|15 March 2017|
The latest Deadly Newsletter from David Sera contains some great tips about driving the Geelong circuit, plus the importance of a smoooth driving technique. Both are re-published below.
The second round of the Australian Kart Championships will take place at the Geelong Kart Club, Victoria on March 30th - April 1st.
Geelong has held some of the largest karting events on record with over 600 drivers taking part in the 1998 Australian Championships.
The circuit is 760 metres with the first turn being a double left corner. It's a hard braking corner which favours the late brakers and provides the best passing opportunity on the track.
Drivers will want to use the inside kerb, then allow the kart to flow to the middle of the race track before clipping the second part of the kerb. It should be taken as one continuous corner and not two turns.
You'll then allow the kart to flow to the outside of the circuit and make your way around a fast 90 degree "grandstand" corner where you don't want to hit the inside kerbing. The junior classes will be able to hold it flat out with the senior classes a light lift off the throttle. Drivers should take note of the aggressive exit kerbing which isn't required to better your lap time.
Next up is turn three "canteen corner" where passing is generally quite easy as the quickest line is a wide entry to this turn. Drivers can be vulnerable in a race when taking the racing line. You don't want to hit the apex too early as it then pushes the kart out and with limited race track on the exit, a "late apex" is best suited.
Turn 4 is flat out in all classes, with some drivers utilising the inside kerbing to straighten the race track. On the opening laps most drivers will look to defend their position by holding a tight line on the entry. The race line is roughly in the middle of the circuit with not much braking required. Some classes will use the brakes, the cadet classes may get away with a lift off the throttle only.
On the exit, allow the kart to flow to the outside of the race track as you enter a long right hand sweeping corner. It's a one line corner. Nothing too exciting to do, you just want to hold a tight line on the exit to give yourself the best entry point to the final corner.
Possibly the most important corner on the race track where all your straight line speed is dictated from. Smooth steering inputs, kart not gripping up, and engine RPM in the right rev range all allow for the drivers at the front of the field an advantage. If you turn too early here, you will use unnecessary race track on the exit, so be aware of that.
All in all, Geelong provides close racing. Qualifying will be the most important session you have all year with most classes only separated by a few tenths.
With tyre conservation, fast and flowing tracks as well as consistent lap times, we have been told the saying "Smooth is fast".
To be a smooth driver, you need to be aware of the steering inputs you are making and ensure it's minimal on flowing corners. This will enable the kart to grip to its full potential and your mistakes will be minimal.
When holding the steering wheel, a 9-3 hand placement is the safest option. Also straighter arms when sitting in the kart will minimise the inputs placed on the wheel.
If you can get in this habit it will help when you move into faster classes or categories as the small mistakes now will turn into larger ones down the track. Open wheel race car drivers are required to make minimal steering inputs and this can be taught from a young age.
Above: Dave's coaching video