Circuit Guide: Forest Edge

forest-edge-track-guide

Parsons Corner

Flat out along the Start/finish straight and you’re as far right of the track as you can be preparing yourself for the first corner which is a slight left-hander. Take this corner flat out and hug the kerb to your left. Hug, don’t touch as it will unsettle the kart and force you off line making entry to Haynes loop more difficult than it needs to be. Similarly leave too much of a gap between you and the kerb and you’ll develop oversteer creating the same effect. By hugging the kerb, the kart should not drift too much thus making you (at worst) in the centre of the road upon corner exit and not over to the right hand side. Point to note, if you take this corner perfectly and the driver in front of you doesn’t, you’ll have more top end speed approaching Haynes loop as they would have scrubbed off speed making overtaking possible with some late braking.

Haynes Loop

Firmly on the brakes approaching Haynes Loop and turn in. This corner has three kinks to it. Be careful not to run too wide after the first kink as the track can get dirty and you’ll lose grip which will have a detrimental effect upon you for the next 2 kinks. Upon entry, the first kerb is soft and I regularly touched (not launched!) this, so that I could keep a tight line all the way around the remainder of the kinks. Not many others did this and they chose to allow their karts to run wide after the first, miss the second kink then, they’d bring it back tight again for the third kink before the approach to Johnny’s. Either way, throttle control is vital. If the grips there, keep your right foot planted, if you can feel a slide developing, slightly lift off. Kart positioning is more important than ‘wheel spinning high rev’s on the approach to Johnny’s. Time can be gained and lost at Johnny’s. On the approach you should be positioned to the far right and turn in early. Not so early that you clip the kerb on the left but slightly sooner than the conventional racing line. It’s an unnerving feeling if you get it right as you feel like you’ve compromised your corner exit. I didn’t find this to be the case as the grip available when you turn in early not only allows you to take any exit line you desire, but also allows you to take more speed around the corner than the conventional line where I found oversteer to be an issue. Corner exit is important and don’t be tempted to use the rumble strip. Those who did, soon lost chains.

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Wingers Dip

Now, flat out downhill towards Wingers dip. Be careful. If you slid out of Johnny’s or ran wide onto the rumble strip, have a quick check to see if someone’s threatening you from behind. If someone’s there, defending into wingers dip is vital to stave off any attacks. Then firmly on the brakes and turn in for Wingers dip. Some felt it beneficial to take half of their kart over the white line on the left hand side before turning right for corner entry, I however found no benefit from doing this. This corner is off camber and will seriously hurt you if you miss your braking point or try to fight it out with someone around the outside who has taken you down the inside. Once turned in, If the grips there, allow your kart to drift to the centre on corner exit and touch the apex of Ansons for the drag uphill towards the bus stop.

Bus Stop

Get the bus stop chicane right and you may be able to attack a driver on the entry to Midgets. Get it wrong and you’ll damage your kart. Late braking is essential. Normally the laws of karting are, brake, steer, accelerate. For this chicane, you start braking before you turn in but continue braking whilst turning in. The speed you can take into the first right hand part of the chicane is phenomenal, But don’t touch the kerb on the right.

As you come off the brakes, you can then accelerate as your turning left for the centre of the chicane and for the exit. Be gentle with the throttle. If you’ve taken the amount of speed into the chicane as you’re able to, then flooring the throttle with snap you into oversteer for corner exit which will lose you speed approaching the next corner. Feed the power through and straighten the kart and clip the grass area with your right wheel, straight lining it uphill towards Midgets. I do not recommend overtaking into the chicane. If you’re side by side with someone on the approach (because they messed up Ansons) then fine, go for it. But if your behind someone and make a lunge, know one of two things. 1) The driver you’re out braking won’t be able to make it through the chicane with any sort of dignity (which is fine from your perspective!) But – 2) If a driver is not prepared to concede or is surprised by your manoeuvre, then their options will be to go off the track, damage their kart over a kerb, or take you out of the race! So – think hard. I’d recommend concentrating on getting a better exit from the chicane than the driver in front and then out breaking them into Midgets.

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Midgets

Midgets is a great corner that if taken properly can get you right up behind another driver or better still give you an opportunity to pass them. Midgets is made up in two parts. First apex and second apex. For a quick lap, forget the first apex. Brake had and late past the first apex and only concentrate on the second apex. Don’t touch the kerb of the second apex and power out as quickly as you can for the short run towards Climate corner. If you messed up the chicane exit, you will be vulnerable to attack from behind so missing the first apex is not an option. Aim for it, brake late & hard and park your kart on the approach to the second apex then power out. Similarly, if you’ve got a run on someone approaching Midgets corner, launch it down their inside and park it on the approach to the second and then, power out.

Climate

Climate corner is deceptive as there’s plenty of grip on entry but the grip fades away on exit. The best way I found was to enter the corner slowly, keep it tight to the kerb, then power out. Anyone in front of you who goes into the corner quicker, will pull a kart length or two on you but don’t be disheartened though. When you exit they’ll be struggling for grip, and kart positioning, whilst you’ll have more speed and better kart control on the approach to Tollys, the final corner. This will give you two options, make a last lap lunge down their inside or allow you to close the gap to them.

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Trollys

For Trollys, you can brake late and take more speed through this corner than you think. However, in saying that, corner exit is most important as it sets you up for the run back to Haynes Loop. The kerb on corner entry is not that bad (last lap lunge me thinks!) but I wouldn’t use it for a fast lap as it will only unsettle the kart. Whilst exiting Trollys, stay off the exit kerb and keep to the track.

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