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Mike Clark


Quick question. Who would be faster David Copperfield, Dave Blaney or Harry Houdini?

I bet it ain’t David Copperfield.

At Road Atlanta a fellow student was asking lead instructor Terry Yearwood about if you could figure out the limit of a car, track conditions and all the variables, plug it into a computer program or equation & determine the line you should use in a turn. The answer was: Yes you probably could or you could just drive through it 3 times and be pretty close to where you need to be.

At a recent track walk a parent who supposedly knew about racing was asking how do you know if you are one the right line or not. Well I don’t know about in a kart but in a car you read the tach at a certain point after the turn and use that as the metric. That is what I do in a kart if I can, but I don’t know any better yet. The hard part right now for me is to be able to make observations and remember and utilize the info in an environment that can be overwhelming.

I always try to figure the fastest line and then think about alternate lines. Being on line was also touted as the first priority in a car. If I am fast on line then you have to be faster and be off line at some point to pass me. Often we see passes that are made but sacrifice enough speed so that driver is immediately re passed.

Also some of the illustration of line a academic and pertain to cars. IE it is to convey a concept not be taken as ‘the line’. I have done some mid range rifle shooting and some of the bullet drop graphs remind me of the path a car takes coming off of a straight and into a turn. One thing I have felt is how much you have to add throttle to equalize the energy the tires take working hard in a corner. This was in a formula car.

I have also noticed how much the tires on a kart scrub off speed when you lose control.

You are really only dealing with contacts patches, slip angle and percent slip as nothing else touches the ground.

Keep in mind I am pretty new to karting.