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The Expert Advices | Tips to use, as well as mistakes to avoid. A young kart driver in the hands of an expert technician

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ERRORS NOT TO BE MADE AT THE STEERING WHEEL OF A MINI KART

10 July 2020
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Understanding driving errors and improving the chassis setup are the problems encountered by all fathers who are mechanics for their children. Often parents do not have the knowledge to help children improve and, over time, mistakes can become habits which are then difficult to eliminate. We did put a child who has been karting for a year in the hands of Nicola Biasetto, an expert mechanic for the Parolin Racing Kart team. Here are his warnings on what the classic mistakes of a MINI kart driver are and his suggestions on how to learn avoiding them.

1 The driving position is crucial. What should be established, especially with children who grow up fast?

It is necessary to focus on legs and arms. Consequently, with the steering wheel and pedals which must be positioned correctly. The driver must reach the steering wheel with ease, without bending his/her torso forwards, yet the arms should not be fully be extended. If the steering wheel is too close, the driver is unable to apply force when steering, quickly getting tired and negatively affecting the driving style.
The pedals, on the other hand, are the accessories of the MINI chassis on which to adjust and use the correct positioning of the legs. Specifically, they must be fastened so that the child is able to press the pedal to the stroke limit without difficulty. In smaller drivers we can help ourselves with the adjustable pedalboard, an accessory which further brings the brake and accelerator controls closer.

PROVIDING THE RIGHT GUIDELINES TO CHILDREN WHO START OUT WITH KARTING ENSURES THAT MISTAKES DO NOT BECOME BAD HABITS THAT ARE THEN DIFFICULT TO ELIMINATE

2 Is there a way to understand if the pedals are adjusted incorrectly?

Usually, when purchasing a chassis, the driving position is adjusted to the child’s height. Yet, we must take into account the fast growth due to the age. Therefore, if the position of the pedals remains unchanged after one or two years because you forget or do not notice it, it is a mistake. It must be the parent who understands that the driving position is wrong, looking at the child in the kart and noticing if he/she has no room to adjust themselves to the correct position. The best method to check the position is to have the driver get into the kart and placed on the kart’s stand and have him/her extend his/her legs to evaluate how far he/she can reach with his/her feet. The legs must be extended yet is essential for the driver to be able to press the pedals to the stroke limit with ease. In particular, the legs should not touch the steering tie-rods. If desired, one can also use the adjustment of the throttle wire.

3 Let us talk about tire pressure. How should it be set?

In the first two laps my advice is to use the same pressure on all four tires when they are cold. We can start at 0.85 bar. The goal, at the end of the session is to have the kart with all four warmed up tires at the same pressure. If this does not happen, we can change the pressure when the tires are cold to compensate for the difference. We keep the value of 1 bar of pressure with warm tires as a good value which will allow the tires to work in the correct parameters and offer maximum grip. Obviously, the atmospheric temperature must be considered as well. If we start to drive at 9am, at 2pm we would easily have a higher atmospheric temperature. This will force us to adjust the pressure on cold tires at a lower bar unit.

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