I started karting in shifters. Did have a few years of Formula Ford years ago so the transition to shifter wasn’t too bad (although I am a bunch busier in the shifter than I ever was in the FF!). So never having run a single speed I was wondering if the racing lines for a single speed kart are much different than the shifter. There are so few shifters at the track I run that I’m usually put at the rear of the 125 single speed karts. they take the flag for rolling start and then I pull to the line and do a standing start then try like crazy to chase them down…lots of fun! I’ve had front runners tell me that after I pass them I take quite a different line than they do. for instance in a hairpin i am usually at the outside of the corner longer (deeper) than they are then apexing late whereas they turn in earlier.
you folks that came up from single speed to shifter…did you change you lines very much?
Yes, this is a learning experience that all transitioning drivers have to go through. With rear brakes only (in my case, TAG), you can usually use the rear end much more to slide/rotate the kart on turn in, and trail braking is very common with rear brakes only.
On the shifter, the consensus seems to be that braking should be done hard and in a straight line – hence, we go into corners deeper that a TAG, also a much higher speed – then substantially or fully released when turning in. The power of the shifter also lends itself slight powersliding at apex through exit, but you have to be careful with this, as it can quickly turn into an exit spin (very rare for me on the TAG) and/or front tire oversteer wear.
Try to find the better shifter drivers at your track and follow them and/or talk to them about their lines – almost all have come up through TAG or HPV/KT.
thx for the reply Doug. As I mentioned at my track I am often the only shifter so there isn’t anyone to follow. When the state race comes to town (Florida Karting Championship Series) I run the shifter masters (I’m an old fart) and finish on the podium the last three years in a mixed class of ICC and Mod Moto (I’m running Mod Moto). Typical class is at least 10 karts. Not trying to claim I’m any good just trying to provide a reference. My braking habit comes from the formula ford days and I was a trailbraker. So in the shifter I do trail brake which is different than you suggest. I do run an enduro event with a 4 stroke single speed kart where I do intentionally use trail braking to slightly lock the rear at corner entry to help rotate the kart but in the shifter the bias is set to lock the front just slightly before the rear so trail braking doesn’t help rotate the kart. The speed and power of the enduro is so much less than the shifter I don’t think it helps me address the racing line question. my original motivation for the question is to improve…if I’m using slow lines I want to fix it and go faster!!!
You generally take a shallower line, you do not do big sweeping turns, Trail braking is rarely used.
You triangulate most turns. Brake and downshift at same time, get kart rotated and get back on gas,
Currently running both TAG and Shifter on race days. Jumping back and forth is a real mind game that I have not become comfortable with yet. However driving a Shifter the same as a TAG will guarantee you are the slowest kart in the race.
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