With the emergence of indoor karting tracks across Europe in recent years, karting has grown significantly as an accessible, affordable introduction to motorsport - and an exhilarating, fun experience. Karting is the first rung on the motor racing ladder, and has become an essential training ground for the stars of the future. Formula One drivers such as Michael Schumacher, Fernando Alonso, and Jenson Button, who has written the Foreword to this book, all developed their skills from an early age in karting.
Although most first-time karters are unlikely to take up the sport seriously, some are sufficiently stirred by the experience to want to progress to the next level. This clearly written, extensively illustrated book covers all the fundamental elements of kart racing, catering for the complete novice, yet is sufficiently detailed to appeal to those already racing who wish to maximise their potential and progress to the next level.
Author João Diniz Sanches explains every aspect of outdoor karting, and provides all the information needed to be in pole position on the grid. Introductory chapters explain the differences between indoor and outdoor karting, the various types of kart available, and provide details of the numerous kart classes. The Karting Manual provides invaluable advice on buying a kart, the protective clothing needed, and how to go about obtaining a race licence. There's also practical guidance on the tools and equipment required successfully to run and maintain a kart.
Once on the track, there's a run-down of what happens on a typical race day, with useful advice on how to learn a new track, how to find your limits, and how to maximise the usually brief time on track during practice sessions, as well as details of the various flag signals used by the marshals. The guidance on driving techniques begins with the racing line, and suggestions on how to perfect it when visiting a new circuit for the first time, including the variations to the normal racing line used when overtaking, or when driving in wet weather. The various factors involved in kart control are examined in detail, including traction, slip angle, tyre contact patch, understeer, oversteer, body weight shifting and elbow lock. What do the terms mean, and what's their significance? The clearly written text, aided by fabulous colour photographs, explains all, with the beginner in mind.
For both karting newcomers and seasoned drivers, there's plenty of useful advice on racecraft (and racing etiquette), wet-weather racing, race strategy, physical and mental preparation, the technicalities of how to set up a kart for optimum performance in different conditions, and suggestions on how to maximise the chances of obtaining sponsorship. Comprehensive appendices provide details of UK outdoor karting tracks, together with circuit layouts, and a list of useful contacts, including karting organisations, kart retailers and equipment suppliers.
Essential reading for anyone wishing to try karting for the first time, and for those racing at club level who are looking to progress further.
João Diniz Sanches is a freelance journalist with a passion for all forms of motorsport. He has been an active kart racer for several years. His other passion is videogaming, about which he has written extensively. He lives at Frome in Somerset.
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