Ray, I think some people are exaggerating the point. But T.J.’s got it square on the head. You never want to look where you’re at, but where you want to go. It’s the golden rule.
This also applies to when you have a kart in front of you. Though, yes, you want to make sure you don’t drive over the poor soul, you still want to look for where you want to go, and not just mimic the line of the driver in front of you. This comes in handy for a multitude of reasons. Again, if you’re looking where you’re going to go, if you only focus on that kart’s rear, that’s exactly where you are going to finish – behind that kart. Also, while being fixated on that kart, if that driver gets behind on his/her steering and makes an ill-advised departure from the track, you’re going to follow where that kart is going and look like a double bonehead. Also, you won’t be able to capitalize on traffic up-track if you’re not even looking for it.
As for how you look past that kart in front of you, well, you just do it. There is no secret, but practice does make perfect. Make sure that you establish looking ahead of yourself and the kart in front of you a goal each time you leave the pits. I know it sounds corny, but if you mentally say to yourself (you can say it outloud, but others might look at you weird), “I’m going to look ahead up the track during this session,” you will eventually do it, then do it consistently, and then you’ll be the next speed racer.