think about any of this stuff too much when you start autocrossing, the main point is to have fun ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
[quote author=cali_axela link=topic=135620.msg2919861#msg2919861 date=1234033818]
Karting is really fun! These are things one of my friends who's one of the fastest drivers at our local karting place has told me... maybe they'll apply to you too?

Make sure to get off the brake and onto the throttle as quickly as possible to accelerate out of the turns. It should be like one fluid motion. Also be sure to roll quickly into and out of both acceleration and braking, don't ever just stab the pedals, that's usually when the tires break loose or you scrub off speed.

I've never tried that, but I'll give it a try after two or three more visits.

Steering input should be quick, but not too large... you want to hold the wheel at the lowest turning angle possible to stay on the line. For example if you have to turn the wheel further than you expect to make a turn, you're probably entering too fast. If you enter the turn a little slower you won't have to turn as sharply and will be able to get back on the throttle sooner and harder.

I think a tell tale sign that I'm steering too much for the turn is when I hear the front tires skidding. Not sure if that's what it really means though

P.S. don't think about any of this stuff too much when you start autocrossing, the main point is to have fun ;)

I probably won't, but anyone who does this kind of sport wants to get faster and faster. I realize that it's going to be a difficult transition to apply whatever I learn from Karting to the MS3 and autocross, but that in itself should be one hell of an experience
[/quote]
 

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I drove a 125cc 2 cycle kart before, it is very different from a car. You never turn the steering wheel more than 30 degrees in a kart, or else you be scrubbing off too much speed... Just play with the throttle to control where you want the kart to go and lift off the on the entry of the hairpins, you should get enough rotation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
[quote author=justint5387 link=topic=135620.msg2920089#msg2920089 date=1234043306]
I drove a 125cc 2 cycle kart before, it is very different from a car. You never turn the steering wheel more than 30 degrees in a kart, or else you be scrubbing off too much speed... Just play with the throttle to control where you want the kart to go and lift off the on the entry of the hairpins, you should get enough rotation.
[/quote]

Yeah, I can certainly see the two being very different. I'm mentally preparing myself by doing this and having loads of fun! I just wanted to voice myself and get as much feed back as possible. The desire to improve my driving technique is why I'm doing this. I'm doing the Karting thing as a way to approach improvement. Whether or not it helps is something that can only be answered through my own experiences.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
[quote author=billj747 link=topic=135620.msg2923114#msg2923114 date=1234165436]
Hit up a HPDE track day in your Speed3. I think you'll find very enjoyable. MS3s are very at home on tracks IMO.
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That, good sir, will have to wait. The only reason I won't be doing them first is because of the initial cost to participate. I hear of fees as little as $125 all the way up to $300+ for a weekend. I know that's dependant on the track as well. It's not like I never thought of the idea and I actually hope to do one in the summer(notice I talk about spring in my original message).
 
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