|30 November 2016|
David Sera distributes an email newsletter from time to time. Here are some items from edition number 6.
As most of you are aware, qualifying is nearly the most important session a driver will do on a racing weekend. The way we have our formats now, qualifying on the front row, or mid pack have major consequences on how your racing will play out, track position, avoiding accidents etc.
The best way to maximise your qualifying and ultimately your lap time is your track position when the session starts. Drivers should be aware who the fast drivers are and need to try place their kart in close proximity with these faster drivers to try and get a "tow" or at least to follow their lines and braking markers.
This has a huge effect in Cadet racing, where we see fifteen odd drivers leave the grid together and work together to help each other get that one fast lap.
Drivers and mechanics need to also be aware that qualifying is all about gaining that one lap advantage rather than consistent lap times. As a driver you need to determine on what lap your tyres have the maximum grip, get yourself some space and not have to overtake on your flying lap.
Personally I don't like looking for a tow or someone to chase. I find it easier to concentrate on my own lap and hit the markers 100% that I've practiced in the lead up to qualifying.
Here we will take a look at what it takes to get the most from the circuit and improve your chances of taking home some silverware.
It's an uphill start that leads into a fast left/right chicane where Cadet & Juniors drivers will require a light lift of the throttle through the first corner then a flat out run down the hill. TAG drivers may require some braking so that they don't let the kart exit too wide and have to lift off the throttle on the downhill section.
We now approach a hard braking long left hand corner where most of our initial passes will take place. If we turn in too early we will exit too wide and lose speed down the back straight. I found it best to keep a half kart length distance from the first kerb, allow the kart to run to the middle of the circuit then cut back to the second part of the apex, maximising your momentum on the way out.
We then go flat out through turn five, allowing the kart to flow to the outside as we approach another uphill braking hairpin into turn six. For TAG karts, I found the inside tyre barriers a good braking marker, but it can be deceiving thinking you're going into this corner too slow. As soon as you try brake later, you tend to miss the apex and jeopardise your exit speed. Another good overtaking opportunity.
As we exit uphill and approach possibly the tightest corner on the circuit, this corner is a slow in, fast out type of corner. The apex is also very late, so when doing a track walk look to where the point in the kerb is and aim for that when driving it.
Our final turn will make for some great last lap passes, it is a little bumpy on entry under braking. Ideally you want to turn a little late to be on the throttle earlier than the rest of your competition.
Good luck to all the competitors this weekend. Having being down at the circuit in recent times, I know the club have put in a tremendous effort to have the facilities in great order!
The 20th edition of the SKUSA SuperNats took place at the Las Vegas Convention Centre on November 16-20th. David Sera competed in the X30 Senior category, which fielded 88 drivers from around the world.
Debuting a new Deadly Karts chassis, Sera topped the time sheets before qualifying, but wasn’t able to replicate the same speed when it counted ultimately finishing with the fourteenth fastest time. “It was a disappointing qualifying for us as we left the kart relatively unchanged from practice, but weren’t able to get the gains as most other drivers” said Sera.
Sera then started the three heat races from the fourth row of the grid carding finishes of 7th (with the fastest lap), 32nd (after a turn one crash) and an eighth. With these results, it would give the Kartsport North America driver a 26th starting position for the main event.
“At times throughout the heat races we showed we had the speed to win. The kart was showing great pace at the end of the races, so we were trying to keep our nose clean until the final. Unfortunately the second heat incident has cost us valuable track position.”
The final was all over after a turn one incident where Sera tried a bold move around the outside that didn’t eventuate. He was able to clear the accident but had bad front end damage, that he circulated around for 25 laps and crossed the line in twenty-second place.
“Knowing we had to make up positions quickly in the final, I had to take a risk at turn one. This time it didn’t come off and I wasn’t able to make an impact. The end result wasn’t a true indication of our potential this weekend. There’s always 2017.”
Sera would like to thank his ongoing supporters who have made 2016 possible; DPE Kart Technology, Deadly Karts, 360fly, Revolution Racegear, Kartsport North America.