Go Karting For Beginners

Thinking of delving into the world of karting? We're sure you're raring to go, but before you speed off to your nearest track, you might want to check out our all-new beginners guide first.

What to Wear When Go Karting

You want to be comfortable during your race, so it's important to know what to wear when go karting. There's nothing worse than cruising into a spectacular turn but being bothered by too-tight trousers as you do.

Wear comfortable clothing that you can feasibly sit and stretch in - nothing too loose or that you'd be precious about getting mucky, just simple jeans and a T-shirt will do. Trainers are the best footwear for racing in - you won't be allowed to race in anything with an open toe or heels.

You'll be given overalls and gloves before you get into the track area, so make sure your clothing isn't going to be too heavy going - it gets pretty warm once the race adrenaline kicks in too!

If you've got long hair, tie it back out the way. You'll be given a helmet, and you'll need a balaclava unless you bring your own. You can buy a disposable one for 50p, or our reusable cotton ones are £3.50 - they make an ace souvenir.

It's not a good idea to wear precious or big jewellery either, better to leave it at home than lose it on the circuit!

Now you're dressed for the occasion, it's time to hit the track.

What to expect

Once you're kitted out with the appropriate gear, you'll have your safety talk that tells you everything you need to know about racing with us, so listen up!

When that's over and you're out on the track, these go karts pack a mean punch, so prepare yourself for the thrill – our team will show you where you need to be.

Go karting is more physically demanding than you might expect, especially if you've never done it before, so it's wise to do a little warm up beforehand. Try a bit of on-the-spot jogging, making sure your hands and wrists are flexed and ready to go.

Sitting in

When you're stood next to a go kart, actually getting in it can seem like an art in itself, but our race staff will explain where to put your feet, so listen to them before buckling up.

Take a look at the handy image below that demonstrates how you should position yourself once you're in your kart. You should be able to comfortably reach the pedals with your legs slightly bent, and hold the steering wheel at roughly west and east positions without having to lurch forwards to reach it.

Pedal power

In short, the right pedal is your accelerator, the left your brake. Make sure you don't press both pedals at the same time, it's always one or the other.

Learning how to drive a go kart for the first time is simple when you think about it - the harder you press on your right pedal, the faster you'll go. The trick is anticipating what's coming up ahead of you, and reacting accordingly.

Our karting staff will take you through everything you need to know, but in short, here's how to drive a go kart:

How to Drive a Go Kart

  1. Sit comfortably - Posture and positioning play a key role in performance as they affect handling and speed. Make sure you are comfortable with your back flat against the seat and your hands symmetrically on the wheel.
  2. Gently press the accelerator pedal until you start to move. Practice getting a feel for how much you need to press the pedal to move the kart.
  3. Make sure you're familiar with the brake. Do this before you pick up speed. Sharp braking and braking while turning can slow you down due to lost traction.
  4. Keep it smooth - the key to successful racing is to avoid the need for sudden braking which causes you to lose momentum. Braking in a straight line will also help you keep pace and traction. Smooth driving is key.
  5. Maximise straights – Keeping the car straight as much as you can will allow you to get up your speed and hit those fast laps!
  6. Keep your distance - avoid unnecessary bangs by staying a safe distance from the barriers, and from other drivers!

Treat your first couple of laps as practice, get to know your kart, get a feel for its speed and give your tyres a chance to warm up. The first lap should be steady - don't go pushing it until you know how to control it.

Stay safe

As a beginner, it's essential that you listen to everything our race staff tell you. They have the power to ban you from the race if you don't follow the rules, so it's important to listen and pay attention to them, after all, they're the most clued up on everything you need to know about karting.

If you encounter a problem while you’re racing, stop in the pits if possible and then raise your hand to alert a member of staff – they’ll be able to help you as soon as they can.

Once you're comfortable

After a couple of laps you're sure to feel more at ease with this whole racing thing. So now's the time to really get stuck in to some serious competing. You'll be racing past that finish line in first place before you know it.

Source:  Team Sport

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