Victory is not just developed while you are on the track. The details and precautions needed before the race are equally crucial for the success of a great weekend of racing. Marijn Kremers, 2019 KZ World Champion with Birel ART, explains accessories, procedures and strategies that will eliminate being unprepared
ARRANGE THE SEAT
“First of all, one needs to adjust the seat. I always mount it in the standard position recommended by the manufacturer, without modifying anything, and I choose one that perfectly. I do not use padding. For me, comfort means not “dancing” in the seat. If your torso is stable, there is no need to worry about the ribs, which is why I do not use various additional protective devices [a legitimate choice for a professional driver, while for younger and less experienced drivers the rib protector remains a fundamental accessory, Editor’s note]. The seat is also the component on which I mount weights, if necessary. I start from below and try to put most of them in front of the fuel tank. The weights can also be placed on the sides yet overloading this area would raise the center of gravity too much.
THE RIGHT DISTANCE
Remaining on the “seat subject”, the pedals and footrest should then be placed in relation to it. The distance at which the pedals should be mounted must be such as to keep the driver’s legs slightly bent, in order to be able to brake without exerting excessive strain on muscles, especially at the end of the race when fatigue is felt the most.
Having the leg bent at the knee height also helps to have more strength to push on the footrest, and accessory without which, personally, I would not be able to drive and for which I always take a few extra seconds to make sure that it is properly fastened.”
STEERING WHEEL CONTROLS
“With the KZ one starts from a standstill and a bad start can compromise the entire race. This is why on shifter karts even the clutch lever plays an important role. The first part of the race is not a major time frame, but the very last portion is very critical. Here the difference is made at the start and it is necessary to adjust the lever so that it is not too far away, otherwise it is difficult to have the right sensitivity.
An accessory that I find useful to keep handy by the steering wheel is the fuel return valve that allows you to control the fuel return to the tank. During a long race, it can happen that the carburetion becomes too lean, which leads to a small delay when you open the gas up, and in the output, and also when you accelerate after moving up in gears. With the fuel return valve, on the other hand, one can adjust the amount of mixture in the carburetor’s tank and solve the problem. I happened to use it during the World Final in Lonato, particularly for more than half the race. Around the 17th – 18th lap I turned the knob by a click.”
“On the dashboard I keep an eye on only 2 pieces of information: split times and water temperature. Split times are an essential piece of information as they allow me to see where I am improving, or not, during any given lap. But, above all, they help me understand which section of the track is the most important part in the economy of the entire lap, leading me to make the proper assessments when I have to decide about the best setup.
To keep the engine under control, instead, I only use the coolant temperature, without checking the temperature of the exhaust gases or spark plug. The objective is to keep the water around 50 degrees. If, for example, from one lap to another the temperature changes from 50° to 55° I try to lower it by using the curtain. If, instead, it reaches 75° it means that the issue is not a lean carburetion, as one might be led to think, but there is definitely something wrong. If I am driving in a free practice session, I immediately go back to the pit area and look for the problem.”
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