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Circuit Guide: Castelletto

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Castelletto is one of Italy’s major karting venues, with regular visits from the WSK series (Masters and Euro), CIK-FIA events, the Italian CSAI Series and one make championships such as the Rotax Euro Challenge and Easykart.

It’s located just south of Milan near the town of Voghera (Salice Terme is a popular town with UK visitors) and is characterised with its long straights and fast chicanes which has drawn many comparisons with PF International back home. The facilities are what you would expect of a top grade international venue with regards to track length/width, parc ferme and paddock space. There is an excellent café on site along with a kart shop and grandstand facilities. If you’re ever in the Pavia Region of Italy and fancy seeing what a kart track should look like, then this is the place for you.

The Lap:
From the startline, keep to the left hand side all the way up the long straight towards Turn 1. This corner can be taken very fast and requires an early turn-in to pick up the apex. In an Easykart, only a slight dab of the brakes is required on entry and after that you want to balance the throttle to keep the kart in a controlled slide through the apex and letting the kart run out to just brush the white line at the very end of the exit kerb. The exit kerb itself is very bumpy and will pull the kart away from the track compromising your exit speed and entry into the next part of the track.

Start-Castelletto-2014

Race starts at Castelletto can be frantic

Turn 2 and 3

The track is very wide all the way round T1 meaning overtaking can be done fairly easily but it’s also just as simple for the person you’ve just passed to undercut you and get back again on the run upto the next section of the track at Turns 2 and 3. These two corners are linked to form a chicane and is best approach from the middle of the track (too wide an entry will result in adding extra distance to the lap and leave a massive gap for your rivals to slide their karts into), brake just before turn-in and roll the kart into a late apex whilst keeping close to the kerb. Stay tight to the right on the exit of T2 as T3 follows which requires another late apex whilst feeding in the power before letting the kart run out once again to no more than the whiteline inside the end of the exit kerb. Turns 4 and 5 are immediately after this part which consists of two long 90 degree corners in opposite directions to each other.

Turn 4 and 5

The first one requires a slightly later apex than the other but both require smooth throttle control all the way round to stop the kart oversteering too much. I personally use T3 and T4 to feed in the power and aim to be on full throttle all the way round T5 so as to maximise speed onto the long back straight that follows. T2 presents probably the best overtaking spot on the track as the wide entry and the amount of rubber that’s down means it’s very easy to outbrake your opponent and get the kart pulled round the bend in front of them, ready to take T3 as normal.

Super X30 onboard Casteletto

Carrying speed is essential

Turn 6,7 and 8 

After a very long back straight, Turn 6 awaits which is a sharp 90 degree bend to the right. It can be taken very fast with only a lift of the throttle being required most of the time (or a dab of the choke whilst keeping the throttle on full if your running lean), aim for a late apex and keep off both entry and exit kerbs as they will destabilise the kart something rotten. Only a short straight follows until you’re into the squared Turn 7 hairpin, braking can be left late here with another late apex being required so as you can straight-line the run out through the left handed Turn 8 which should be a nothing corner. You can overtake into T6 using the tow from the back straight but unless I’m fighting my way past significantly slower opposition, I find it better to sit behind them through this bend ready to do them up the inside of T7, as the combination of a late turn in and the left kink of T8 that follows gives them less chance of fighting back.

Turn 9 and 10

Coming out of T8, move from right to left on the straight before braking hard for the right handed Turn 9 hairpin. Roll the kart into a mid to late apex very close to the kerb before feeding on the power and drifting out to the exit kerb, which is much more runnable than the ones earlier on in the lap. A short straight follows to Turn 10 which is pretty much exactly the same corner as T9 but the other way round and has a marginally wider exit, so a slightly earlier apex is required. Overtaking into either hairpin is possible, although T10 presents a better opportunity to the opposing driver for undercutting you on the way up the next straight.

With both corners, it’s important not to get on the power too hard of early as the amount of rubber that gets laid will cause some serious hopping.

Castelletto Impression1 - edit

Great spot for spectators…

Turn 11 and 12

Keep right on the straight that follows ready for the Turns 11 and 12 chicane to complete the lap. Both corners are very fast but the speed reduction is done round the first part so dab the brakes or lift slightly just before turning into a late apex at T11, before letting the kart drift no further than the centre of the track (the top guys in Easykart run the inside kerb at T11 to get themselves even further to the left for the next part) and feed in the power so you’ve got the throttle fully down just before you reach the T12 apex, pass through the apex and let the kart run out wide towards the exit kerb before crossing the line to start another lap. You can overtake into T11 using a better exit from T10 to your advantage or alternatively, sit behind them through this section and wait until you reach T1 before passing them…

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