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Circuit Guide: Hooton Park

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The Hooton Park kart circuit, situated a stone’s throw away from junction 6 of the M53, opened its doors in 2006 on the site of the old RAF Hooton airfield; making it the newest MSA licensed track in the country.

The Lap

A lap of Hooton Park starts with a long straight leading to Turn 1, a 90° right. On entry there is an extra bit of tarmac on the left which can be used for braking and set up a wider entry to the corner so minimum steering is required for making the apex. The kerb is low but running it just tends to upset the kart but be sure to use as much of the run-off kerb as possible to maximise your cornering speed. This is one of two obvious overtaking spots on the track as you can get a tow from the kart in front up the start/finish straight and the wide entry leaves plenty of room up the inside for passing them.

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This circuit lends itself to great racing…

Turn 2

A short straight follows to Turn 2. On paper it looks similar to the first turn but this one only requires a lift on entry, has a higher apex kerb and has nowhere near as much run-off kerb. Approach from the left and move in to clip the apex mid-corner before just brushing the run-off kerb on the exit. When the track is green, it is a common mistake to carry too much speed into this turn and suddenly experience oversteer at the apex so it’s critical to not push too hard into this corner during those first few sessions after a rainstorm.

Turn 3

Next up is another long straight which leads into the very fast Turn 3. This right handed corner is 180° from entry to exit and starts tight before opening out on exit. So, with this in mind, an early apex and high entry speed is required therefore braking can be left until just before the marshal post (or level if you’ve got a well set-up kart and feeling brave) and smoothly roll the kart through a mid-kerb apex. Leave putting the power on until you’re past the apex and let the kart run out to the outside white line for the remainder of the curve on to the next straight. It is important not to bring in the power too early or hard as the amount of rubber that is usually present at this bend will cause the rear of the kart to destabilise itself, either through hopping or sliding, which will cost you vital tenths of a second. The key to this corner is that you must be very smooth on all counts (braking, steering and throttle).

T3 is the second obvious overtaking spot on the track as the long straight before it allows you to pick up a tow and get alongside them by the braking zone. You can lean on your opponent on the exit too as you let your kart run wide naturally giving them the option of either dropping in behind you or taking a trip over the grass.

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Trecherous in the wet, Hooton Park can be difficult to get right.

Turn 4

Now you’re on the infield part of the track as you drive the “slightly curving left” straight towards the left handed Turn 4. This bend consists of a wide entry which is horribly off-cambered the further right you go so it’s best to approach this corner from a mid-track position. Begin braking about level with the start of the first inside kerb and keep trail-braking past the aforementioned kerb and get the kart so it’s at mid-track again for the second part of the corner which is tighter and narrower. If you’ve done the first part right, you should just be able to let off the brakes from your mid-track position to turn into an apex just clipping the inside kerb before getting on the power smoothly to run your outside wheel over the end of the exit kerb. As with T3, a lot of rubber can get laid here too so it’s important to be smooth on the throttle and steering round this corner. Overtaking is possible if you can get well inside your opponent before the first inside kerb, but be wary of the fact that they probably won’t see you until they’ve started turning in so it’s important that you’re fully committed to making the move stick before you attempt it. Failing that, if they get caught out by the off-camber round the first part, it could leave enough room to nip up the inside before the second kerb.

Turn 5 and 6

Once you’ve left T4, quickly get yourself to the left of the track ready for the Turns 5 & 6 chicane. This is a very fast part of the track which requires a bit of kerb to be quick. Enter the chicane flat out, getting close but not hitting the right hand kerb before lifting off the throttle and clipping the left hand kerb with your wheels whilst keeping as tight as possible on exit ready for the next corner. It used to be quicker putting your whole kart over the left hand kerb, but years of people taking the same line have left a massive nosecone formed dip on the inside of the kerb so it’s now quicker and smoother to just clip it with your wheels.

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I never knew Ayrton Senna raced here!? Or drove an X30!

Turn 7

Turn 7 follows immediately after the chicane which is why it’s important to stay as far over to the left as possible on the exit of the previous corner. This curve is similar to the Horseshoe at Clay Pigeon but going right instead of left. Brake on the very short straight part between T6 and T7 before turning into a mid to late apex on the first part, which has positive camber. At this point, balance the throttle whilst letting the kart roll out to a mid-track position between the two apexes before getting on the power fully ready to turn into the second apex (off-cambered this time) before running wide on the exit, the run-off kerb is almost non-existent so it’s best using the white line as your guide at this point to gauge how wide you can go. Late lunges are possible here, as when the kart in front lifts to take the second part of the previous chicane, simply take it flat out all the way through letting the kart go all the way over to the other side of the track and outbrake them before they turn into T7. However it’s also just as easy to overcook the entry speed and watch your opponent cut back past your inside through the second apex.

After you’ve exited the corner, get your head down and follow the straight past the start line ready to go another lap of the Hooton Park kart circuit. A fast, flowing circuit which provides great racing for both MSA and IndiKart drivers alike.

 

Like this article? Read our latest circuit guide’s: 

Capital Karts – Circuit Guide

Grand Prix Karting Birmingham – Circuit Guide

Circuit Guide: Glan-Y-Gors

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The Glan-Y-Gors race circuit, situated on the A5 between Corwen and Betws-Y-Coed, is one of the UK premier karting venues that started life comparatively late to other S1 race venues as a 500m non-MSA track in 1999.

Super One Rotax Series
Carry as much speed as you can through the final corner to maximise your run down the long straight

The Lap
The start of the lap begins with a short run to Club Corner, a flat out right hander which drops away on the exit. The kerb at the apex is flat so it’s possible to put a wheel on it whilst the exit kerb is tarmac, which ends with a heavily saw-toothed “add-on” that is best avoided. It is important not to get balked here at the start as you’ll lose a lot of speed going along Dragon Straight.

The Dragon Straight

is very long with a right kink in the middle, what waits at the end of it as another flat out right turn, only this time it’s uphill and leads into a blind entry to the Spoon Hairpin, the best overtaking opportunity on the track. Hit the brakes hard as soon as you crest the hill, the back end of the kart will be kicking out here most likely, before turning in from a mid to 2/3rds left track position to a late apex just off the high inside kerb, an entry position which is too far left will result in either missing the apex by miles or being swallowed up by the chasing pack. Once you’ve apexed in the correct position, Turn 4 which follows immediately afterwards will just be an acceleration zone whilst turning left.

Carousel

By now you’ll be on the Snowdon Straight (the Mountain it’s named after can be found by looking upwards and right!). This straight is a rapid downhill descent which leads into the Carousel, two left handed bends taken at great speed. Brake just before the bottom of the hill before turning in to an apex just off the kerb, once here begin to feed in the power and let the kart drift out towards the centre of the track by mid-corner ready to clip the second apex as close to the high inside kerb as possible. Once through apex 2, feel free to use the entire track width on exiting to get a good run up the uphill straight. The entry to the Carousel is another good overtaking spot although be aware that the driver being overtaken probably won’t see you until they’re actually turning into the corner so it’s important to get fully alongside them at the turn-in point to make the move cleanly.

Fin Kenneally
Im mixed conditions, taking kerbs can be essential to a fast lap

Compression Corner

After exiting the Carousel, the track climbs uphill again, around another flat out right turn before heading into the second half of the lap, starting with Compression Corner. This corner is extremely fast and off-camber requiring a slight brake or lift on entry before turning in, using the track camber at the apex to keep the momentum up whilst letting the kart run out to the outside on the very steep downhill exit. Compression is not really a famed overtaking spot although it’s possible if the kart in front is going a lot slower than you. It’s better used to set up a possible overtaking opportunity at a later corner.

The Druid’s complex

The Druid’s complex follows quickly afterwards starting with a right hander, The first corner (Druid’s 1) is on-camber this time and is taken very fast, be careful when turning in not to drop your rear outside wheel off the edge of the circuit as you’ll almost certainly end up taking a scary trip over the grass. Once through the bend, try not to drift any wider than mid track to set you up for Druid’s 2, a left handed hairpin which follows immediately afterwards. Druid’s 2 requires decisive braking before turning surprisingly early onto the kerb which, if done correctly, will allow you to keep the momentum up whilst the kerb pulls you round before spitting you out exactly the right position to the next turn. Druid’s 2 use to be a good overtaking spot as everyone use to stay further right on entry leaving plenty of room on the inside to lunge your opponent. These day’s however, everyone is wise to it and stays tight on entry making overtaking a lot harder than before.

Devil’s Elbow

The next corner is the undulating Devil’s Elbow section. From your “perfect” track position on exiting Druid’s 2, turn into a late apex either fully over or off the kerb, depending on kart class, before dropping down the dip whilst keeping tight to the inside of the track, before accelerating up and out of the dip towards flat out left hander, which requires another late apex to keep you far over to the left for Paddock Bend.

Matt England
Play your cards right and you might end up like this…

Paddock Bend

Paddock Bend is an off camber, 90° right-hander requiring a slight lift off the throttle at the turn-in point. It’s important to get yourself onto the extra bit of tarmac on the right on entry (a good exit from Devil’s Elbow will assist you in doing this) to get the best line through here as a too tight entry will result in understeer through the whole corner and lost speed all the way back up to Spoon Hairpin. The apex is just off the massive inside kerb with the ideal exit point being just touching the edge of the red painted “add-on” at the end of the exit runoff. This is a popular overtaking spot with experienced drivers as the driver in front will pull left to take the corner on the run out of Devil’s Elbow, leaving plenty of room to get up alongside your opponent before the turn-in point and give them the option of dropping in behind you or end up on the grass on the exit to start another

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Circuit Guide: Fulbeck

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It’s a few hundred metres from PF International but Fulbeck doesn’t deserve to
be overshadowed.

Turn 1
A long run to the first bend usually sorts out most drivers after the start but, if needed, the
first turn does allow side by side racing on the first lap. The normal racing line is full left,
braking before a conventional turn in. Once on the kerb hold this position to the apex. Let
the kart run wide as the bend tightens allowing it to take up the full width of the track.

For gearbox karts this is the main overtaking point, being wide enough to offer a variety of
lines for those who dive up the inside.

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Turn 2

Approach the right flip from the left hand side of the circuit, braking as you run to the right
of the circuit beyonf the kerb. Accelerate into the chicane braking just beyond the kerb,
which you can run across. Exit, clipping the left hand kerb, straight lining the bend as
much as possible to complete the manoeuvre on the right of the track.

Turn 3
Approached from hard right this is a standard ninety left with either a dab of the brakes or
a light lift. Start hard right cutting across to the kerb, then running wide to the full outside
as you exit the bend. Overtaking is only possible if the driver ahead makes an error, but
the exit from this bend is crucial if an overtaking opportunity is to be taken at the next turn.

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Fulbeck is also known for it’s MASSIVE KERBS

Turn 4
Running from the ninety left, ease the kart back from the right hand side of the track over
to the left braking for the 180°. Turn in onto the kerb following it round to a wide exit. Let
the kart run wide to the very edge of the track. There are overtaking opportunities up the
inside as you enter the bend. This will make the exit more difficult, but provided that you do
not run wide onto the soil you should be able to hold the position.

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Turn 5
Fulbeck is famous for its Pits Complex, which is approached from hard right. Turn in onto
the nearside kerb braking as you straight line the bend. A driver with a good exit from Turn
4 may take the inside here. Hug the kerb the the 180° loop accelerating wide for the next
90° right. Do not run much wider than mid track as you pull back right, turning in early,
missing the kerb at the apex to run wide exiting the bend. The exit to the complex is one of
the most important turns on the circuit as it sets the driver up for the longest straight and
most usable overtaking point.

Turn 6
Turn in to straight line the entrance to this chicane. Brake as you cut across the track
keeping well to the right but missing the kerb. Turn in to a late apex running wide over the
exit kerb before letting the kart use the full width of the circuit. The most used overtaking
point for direct drive karts – if an opportunity opens up to nip inside a leading driver, it is
well worth carrying it through.

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Track Guide: Three Sisters

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The Three Sisters Race Circuit, situated in the town of Ashton-in-Makerfield, is one of the UK’s premier karting venues and holds the title of being one of the fastest “short” circuits in British Karting, with close, exciting racing and overtaking possible at almost every section of the track.

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The Start

The Start line is situated halfway up Conrad Straight, the longest straight in British karting, and you’ll be reaching extraordinary high speeds for a racing kart before barrelling into Turns 1, 2 and 3, which are also part of the Esses complex. Under racing conditions, hard braking is followed by a late apex for T1 just off the kerb.
Follow the kerb round before flicking left for T2 which is another late apex, you’ll be off the brakes and balancing the throttle at this point. Halfway round T2 the track is bumpy and you’ll probably feel the kart going airborne on the inside slightly but you’ll also notice that the uphill T3 can be taken almost without any steering input whatsoever so get on the throttle fully and speed your way up the hill. Overtaking into this complex is probably the easiest thing in the world if your motor has some  waft as the tow can be felt from up to 6 or 7 kart lengths back most of the time, so if you’re in front of someone by said distance going across the line for the last lap,  chances are you’re almost certainly going to have to defend the inside hard to stand a chance of keeping the spot.

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Valley Chicane

A short straight follows before the signature part of this course, the Valley Chicane. This is downhill, very fast, has high kerbs either side and the stopwatch will reward the last of the late brakers. Approach from the full left before swinging into the first apex, just clipping the kerb with your wheels (in the wet I would smash straight over this kerb) before straight-lining it down towards the second apex, staying clear of the kerb this time. If you’re good and brave you will have kept the throttle on fully all the way through here and will only be hitting the brakes once you feel the dip at the second apex ready to take the third part, a hairpin, towards the paddock straight.

Keep close to the kerb all the way round the hairpin whilst feeding in the power before running out to use a wee bit of the flat exit kerb. Overtaking is possible here if you get a massive advantage in speed over the guy in front coming out of T3 but most of the time it’s best to take this single file and use it to set up a possible move into the next corner. A half-hearted move here can result in some serious consequences.

Paddock Bend

Paddock Bend is next and is preceded by the straight of the same name. Leave braking until you’ve actually started turning into this corner, which is best done early,
and follow the high kerb all the way round until the very end which will set you up nicely for the next part of the track. That next part is immediately afterwards with two sharply left cornered bends known as Turns 6 and 7. This is a double apex which can be taken in two ways; one way is to go for a mid-track apex for the first part before getting on the power to get close to the kerb for the second apex and straight-lining the little wiggly bit afterwards on the way to Rodgersons Straight. The second way, and probably the better one for racing purposes, is to go in and get close to the kerb at both apexes before running out and running your wheels over the end of the high kerb on the right part of the wiggly bit before entering the straight.

If done correctly, all the braking will be completed during the second half of Paddock Bend leaving T6 and T7 to be where you would feed in the power ready for the next part of the course. Overtaking is possible into Paddock using a better exit from the Valley to your advantage and into T6 if they leave the door “very widely” open (and I stress, “very widely”).

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Final Complex

After the wiggly bit, Rodgersons Straight follows before Turn 8 and Lunar Bend. Turn 8 is a very fast left hand bend and how you take this corner depends on how well Lunar and Conrad Straight are taken too so it’s important that both the driver and the kart perform well round here. Approach T8 from the right before either lifting or power-braking into a mid to late apex, this part is bumpy and lays a lot of rubber so hopping is common here. Lunar follows immediately afterwards and will require a slight dab on the brakes. Turn in from a mid to left track position during your dab on the brakes and get close to the inside kerb, control the throttle to hug the kerb all the way round before letting the kart run wide towards the outside kerb. By now you should be on full throttle for the two right handed kinks which lead onto Conrad Straight to start another lap. As with the rest of the track, overtaking is doable here either into Turn 8 using the better exit speed from the addock/T6/T7 complex or into Lunar if you are right behind them and they stay too far left after the exit of T8, although in most cases it’s best using it to make sure your exit is as clean as possible ready to slipstream past them up Conrod Straight.

Photos by Jay Adair Motorsport Photography

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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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Circuit Guide: Forest Edge

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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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British Superkart Association National Championship for F125 Open

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Reigning F125 Open champion Lee Harpham left Brands Hatch with the championship lead, but Matt Isherwood and Liam Morley had a win apiece. They now pose a serious threat for the rest of the season to the former European Superkart champion retaining his F125 crown.
Qualifying
Chris Needham, back in 125s after a spell in a Division One, set the early pace before the red flags came out. Dan Edwards seized his TM motor at Paddock Hill Bend while further round the lap at Clearways, Phil Garrett spun and was collected by guest driver Richard Watts in his 250 Honda. Liam Morley, also making a return to 125s was soon on the pace. A series of quick laps saw him secure pole position with a lap of 48.201s, comfortably inside the lap record. Needham improved on his earlier time but he was over a second slower on 49.233s to start alongside on the front row.

Race One
When the lights went out, Isherwood got a cracking start from row 2 and went past Morley and Needham on the run down to Paddock. Needham slotted into second place and they crossed the line at the end of the opening lap nose to tail. Morley led the next group of Moss, Harpham and Danny Butler.

Harpham moved into third place on lap two and started to close on the pair ahead dragging Morley along with him. Morley took over in third place on lap 5 and set a new lap record but on the following lap he pulled off with a broken clutch basket.

Isherwood started to put some daylight over his pursuers and by lap 13 had opened up a lead of 3.603s. He set the fastest lap of the race in the process and a new lap record beating Morley’s previous best. Harpham and Moss had caught Needham while Butler was holding fifth place, but 10 seconds further back.

Isherwood extended his lead over the remaining laps and ran out the worthy winner. “There were quick guys in front of me on the grid. I needed to get a good start and just keep my head down,” he said afterwards. All eyes were on the scrap for second place. Harpham passed Needham at Paddock on lap 17 but couldn’t shake him off while Moss watched and waited for an opportunity that didn’t come. At the flag the three karts were separated by only half a second. “Matt was pulling away and I had to make a move on Chris to stand any chance of winning,” explained Harpham “My tyres had gone off by the end of the race and I was hanging the tail out at Paddock. I looked over my shoulder and saw the others coming but couldn’t do much about it,” added Needham. Moss was happy with his fourth place despite “running out of revs at the end of the straight. We will have to change the gearing for the next race.”

 

Results

1 Matt Isherwood       Anderson Magnum Vortex

2 Lee Harpham           F1 Redspeed TM

3 Chris Needham        Anderson Vortex

4 Sam Moss                 Anderson TM

5 Danny Butler           F1 TM

6 Kevin Waring           F1 Redspeed TM

Race Two
The first five rows of the grid contained current and former F125 Open champions, UK Cup winners, Grand Prix winners and lap record holders in the 125cc class and the 250cc class. Isherwood got another good start and led Morley into Paddock for the first time, while Harpham had his TM motor load up and lost a lot of ground.

At the end of the first lap Isherwood had eked out a lead of just over half a second with Needham, Morley and Butler in hot pursuit. Needham took the lead on lap two but Morley moved ahead on lap four. As they crossed the line at the end of the lap, only 0.097s covered Morley, Needham and Isherwood. Isherwood’s chances of recording a double win evaporated on lap seven when the big end failed in his Vortex engine.

Morley started to ease away and on lap eight set a new lap record of 48.655s to open up a lead of 1.541s. Needham was still chasing and was clear of Butler and Moss who were fighting over third place. Moss stopped at the pits at the end of lap ten when the water pump pulley on the axle moved and the belts came off. Unable to effect a repair, he was forced to retire. On the following lap Needham pulled out when the exhaust spring snapped.

That left Morley with a lead of 8.5s over Butler with Harpham up to third just ahead of Edwards. Morley continued to pull away over the remainder of the race and won by a massive margin of over 19s. “That’s made up for the earlier disappointment,” Morley said. “The new Anderson was performing well.” Butler looked to be in a safe second place, but the new TM KZ10 motor went a bit flat just after half distance and he just hung on to the position at the flag.

Harpham and Edwards battled for third place and Dan was ahead at the end of lap 14. But Harpham got a tow along Brabham Straight and drove round the outside of Edwards at Paddock to regain the position on the following tour.

 

Results

1 Liam Morley Anderson Vortex

2 Danny Butler           F1 TM

3 Lee Harpham           F1 Redspeed TM

4 Dan Edwards           HRK TM

5 Duncan Marshall      F1 TM

6 Neil Robinson          F1 Redspeed TM

BSA F125 Open Championship 2014 – Positions after two rounds
1 Lee Harpham           47pts

2 Danny Butler           43

3 Dan Edwards           32

4 Duncan Marshall      32

5 Matt Isherwood       30

6 Liam Morley 30