It’s always been a kind of “fixation” of the 5 times world champion Danilo Rossi: adjusting the throttle… this is much more than a detail
“I realise that, in general, throttle control is not among the top priorities of kart drivers … however, for me it is something I have always worked on a lot, when I was racing, and now with the racing department of DR Racing and our drivers. After all, many things start from there, including certain problems.
“Without doubt the first thing you have to be careful of is the setting of the accelerator pedal: this must be done taking into account the height of the pilot and his/her needs. This first adjustment is crucial both for the comfort of the rider, and the possibility of managing accelerations and, more in general, for reliability. These are all aspects that we will be analysing in detail below.
One thing is certain: you mustn’t get on a kart and start racing without adjusting the brake and accelerator pedals. The driving position and the angle of the foot and ankle is crucial to be able to drive effectively. A pedal that is too far back causes an unnatural position of the foot and ankle, with the possible emergence of pain after several circuits, and less precise movements. Let us also remember that the drivers point their feet onto the chassis (on the front tube for the tallest drivers, and on the heel rests for shorter drivers – editor’s note) also to be better connected to it and locked in. However, to do so there must have a correct inclination of the foot, otherwise in most occasions there will be a risk of accelerating unintentionally, for example when striking curbs or uneven road surfaces.
MANAGEMENT OF ACCELERATION
“Even if a kart requires more ‘on/off’ driving compared with other competition vehicles such as single-seaters and motorcycles, it is also true that the possibility of choking and accurately managing the accelerator is extremely useful. To do this it is necessary to take great care in the adjustment of the throttle wire length, connecting it lower down on the pedal if you wish to increase the pedal stroke and precision/sensitivity on the accelerator, or higher if you wish to have greater throttle response immediacy with a short stroke.
There are also important details for preventing slight acceleration or oscillation of the throttle wire. An example is the stops to throttle the steel wire: there are different types, which are more or less large and heavy. What I certainly consider important is that there is no oscillation of the throttle wire involving slight variations of the carburettor’s valve opening (butterfly or guillotine valves). Just to avoid this from happening, I prefer to use the smallest and lightest clamps, while I avoid the heavier models. Not only that, it is also important to position the clamp very close to the pedal, so as to minimise the amplitude of this component’s oscillation, decreasing the distance between the clamp and the pedal.
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