Tag Archives: karting circuit

Track Guide: Thruxton

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Allard

Approach this right hander at 108 mph in 4th gear. The turn in is late and the corner is taken flat pulling 10700rpm with the DRS activated through the corner. You need to keep off the inside kerb as it is quite high. Let the kart run out wide on the exit and grab 5th gear. Keep the kart to the left hand side of the circuit through the gradual left hand turn as the track rises.

Campbell

After climbing away from Allard I approach the first part of the complex at 120mph in 5th gear with the engine revving to 10600rpm. I release the DRS to make sure it’s fully down before I brake hard. This ensures that the rear end is stable and I benefit from maximum deceleration. I come down to 2nd gear and turn in as late as possible. Try not to let the kart drift out past the mid-point of the tarmac so that you can slingshot through the next corner in the complex.

Cobb

The second part of the complex is taken flat out in 2nd gear. Try not to let the kart drift out too much to the right on the exit so that you can get a better line through the last part of the complex. The kart tends to oversteer a bit under power as you are in the peak power range at 10700rpm.

Segrave

I grab 3rd gear just after Cobb and flick the DRS on when the kart is straight. The corner is taken flat in 3rd. Stay well away from the inside kerb as its high. You can let the kart run out to the exit kerb but it isn’t necessary. As you accelerate away from Segrave grab 4th gear and then 5th just before the next corner. It is very important to get a good clean exit from the complex as it is flat out from here to the final chicane. Any exit speed that you gain here will also gain you time all the way to the Club chicane.

Noble

Bring the kart over to the right hand side of the track to get a good turn in for this fast left-hander still holding 5th gear with the kart revving at 10400rpm. I can just about use the DRS through here, although my line has to be perfect and the tyres need to be in good condition otherwise the kart becomes unstable and I compromise my entry to the next corner by running wide.

Goodwood

There are many lines that you can take through Goodwood but the secret is to keep it neat and tidy through here and scrub off as little speed as possible. Position the kart in the middle apex of the corner. I am pulling 10400 revs at 118 mph in 5th gear. I don’t use the DRS as it makes the kart a bit unstable, which scrubs off the speed, but I activate it as soon as most of the turning has been completed

Village

This corner is really an extension of Goodwood as the circuit is still turning right around a very long curve. There is a small kerb on the apex of the bend and you should aim for that to take the shortest distance. You need to straight line this section as much as possible applying a small amount of steering to maintain maximum speed.

Church

The approach to Church is nearly the fastest part of the circuit with a speed of 126mph at 10900rpm. The marshals post on the inside is a good reference point. Keep close to the kerb so that the kart doesn’t run out on the exit. There is a small hump on the inside but it doesn’t unsettle the kart too much if you are smooth and I use the DRS through here. Stay away from the exit kerb as it is ridged and can damage your tyres as well as scrubbing off speed. You need to drive through this corner as smooth as possible and don’t throw the kart into the corner, as you will be all over the place on the exit.

Brooklands

This is a gradual left hand curve and the circuit starts to rise. Try and slipstream other karts as much as possible through.

Club Chicane

The chicane is a tight messy end to the lap as you have been in 5th gear for a long time. You cannot see the inside kerb on the approach to the corner. Use the skid marks on the tarmac as a reference point as there are few helpful distance boards. I release the DRS and then it’s hard on the brakes and down to 2nd gear. There are lots of different lines that you can take but I try and brake in a straight line from the very right hand side of the track so that I end up in the middle of the track for the turn in. The circuit sweeps to the right while you are in the braking zone. Turn into the first apex at 65 mph and keep off the kerb as it high. Hug the inside and then accelerate through the left hand part of the chicane taking a bit of kerb. Keep it flat in 2nd gear and then brush the right hand kerb in the final part. If you take too much kerb the kart will get launched and will compromise your speed at the end of the lap. On the exit of the chicane I let the kart run right out to the left hand side and activate the DRS on the exit. Keep off the kerb but use part of the access road on the left. Then grab 3rd gear. Keep the kart to the left hand side of the track as it starts to curve round towards the first corner and then change up to 4th gear as you cross the finish line to record a time of 1:18.649s at an average speed of 107.84mph.

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Track Guide: Bishopscourt

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Turn 1

I approach this left-hander at 130mph in 5th gear pulling 11,000 revs, moving to the right hand side of the straight just after the pit road exit. Using the full width of the circuit, I turn in to the corner as smoothly as possible to maintain the speed and hug the inside kerb trying to stay as far to the left of the track as possible for a better entry to the next corner. It’s absolutely flat out, and sometimes the back end wants to step out so it requires 100% concentration and commitment.

Turn 2

Using the end of the slip road on the left hand side as my braking point, I dab the brakes and come down to 4th gear, going through the corner at 100mph. The kart always understeers here, no matter what you do with set-up, so you just let the kart run out on the exit.

Turn 3

This is a slight left hand kink on the map but I straight-line this after getting a good exit from the previous corner and then keep to the left hand side of the track approaching Turn 4.

Turn 4

I approach this tight right-hander at 105mph in 4th gear pulling 10,000 revs. It’s then hard on the brakes and down to 2nd gear. At around 50mph, take a late apex so that you get a good exit onto the following straight and accelerate up through 3rd and into 4th gear.

Turn 5

After a short straight you approach the chicane in 4th gear. As you lift off the throttle, turn in and come down to 3rd gear, at around 80mph. On the exit I grab 4th gear and aim for the slip road on the right hand side as my exit point. As I accelerate away from the chicane I grab 5th gear. This is the most important corner for kart set-up. You want a stable kart, but too much understeer and you’re throwing away apex speed. It’s so important to get a good exit here as the following straight (including the flat out Turn 6) is quite long.

Turn 6

This is a left-right flick taken absolutely flat at 115mph in 5th gear with the kart still accelerating as you aim simply to follow the path of least resistance. It is a very satisfying sequence and you are nowhere near the limit of adhesion. It can be tricky if you catch a backmarker in this section.

Turn 7

Following another short straight, I approach the second chicane at 125mph pulling 10,700 revs. This sequence is similar to the first chicane but is quicker and, like the first chicane, it needs a really refined set-up. The most exhilarating sequence Bishopscourt has to offer, the Turn 7 chicane and the following corner are where you can gain or lose the most amount of time during a lap. Brake and come down to 4th gear and then use all of the kerbs for better momentum. The apex speed is around 100mph, but don’t use too much of the circuit on the exit of the left-hander because you need to pull the kart back to the left hand side of the track on the next short straight to set you up for the entry to the following corner.

Turn 8

This right hand corner is tighter than it appears. I drop down to 3rd gear and dab the brakes to get the nose in. Ignore the kerb on the inside as it unsettles the back end, and let the kart run out on the exit as the circuit starts to climb slightly and bends round to the left. Get the kart as far to the right of the track as possible for the entry to the final part of the lap.

Turn 9

Swing the kart hard over to the left hand side of the circuit, just clipping the kerb as you begin to brake, to set you up for the approach to the final corner. Turn 9 is not really a corner, but acts as a marker to set you up for the final bend.

Turn 10

This corner is similar to Club Corner at Silverstone. Hard on the brakes I come down to 2nd gear on the entry and hit the apex. Accelerate as early and as hard as the rear tyres will allow as the corner starts to open up letting the kart run out to the exit kerb and grab 3rd gear. Keep the power on as the circuit starts to go slightly downhill and grab 4th gear and then 5th as you cross the grid to start another lap having just recorded a time of 69.223s at an average speed of 102.72mph.

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Track Guide: Cadwell Park

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Coppice

As you approach this uphill left-hander at approximately 110mph you should have grabbed 6th gear where the short circuit comes in from the right hand side. Keep to the right hand side of the track and start to turn in between the service road and the marshals post. Aim for
a late apex holding 6th gear and allow the camber to take you through the corner. On the exit let the kart drift to the middle of circuit before pulling back to the left.

Charlies

After climbing away from Coppice you come down one gear to 5th as you aim for the first apex and then let the kart run out to the left hand side of the track as you reach the blind brow of the hill. As the track starts to drop downhill make a gradual turn trying not to scrub off
any speed. Ignore the first kerb and aim for the second kerb as your apex of the corner and grab 6th gear. Use all of the track on the exit but keep off the kerb as this could compromise your speed along Park Straight. Hold 6th gear down through the dip on Park Straight. As the track
rises keep to the left hand side as there is a slight curve.

Park

As you crest the rise and onto the flat you can see Park corner in the distance. The approach is at approximately 112mph pulling 3,900rpm. It’s hard on the brakes and down two gears to 4th. Hug the inside kerb and let the kart run out on the exit. The corner is slightly
cambered but keep off the exit kerb as it can suck you off the track as the circuit levels out. I grab 5th gear after the exit kerb as there is a bit of a dip on the circuit.

Chris Curve

This is a seemingly never-ending right hand curve. I stay tight for the first part and once past the marshals post let the kart run out to the left. Grab 6th gear and continue to hold the outside line all the way round the curve. This is essential to set you up for the next sequence.

Gooseneck

This corner has a difficult approach. You need to keep to the outside of the circuit for as long as possible. Come down one gear to 5th and aim for the last part of the kerb on the right hand side. If you apex too early you are on the wrong line for the next part of the corner. As you reach the kerb on the right hand side the track starts to fall away to the left and you need to throw the kart in and use the camber. The exit is blind and you need to be careful not to run over the kerb on the right hand side. The track drops steeply downhill and I grab 6th gear.

Mansfield

There is a steep drop down to this corner and you need to brake hard and come down two gears to 4th. For those that miss their braking point there is a service road that can be used.
Keep the kart to the right hand side all the way down the hill as the turn in to Mansfield is very late, although be wary of a possible block pass up the inside. I square off the corner and take a late apex. Let the kart run out on the exit and grab 5th gear and then into 6th pulling 3,800rpm.
The track then curves slightly round to the left but don’t be tempted to take what would be the shortest route as there is a nasty bump on the inside. The best line is in the middle of the track.

The Mountain

This section has two parts to it. Brake hard on the approach to the left hand lower part and come down three gears to 3rd. You can throw the kart into the apex of the corner as it is banked and then goes uphill. Make sure that you keep to the left hand side of the track on the exit. The next right-hander comes up very quickly and you need to be aggressive on the turn-in.
Apex cleanly, stay in 3rd gear and keep the power on up the very steep climb. Don’t run out past the middle of the circuit as the track curves slightly and you could find yourself on the grass.Stay in 3rd gear approaching the crest and the kart takes off. I then grab 4th gear and accelerate hard as the kart lands.

Hall Bends

I grab 5th gear as I go past the paddock and then back to 4th on the first right hand apex. Just clip the kerb and keep to the right hand side before flicking the kart into the next left.

The track is nicely cambered so it helps you through the corner. Then switch to the right hand side of the track and let the kart run out a bit to the left as you go over the crest with the circuit turning left. This can be a difficult sequence of corners. If you get the first part wrong you are
compromised all the way through. I hold 4th gear all the way through Hall Bends.

Hairpin

The hairpin arrives at you very quickly after you have gone over the left-handed crest after Hall Bends. Brake hard and come down to 2nd gear. Take a late apex except on the final lap when you may need to defend your position. The track drops steeply at the apex so don’t cut it too tight as it could throw you out on the exit. Grab 3rd gear on the exit and accelerate away as the track starts to drop.

Barn

I grab 4th gear before the corner as the track continues to drop slightly. I take a slight lift as I go into the corner to settle the kart and turn in using the inside kerb. The exit is off camber but you need to be committed and grab 5th gear as the corner opens out to give you maximum
speed for the next straight. The track continues to drop and as it levels out grab 6th gear as you cross the finish line to record a time of 1m 30.64s at an average speed of 86.31mph.

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Track Guide: Castle Combe

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Folly

I have just changed up to 5th gear across the start and finish line to gain as much speed as possible. This sets you up for the approach to Folly and the fastest part of the track. The right hand kink does not create any difficulties to the engine or the steering and there is little adjustment to be made. Keeping the kart at a consistent, fast speed is the best way to approach it. Maintain your speed as the track drops slightly on the exit but don’t let the kart drift out too much to the left.

Avon Rise

The approach is slightly uphill with the brow right on the apex of the corner and itis a bit bumpy. With the kart towards the right hand side of the circuit, turn in to the apex on the brow and keep the kart to the left of the track. This is important to create a good line and set you up in time for your entry to the next corner while maintaining good pace.

Quarry Corner

Keeping the kart as square to the track as possible will optimise the braking potential. There are multiple lines taken through this corner but ideally you should brake in a straight line and come down two gears to 3rd. Turn in appears to be a bit late and you should aim for the apex. If you are defending, you may need to position the kart more to the right on the approach but this will compromise your apex point. Use the majority of the track as you exit the corner and grab 4th gear.

The Esses

Keep the kart in 4th gear as you head down Farm Straight and position the kart to the left of the track. The positioning of the kart will open up for the first part of the chicane. Try to take as much of the kerb as possible when turning into the right. As you approach the turn to the left, come down to 3rd gear and move on to the power. Take the kerb as early as possible, taking a wide line which will help to maintain as much speed as possible. Use most of the track on the exit and as you come out of the chicane, change up into 4th gear.

Old Paddock Bend

Move the kart across to the middle of the track on the approach to Old Paddock and change up to 5th gear. Follow this up by easing the kart into the corner. As long as you have a good line the corner can be taken flat out, however it can be bumpy and uneven so the course that you follow should be plotted carefully to reduce risk of injury or damage to the kart. Plan your route so as to make sure for the best run down the Hammerdown Straight.

Tower Corner

The Hammerdown Straight has a slight left hand kink in it and you should ensure that you don’t drift out otherwise this will compromise the entry to Tower. The approach is slightly downhill for this difficult and tricky off-camber corner. Brake and change down two gears to 3rd and take a late apex. Be patient with the throttle due to the kerb on the exit – it is not forgiving and can drag you off the track. Accelerate after this and change up to 4th gear as the circuit starts to rise. Bobbies Keep to the left of the track on the approach and change down to 3rd gear.

Lower the speed as much as possible and, as you enter the right hand bend, hit a late apex. The braking into the right hand bend is difficult. This is due to the track dipping in level and the kart being unable to maintain grip. Approaching in a lower speed will help to avoid this. Out of the left hand dip the track begins to rise and widen out. Use as much of the track on the exit as possible in order to maximise acceleration.

Acceleration will be difficult out of the corner due to the rise in track and a touch of oversteer. There is a big, smooth kerb on the right hand side of the track and this can be used. Hug the kerb on the way out using as much speed and throttle as possible and grab 4th gear. Westway Accelerate as hard as possible up to 5th gear and maintain the speed through Westway. It’s not really a corner and is straightlined allowing you to maintain the speed of the kart.

Camp Corner

Position the kart to the left of the track along Dean Straight as this will help to set you up for the final corner of the track. If the kart is well set up and balanced on the approach you can afford to take a small lift off the throttle or downchange to 4th gear for a decrease in speed. Halfway around the corner there is slight unevenness in the tarmac which can be felt as a bump in the track. This will unsettle the kart and could affect speed and throw the kart off its line. The best way to handle this is to be prepared for the bump and continue through it at pace. Let the kart run out on the exit and change up to 5th gear as soon as possible and gain as much speed as available to cross the Finish line in a time of 1m 7.666s, a speed of 98.42mph.

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Track Guide: Blackbushe

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Start/Finish Straight
Whilst the 125m start/finish straight is driven as a straight line, the original circuit construction was completed with meandering circuit edges. 40m before the first corner there is a slight right hand kink in the straight, which drivers often cut to create a ‘straight line’ braking zone into Turn 1. This driving line can prevent opponents from pulling alongside and overtaking on the inside into the first corner.

Turn 1 & 2 – Bennetts & Wish Bend
Bennetts and Wish Bend can be tackled as a double apex corner in order to maximise speed through this sequence. Start with a hard dab on the brakes after the long straight which is key to a clean and early apex into Bennetts, before aiming to place the right hand front tyre as close as possible to the inside kerb. On clipping the apex, gently release the steering lock and let the kart run out to the left hand edge of the circuit, pointing the kart towards the end of the exit kerb on the left hand side of the circuit.

It is tempting to turn in early to Turn 2, Wish Bend. Instead, keep the kart out wide for slightly longer than feels natural and lift off the throttle on turn-in, getting back on the power as the front right hand tyre clips the last few teeth of the apex kerb. The circuit naturally rises through Wish Bend, which momentarily unweights the kart, as well as making the late apex difficult to sight, so this is possibly one of the trickiest corners to master at Blackbushe.

On the exit of Wish Bend, position the kart so that it runs three quarters of the way across the circuit, rather than attempting to use the full circuit width, straightening the kart so it is well positioned for entry into the next sequence of the circuit.

Turn 3 & 4 – The Esses
There really is little rest around Blackbushe; Immediately after navigating through the first set of corners, it is time to concentrate on the Esses.

On entry to the Esses, place the kart in the middle of the circuit on a constant three quarter throttle and maintain a consistent distance from the left hand track edge as the circuit begins to gently curve left. As the corner tightens further to the left, briefly apply slightly more steering to ‘jack the kart’ into the turn, aiming towards the white line located at the end of the apex kerb. Once the kart is positioned correctly, unwind the steering and apply full power so the kart effectively drives in a straight line into the Esses. Some of the left-hand kerb can be used on approach to the apex but drivers should be wary of unsettling the kart.

This driving line will position the kart in preparation to quickly change direction and hit the second right hand apex of the Esses. With a slight lift off the throttle, place the kart so that the right wheels clip the last part of the apex kerb immediately applying full power after the apex. Since the kerb here is situated in the ‘middle of the track’ (it delineates the divide from the direct drive and gearbox permutations), it is tempting to cut more of the kerb, but this can lead to running wide on the exit or, worse, spinning.

On exit from the Esses, maintain full throttle and let the kart run out to the last part of the exit kerb on the left hand side of the circuit as the track begins to gently slope downhill.

Turn 5 & 6 – Cooper Curve & Top Pit Bend
Turn 5 is a flat out 150 degree left hand kink in the track. The optimum line requires the driver to take a late apex through the kink, positioning the kart in a straight line and running parallel to the left hand edge of the track on the exit. For a quick driver exiting the Esses, it is possible to pull alongside a slower driver on the outside around Cooper Curve and set up an over-take on the inside into Turn 6. However, this may compromise exit speed onto the following straight so some thought is required as to your race tactics before making a ‘lunge’.

After Cooper Curve, the track continues to drop downhill into a 20m straight before a fast entry into the 73 degree, off camber, right hander called Top Pit Bend, which could be likened to a less extreme version of Paddock Hill Bend at Brands Hatch. A conventional racing line can be driven through this downhill corner, with a dab of the brake and a slight lift off the throttle required on entry to point the kart into the corner. Position the wheels as close as possible to the apex and exit kerbs without actually hitting them and take care not to run wide on the exit since the kart will straddle the kerb and is likely to result in the loss of a race position.

On the exit of Top Pit Bend, the circuit straightens for 50m along ‘Pit Straight’. Maintain full throttle and keep the kart on the left hand side of the circuit along this section of straight, driving parallel to the kerb on the left hand side of the track. There is a small compression before the track rises slightly uphill towards Turn 7.

Turn 7 – Pit Bend
Pit Bend is a fast entry right handed corner, which leads into the final Chicane. The turn-in point should be at the transition from asphalt to grass on the left hand side of the track and definitely after the compression to avoid getting the kart ‘out of shape’ on corner entry.

As the kart turns in, lift off the throttle and then gently reapply the power through the corner to balance the kart through the long right hander and into the entry of the chicane, taking care not to ‘overdrive’ the corner or run wide. Some drivers prefer to take a fast entry into the corner which can result in running wide through the corner. However, a driver maintaining a tighter inside line through this long right hander can sometimes sneak past a driver ahead creating a potential overtaking opportunity for the thoughtful racers.

Turn 8 – The Chicane
The Chicane is the final corner sequence around the lap and arguably the most important corner to master a smooth line and optimise gearing since it leads onto the long start/finish straight.

A good exit from Pit Bend should ideally allow a short burst on the throttle and a straight line entry into The Chicane complex, before braking for the left hander of the chicane. Maintaining control of the kart under braking here is important, so the driver can get on the throttle as early as possible and power through the chicane as the steering lock unwinds. On exit of the chicane, use some of the kerb on the right hand side of the circuit and then let the kart naturally run out to the far left on re-entering the start finish straight to maximise top speed as the lap is completed. A clean exit from the Chicane could provide an opportunity to overtake onto the straight and possibly take that all important position on the final lap!

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