Your First Race Day

Nerves! … it’s quite normal to have butterflies, even after seasons of racing. Beat the nerves by knowing you are ready. Prepare your kart a few days before the race. Set it up to your “standard” setting which you have determined works well at that specific track. Avoid “all nighter” prep sessions the night before a race; if you break something or find something wrong, it doesn’t leave you any time to get the spares you need. If possible, load up the kart and spares the night before the race. Avoid rushing in the morning. (You’ll find that karting requires some pretty early starts!)

When you get to the track find your allocated pit (don’t steal someone else’s pit!) and offload your kart. Get your kart scrutineered as early as possible, then get documentation done before fiddling with the kart. For documentation you’ll need your license and a pen.

Make sure that your timing transponder is fitted and charged before you go on to the circuit. If you don’t own a timing transponder you will need to rent one from the organisers. In the long run it is cheaper and far more convenient to own your transponder.

Check the weight of you/your kart on the scale. Make adjustments to the weight later if required. Rather be a kilo or two too heavy, as your weight tends to vary during the day (you will be excluded from any official standings even if you are even a fraction under the required weight.

After scrutineering you should have time to relax or fiddle (some drivers can only relax when they are fiddling), before drivers briefing. Driver’s briefing is compulsory so listen carefully.

After drivers briefing the program moves straight into the Tuning Run. If you are first on the roster, try to have your kart on the dummy grid before drivers briefing …. saves rushing around. It also gets you out near the front, where the clear track is. Remember, you are not racing. Be courteous and let faster guys by, but concentrate on getting in as many clean laps as you can. Avoid sitting directly behind another kart. You can only go as fast as them … no faster. Don’t spend 2-3 laps trying to get by. Wait ’till the straight and back off (after ensuring it’s safe to do so). Wave other karts by if necessary, and then put foot once you have enough clean track ahead of you for 1-2 clean, unobstructed laps. However don’t have too high expectations while you’re a novice. Remember that most of the other drivers out there are probably more experienced than you.