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Old 18th May 2016, 21:51   #16
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Default Re: Racing in the British Universities Go-Karting Championship

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Originally Posted by Meccanico View Post
Man! Those K2Z karts sound amazing! Can you make a post about your karting experiences? Would love to hear. How you got into it, where you started etc.
Ah, I haven not raced in karts, yet. I will try to race in SWS race series in Dubai Kartdrome, in RX7, 13bhp karts. But the competition is cut throat.

The K2Z kart, I drove for one session only, 15 minutes. Andreas was having a practice session for an upcoming race. He was kind enough to let me have a go in the kart. We both used to have good fights in the rental karts.

Normally in summer they used to trade karts, spares etc. This time, I will try to get the price of karts and make a thread or I will post it here.

The karting scene is also very different from India, here most of drivers come in caravan and there is a party atmosphere prior to the race weekend. Usually, the whole family used to come and camp, will share the experience from spectator point of view the next time I go for the race weekend.
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Old 19th May 2016, 11:15   #17
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Default Re: Racing in the British Universities Go-Karting Championship

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Hello! In this post I am going to talk about my journey from being an enthusiastic young motorsport fan to actually fulfilling my dream of racing in a karting series. It will be a fairly long post and I will describe every bit in the best way I can.
All the best!
Its a shame that proper Karting is barely present in India now. No quick karts anywhere.
Even Buddh has stopped its arrive n drive.

Last edited by GTO : 19th May 2016 at 12:22. Reason: Typo
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Old 19th May 2016, 14:46   #18
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Default Re: Racing in the British Universities Go-Karting Championship

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All the best!
Its a shame that proper Karting is barely present in India now. No quick karts anywhere.
Even Buddh has stopped its arrive n drive.
Thank you Hatari!
That a shame! I did not expect Buddh to stop karting. It might be due to the low turn up / low returns. Here in the UK there are as many karting tracks as there are pubs. The reason - the extremely high demand. Almost everyone has at least tried karting once and it is a common weekend activity.
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Old 21st May 2016, 12:36   #19
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Default Re: Racing in the British Universities Go-Karting Championship

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Originally Posted by Meccanico View Post
Hello! In this post I am going to talk about my journey from being an enthusiastic young motorsport fan to actually fulfilling my dream of racing in a karting series. It will be a fairly long post and I will describe every bit in the best way I can.

Just like all motorsport fans, I have been through the phase where we all
want to become professional or part time race car drivers. Growing up in India, hardly anyone ever understood that motor racing can be a serious profession and not just a form of entertainment. Blinded by cricket, hardly anyone even considers motorsports a sport. The chances are really slim, but it is not entirely impossible. Motorsports was the only career the 12-13 year old me ever wanted to pursue. So I started my research. I was born with a silver spoon in my mouth; but apparently you need a spoon made out of diamonds just to start your go kart training. And yeah, you will need 3 of those if you do plan to build a career in motorsports. We lived in Pune and there was no karting track in the city where I could try it out. This made it worse. By the time I turned 15, much to the happiness of my family members, I knew that I could not get into motorsports as a driver. All I wanted at this point was to get involved into some form of racing. I did not mind going for another career choice, but I promised myself I would race side by side.

I decided to do what every other racing fan does - enter the industry from the engineering side. So no matter how much every person I ever met told me not to "try" to get into motorsports as a career, I kind of still did. I cannot stress how frustrating it was when everyone I met seemed disappointed at my choice of career. All I was going to do is chose Aeronautical (Yes, the credit goes to Adrian Newey) or Automobile Engineering and then try to enter motorsports. It was not as if I was choosing Motorsports Engineering, which could really be a gamble due to the unnecessary early specialization.

So a note to all aspiring Motorsport Engineers - Listen to what advice people give you. But do what you feel like. Choose a fairly safe degree like Aeronautical/Mechanical or Automobile Engineering and head on from there. I study at the University of Leeds currently and there are several people from Mech/Auto who have gone for internships with British F1 teams. One has actually managed to get a job at McLaren. The number of applying candidates is high - its all about how much you want it.

Back to my story. So I decided I was going to the UK - somewhere I could nurture my inextinguishable passion for motorsports. Watching F1 over the years had taught me that it is the place I would want to be. My father was not planning to send me abroad for my bachelors degree. He was quite reluctant in the beginning but he graduated from the Cambridge as well and I managed to convince him.
Thank you for the post.
Those are some amazing pictures and videos of the karting.
It brings back memories of when my friends and I did a few karting weekends, when I was up north in the UK.
This was around 10 years ago, at the Teesside Autodrome- supposedly the longest and fastest karting circuit in the world.

http://www.teessidekarting.co.uk

The speeds achieved are good and its amazing how these karts actually stick to the tarmac , without toppling over. Had our shares of spills and crashes, but mostly used to finish in the top 6 out of a start of 18-20 drivers.

well done! and good luck with your ambition to get into motorsports.
Cheerio!.
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Old 17th November 2016, 06:20   #20
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Default Re: Racing in the British Universities Go-Karting Championship

An update!

I am back to racing after summer and it feels amazing. I can safely say I have improved my skills significantly. We had a University Motorsport event at the Tockwith Karting Circuit in Tockwith, York. It was about an hour's drive from the university. From what we saw, Tockwith seemed like a laid-back village with a small population. It is the kind of village one would like to settle in upon retirement. After driving around an airfield for a while we finally managed to locate the track. It was tucked away behind the farms and stables. A lot of people were seen riding horses on the streets as well - it was quite wonderful!

At first it seemed like we were the first humans who had ever set foot onto the place. After being to several race tracks, I have taught myself to keep expectations to a minimum. A lot depends on how your race is going to go. Things like if the kart you are driving functions at all, if it does, is it well maintained or not and if you get T-boned at the first corner. We were 30 drivers, and were randomly split into two groups of 15. The karts were twin engined pro karts. Each kart was powered by two 160cc Honda 4-stroke engines. Top speed - 89km/h.

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The kart. Source: tockwithkarting.com

A five minute qualifying was followed by a 20min race. To everyone's delight, the normal British weather did not make an appearance and it was quite dry. As soon I was in the kart, the massive grin was back on my face. The kart was extremely well maintained, highly responsive and very grippy. The brakes were not the best, but hey - going sideways while centimetres above the tarmac is immense fun! Below is a picture of the track taken from their website.

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The first corner is the right handed hairpin going into a small left hander, then taking a very quick hairpin (2-3-4) while brushing the tyrewalls during entry. It then leads to a wide right and left handed (5-6) turn. At the exit of turn 7 you slam your foot on the throttle, through the narrow chicane (8) and then brake directly for the hairpin. I lifted off the first time, but after gaining confidence went flat out every time. I was getting faster with each lap and my confidence boosting up.

Here's a video of a lap of the track -

I qualified 6th and started on the outside of the track. This meant I had to close the door on the drivers behind me before entry into the first corner. Inspite of the planning, I managed to concede at least 3-4 places at the race start. All I cared about was overtaking the karts in front. My strategy was to brake slightly early as everyone else tries to out-brake you only to go wide at the exit. It worked. I was up a few places after just 3 or 4 laps. The race started at around 5pm which meant it was getting dark really quickly. We were racing under dark, purple clouds and in the cold countryside air. Hardly anything tops that for me. Unfortunately I do not have photos of the event and words do not do justice to the scenario.

Someone was unfortunate enough to have a bad crash on the last lap of the race. A driver slammed head on into the tyre wall just before the first corner (so flat-out). It was a really bad crash. The kind of things you do not want to see happen to anyone when you are racing. He was fine afterwards, not to worry. Now for the results.

I managed to finish third! Being on the podium meant a lot me. The goals I had set for myself 6 or 7 years ago, knowing the possibilities and difficulties I would have to face were met. My inexhaustible passion had finally paid off - not that I race for the trophies, but it is nice to have a physical embodiment of your success.

Racing in the British Universities Go-Karting Championship-img_20161026_201907-1.jpg
The trophy

The next race is on the 30th of November. It is going to be the first night race we've had. Go-kart racing under floodlights - what could possibly go wrong?

Last edited by Meccanico : 17th November 2016 at 06:29.
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