Even the Odds
For most drivers, one of the key features in a successful event is having a level playing field. There’s nothing worse than having the odds stacked against you before you’ve even started – but thankfully there’s a few things that you as a driver (and we as your hosts) can do to ensure the fairest possible race.
Behind the Scenes
On our side, we’ve built a reputation for running first class race events, the pinnacle of which is our annual hosting of the British Rental Kart Championship – an international event which is built on fairness and close, equal racing.
We also frequently post about our rigorous kart testing programme, which we use to equalise our fleet of Sodi GT5 200cc karts (as well as our Cadet fleet for younger drivers) several times a week. We want you to know about this for a very good reason: by equalising the handling and power on each kart until we’re as close to ‘identical’ from kart-to-kart as possible (our target tolerance between slowest and fastest kart is 0.2 seconds) we’re ensuring you start with the same kit as your rivals on the circuit.
By equalising the handling and power on each kart … we’re ensuring you start with the same kit as your rivals on the circuit.
Our efforts to keep things fair on track doesn’t just stop at the karts. We recently invested in a new CCTV system to keep a close eye on every corner, as well as allowing us to ‘action-replay’ incidents on track.
If you’re an F1 fan, you’ll have seen one of the biggest rule innovations in recent years has been the introduction of the Virtual Safety Car to limit speeds on track and ‘neutralise’ the racing. Well, we’ve actually been doing this for years, with the assistance of a remote electronic speed control system which automatically cuts the power of each kart, by the same amount, under yellow/red light conditions, so no driver is able to gain a sneaky advantage.
But what can you do as a driver to ensure you’re racing on a level playing field?
Here are our top 3 tips:
1. Ballast Up – Weight Equalisation
Weight makes a difference in a kart. Although most of your speed will come from driving talent, heavier drivers are generally at a disadvantage as the engine is having to work harder to pull the combined weight of you and your kart out of the corners.
As a general rule, a driver of the same standard will lose around 0.2s per lap on our circuit for every 10kg increase in weight.
We offer the option the equalise your race with ballast, removing any weight-related differences in performance. Each driver is weighed during registration, and the difference calculated between the heaviest driver and all other drivers they’ll be racing against.
Ballast is then added to the relevant karts, using our integrated Sodi-ballast system, effectively ‘weighing up’ each driver to the same weight. This is well worth doing if you’re looking for the ultimate fair race, as the lighter drivers will no longer have any advantage.
Please book in advance where possible, as our team require extra prep time for this option
2. Do the Double – Split Your Race
It’s frustrating when a mistake during a race causes you to lose out on a potential podium. So why not reduce the risk and spread your event over two races.
Our popular 10 Lap Qualifying / 30 Minute Race ‘Grand Prix’ format now has the option of splitting your 30 minutes into 2 x 15 Minute Heats.
Qualifying determines the starting order for Race 1, then after 15 minutes of hard racing the chequered flag drops and you’ll have a few minutes to take a break and mentally prepare for Race 2.
As the starting order for Race 2 is based on the results from Race 1, you are effectively ‘resetting’ the grid, giving you another chance to make or maintain a top position.
We usually base the final results from this race, but you can also choose to combine points from both races to give you an overall result.
Standard 10/30 Grand Prix: £50. Both include exclusive track use with 6+ drivers.
3. Practice More – Drive Faster!
Okay, so this one is a little more open, but without a shadow of a doubt, the actual business of driving has by far the biggest effect on how you stack up against your fellow competitors.
To the untrained eye, driving a kart fast may look easy, but there is a lot of technique that goes into getting your machine around the track in the fastest possible time. It’s no secret that all of today’s F1 drivers started out in karts – they offer a raw driving experience that just can’t be beaten in any other vehicle, and the emphasis is firmly placed on driver skill.
Our biggest advice is to get as much practice under your belt as possible … to have a better chance of beating the rest
Experienced drivers – sometimes with a few pointers along the way – always stand to have a better chance of beating the rest on track than someone who is karting for the first time.
Formula Fast offer Timed Practice sessions and 1:1 Tuition sessions that can help you improve your times. My personal advice would be to grab yourself a Lifetime Membership so that you can enjoy all of your sessions at a discount whilst being eligible for all of our Member-only events. Unlimited Karting and Members Nights in particular offer you the chance to drive against other experienced drivers in a friendly environment, which can also fast-track improvements in your own speed.
For more ways to go faster, you can also check out our Karting Tips page.