Maine Indoor Karting Blog
From the Desk of Rick Snow
Posted on 01/29/2007 at 12:00 am by Maine Indoor Karting Viewed 1,213 times
Racing Lines & Passing
As with any racetrack there are only one or two truly fast "racing lines" around our track. A "racing line", which also may just be referred to as the "best line", is an imaginary line that, if followed exactly, would result in the fastest way to get around the track. Most of the staff at Maine Indoor Karting can show you the best line around our track and it doesn't take long to learn that line. However, chances are you won't always be on the track alone. This implies that at some point you will have to pass someone and what are the odds that they'll be running close to the same line as you.....pretty good.
So how do you get around them if they're not much slower than you?
This is where I see issues all the time. In watching thousands of races here and on TV and in racing simulators, I find that most people get tunnel vision. When you are behind someone you tend to focus on them, not on where you should be on the track, meaning that if they take a corner wide and go off the track or hit a wall - you'll follow them, or if they drive into a corner too fast - you'll drive into a corner too fast. In order to effectively pass another racer you'll most likely have to change your racing line, which means not following them and making your own line through the corners.
Most every driver has a weakness on the track.
You'll need to find that weakness and use it to your advantage. If you see them taking a corner a little too wide, setup your approach so that you can cut it tight and keep as much momentum through the corner as possible. Passing other racers can be one of the hardest things to do, especially if they're going roughly your speed, but being patient and finding the right time to make the perfect pass is very rewarding and is great to watch.
One of my favorite sayings in racing goes along nicely with this subject: "You most likely won't win the race in the first corner, but you can easily lose the race in the first corner." Be patient; smooth is fast.
- Ian Waldecker
M.I.K. Track Manager
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