There are certainly different levels of racers out there and while the “pro’s” generally have their pre race maintenance routines down to a science everyone has to start somewhere. So whether you’re new or just a weekend warrior here’s a few tips that can work in your favour when prepping for a race.
Everyone has fallen victim to showing up to the track realizing they don’t have their suit or helmet or some other important article of race wear and while there is no real way to fix your memory there are systems you can put in place to make sure this doesn’t happen and it all starts with cleanliness. Cleanliness? yes cleanliness. First thing you will need is a proper gear bag. Like the Freem Big Roll bag. A good bag that everything fits into so that its all kept in one place. From there it is crucial to keep your gear together and by cleaning your gear together it ends up in the bag together. So we would like to assume you treat your race wear properly and clean it after every race as you should so that it keeps looking good and also stays free of bacteria and from smelling horrible in those hot summer days. We suggest using Molecule Wash after every weekend as you can clean your suit, balaclava and and Coolmax underwear together and when using Molecule you are getting the oil and grease out of the fabrics while killing any bacteria that may be forming from your sweat while maintaining the integrity of the material used to make your raceway. While at the races we suggest using Molecule Refresh spray in your helmet and inside all of your gloves, shoes, suit and anything that if left to its own devices will end up smelling like old hockey gear.
If it’s your first race you will want to ensure you have a few things setup or at least have provisions to do so when you get the the track for your first time. For those of you competing it is important to know where you weigh in with your kart in order to be in compliance with your racing organizations minimum weight. If you are underweight you can purchase lead ballast which can be mounted on the kart to get you up to weight.
Transponder Mounts are available for installing your timekeeping device on your seat. If you don’t have access to a bracket you can drill a few holes and mount it with nylon tie straps in a pinch.
BATTERY BATTERY BATTERY!! In this world of electric start engines the battery as simple as it is can be one of the most important components and can be the biggest killer of your day if not charged or maintained. I always suggest making the investment into a spare battery. Nothing more frantic than a dead battery situation on the grid or on Sunday morning because you forgot to charge it. Furthermore if you are running on a Rotax powered kart your engine actually is drawing power while you are on the track therefore if your battery drops down too low you could very well be losing power and performance on the track. It is always a good idea to check your battery with a proper battery tester as well to ensure it is fully charged. We like the idea of marking batteries before going to the track to keep them organized so that way you’re not questioning whether or not they are ready or not.
Tires should be checked and if you feel you are going to need some for the race don’t wait until five minutes before qualifying to decide you are putting on new ones. Make sure you advise us in advance that you need tires to ensure that we have them ready for you on hand as well if you require assistance mounting them that we have sufficient time to do so. A spare set of rims is a great idea to have your race tires mounted in advance, we suggest you ensure you have the same rims for both practice and race if you do choose to have 2 sets as you want to know your offsets are the same as well as the handling characteristics. Rims can make a significant difference so don’t gamble with that.
Brake pads, are not meant to wear right down to the plate. In all reality when they reach about the 50% mark you should be looking to change them out as they will start to feel a little distant at that point plus you are allowing your caliber pistons to be exposed further to the elements and allow traces of dirt to enter your system.
Check your Radiator Every Day!! Don’t assume there is water because it will cost you over a $1000 if you are wrong in most cases. Always check in the morning before you fire things up. Also when filling make sure you tip the kart so that the rad is the highest part of the kart to force out any potential airlock that may be occurring in there. If you have an airlock it could be as harmful as having no water.
These are all a part of our race prep and they are basic musts that everyone should follow. Hopefully you enjoyed this article as we will be adding more to ensure your karting experience is filled with track time and not shop time.