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Karting is a physically demanding sport. The first thing to suffer when a driver isn’t fit enough to race is their concentration, the focus required to hit apexes, overtake drivers and win races. Often there is an extended break over the winter period between races and if the driver doesn’t take part in any testing as well, their first day back in the kart can be a shock to the system due to the fact that karting uses such specific muscles. While a healthy cardio fitness will help, running, cycling, swimming etc, it is more important for a good level of strength in the upper body, core and neck. Drivers don’t necessarily need to attend the gym to work on the upper body and core, there are a number of home workouts that can be found.
Karts, just like drivers, need saving from the elements. All equipment being carried over to following season should be cared for appropriately, it is good practise to keep engines out of the cold or to drain all the water from the radiators in order to avoid them cracking if they freeze. It is important to clean all equipment and check it for any potential problems, this will avoid time wasted the next time out. It is important to ‘shakedown’ this equipment before the first race. Year Plan With some time off from racing, drivers can plan their year ahead in terms of which series they may wish to compete in, or which events they want to do. This often comes down to the time and budget available, this of course is unique to each driver but the same theory applies. There are a large number of things that need to be done just to get the kart out on the track. This includes: arranging all the equipment and preparing it, transporting it to the circuit, setting up at the circuit, entry fees, memberships, licences etc. Mistakes come with stress as actions become rushed and focus isn’t on the job in hand. The driver should plot a calendar before the beginning of the season, highlighting key events, it should include all test days.