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Racing in the wet like the Pro’s

by George / 06 September 2013

When the heavens open up, outdoor go karting becomes a whole lot funner. That’s true whether it’s a dry, sunny day or a wet, overcast one. Contrary to what you might think, wet karting is a lot of fun. One of the main reasons that many people think otherwise is because they don’t take the time to learn how to properly drive go karts in the wet. As a result, they struggle to perform basic maneuvers and end up feeling like it’s not worth it. In reality, learning a few simple techniques can totally transform the experience. In fact, you’ll find yourself looking forward to karting in the wet.

What are the Advantages of Wet Go Karting?

If you’re scoffing at the idea of enjoying wet go karting, you should consider a few of the top advantages of doing so:

  • Learning how to go kart in the wet will enhance your skills in all conditions. One area in which you will really shine is braking. If you can master the art of braking while you’re wet go karting, you will positively annihilate everyone when you’re on a dry circuit.
  • When you go kart in the wet, you will gain a much clearer understanding of how a kart works. It’s amazing how many people drive go karts without really understanding them. In no time at all, you will have a greater understanding and a lot more respect for your kart.
  • Wet go karting allows you to identify your weaknesses so that you can correct them more efficiently and effectively. Basically, your problem areas will be amplified when you’re karting in the wet. This may sound like a bad thing, but it’s truly the best way to improve your skills.

Mastering Your Go Kart in the Wet

The best way to master wet go karting is by getting out there and doing it. Le Mans Go Karts Melbourne is an outdoor only track, so it’s a great place to get a lot of practice. In the meantime, here are a few tips for hitting the ground running while go karting in the wet:

  • Turning low-speed corners in the wet works best if you get the tire to bite without locking. You must be in tune to what the kart is doing. Eventually, you’ll learn where the fastest braking point is. When it feels like the wheel is about to lock, release the pressure quickly.
  • For mid-speed corners, try mixing up the following techniques a little. It’s fine to be aggressive on the turn unless the corner is extremely fast. While you go through, lean toward the outside front wheel.
  • For high-speed corners, the best way to go is to take them smoothly and easily. Don’t shift your body weight, lean forward or do anything else to disrupt the equilibrium of the kart. Make sure not to do anything drastic with the wheel. The goal is to get your power down gracefully and to avoid wheelspin at all costs.
  • When it comes to turning in while go karting in the wet, the most important thing is to make sure that the rear, inside tyre lifts up off the ground while the turn is being executed. Resist the urge to brake when you normally would; you should do it a little later. Take the corner deep and wide. At the same time, aggressively turn the wheel into a complete lock. You should lose speed, and then the cart should bite and turn sharply on the part of the track that is cleaner and offers more traction. When you’re past the turn, sit all the way back to distribute your weight near the back tyres. Carefully feed the throttle to ward off wheelspin.

Now that you’ve committed these tips to memory, go out and practice go karting in the wet at Le Mans Go Karts Melbourne.

Want to read more? There’s some great information on the “Art” of wet racing over at SQRacing.

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