My karting buddy (also named Colin) and I went to Lakeside Karting Raceway again yesterday for an arrive-and-drive session (it’s ’bout time they sponsored me or gave me a discount at least). It was busy for a change, and it gave us the opportunity for some overtaking.
The circuit had mini-moto practice all afternoon, and a couple of sessions for privately owned karts. We arrived at 2pm, but they couldn’t get us on track until 3:40 and 4:40.
There were eight drivers. Some had not raced before. Most of us went out in the twin-engined Pro-Karts, but two people did the first session in single-engined Senior Karts.
I had planned to compare lap times for smooth driving and manic driving, but due to the amount of traffic I decided to just go for it and practice my overtaking. Some of the drivers used conventional racing lines and some used, let’s say, unpredictable lines.
I was in kart 35. I “won” the session, and posted the fastest lap. Colin (the other one) was slow for the first part of the session until he realised that one of his engines had stalled. He pitted and did about six laps on two engines. Looking at his lap-times, the second engine makes an eight second a lap difference.
I did plenty of overtaking, learned a few lessons, and most overtaking was fairly easy. The most difficult people to overtake were those using “unconventional” lines.
Lakeside Karting Raceway is a clockwise track. Scroll down their page for a photo of the track, and hold down your mouse button on the red spots for corner info.
I have to admit to a bit of illegal overtaking. I didn’t realise at the time it was illegal, but in hindsight cutting corners is probably not legal. It’s full throttle from the exit of Hairpin 2 to just after Devil’s Drop. There’s a quick right-left that you straight-line on the Back Straight and there’s not a lot of room there. I was next to a car approaching the left-right hoping they would give me room. They didn’t, so I took to the grass on their left, cutting the corner. Of course, I kept the power on and it worked fine, so I did it again with another car later.
I was in kart 6. Again I won the session and posted the fastest lap. Colin was second with the second fastest lap.
My favourite part of this session was overtaking six cars in half a lap. Going down the Back Straight, I could see a group of cars at Devil’s Drop. By the time I got to Arena I was right behind them. I had to slow a bit at the apex of Arena to avoid running into the back of a car, so I didn’t have to use all the track on the exit. I got a good run out of the corner anyway, and went past the first car just after the exit. I stayed in the middle of the track as I passed him so he would get held up by the next car as I passed it.
The third car to pass was center-track so I moved to the right (ahead of the two cars I just passed) to set me up on the inside of the first turn of The Complex. I normally start braking just after the apex of this turn and finish braking halfway between the start of the kerb and the apex at turn 2 (the line is shown by the cars in the photo). I passed the third car before I got to turn 1 and got up the inside of two more cars. I had to brake earlier into turn 1 so I could give the other cars room between turns 1 and 2, but by turn 2 I had passed them.
I passed the sixth car up the inside at Hairpin 1. That compramises the exit of that turn, so I defended at Hairpin 2 and was set for the full throttle half of the track.
I hope I haven’t given away too many secrets! Stay tuned for an invitation to meet at Lakeside (in Essex) for an “all welcome” session.
Two last comments – I’ve still got to solve the problem of the RSS feed not updating. Sorry about this, but I’m new to that part. Until it’s solved, you’ll have to come to the site for updates. Please tell your friends about the site.