25th October 2012, 13:53 at 1:53 pm #132274
Right, so yesterday was the first time I ever raced in the wet and I’ve lost any hope of making it into Formula 1… There was a substantial amount of water on the track, with puddles at places. During the 45 minutes I must have spun more often than Massa at Silverstone 2008 (in my defence though, I was driving on slicks whereas he wasn’t). Never mind that though because after some time I kept the spins at a minimum (although I did spin at the last corner of the race and lost 2 places…) and my biggest problem was TERRIBLE understeer in slow corners especially.
Trying to kick the back out under braking as in the dry works through the initial phase of the corner, but once you’re in that position I either drifted round the corner by applying the throttle too early or the kart regained grip and started to understeer again at the exit.
The quicker the corner, the less of a problem this was (and I don’t necessarily mean quick corners, but say a 90-degree corner was better than a hairpin and so on). The obvious answer might be that I simply tried to tackle them too quickly, but that’s hardly an answer as some guy who’s done single seaters sailed through them with seemingly no problem at all. For some reason he had the grip to keep it smoothly on the outside whereas I either went straight on or was going sideways compromising my line.
Any help/suggestions?25th October 2012, 15:19 at 3:19 pm #213707
Not that I’m by any stretch a karting expert, but I do know a few people who are fairly handy. They seemed to think when I had 30 kart race in the wet, on slicks, that the best thing to do is to literally try to drift around just about every corner, and just keep turning in and turning in to optimize the corner exit speed. I failed dismally at this race though, and found out that tyre barriers are actually relatively soft :’)25th October 2012, 15:50 at 3:50 pm #213708
Hi, if you have your own kart then I can suggest some set up tips, but otherwise hit the kerb, be smooth and progressive, try and line up late Apex’s and reduce wheel as much as possible :)25th October 2012, 16:18 at 4:18 pm #213709
@olliekart how exactly do you reduce wheels? I wouldn’t suggest driving 3-wheeled in the wet… :P
And I think you mean avoid the kerb, rather than hit the kerb… kerbs go quite slippery when wet.25th October 2012, 16:35 at 4:35 pm #213710
Meant wheel spin! haha
and ive been pro karting for 4 years and EVERY driver hits kerbs, mainly cos 1. The track less grip on the racing line than a kerb because the water on the rubber doesnt disperse as well and the kerbs mostly remains drier because they are slanted and let the water run of them and 2. by getting on the kerb you are reducing the track length and making less drastic changes of direction between 2 consecutive corners :)25th October 2012, 16:48 at 4:48 pm #213711
Aha. I’ve never karted before. The vehicle dynamics work I’ve ever done counts for very little too – karts are a very weird beast and are very different to cars. All my track experience is in cars, so yeah. In cars you do a line that basically marks the traditional dry weather racing line as a “no go zone.” Otherwise it’s all good.25th October 2012, 18:41 at 6:41 pm #213712
There are two ways to introduce front grip in a kart if it rains. The first is a very easy fix; put on wets. The second takes a little practice to get the set up right, and a lot of work with the front end of the kart. First off, a quick fix would be to widen up the front. Long hubs, more rings, anything it takes to get that front as wide as possible. The reason the front pushed is probably because the rear had more grip in the situation (due to your sitting position, axle softness, narrower tires so less surface contact etc….) and therefore the front did not have enough, leading to understeer. Note that if you induce more grip in the front, you may get to much front grip and have problems with over-rotating it into a corner. Therefore you always have to counter what you do to the front with rear set up changes as well.
Other than set up, one thing I wish I learned earlier was to use your body in the kart. If you lean backwards and to the outside of the corner, the loaded wheel (in a left turn its the right rear, a right turn its the left rear) gains grip and improves side bite, which will then increase rear grip. It will also give you more stability mid corner and exit.
And on the topic of kerbs and rubber, stay off ALL kerbs on the ENTRY to a corner. If you break on a kerb, you will lose the kart. There are many different ideas on what to do with the rubber, and how to change your line in the wet. A basic idea to have is to “cross the rubber”. I find that breaking slightly to the inside of where you usually break, and then getting the kart to the outside of the corner works best. Basically, reduce all contact with the rubber on the track to a minimum. In other words, instead of outside inside outside, its inside outside middle. On entry, don’t go to far inside, but more inside than your usual breaking point.
This is because as was stated, when rubber gets wet, it does not give much grip. This is for several reasons. One, being that the surface is smooth, so if you break on it while wet, the water gets jammed between the wheel and the surface and you aquaplane. Also, when it rains, the rubber can release oils that the tire naturally holds. When this oil comes out, it gets very slick. This isn’t such a big deal in the full wet, but it can be problematic in drying conditions.
Hope this helped a little, but rain racing takes a lot of practice, and usually some luck too.1st June 2013, 18:53 at 6:53 pm #213713
After starting karting today, I am afraid of going early on the throttle and drifting. What could I do to overcome this?1st June 2013, 19:14 at 7:14 pm #213714
Are you getting oversteer?1st June 2013, 19:56 at 7:56 pm #213715
Generally speaking, my exit of the corner is rubbish.1st June 2013, 20:53 at 8:53 pm #213716
Can you be more specific? Are you sliding/bouncing/bogging down?2nd June 2013, 5:39 at 5:39 am #213717
No, I’m just late in putting the throttle down.2nd June 2013, 7:02 at 7:02 am #213718
So you are going in too hot, understeering off the racing line, then having to wait til you have straightened up the kart to get on the gas?2nd June 2013, 7:15 at 7:15 am #213719
I didin’t say it correctly. I brake OK, but I’m going too much off the throttle in the middle of the corner and so late in accelaration. How could I improve in this aspect or this will come alone as I get more experience?2nd June 2013, 8:14 at 8:14 am #213720
Then put the throttle down earlier? I really have no idea what you are describing :/
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