How to overtake: 4 Dos and Don’ts
When it comes to go karting, overtaking is a vital part of any race. To be the best, you have to beat the best. That means having to find a way to get in front – safely and efficiently.
As a Race Director here at Formula Fast, I’ve seen my fair share of overtakes – good and bad. Here are my top four ‘Dos and Don’ts’ for making a killer move:
Don’t: Make Contact
Never try and bump your way through. Go karting is a non contact sport, and any bumping will lead to punishment on the track. That could be a warning flag or a time penalty or even disqualification – all things you could do without whilst trying to win a race.
One wrong bump could send your opponent dangerously out of control, but at best all you will be doing is pushing them further ahead – and yourself further back. My advice is keep it clean, wait for the right gap to open up, and when the time is right make your move.
Do: Plan Your Moves
When approaching another kart, even if you think you have the upper hand, you should always plan your move carefully before making any rash decisions.
You should identify the best places to take advantage of your opponent. Braking zones offer some of the best opportunities to make an overtake. They might be braking too early for a tight corner, giving you the chance to out-brake them on entry. On the other hand – if they’re messing up the corner exit – you could have an opportunity to pass them on the next section of the track, by leaving enough space to perfect the corner yourself.
Don’t: Overdo It
Thinking of making a last minute lunge? Before you go for that dive, make sure you have the space (and skill!) to brake later than your opponent. You’ll probably be carrying a lot of speed to start the move in the first place, which means you’ll have to kill that extra momentum at some point.
Misjudging your braking point could lead to you spinning out, or going wide and losing the position you just gained. In a close race, especially on an indoor circuit, you could be losing multiple places from one error.
You also need to make sure there is enough room not only your kart but also for the overtaken driver. The last thing you want to do is to squeeze your opponent into a barrier after a great overtake, so always keep an eye out for your surroundings as you attack.
Do: Practice, Practice, Practice!
Overtaking is not something you can learn from theory alone. Knowing when to commit to a move – and when to hold off – is a skill you can learn from practicing your racecraft.
My advice: get as much track time as possible against as many different drivers as you can. At Formula Fast, we offer open Timed Practice sessions for individuals and small groups from as little as £15.00 for 20 Minutes, and Grand Prix race formats for groups of 6+ (giving you exclusive use of the track) from £35.00 each.
Both of these formats give you the chance to practice overtaking a variety of drivers, gain experience at dealing with traffic, and perfect your late-braking against faster opponents.
Want even more of a challenge? Our Members Nights pit you up against some of the best, and are a great way to see how the pros make their moves. Check out our superb value Lifetime Membership for more info.
Feeling inspired to challenge your mates to battle? Don’t hesitate to give us a call and we’ll be more than happy to get you booked in.
Hope to see you on the track soon!