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The Expert Advices | How to make the most of your kart’s tyres to go faster

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HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR KART’S TYRES TO GO FASTER

04 June 2020
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After having seen what the basic rules are for managing tyres, Stefano Mantese, development and competitions manager of Vega, a leading company in the sector, explains how to get the most out of tyres to optimise performance on the track and make them last longer. At the same time, he denies some commonplace beliefs that are not infrequently heard in the paddocks of kart tracks, especially among the less experienced. We will learn that, in reality, with a few simple practical tips, even inexperienced kart drivers can manage to get the most out of these components that are so crucial to performance.

1 Is it any use to inflate tyres with nitrogen?

First of all, it is good to remember that the use of nitrogen is prohibited by competition regulations. If we just consider the amateur sphere, however, there is no problem; indeed. In fact, nitrogen is a gas that is impervious to humidity and is much less sensitive to changes in temperature compared to the air in the atmosphere, a characteristic that allows for more constant performance and protects from excessive increases in pressure. In fact, it is no coincidence that nitrogen is also used to inflate Formula 1 tyres. All you have to do is go to any tyre dealer to purchase a small nitrogen cylinder, which among other things last a long time before running out.

Nitrogen is a gas that is not very sensitive to humidity or temperature changes. Ideal for kart tyres. But it is forbidden to use it for races

2 What should you do on the track with new tyres?

A very common mistake is to enter the track with new tyres and immediately start accelerating. By doing so, however, the tread is excessively damaged very quickly and will no longer be able to provide the expected peak of performance; this is why, first of all, tyres must always be run in. The most correct running-in procedure consists in a slow lap, followed by three laps during which you continue to 'accelerate' until you are going faster. When you see that the lap time starts to rise, you do two more laps slowly and then you go back to the pits, letting the tyres cool”.

3 What can I do if the tyres do not wear out uniformly?

If you always race on a track with most bends to the right (or left), a good idea is to switch the tyres after each lap: those mounted on the left are put back on the right and vice versa. This procedure does not involve any type of problem in terms of performance (at least as regards Vega tyres ...). The idea is to uniform both the consumption and vulcanization of the tyres. This also reduces rolling.).

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