Body Posture - The Karting Secret that Transforms Kart Drivers
Ok, let's get on with introducing some fundamentals of driving a kart that every driver should know. Getting these techniques nailed will really pay off later in the course, and are really going to boost your confidence in the kart.
Don't worry, I'm not going to patronise you, I'm assuming you are already a reasonable driver and you're here to perfect your techniques.
Here's what you're going to find out today
- The way you hold your steering wheel directly affects the physics of your kart. You will find out the most effective way to hold your wheel, I'm serious- this really matters
- How your posture in the kart makes it handle better, and makes feel and look like a real intimidator
- Setting up your kart. You must, and I can't stress this enough, you must have your seat fixed in the right position. This should be very straight forward
- Once you have a reasonable set up, your driving is the key to getting quicker, and is far more important than tinkering around with set up.
How to hold your steering wheel for maximum advantage.
This is nice and simple to start us off. Take a look through your karting mags and check out where the quick drivers hold the wheel. Now, the majority of quick drivers hold the wheel pretty close to the 10 to 2 position. From a drivers perspective this gives you a feeling of strength in the kart.
But more importantly, holding the wheel in the 10 to 2 position helps give the correct weight transfer from your body to the front of the kart, through your arms. In fact, holding the wheel correctly like this will make the front end stick better. Once you master the technique you will really feel the difference.
How you should sit in your kart, good posture.
Again, this is nice and simple but loads of drivers don't understand how vitally important this is. If you sit properly in the kart you will help the weight transfer across the kart (which remember is mega-important to handling). Here's what I mean.
Sit in your kart with your hands on the wheel at the 10 to 2 postion. Sit upright in your seat and puff your chest out a bit. Push against your wheel with your arms and then relax your arms. Now you should have a good strong posture in the kart, you will also look a lot more intimidating to other drivers! You will look like you mean business, and feel like you mean business too. This posture will also become vitally important in tomorrows ‘killer driving techniques' lesson.
Setting up your kart. Get the seat in the right place, please!
What's more important, being comfy in the kart or having the seat in the right place for the physics and handling of the kart? Well I didn't start winning races until I put the seat in the right place, according to my kart manufacturer. I'm over 6ft, and unfortunately for me that meant I had to drive with my knees up round my ears!!.
So if you want your kart to work properly, ask the maker of your chassis exactly where your seat should go. You can then start moving the pedals and steering column to fit. Now if you are tiny, you may need to reach a compromise, but just remember the seat position comes before where you feel comfortable.
Getting your driving right before you obsess over your set up
I am assuming here that you have a half sharp engine, a straight chassis and a sensible set up. Once you have these your main priority should be to practice honing your driving skills, because that's the best way to get quicker AND how you will learn to become a great driver. And, if you aren't at a stable level with your driving how are you going to know what difference your new set up makes.
Tomorrow we will go much deeper into the art of driving, and I'm going to cover the number 1 driving secret you need to start practicing now, if you want to become one of those ‘special' drivers. This is a technique I used to take 2 seconds a lap off one driver's best times in one practice session, without touching the set up- it happened as if by magic and blew us both away!