Home Forums General Karting Discussion Why do drivers sit so tall in sprint karts? Reply To: Why do drivers sit so tall in sprint karts?

Paul Kish

<div class=”d4p-bbp-quote-title”>Tim Pappas wrote:</div>
I think there is a great opportunity for you Paul. Throw a laydown seat in a chassis and head to the Supernats. The track is a great test….no grip to start and decent grip by the end of the weekend. After your laydown seated kart smokes all those silly sit up drivers you can go into business selling laydown seats to all the Euro chassis guys or pimp yourself as a set up guru. P.S. The track turns right and left…stagger won’t help you.

I expected and anticipated someone to bring stagger into this thread.

If you will notice I related what I’m introducing here to LTO racing only for the reason of bringing in the thought of splitting slip angles between rear tires and how it may be an advantage over not splitting them.  I started the thread to try to get into a discussion of why do most all sprint racers sit in such an up right position.  I’m open to what may flow from it so long as the direction does not include throwing barbs and arrows and new directions it may take.  I did not bring in stagger.  I did not bring it in because it does not apply.  I don’t think using something which does not apply to the parameters the thread is so far addressing, is meaningful in any way.  I don’t race.  I tried it and found out I was no good at it.  I’m going to try to address your kind input and try to answer in a way it will keep this thread on a path I want to take.

Repeating myself, stagger has nothing at all to do with the possible benefit I see from increasing the splitting of slip angles between the rear tires.  Though it helps when you turn in only one direction, stagger is not a way to match up the rear tires to the radius of a turn.  It is something when used as needed can provide additional control of direction for whole kart, in addition to the directional control you get from the front tires.  Stagger can also be the primary thing which controls the direction of travel of what your racing.  Produced slip angles at the rear, weather you are using stagger or not, will allow for more efficient travel through a corner if split between rear tires.  I said nothing about the ability to meet the ideal or not.  You may not, but I see it as obvious how varying the situation and circumstances will either enhance your ability to get close to ideal or not.  I also see how if you have an abundance of one of the things I have mentioned or a lack of another, you may not have the ability to even try to get close.   Again those things you have to use and blend are available grip, available hp and the need to maintain momentum.

In the case of the track you mentioned which goes from slick to grip.  Just in case your not already aware of the obvious, I’ll point out the obvious to you.  Maybe the next time you race there it will help you play a way to attack the track, which goes from slick to grip.  The two obvious things you have to deal with are the changing available grip and what is most always over looked and usually not even considered, the reduction of forces available to you when the track grip is reduced.  I assume you know what you can and cannot do to physically increase grip when the track is fresh and slick.  Actually you are limited to doing things directly to the tires.  The tires are the only thing which you can change that will directly and physically change grip.  Everything else you do is because of changing the levels of forces available to you.  Simply put all the other setup things you can do, are to make the chassis react quicker to move the force of the CG to tires or slower.  When the track slicks it assumes it’s easier to exceed the limit of grip at the tires.  Even with a slick track your only option may be to bang weight quickly into a tire and hope it holds.  Other times you need to bang or move weight quickly over to where it is going to operate a tire and then ease it into the tire as best you can, trying again not to exceed it’s limit.  It just depends on need at the tire and the tires ability to grip, how you move weight and the speed you move weight.

I’m going to stop.  I think I addressed that I am not even considering stagger when writing on here.  And that if stagger is introduced as an argument in this thread, how it is meaningless to the direction of this thread.  And I hope I showed that I do see how setup needs to be shifted in the way it will deal with available force, when a track goes from slick to grip or vice versa.

If you would when thinking about if it’s really a benefit to split slip angles between the rear tires, just pick one scenario of available grip and available hp and stick with it in your mind.  I think if you can keep the scenario you relate to for the time being constant, if what I’m proposing is valid it will fit in.  If you do fit it into just one scenario, I think you will then be able to fit it into other situations of available hp and available grip.  I don’t mean to keep harping on available grip and available hp, but I have to because the hp you relate to when thinking about on track situations is just as important to define the situation as available grip.  I’ll assume every driver is driving perfectly and there are no things a driver can do to fix a problem.  By the way, there is no need to think about or understand any of this, unless you can use it to fix on track problems.  Without the ability to relate theory to fixing on track problems, it’s all meaningless.  When I’m at a track, unless approached with a specific problem by a driver or a crew member or unless I see an obvious mechanical issue needing addressed, I never comment on things without first knowing the driver or crew or I have the same understanding of an on track problem.  I don’t care if your the best driver in the world and never loose, your a racer and your out there to win and win in such a way second place wonders why there even racing.  But if I happen along and correctly bring up a specific on track problem your having your going to want to talk about it.  Well, most all will want to talk about it because there are three phases in learning to drive.  The first your starting out and your open for anything and most anything suggested to you will help.  Then there’s the I’m fast stage and  no matter what anyone suggests it won’t help you because your fast and know your fast.  Then if you make it through the ‘I’m fast’ stage without terrible injury or running out of money, you start to become a journeyman and you concentrate on refining your race craft.  But the funny thing I’ve noticed is along the way you first started out wanting to and hoping to talk to every and anyone about racing, then you clammed up knowing it all and finally as a journeyman your open again looking for any and all input to refine your race craft.  I’ve seen many racers grow and become skilled in their craft.  I don’t know you  Tim or who ever may be reading on here, you can fit yourself in where ever you like and you can fit me in where ever you like.  But in the end were all just feeding our addiction and love of racing in all it’s aspects.  Let’s talk about stuff and not about each other.  Tell me where I’m wrong so I can learn if I can change my hard set head, but lets not just look to show who’s the most ignorant.  If there needs to be a winner on ignorance to move on, I’ll take first place and then lets get on to the next race.

Brake, Insert 'arc', Turn, Accelerate