Circuit Guide: Grand Prix Karting Birmingham

Situated just one-mile from Birmingham city centre, the circuit runs two layouts and also offers a Cadet circuit. They’ve also just added a new fleet of BIZ karts. Here’s how to nail a fast lap.

Turn 1

Cross the start finish line, staying to the left side as you approach. Turn 1. This is a difficult turn as it has a lot of negative camber running through it and as you turn in you can’t see your exit point. The biggest mistake here is to attempt it flat out, it should be a slight lift with maybe a touch of feathering going through (depending on your weight) try to catch the apex as close as you can and look to exit about mid circuit as this will help with your set up for Turn 2.

Turn 2

As long as you have exited Turn 1 correctly this should be a simple lift into Turn 2 again hugging the apex; then just let the kart run wide coming out and gently pull it back over to the left to avoid losing too much momentum approaching the next turn.

Turn 3

Approaching Turn 3 you should be on the hard left now – as long as you are and you’re feeling brave this corner can be taken flat out. Be warned this is a hit and miss turn if taken flat out and if you miss your turning point, or the apex, you will not make the exit. The key to this turn is the apex. On the inside of the turn there is a slight dip to the circuit, you need to catch this dip to hold this corner flat out. Let the kart run wide coming off, this will put you right on top of the white line when you exit and about 100mm off the grass verge. Stay left as you approach Turn 4 “The S’s”.

Turn 4 (The S’s)

The mistake made here is to clip apex to apex on the inline – the key is to apex to apex on the outline. The straighter the line as you exit the better the run to Turn 5 “Hairpin”. Approaching Turn 4 from the hard left you can enter the S’s flat out and hug the barrier to the right. The apex to this turn only becomes visible as you are on your turning point; try to make sure that as you turn in you can see straight to the right hand apex. If you are on this line, the S’s can be negotiated with a slight lift. Avoid running too far wide to the right as this will spoil the run down to “Hairpin”. Be warned, this line into the “S’s” leaves you wide-open for someone to dive up the inside and steal your position.

Turn 5 (Hairpin)

This corner is the hardest to keep consistent of the whole circuit. The track elevation at the hairpin changes as you approach and again as you hit the apex and braking up to this turn is extremely tricky. The key to this turn is the exit; this is the longest flat out section of track and so getting the exit from “Hairpin” is crucial. To sum this corner up in a few words “steady in, fast out”. Approach the hairpin from the hard left, run deeper into the turn than you would normally expect, using the brakes hard as you approach your turning point. DO NOT lock up the rear axle as this is a recipe for facing the wrong way as you approach. Instead of clipping the turn at the centre move the apex further round to straighten your exit line which is the reason for the deeper line in, giving you better straight line speed towards Turn 6. If you find you are running close to the barriers on the exit, you are turning in too early.

Turn 6

Coming away from the Hairpin there is a slight left kink which is flat out, but keep on your toes and make sure that you have the kart in the correct position on the right as you approach Turn 6. Going through Turn 6 the circuit camber is slightly adverse. Approaching from the hard right you pass a barrier and on passing the last section of it just dab the brakes. This corner only needs a dab just to keep the rear of the kart from coming out; it also helps with the outline as you don’t want to be hard over to the right when you exit. The apex is to be found on the centre of the corner, when exiting this turn you should be positioning around 3⁄4 width of the circuit to the right as this will help with the inline to Turn 7.

Turn 7

From the 3⁄4 mark on the exit of Turn 6 pull the kart over to the left mid circuit width then 3⁄4 of the circuit for the inline to Turn 7 (there is not enough room between the 2 turns to make your way hard left and benefit from it). The key to this turn is to utilise all the exit space, so approaching from the 3⁄4 point you can take this turn flat out. The apex to this turn is in the dead centre of the turn; exiting this turn let the kart run wide to the right. Executed correctly you should put the whole kart over an old white line and on completion should just miss the barrier guiding you back onto the circuit to complete your fast lap!

 

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