How to Win at Indoor Go Karting? If you are looking to find a way to win a race at K1 Speed, Autobahn Speedway, Andretti Indoor karting, RPM Raceway, Supercharged Entertainment and the likes, you have landed in the right spot.
With a couple simple tactics, you will be at the top of the leaderboard in no time!
It really isn’t as hard as it seems. See that video below? Just don’t do that!
This list will help you win your next go kart race. While some of these tips apply to racing and rental go karts, they are more designed for rental go karts. Indoor and outdoor rental go karts are crazy fun.
How to Win at Indoor Go Karting – 5 Speed Secrets
Use these 5 tips to destroy your friends at the go kart track!
- Pick the Fastest Go Kart
- Be Smooth
- Lift on entry to the corners
- Hit the Apex
- Use the Bumper (discreetly)
Go karting can be a very hard sport to learn and be good at. Especially when you are racing with people that have been racing for a long time. They are smart, smooth, know when to use the brakes and the bumper, if you know what I mean.
1. Pick the Fastest Go Kart – How to Win at Indoor Go Karting
Get the go kart the winner of the last race had.
There isn’t going to be a sign that says pick me. You have to be very astute while you are preparing for your race.
Don’t be off joking around if you want to win. Watch a couple races before yours. Check out the leaderboard. Find the fastest person and watch how they enter and exit the corners.
The fastest person on the track may just be the best driver. Or, they might just have the fastest go kart. Go karts at K1 Speed, Autobahn Speedway, Andretti Indoor Karting and so on are supposed to be all equal.
It is time consuming and expensive to make sure all of the go karts are equal. Parts wear out, motors get slightly weaker over time and tires…. don’t even get me started on tires.
If the last person that raced that go kart was fast, you probably will be too. Fight for the same go kart the fast person had.
2. Be Smooth – How to Win a Go Kart Race
Smooth with the steering wheel, not with your game trying to impress someone.
The go kart’s low horsepower and solid rear axle can really drag down the speed. When you steer the go kart like you are chopping wood or swatting bees you are going to slow down.
Sharp turns and aggressive counter steering will really drag down the speed of your go kart.
As you steer the go kart your front wheels will surely not grab immediately and steer you in the direction you have just turned. They will scrub across the track for a bit, traction will build up and then the go kart will start to turn.
You will hear the speed sucked out of your go kart. The feeling is awful.
When entering a corner steer the go kart only as much as you have too!
Braking is another animal we will not get into here. Check out everything you need to know about braking here!
Steps to Steering into the corner Smoothly
- Focus on the apex of the corner – Unless you are overtaking someone, focus on the apex. There really isn’t, much more important at the point of entering the corner.
- Steer the Go Kart to the Apex – Turn the wheel enough so the go kart will get as close to the barrier as possible. This is called hitting the apex. Do it. It’s fast.
- Carry your Momentum to the Wall – Relax your grip on the steering wheel. Due to the caster in the front wheels the go kart will want to go straight. The steering wheel will want to release from turning and go straight. Let the go kart flow out of the corner and don’t fight the steering wheel. Carry that momentum to the next corner!
3. Less Throttle = More Speed – How to win at Go Karting
What kind of advice is that? Lifting is for losers who does that!
Except for Ross Chastain… This was nuts and I would not recommend doing this at the go kart track as you will probably be kicked out.
What Ross Chastain did there was absolutely crazy and is what racing is all about. Innovation and creativity. The “Wall Ride” is now banned by NASCAR.
That is how you know you are doing it right! When they enforce a rule after you.
So, how does Slowing Down make you faster?
When cornering a few simple forces come into effect. Weight transfer and grip levels being a couple.
When you turn the wheel to enter the corner, we need the front tires to grab the track and point the go-kart to the apex. We also need the inside rear wheel to “slip” or lift to allow the go kart to rotate around the corner. Read more above live rear axles here!
The faster you enter the corner the harder it will be for the front wheels to grab the track. If the front wheels do not steer well into the corner (understeer) you miss the apex and your exit is going to be very slow.
What if the front tires have enough grip to steer into the apex?
This is a much more pleasant situation. You were able to push the limit of entering the corner with a lot of speed. The go kart steered really well down to the apex.
At this point you may experience an oversteer condition. Which means the back of the go kart over rotated and you get the feeling of spinning out.
The Balance of Speed
You need to aim for a happy medium of being on a rail. You want that go kart as straight as possible most of the time. Any sliding, whether it be the front wheels or rear wheels, will slow you down.
If you find that the go kart is not steering well into the corner or you feel like you are going to spin out of control, back down your entry speed and slow down a bit. Monitor your lap times to see if they improve!
4. Hit the Apex – Winning a Race at K1 Speed
The apex is the point at which you will be closest to the wall of the corner. If no wall is present then you will be closest to the rumble strip, grass or whatever the edge of the track is made of.
The point of this is you are finding the fastest way around the corner. The apex is crucial when maximizing speed and momentum on the track. When racing at rental go kart tracks like K1 Speed and the likes, it is really important to make sure you keep up as much momentum as possible.
So, where is the apex?
The apex can vary. Usually, it is the center point to a corner. Every corner is unique and may require you to tweak where you aim for the apex.
This is an example of the apex for a simple corner. Nothing fancy, nothing crazy. But, there are more than one corner on most go kart tracks.
You always need to be looking ahead. You have to pair the apex of the first corner with the entry to the next corner to maximize your speed.
The Apex is something you can adjust.
You can feel the speed.
What I mean by that is this. Hitting the apex will carry the most speed through the corner. You can actually feel this in the go kart. When you miss the apex you will feel it. Not only feel it but hear it as well. The RPM of your go kart engine or electric motor will slow considerably. Trust me this is not fun!
Just hit the apex!
5. Using the Chrome Horn (Bumper)
I know the rules.
Every go kart track says “No Bumping” whatever…
This technique is not really bumping or rough driving. You are, how would I put it, influencing the other driver. You are encouraging them to go a slightly different direction.
This technique is so easy and effective.
This example is for a left-hand corner. Just reverse everything to apply to a right-hand corner.
Step 1 – Line em’ Up
Align the bumper of your go kart to the left rear corner of the go kart you are trying to pass. You need to actually push them.
To avoid bumping them if you are already pushing them technically, you’re not bumping.
You are pushing!
Step 2 – Engage the Chrome Horn
At this point both go karts start to turn towards the apex of the corner.
At this point you are slowing down to navigate the corner.
This is where you do not slow down. You continue your speed and allow the go kart in front of you to slow you down.
Give them a little nudge.
Step 4 – Winning an Indoor Go Kart Race
This nudge will increase rear drive and will result in an understeer issue. Your competitors will feel a sensation of not being able to turn and will have to slow down.
This opens the door!
Step 5 – How to Win a Go Kart Race
Take advantage of the opportunity and swoop in underneath.
If this is performed correctly you will pass them before they even know what happened.
In and out like some kind of special forces!
Winning a Indoor Go Kart Race
Some arguments to this technique are that most indoor go kart tracks do not care about position. Everything is set off of lap times.
You may ask yourself why do I even care about passing someone?
Good question! But, if driving behind that person is affecting your racing line then they are slowing you down. You need to waste as little time as possible and get around them.
If you were fast enough to catch them then you are fast enough to pass them. I was taught you don’t mess around when passing. If you catch them, then you need to get around them ASAP!
Conclusion – How to Win an Indoor Go Kart Race
These tips will make you a Better Karter. I have no doubt in my mind that you will be at the top of the leaderboard when you employ these tactics.
Some of these will take serious practice and focus. Go karting is a difficult sport. You need to focus and pay attention. My favorite tip on this list #1 Pick the Fastest Go Kart. Sounds silly but if you are able to pick the fastest go kart then you will have a huge advantage!