On entry you must be careful not to hit the barrier, which is the border of the track on the left. It is important to carry momentum onto the straight as it is flat in dmax and sodi karts. Turn in smoothly and clip, but don’t run over, the kerb at the apex. Make sure to run out wide and use the smooth run-off if needed.
This is really a sequence of four fast corners which make a chicane and an amazing flick right. Keep the kart as straight as you can through the esses and run over the kerb on the last kink before the right flick uphill. I would recommend full gas all the way through.
Arguably the most challenging corner on the track, turn three drops a little downhill after the uphill climb on the sweeping ‘straight’. A very late apex is required as it is a long sweeping hairpin. It will take a couple of laps to get used to and I used the start of the white strip on the outside as my turn in/braking/slide in point. Sodi karts have a lot of understeer so, as a result, a full lock steering technique can help to turn the kart in.
This is the second out of a sequence of four hairpins. This is the longest and the fastest in this sequence. You can take it close to flat out but it will test the kart’s grip and your handling to the limit. Again, be smooth with the throttle and steering application and ensure that you keep the momentum up (it helps to follow others to try and get a better exit than them and to try out different lines.)
Turn five is almost blind as the exit of four is very steep. It is the third hairpin and drops back down a little into the apex, which is almost flat then onto the downhill exit into six. After carrying as much momentum through turn four as possible position your kart to the left on the track and turn in. There is a slight bump on the inside but, although uncomfortable, it is unavoidable. Use the exit run off as much as you need and power downhill on your way into the fourth hairpin in the sequence. Similarly, to turn four, try and keep momentum through the corner.
Personally, I found that a lot of time can be found (at least in a sodi kart) by taking a slightly later entry into this turn. Again, in the Sodi I felt like there was a lot of grip, helped by the change in height around the corner. Therefore, take a wide entry, chuck it in, then sort your steering out. Smooth out the corner on the exit and place your kart in the centre of the track, around three metres away from the end of the corner, to get the best entry point for seven.
This is a simple right hander which flows from six to eight and can be taken flat. The better the exit and position you get from turn six will allow you to move quicker through this corner. Kiss the kerb at the apex and run out over the extra exit space.
The first corner of four which make up the “complex”. You can attack this more than the rest of the flowing corners on the rest of the track. I try to stay on the left, then turn in. The entry point came naturally for me and you should be able to kiss the apex and get a good exit then entry to nine by running the kart to the middle of the track.
Turn nine is a left-handed version of the right-hander of eight and on entry you should steer the kart very slightly to the right in order to get better momentum. Then work the steering to get the kart around the corner, using the exit strip on the outside of the exit as much as you need.
This is a quick left flick which is taken flat initially but it is important to remember the next, and very tight, hairpin of turn 11. After using all the exit up that you can after turn nine stay to the right then flick left. If you flick a few centimetres later you can be rewarded with a better entry into 11. Another thing to bear in mind is that this corner is downhill and this affects the karts handling on exit. The kerb is useful for sighting the apex of the corner and can be taken fully.
The last corner on the track is also the tightest and produces some interesting incidents. Braking has to be very sensitive as it is easy to lose the back end by braking to hard. With the added challenge of the entry being downhill entry should be the middle/right of the track. After hard, but sensitive braking, get as close as you can but don’t touch the tyre barrier at the apex. Then run out to the tyre barriers but, again, avoid touching them and power your way uphill to another lap of the fantastic Tamworth track!
Words by Henry Miles