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Champion Advice | Tom Joyner: the “perfect” lap at South Garda Karting in Lonato with an OK kart

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TOM JOYNER: THE “PERFECT” LAP AT SOUTH GARDA KARTING IN LONATO WITH AN OK KART

05 September 2018

In 2016 we asked Karol Basz for advice, but there are never enough tips on the best way to race on a track like South Garda Karting. This time, Tom Joyner, 2013 KF world champion, gave us his interpretation of the “ideal” lap in Lonato

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THE STRAIGHT AND RIGHT-LEFT BEND

On the straight you need to stay on the right (before point 1) to get ready for what is not really a bend to the left (2): in fact, you should accelerate and go round it keeping as close as possible to the left kerb. This is the best way to prepare for what, in fact, is the first real bend to the right (3) taking it as wide as possible coming into the bend. At the rope point there is a jump that should be avoided, or rather, you won’t feel the bump if you follow a perfect trajectory without slipping while staying as close as possible to the kerb. It is important to feel that the chassis is at the limit but does not drift too much, an aspect that reduces the speed at a point where there is a lot of grip and the drift absorbs energy and speed. This straight should be taken at full throttle in an OK kart, which has performance tyres and is lighter than the previous KF, at least on the second lap, while on the first one the tyres are still cold and may require slight pratialization. After bend 3 you should move to the centre of the track and, subsequently, follow a very narrow trajectory on bend 4.

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THE FIRST REAL BRAKING POINT

The first important braking pointof the circuit is particularly complex, because it has no real reference points: this helps the chasers a lot, since they can keep the driver in front of them as a reference point. You don’t have to brake late, because it is easy to go wide when exiting the kerb (point 6); and you cannot brake early, because in this way you allow the possibility of being overtaken and you will have a considerable loss of speed around the entire bend. In particular, if you are ahead, the risk is at bend 7, the easiest on which to be overtaken.

In relation to the trajectory, care must be taken to avoid the beginning of the kerb at point 6, which causes a real jump.

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HAIRPIN BEND IN FRONT OF THE BOX

Above all, the complexity of this point lies in the fact that it is the easiest stretch on which to be overtaken, because the track coming into it is very wide, but at the same time you have to anticipate your detachment a little so as not to go wide and be able to take advantage of the next straight. In fact, the rope point is not half-way round the bend but earlier; from here you can go full throttle. Also, for some reason it is easy to end up on the grass with the two outer wheels, thereby wasting time. Fortunately, the next bend is to the left and, therefore, even if the tyres get dirty on that side, the damage is limited, given that afterwards the tyres that are most affected are those on the right.

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DOUBLE BEND

The next bends are quite particular, since the track from bend 8 onwards is a mixed connection point between the new track and the old one. Bends 9, 10 and 11 that have not changed even after the last restyling of the track. You should come into the bend rather fast, slow down and brake slightly and smoothly at the rope point (point 8), turning the steering wheel a little to prevent the kart from starting to jump, which can easily happen in this stretch. After the kerb you should stay wide and progressively increase speed again from point 9, which has a certain upwards slope. You should tighten the trajectory up to the rope point, looking for a trajectory that gives the least possible resistance, then straighten the kart for the stretch between bend 10 to 11, which is downhill.

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