In general the fastest racing line is the straightest line basically. Now every corner has its own characteristic, its own optimal line based on whatever car you’re driving.
Well, as all go kart racers should know, there are plenty of women starting up go karting each season! Women are a familiar component of racing classes all over the world these days, but are still visibly a minority amongst men. Professional race drivers like Danica Patrick started there careers in Karts as young as 8 years old and have gone onto do incredibly well amongst motorsport elites.
The video below does a great job of showing some of the dominating women in the go Kart world:
Women in Go Kart Racing
What its Like to Be a Female Go Kart Racer
A member of the Go-Kart-Source.Com team comments on how she found being a woman in a male dominated sport below.
Of course, it’s obvious that there aren’t really that many women in go karting. That’s not to say that there shouldn’t be! As a girl in a male dominated sport, and karting club in Ontario, I have a great sense of what it’s like. When I started out in my teen years as a beginner at go karting, it was a bit disheartening! I was expecting to head out with the heart and the drive to win and start getting those top 5 finishes I dreamed of every race weekend. This of course was not the case!
Most other rookies were having the same problems I was, but at the same time, I felt like being “the girl” had something to do with it. I just didn’t seem to have that aggression that those guys had in my class! It turned out, that all I needed was a new found confidence that there really was no difference between being a guy and a girl when you’re out on the track.
Its All About Confidence
After a couple years of struggling, I realized that as long as you are confident in your abilities, there is no stopping your pretty little self from beating those guys! I generally try to have the goal of having someone look at me out and the track and not know I’m a girl until I come off into the pits and take off my helmet. Not only is it so much fun being up at the front drafting and passing your competitors with that new confidence that you can do it, but it’s even more fun getting off the track seeing their faces when they think “I just got beat by a girl!”
Overall, even though there isn’t obviously an evident negative attitude towards women in go karting, women are still not common place at the race track. I say, let’s put an end to the stereotype that only boys like to go fast! All you need is confidence girls!
ASN is Canada’s National Motorsports Sanctioning Authority and creates karting regulations every year for kart sport that tell you and I how to do things right… here are regs that we find most useful to new and experienced go karters. We use Canada’s Regs, it is recommended that you check with your club what rules you should follow.
Pre technical inspection is what happens every morning before the big race. Every go karter is required to complete their own pre-tech inspection self declaration. This can be confusing at first for new karters. Just place your race sticker on the assigned spot and get ready to race! Make sure you don’t forget to pre-tech! If you do, you’re liable to receive a penalty or be disqualified all together.
Pro Tip: All you need to know is that as long as your go kart is up to spec according to the pre tech form you are given at registration, and the inspector gives you the ok, you’re all good!
Post technical inspection is what happens every day after the final race. Usually, the top five go karts are chosen for post tech; however a technical inspector may chose to inspect any kart that was in competition. The tech inspectors may choose, however, to open up the engine and make sure everything is to spec. After they do this, you my friend, are responsible for putting it all back together… so if this is your first time, you might want to pay attention to what they are doing!
Pro Tip: As long as none of the bolts that were painted before qualifying are tampered with, and the tires that were painted before qualifying were used, you are pretty safe.
This is pretty fool proof; but unless you were wondering, it’s against ASN regulations to use modified, grooved or altered dry tires.
Pro Tip: When racing in the rain move in your rear tires. There is a minimum width that ASN states it must be for dry racing, but this is waived for wet racing as long as the axle doesn’t stick out the end, which would most definitely be a pretty dangerous situation!
Wheels and Hubs
There are some pretty specific things you need to remember for your wheels though, so maybe you should double check next time you go out racing.
Basically, the maximum width of your front tires should be 135 mm. Your rear dry tires can be between 175 and 185 mm. The end!
If you’re light like me, you may have a bunch of lead stuck to your seat to help you weigh in. Here are some seat regulations you might want to check out so that you don’t break any rules. Make sure that the seat is only one piece with no added on sections. The seat has to be in good condition in order to use it. So if you’ve got a few cracks or holes in that old seat of yours you might want to consider a replacement some time soon. Finally, make sure your seat is no less than 14 mm from the top of the seat to the ground when you mount it.
Mounting Your Lead / Weights
This is the part of the regulations I’ve become most familiar with over the years. The most important thing you need to know is that your lead must be securely attached to either your seat or the main frame of the kart. So, no lead in your shoes, no lead in your pockets, even when you’ve run out of room to put it all!
You are also required in the regulations to use large washers when mounting your led to your seat. It’s not just safe, it’s sensible, because it will help your seat last longer in the long run.
Pro Tip: You’re also not allowed to attach any lead or ballast weight to any of your body work, as tempting as it may be sometimes when you are tight for space.
Most of the regulations included in ASN Canada’s regulations are commons sense. However, there are some things you might want to know if you are ever in the situation where you need a quick fix but don’t know if you will pass post tech after the final race. Basically, if your nose cone breaks off during a race, you can only reattach it with the suitable clamps. You are not allowed to attach your nose cone with any other types of clamps, wires or tape. Sorry, duct tape cannot fix this one.
Who doesn’t just love Alfano’s! The following are general questions and issues that arise most everyday at a go kart track. They apply to the Alfano Pro Quick Start. If you’re like me, or anyone who has used one before, you may have come across a few situations in which you didn’t know how to use or operate your tachometer. Here are a few situations that are quite common, and the solution to solve each one! Hope this helps. By the way, if you have any suggestions for an tachometer related problem feel free to contact us so we can include it here!
Ok before we begin, I hope you at least know how to turn ON the Alfano!
If not, just hold down both red buttons at the same time and hold for about 2 or 3 seconds. The unit should turn on when you do this.
Now we will getting into some of the basic to do’s for this tachometer and some of the troubleshooting you may need to do if you end up on a weird screen or with strange read-outs.
1. The Two Red Buttons
To understand the Alfano you need to understand these two basic buttons. The left red button is used for scrolling through windows and selections. The right red button is used for selections or decisions.
2. Split Times Look Off
If your’re split times look strange or off most likely, you haven’t got your Alfano set for the right amount of magnetic strips on the go kart track. Find out from a track official how many strips are on the track and then follow these steps!
- When you’re in “stop mode” which is the first screen, press the left button 5 times to reach screen number 5. Press the right button to select.
- Then press the left button 3 times to reach the magnetic strip configuration screen. You will see either one, two or three bars on the screen.
- You can use the right button to change the bars. Each bar represents a strip on the track.
- Once you changed the number of strips on the screen, press the left button to save your selection.
3. Review Your Lap Times
If you are new o the Alfano sometimes when you go to review your lap times you end up printing or deleting my data. To review your lap times just follow these easy steps!
- Once you get off the track, press the left button once. This will bring you to the recall screen.
- You may then press the right button to scroll through each lap.
- You will receive detailed information about your lap time, highest RPM during each lap, and finally, split times.
4. Reseting The System
There could be a few reasons why you need to reset. This first is the following situation in which you would turn on your Alfano, press the left button 4 times (the word reset will appear at the bottom of the screen), and then press the right button to select. Your previous lap times will be reset.
The other reason you might have to reset is if you are stuck on a screen you don’t know how you got to in the first place. This happens to the best of us so don’t worry. It’s kind of like when you’re on your computer and everything freezes and you just end up unplugging it! Simply hold down both red buttons for a few seconds as if you were starting the Alfano. This should reset the unit.
5. Off The Track and Inaccurate RPM Counts
If you have gone off the track and your Alfano reads something like 28,000 RPM either you have a supernatural engine, or you’ve set your Alfano to the wrong number of strokes. This can be confusing for those of you who own a Honda GX, Briggs, or Kohler 4 stroke engine. These engines have to be set as 2 stroke engines because their ignition is like a 2 stroke engine. If you have it set for a 4 stroke engine, you will read RPM’s of epic proportions. To change this, follow these steps.
- Press the left button 5 times
- Press the right button once to select.
- Once you have done that, press the left button 2 times.
- Here you will have the choice to select either a 2 stroke or 4 stroke engine.
- Use the right button to make your selection or either a 2 or a 4 on the screen.
This should solve your problem!
The Alfano Tachometer is a great tool to improve the timing and monitoring of your engine. If you are looking for more information on how to mount your Alfano or any other tachometer, refer to our best setup guide for beginners.
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Let’s face it, Go Kart Sponsors are hard to find. If you want to get fast, and get to the front of the pack, chances are you are going to need a lot of money. A sponsor is a great way to help finance your go karting career. Keep in mind that most karters do rely on their own funds (thanks mom and Dad). However it isn’t unreasonable to believe that you can definitely find a business willing to sponsor you.
The biggest thing though when seeking sponsorship is to have realistic expectations.
Who Should I Ask?
A great place to start when looking for a sponsor is your own place of employment or previous places of employment. Generally they will be interested in what you’re doing and your future goals! You can usually count on them to lend a helping hand. If they do not, however, have any interest in helping out, you can move onto another option…
Other local business that your family or close friends have worked for. Ask around and see who may be interested in sponsoring you. It doesn’t even have to be automotive related as long as they feel it would benefit them in the long run to sponsor you. Local business’s sponsor youth little league baseball teams and soccer teams all the time, its not a stretch for them to sponsor a go kart driver.
What Should I Offer Them?
Well, obviously a go kart sponsor will be looking for advertising. This can include advertising space on you kart in the form of a cool looking decal, or on your racing suit in the form of some embroidery, etc. Another place you can offer advertising is on your trailer, this could draw in a sponsor quite well because that is a huge advertising space opportunity. You and your trailer drive back and forth to your club or race event pretty often and therefore their advertisement will reach a lot of potential buyers.
Pro Tip: You can ask a business to just sponsor you on race by race basis. This way they aren’t tied down to having to sponsor you every race day and can simply try it out and see if it helps drive them business or create better brand recognition.
Incentivize a Sponsor
You can get creative and print up T-shirts for your karting team and offer to the sponsor their name and/or logo on the shirt. You can also offer to hand out their business cards or fliers at your event. Its all about getting the sponsorship, you may need to do a little extra work for it. The more you are willing to do the better a sponsor will fell about trusting you with his investment.
How Do I Ask for Sponsorship?
It’s a good idea to write up a professional looking letter including all of your previous accomplishments as well as your future goals. You should include where you race, with whom you race and why you race! Be sure to include pictures and anything else you feel would persuade them to take you on. Think of it like putting together a media press kit, make a nice presentation and put it in a binder.
Think of it as though you are applying for a job. You want to portray a great image, and you want them to feel as though you are a great investment for them as a sponsor.
On a detail sheet you can also include how much it costs you to race. Include your entire weekly costs such as oil, tires, gas etc.
How Much Should I Expect a Sponsor to Pay?
Generally speaking you should think in reasonable terms. You can’t expect as a first year karter to rake in thousands of dollars from a sponsor. Even if you were to get small local for the year you should be thankful. As you improve and start proving yourself out on the track a little more, sponsors will realize more potential in you and may be willing to sponsor you with more money. Getting into the thousands of dollars. There are some go kart racers who have chassis and engine sponsors even!! Let’s hope you can be just as successful….And when all else fails there’s always your parents.