This circuit is the longest indoor track in the uk measuring 1050m, it has 23 challenging corners and a huge 80m straight professionally designed for the ultimate karting experience.
Turns 1 to 5
If you get it right turn 1 is a flat out left but you must turn in early, after passing the apex lift slightly and quickly turn right and shift your weight left to get grip. Turn 2 and 3 should be made into 1 smooth corner catching the apex of turn 3 and letting the kart move to the left side. Before turning into the apex of turn 4, move towards the pit entrance preparing to apply light brake pressure at the pit entrance, then turn in for 5 with the throttle back on and run as wide as possible ready for the next section.
Turns 6 to 12
This next section is where most time is lost or gained, turn 6 is flat out and stay right on the exit ready for turn 7. Turn 7 is flat out if you get it right by turning in early and hard then ease back on the steering and make it a double apex with turn 8. You need to be hugging the apex of turn 8 and the left side of the track. Turn 9 and 10 are also flat out and can be made into one smooth corner. If you get on the apex of turn 9, exit turn 10 by hugging the left side of the track. At turn 11 you need to be tight on the apex and get to the right ready for turn 12. Stay on the throttle!
Turn 13 to 17
Turn 13 is a fast easy left but on on the exit prepare for turn 14, the hairpin by race control. Move to the left ready to apply the brakes for the first time since turn 5 being careful not to lock the wheels as this will drop engine revs on the exit. On the approach to turn 15 be on the right and apply light brake pressure and get that apex with the throttle back on. Turn 16 can be taken flat out but I advise to lift quickly upon turning, to settle the kart on the bumps. Exit 16 and get to the right as quick as you can, ready for the fast long sweeping left of turn 17. You want to hugging the apex of this one.
Turn 18 to 23
After passing the mechanics workshop, turn 18 is a very slight right where you want to hug the right side to get the right line for turn 19. Turn 19 is the hardest to get right as you will be travelling fast and don’t want to lift! Take a wide exit ready for turn 20 where you apply a slight amount of brakes as you are turning into the apex. You want to be in the middle of the track on the exit as turn 21 is very close by and tight if you find yourself too far right. Turn 22 requires a lift of the throttle so you don’t run wide on the exit and turn 23 is important to get maximum speed down the start/ finish straight.
Overtaking and Insider tips
You need to be as smooth as possible with steering and pedal inputs so you keep sliding and skidding to a minimum, this just lowers your engine revs and hurts your top speed. This track has plenty of overtaking points. Turn 2 and 3 can be taken tight to position yourself on the inside for turn 4, if blocked for turn 4 then keep left to be on the inside for turn 5. The exit of turn 10 can be taken tight or wide to overtake, tight and you’re on the inside for turn 11, wide and you can overtake on the outside of turn 11 and be on the inside for turn12. Turn 15 you can position yourself wide right to gain the inside line on the exit of 15. When following another kart into turn 18, stay right slightly longer than normal and turn tight to be on the inside for turns 19 and 20. The same applies for turn 22 turn in late exiting on the right side and drive round the outside of 23. The lap record is 1m11.2s but anything in the 1m12 to 1m13 seconds is a quick lap and shows you know what you’re doing!
For more information on Capital Karts head to their website www.capitalkarts.com
Karting Girls: celebrating the girls who are taking it to the boys
Age: 17 From: Aldenham, Hertfordshire Started Karting: Age 14, 2011 When was your first race: My first race was during the winter championship in 2011. What series do you currently race in: Senior Rotax Have you won any races: Won many in corporate but none yet in Rotax.
My twin sister started racing in corporate karts and I‘d go to watch her each weekend, then I decided to have a go. At Brentwood Karting they run an academy, they have Cadets, Junior and Senior races and they meet each Sunday to compete. After 12 weeks the champion is announced but they then also have a special fun day called the All Star Cup, which allows every level of karter to compete against each other. I decided to take 1-2-1 lessons at Brentwood and got accepted into the academy. I found it a great grounding for learning karting. We raced in all weathers and we were always very competitive. I won the championship at Brentwood after racing there for about 9 months.
I then considered Club100 as many of my friends entered that, I then decided to go to Rye House and look at that track and also enter two endurances, one which was a women’s only event and the other a big group. Luckily my teams won both. That is when I met the race director of Rye House Steve Cutting, he introduced me to the Pro-Kart endurance championship and asked me if I would be interested, but when looking round his kart teams workshop I saw a Kosmic Rotax kart, this is when I decided that is what I want to drive. I began in Rotax in February 2013 in Steve’s team, Cutting Edge Racing. I had to jump straight into Junior Rotax due to my age. I’ve yet to win but have managed a good amount of podiums at Rye House and one at Kimbolton in 2013. MOLLY HART If you want to be featured here, contact firstname.lastname@example.org At first I found it quite a shock to jump into Junior Rotax considering lots of the competition on the grids have done it since Cadets (age 8). This quickly showed me that I have got limited experience and lots to learn. Unfortunately because if my age I have had to move up into senior Rotax now, I had hoped for a second year in Junior Rotax so that I could gain a bit more experience. Even though I thought this would be best, I have recently had my first weekend in Senior Rotax and managed a 6th overall which we were all pleased with.
I have always loved cars and always watched F1, but never really did think about getting into a kart. If I had to start over, the one thing I would do would be to start at the earliest stage possible. I would love to have started at an incredibly young age and have so much experience when reaching the age I am now. That said, I’m extremely happy with the results I’ve had last year; my first year in Rotax. I am also very happy with the start of this year in Senior Rotax. I am extremely lucky and happy to have the people round me who help me improve so quickly, those being my parents, and the mechanics of CER. It’s hard work to get everything working as well as possible, and to make sure you are well prepared for all weather conditions.It’s a lot of fun and I try to not take it too seriously otherwise the fun side will fade, but saying that I’m also desperate for a career in motorsport. That’ll be tough to manage without sponsors but I need to stay positive!.
We’ve enlisted the help of top Personal Trainer, Paul Suggitt to help us better prepare for a race.
Paul is qualified thorough the worldwide recognised training provider Premier International. Premier international is renowned as one of top personal training qualification out there and Paul has been teaching since Jan 2006.
Paul runs his own personal training business called PSPT situated in Norwich, Norfolk. Paul is already heavily involved with the motor racing scene working with racing drivers from the American Le Man series and is also the trainer for the Great Britain National Speedway team.
Paul says: “Having worked with other racing drivers and motor sport riders, gives me confidence in my training with Lloyd, although racing for 24 hours is a completely different ball game! The stress and strain on the body during a race is intense but doesn’t normally last over 2-3 hours. Lloyd will face all these difficulties every lap, for 24 hours.”
Having met with our driver Lloyd, Paul soon put together a plan of action that Lloyd needed to stick to. Lloyd has had some down time during the off season from last year attempt and this has given Paul plenty to work with.
Paul adds’ As Lloyd is still at university this doesn’t give us a ideal amount of time to train for this type of event, however Lloyd does have the ability and focus to train during any time off from the classroom. I recently took Lloyd to Stafford Chase which is a big national park full of hills, tracks and cycling routes. The Chase is perfect for our training, steep inclined hills for cycling and steps for running up. This type of training really gets the heart rate up and the short recovery times, keeps it up. A short recovery time teaches the heart to recovery quicker, therefore lowering the resting heart rate because the heart is becoming stronger (health benefit-lowers risk of heart disease) but also lowers the time the body needs to recover so he will be able to train at high intensities for longer.
This is just one of the new training programmes Paul has injected into Lloyds training plan, intense gym based workouts heavily involve the core muscles of the body and the yoga classes offer an ideal way to relax and recover from the past few days training.
‘Yoga is superb for recovery and flexibility but also gives Lloyd the time to focus. You can really switch off during a yoga class and concentrate on the mind’.
The mental ability for a 24 hour endurance race is absolutely crucial, if the mind isn’t prepared you are setting yourself up to fail. The body will want to switch off and shut down during stages of the 24 hours, it’s the mind that keeps the body going. Yoga really helps you prepare for such intense challenges.
The first time I went to see Lloyd I wanted to do some fitness tests to show the current state the body. Body composition tests with fat percentage, skinfold totals and circumferences where just some of the them. The Stalk is a good test to show the balance and concentration of a driver.
Stand upright on one leg
Place the opposite foot against the opposite knee with the knee pointing out
Place your arms out straight, above your head with your hands together and raise the body up onto the ball of the standing foot(heel is off the floor)
Start the clock and hold for as long as possible, stop the time if the foot comes off the knee, you lose balance on the standing leg or your hands apart
Complete the test three times and take your best score, compare below (times in seconds)
Poor Below Average Average Above Average Excellent
The Plank is a great core stability exercise, working all of the involved core abdominal muscles. This is essential for all drivers to hold a good core section and remain good posture whilst driving.
Lay on your front with your body resting on your forearms (elbows underneath shoulders)
Raise your body up so you are holding yourself up on your forearms and toes (legs straight)
Make sure the pelvis is tilted in and upwards (a straight back, no curve inwards)
Hold this position for as long as possible (remain still)
As soon as the lower back starts to sink, either correct or stop the test (compare below)
Poor Below Average Average Above Average Excellent
Male -30 secs 31-45 secs 45-60 secs 1-2 mins 2 mins +
Female -15 secs 16-25 secs 25-50 secs 50-1:15 1:15 mins +
As stamina plays an important part in Lloyds test, it is crucial that the body is able to provide the stamina for such a test
2000m Row will test the body’s ability to perform a cardiovascular exercise. This test is a maximum effort to get the best time you can. Before you start this test you must warm up first (10 mins light rowing) and make sure that you are in good health with no restrictions (speak to your doctor first if you are unsure, have a fitness expert there with you when you perform the test)
Set up the rower making sure the feet are strapped in (the strap should be across the bottom of the laces of your shoe or across the lower part of the toes
Choose your level (1-10) this can be any level, but be aware level 10 may not get you to complete the 2000m any quicker. Choose a level where it allows you to spin the rowing wheel repetitively
Use the pace guide on the rower to help you pace yourself. The average 500m time is a great tool. Set the rower up so you see projected time, this will show you your estimated finish time from your current pace. This will help you keep a steady pace all the way through the test
During the test try to keep upright and hold good posture, rowing is all about the technique!
Note down your time, repeat after a couple of weeks and try to beat your best
Stretching is one of the most important factors to improving your fitness. Stretching the muscles allow flexibility to be improved which not only keeps/improves posture but also helps keep the body injury free although general all over body stretching should be performed every day, during a training session it is sensible to stretch out the muscles that have been worked.
Rowing pretty much involves all of the body’s main muscles. Quads (front of thigh), Hamstrings (back of thigh), Calves (back of shin), Glutes (buttocks), all back muscles, triceps, biceps, shoulders and abdominals. The plank is also considered an all over toning exercise, but mainly focuses on the core abs, shoulders and the quads.
General stretching for motor sport drivers should include a long 30-60 second stretch to the following:
Forearms (Wrist Flexors)
The forearms continuously work hard holding the steering wheel, tired forearms
The shoulders rotate the arms and can be under intense strain during a race
The rotator cuff muscles are the most important of all, these muscles rotate and lift the arm in weaker positions
Triceps hold the wheel tight and under smooth control, all good racing drivers will have strong tricep muscles
Upper Back (Trapezius)
These muscles help to hold up the shoulders, the upper trap also helps keep the head upright. Very crucial when put under g-force Paul Suggitt Personal Training
British Touring Car fans believe the best era of the sport was the Super Touring phase of the 1990s. Similarly, there is a group of kart racers and enthusiasts who believe the 1990s was the best era for karting, thanks to the F100 discipline that produced incredible racers such as Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton, Paul di Resta and many of the stars on the current Formula One grid.
Shortly after the beginning of the 21st century, the sport shifted to incorporate the KF category from CIK into major domestic competitions, then doing so at European and World level transforming the karting world forever. 100cc is now a distant memory for most in the karting world, but thanks to the racers at the country’s most popular historic kart series – Spirit of the 90s – Formula 100 lives on both in “spirit” and in competition. The championship celebrates the Formula A and Intercontinental A classes of karting with pre-2000 karts only permitted to compete using 100cc air cooled, rotary or reed valve or direct drive engines, very much in keeping with the traditions of the “Champions of the Future” races of the 1990s. Series coordinator Oliver Scullion recalls how the F100 revival began. “My reasons behind starting F100 90s were purely selfish”, he explains. “I wanted to race the karts that I drove in the 90s. I got back into karting after 11 years out, and it had all changed.
I entered a few kart classes but nothing gave me the feeling I got from 1999 ICA. So I thought, if it does not exist, invent it. The first event had 8 of us, and I thank those involved from the beginning for having the faith in it (and me). 4 races later, and the ‘O Plate’ arrived, with 18 competing. Our last round at Clay had 26 on the grid, and it will definitely be ‘B’ finals for next year.” The “Champions of the Future” era of karting is of course famous for producing 2008 Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton, but what really stood out about the era for many was just how open and even the classes were with the likes of Russell Parkes, Mark Fell, James Holman, Fraser Sheader and the very much missed Christian Bakkerud an open playing field to compete with Britain’s youngest ever world champion. So it is fairly easy to understand the popularity of the renaissance of F100.
“To be honest, I didn’t expect quite as much success so quickly, but the formula seems to be a winning one”, says Scullion. “Low startup cost, with reasonable race entry and tyre fees help. But I think the main draw is the karts themselves. There simply is no purer karting experience than driving a Formula A or Formula ICA in my view. I simply combined these 90s classes and F100 was born. I then made a Pre-1995 class that runs within the Pre2000 class. “The karts are light, sound like animals, look sexy and are rapid. Less is definitely more. Batteries, clutches, wiring looms and gears all get in between your right foot and the power itself, and only serve to add weight, complexity and cost.” Many of the good words said about Formula 100 classes relate to the intensity of the competition, with many of the competitors seeing Formula A and Intercontinental A as the peak of competitive karting. Before her switch to the USA, Pippa Mann found racing in the European ICA invaluable to progress her career in karts.
“I went straight from Junior TKM to Europe in ICA because of the difference in age rules from the UK to Europe,” she recalls. “It was a BIG jump, but I loved racing ICA. I then raced Formula A in the Italian, European and World Championships, and it was just incredible. The competition at those events in those classes was simply outstanding.” But now the worlds of Formula A and Intercontinental A are KF1 and KF2 with two stroke 125cc engines, something that the Spirit of the 90s brigade feel very strongly about. Even Oliver Scullion admits that he has no interest in the modern equivalent, and how his recreation of the F100 formula has generated more than just a rekindling of a bygone era, but also a spark of interest from veterans and novices alike. “Another aspect that some people are finding enjoyable is that it is a ‘historic kart race series’”, he says. “The karts, motors, carbs are all 1999 or older.
For anyone that has seen the epic videos on YouTube of 1990’s karting, or was lucky enough to have been there in the first place, they will know what I’m talking about…. It was a special time in karting. We are reliving it all over again. There are a lot of grown men and women with child-like grins in the F100 paddock. 100cc engines tend to do that to people. Yes, they have to be rebuilt more often than their modern cousins (for less money I may add) and yes, you have to understand carburation adjustment, and push them to get them going. But they are proper! “Our grid has varying abilities, from absolute novices to very experienced 90’s champions. Our latest recruit is multiple British Champion Michael Spencer, and our next meeting is at Fulbeck on the 18th October.”
The motto for our current generation in society appears to be “retro is the new cool” in various areas of life including music, film, television and sport. In motorsport it’s the same, with teams such as Lotus and Brabham and manufacturers returning to front-line competition such as Bentley, MG and Chevron reemerging in recent times. In karting too, the F100 category has proven to be one of the fastest growing championships in the UK with the Australians and Americans running a similar format of their own. With ever-increasing costs spiralling out of control in the modern formulae, it is refreshing and pleasing to see how the F100 grid is not only growing in stature and size but also regularly beaming from ear to ear. The racing is as close as it always was, the costs are manageable and the racing is very much on the terms of the individual. Perhaps the national championships should be taking note, as the “good ol’ days” of the sport don’t seem like such a bad idea…
Every driver on the F1 grid has one thing in common: they all came from karting. Here we feature the drivers from Marussia, McLaren, Mercedes and Red Bull. Get well soon, Jules.
MARUSSIA MAX CHILTON
Max got the taste for motorsport after watching his elder brother Tom racing in national karting and decided he was next. So in 2001, ten-year-old Max began competing in the Super One National Cadet Championship with varied success. It was at Buckmore Park that Max really learnt how to hone his racecraft in the Club championships, and he raced in the Super One Cadets category for just a solitary season before stepping up to Junior TKM. For 2004 he raced again in Junior TKM and simultaneously raced in the National JICA Championship, but then the tide turned as Max decided to turn his attention to car racing at the age of just 14. At the Champions Cup in Rome, he grabbed a win in the first final and second in the next, demonstrating to the European karting scene his true potential.
Dovetailing his 2005 karting campaign which would ultimately be his last with a season in the shortlived T-Cars series, he switched to cars fulltime in 2006 as the T-Cars vice champion. He became the youngest driver ever to compete in British F3 in 2007, graduated to GP2 in 2010 and after 2 wins in 2012 was signed by Marussia for F1 in 2013.
After getting the taste for motorsport watching Michael Schumacher in Formula One, Jules made his competitive debut in the French ICA Junior category in France as recently as 2003. In his first full season a year later he was French Junior champion and vice champion in the European ICA Junior series. He then followed that up with the Asia Pacific Formula A title and the ICA Copa Campeones Trophy in 2005 and the WSK ICC crown in 2006. He is another of the new generation of racers who has not spent a huge quantity of time in the karting scene but his immediate success has been a true indication of his genius behind the wheel.
He finished off his karting career as French champion and runner-up in the Formula A World Cup and the South Garda Winter Series in 2006 and went on to pursue his car racing career. However he does regularly compete in high profile charity karting events including the International Challenge of the Stars race held annually in Brazil, winning the race in 2012. He became French Formula Renault champion at his first attempt, before Formula 3 and GP2 title assaults before Marussia gave him the Formula One call-up in 2013.
McLAREN KEVIN MAGNUSSEN
As the son of Jan Magnussen, it was almost a given that Kevin would get the racing bug and in his native Denmark he began the journey to Formula One in ICA Junior in 2005. He was 4th overall in his first season in the Danish national championship and grabbed a brilliant 4th overall in his first trip to the Monaco Cup a year later before repeating the feat in the same season at the Goteborgs Stora Pris. Championships and race wins followed in 2006 as he claimed the Peugeot Super Kart and NEZ Championship trophies, before finally switching to KF3 in 2007. He spent a year in the category clinching 4th overall in the CIK-FIA Viking Trophy, as well as some strong performances across Denmark, Italy and the European scene.
With such a wealth of experience and exceptional talent, surely Europe beckoned for Denmark’s brightest new talent in European motorsport. Interestingly he completed and won a season of Formula Ford in his homeland before moving on to Formula Renault in the Eurocup and NEC series and Formula 3 in the British and European championships before winning last year’s Formula Renault 3.5 championship and taking a seat at McLaren for 2014.
In 1991, a youngster from Frome burst onto the scene to win all 34 races in the Super 1 National Cadet Championship and of course the title, two seasons after winning the British Super Prix at just 9 years old. He went onto add the 1992 Junior TKM Championship crown and three British O Plate crowns to his CV and from there, Jenson’s rise through karting across Europe is now the stuff of legend. Success in Italy followed in 100 Junior and ICA, before he became vice champion in the Formula A World Championship at 15. In the World Cup in 1996 he finished 3rd before moving on to Super A in 1997 with Italian, European and World campaigns. In that final season of karting, he won the Ayrton Senna Memorial Cup at Suzuka and also won the European Super A Championship, the youngest racer ever to win the title. With numerous titles and race wins under his belt, he moved on to cars as one of the greatest British kart racers of all time. Winning the Formula Ford Festival and British Championship in 1998 sent him to British Formula 3, where a single season netted him third overall and an amazing ticket to a Williams F1 drive in 2000.
MERCEDES LEWIS HAMILTON
After starting his career at Rye House, he went from club Cadets champion to Super 1 National champion in 1995. He signed to race for the Zip Young Guns squad and from there he progressed to win the Kartmasters British Grand Prix trophy for Cadets in 1996 before the Super 1 Formula Yamaha crown followed in 1997. After finishing runner-up to Fraser Sheader in JICA a year later, he became a McLaren Young Driver and a star in Europe beginning as runner-up in Intercontinental A in 1999. He romped to the World Cup title and the Formula A championship in 2000 scoring maximum points in the series.
Here and in Super A in 2001, he raced as team-mate to Nico Rosberg and Jenson Button won all 34 races in the Super 1 National Cadets in ‘91 Lewis Hamilton started at Rye House even raced against world champion Michael Schumacher in the World Championship event at Kerpen where he finished just 4 places behind him. As one of the most prolific karters in British history, he made the transition to cars in British Formula Renault in late 2001.
He became the British Formula Renault champion in 2003 before moving to Formula 3 where he won the Masters and European titles in 2005, before being crowned GP2 champion in 2006 and signing for McLaren to race in Formula 1 in 2007.
RED BULL RACING SEBASTIAN VETTEL
Before he was even four years old, Sebastian Vettel started racing in club events and by 8 he was ready to take on German championships. He was a winning machine in Bambini and Cadet classes in German national karting and won three Bambini B titles at 10 years old and a year later he won two Bambini A titles. He went on to win the German Junior Kart Championship in 2000 and 2001, having switched to ICA Junior to win the European Championship and the 2001 Monaco Kart Cup along the way.
His final season of karts saw him as the latest member of the Red Bull Junior outfit at just 14 years of age and he would spend a dual campaign in his native German Kart Championship alongside the European Intercontinental A series, before Red Bull decided he was ready to move away from karts and in to single-seaters. Two seasons in German Formula BMW resulted in the 2004 title, before heading to Formula 3. He was runner-up in the Euro Series in 2006 and was on the verge of winning the Renault World Series before he was handed his F1 debut with BMW Sauber and then a full-time drive for Toro Rosso in 2007.
From 9 years old, Daniel was a proud member of the Tiger Kart Club and immediately stood out as one of Western Australia’s brightest hopes for the future. Having been a fan of Formula 1 and NASCAR as a child and after an initial passion for motorcycles being replaced for karts, he then found success of his own in the Wanneroo TKC midget division in 2000 which kickstarted his road to glory. By 2002 he had moved up to national level and became the youngest racer to compete in the CIK Stars of Karting Series, Australia’s top national karting championships. His talent was evident right from the start and after four tough seasons where Daniel showed his country what he could do he took the Intercontinental A championship title in 2005.
A season in Australian Formula Ford followed his karting career before his family decided that Europe should be his new focus. Formula BMW in Asia and the UK was the next step for Ricciardo, continuing on in Formula Renault. By 2008 he was a Red Bull Junior and won the British F3 crown in 2009, eventually making his F1 debut with Hispania in 2010 during what would have been his World Series by Renault title-winning campaign.
Since Karting magazine’s last visit in 2006 to the IAME factory in Zingonia, near Milan’s Bergamo airport, there have been several improvements worth a mention and of course new engines to see. With its 55 employees the factory can turn out up to 7,000 engines per annum including the new KZ 125cc gearbox engine, and a new line of watercooled MiniMoto engines. These jewel-like power units come in either 40cc or 50cc varieties producing 12 or 14bhp respectively at 16,000rpm. “We decided to start at the top end of this sport,” explained Technical Manager Andrea Bossaglia. Already there are a few being raced in the UK, supplied through importer John Mills Engineering. The other UK importer for IAME engines is Simon Wright Racing Developments.
The KZ engine is being developed by the UK’s Jack Hawksworth on the International scene and is steadily being improved as the season progresses. Shelves full of the X30 Shifter version with on board starter motors were on display in the factory as well as the standard CIK model. It’s noticeable how small the gearbox part of the engine appears compared with rivals and the gear lever is mounted high up. Compared with other KZ engines, the Parilla is provided with ground teeth in the gearbox, helping efficiency through low friction and the cylinder has a cast iron liner instead of the more usual Nikasil. This allows for extremely precise port shape and position, making production performance differences minimal and also helping with maintenance, especially after a piston seizure.
Since the article in the June 2006 magazine from George Robinson and Chris Walker’s visit, two new CNC machines have been installed. One is a 5-axis used for liners and the other is a 4-axis for crankcases. The dyno cells have been overhauled and upgraded and a new dyno installed, capable of taking anything from a 60cc up to a KZ engine. Temperature, humidity, winter or summer, all conditions can be simulated and repeated reliably. Both air cooled and water cooled engines can be accommodated.
IAME is very involved with the Sudam classes in South America, and has most of the market for these 125cc engines which have now shifted to water cooling. The older engines were CIK homologated, up to 31.12.09. These countries have not converted to the KF philosophy, the feeling being it would be too expensive for the local economy and so are now undertaking their own national homologations.
Not (yet) being promoted in the UK, the X30 engine is very popular in many European countries, being a 125cc water cooled TAG engine, and many shelves were filled with them at the factory. IAME is a very serious endeavour, very dependent on the health of kart racing in all its facets, and of course they are continually improving and developing engines. Work has been going on with electronic fuel injection, this being only economically viable for the more expensive engines. Low emission is a target for everybody these days, and IAME have experimented with the use of E85 bio ethanol fuel and catalytic converters. However the engine must run very lean and it is not so easy to optimise with simple carburettors. Also the ‘cat’ runs very hot and so must be very much protected.
I would like to thank board member Filippo Fagnani, Technical Manager Andrea Bossaglia and Marco Moretti for facilitating the visit to Italy. As George Robinson explains in the June 2006 article, IAME has its roots at the very birth of European kart racing, starting from the Moto Parilla motorcycle factory. IAME was formed in 1968 and over time absorbed Siro, Komet and BM brands as well as of course Parilla giving an almost unrivalled heritage in kart racing engines.
Here in the UK, wet conditions are part and parcel of karting. Not many people relish the rain, but wet conditions favour drivers who are smooth, relaxed and precise. Here are 10 tips to help you get the best from poor conditions.
1. Throttle Control
If a driver tries to accelerate too hard to quickly the rear wheels will simply spin, rather than drive the kart off the corner. It is important for a driver to learn to gently apply throttle progressively, this will allow the kart to pick up speed more gradually and lead to a faster get away from each corner. For drivers who really struggle a higher sized sprocket can help reduce the rate of acceleration to the wheels, thus requiring less throttle sensitivity.
2. Braking and turning off line
The normal racing line will become incredibly slippery when it is wet. If a driver tries to do anything on this line it generally results in the driver missing the corner as they can’t slow down or turn in. It is important to position the kart off line to slow down and turn in, this often means going deeper into the corner and then driving out tighter than the usual line.
3. Braking technique
When slowing the kart down off line, it is important to hit the brakes hard enough slow the kart down as late as possible. If the brakes are hit too hard the rear axle will lock up, this does very little to slow the kart down and often ends in a spin. In addition to applying the brakes the driver can gently flick the steering as the braking period begins, the rear will slide and the higher skilled driver will be able to maintain the slide, aiding the slowing of the kart.
4. Raise the centre of gravity
In order to aid the weight transfer and to maximise the amount of force that can be extracted from the outside tyres to get around each corner, the centre of gravity can be raised. This can be done in a number of ways including raising the ballast on the kart if there is any, placing it as high up the seat/kart as possible, the driver can also be raised by either moving the seat up or buying a product such as the Tillet Rainmeister, which acts like a booster seat.
5. Using body weight to aid cornering
Similar to the raising of the centre of gravity to increase the loading to the outside tyres, the driver can use their bodyweight also. They can do this by leaning towards the outside tyres when cornering, for example leaning right in a left corner. While this works better with taller drivers, it will aid every size of driver to a certain degree.
6. Using the kerbs
Kerbs can be used to either aid the loading of the outside tyres by lifting the insides, or by acting like a track in which the wheels can be hooked into and then followed. Watching the faster drivers in similar classes will often help decide which kerbs to use in the wet, it is then important to understand whether they need to be attacked hard in order to lift the inside tyres, or approached more gently to produce the hooking motion. If the driver uses them wrong they can be left on the normal racing line, with very little grip and no help from the kerbs at all.
7. Suitable kart wear
In order to aid tip number 7 it is fundamental that the driver is wearing the correct kit to stay dry. As covered previously in the Karting Magazine’s list of essentials, race wear items such as waterproof boots, gloves and wetsuit should all be purchased in order to optimise the chances of staying dry. The driver should also pack an extra pair of clothes (especially socks!) to change into if they do get wet.
8. Keeping warm
While this may seem like common sense, it is one of the biggest challenges of racing in the rain. If a driver gets wet their focus will stray from hitting apexes and braking points, to “when can I get back in the car with the heating on?” In between each session a conscious effort should be made to dry off/warm up, the use of heaters either in a vehicle or in an awning are strongly advisable.
9. Stopping the visor steaming up
Just like a car windscreen when it is raining, a visor will often steam up during a race. This ultimately restricts what the driver can do as they cannot see where they are going, this hinders performance and can be quite dangerous in extreme cases. There are a number of products in the market which can stop this, but if a driver is caught out at the track without them simple solutions can be used, such as; washing up liquid or cheaper still – saliva, probably best to use the driver’s.
10. Drying everything off after racing
While the kart and the equipment cannot always be dried off between each session, it is important to get everything out as soon as possible after a race weekend, washing it down and applying lubricants where necessary to maintain everything in good working order. The driver’s equipment especially should be dried as soon as possible to avoid damage or mould growing, causing them to smell foul.
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