There’s no doubt about it, if you want to finish on top of the podium and secure bragging rights, you will have to master safe overtaking.
When it comes to overtaking, practise definitely makes perfect. To get you started, the instructors at our Bristol go karting and Maidenhead go karting tracks have put together their top five tips for overtaking safely.
1. Make use of the start of the race
If you think of a Formula 1 race, there is a lot of jostling for places as soon as the lights go out, and it can be the same for a go karting race. As all drivers are in very close proximity to each other, you have a great chance to immediately jump a few places ahead, but make sure you are aware of what is going on around you so you don’t collide with a competitor. Of course, if you are in pole position, then focus on getting off to a good start and not letting anyone behind you take an instant lead.
2. Accelerate out of bends
Corners can be the trickiest parts of a track, so for advanced drivers, they are ideal for overtaking less experienced racers, who may brake for too long then accelerate too late. By speeding up as soon as you pass the apex, you will have the opportunity to overtake the driver in front of you, who may still be reducing their speed for the corner.
3. Master slipstreaming
Our Bristol go karting and Maidenhead go karting tracks have straights that can be ideal for completing overtaking attempts. On a straight, you don’t want to start your move too early. It’s best to sit in behind the driver in front of you and use the slipstream, which will save you energy by reducing drag, and help you gain speed. As you near the end of the straight, you can pull-out and overtake your opponent by braking slightly later than them.
4. Learn what not to do
As well as learning tips on how to overtake a competitor successfully and safely, you need to know what not to do! Overtaking is all about focusing on the kart in front of you and how you can pass them, which means there will be someone behind you who is doing exactly the same – don’t forget about them. Always have a quick look to see what’s happening behind you to ensure it’s safe for you to complete your overtaking move. Staying calm and composed will make you a good driver – driving aggressively will cause you to try and overtake on the wrong parts of the track, and put you and everyone else on the track in danger.
5. Get to know the track
If you know the track you’re using like the back of your hand, then you know, for example, that corner four is directly followed by corner five, which takes the driver in the opposite direction. Therefore, you can start your overtaking move by going around the outside on corner four. This would mean you’ll be on the inside going into corner five and can make use of tip 2, by accelerating away from your competitor. Really knowing the track will give you a great advantage.
To recap, to become an expert at overtaking during a go karting race:
- Make use of the start of the race
- Accelerate out of bends
- Master slipstreaming
- Learn what not to do
- Get to know the track
Whether you are a beginner or an advanced driver, and want to drive competitively or simply have a bit of rivalry with your friends, our Bristol go karting and Maidenhead go karting tracks are places where you can have a lot of fun. Click book Bristol or book Maidenhead to easily reserve your spot on the grid – if you work in the emergency services or armed forces, enter the promo code BLUELIGHT to receive a 15% discount.