The setting up of the kart chassis is one of the most important
aspects, but also one of the most complicated, in fact there are
many adjustments that can be made, and each of these significantly
affects the behavior of the kart, and especially the feeling of the
In this regard it is important to make a distinction, in fact, the
technical choices and the adjustments can go in two directions, the
first to have the kart in performance as effective as possible, the
second to allow at the driver to be able to drive to the best of his
ability by making the most of the potential of the kart.
Often the two directions do not coincide then as often happens a
winning team is where the technician makes the choices that meet the
driver, and the driver on the other hand tries to work on himself to
make the most of choices focused instead to improve overall the
performance of the kart.
Obviously the most important direction is to make sure that the
driver drives to the maximum of his ability, because it is useless
to insist on solutions that even if technically better, the driver
for its characteristics can not exploit.
But when the level is high, however, it is the driver that must do a
step further by being able to make the most of the most effective
solutions even if they do not fully match his driving style.
So let's try to understand among the many adjustments, which affect
the dynamic behavior of the kart, and which, on the other hand,
change the felling that the driver feels while driving.
HOW TO INTERVENE ON THE SETUP OF THE KART CHASSIS
The first aspect that affects the dynamics of karting is certainly
the balance, and this has a significant influence on the behavior of
kart, therefore both in the development phase of the kart, both in
terms of fine-tuning, should be taken into account to find the basic
solution that gives the best performance.
Another aspect that affects the dynamics of the kart is the effect
of the rear axle, in fact, being the kart without a differential, it
makes the kart understeer, or oversteer depending on the driving
phases, therefore the adjustments and the technical choices that
modify the lifting of the rear wheel (kingpin and caster), or the
stiffness of the chassis (bars and axle) are important to change the
dynamic balance of the kart.
Then there are important technical choices to make sure that the
kart optimally absorbs the roughness of the ground, in fact being
without suspensions, in addition to the tires is the chassis itself
that acts as a suspension, so for example the choices of the hubs
and of the rear axle stiffness affect this.
As you have seen there are already many choices and adjustments that
can significantly affect the behavior of the kart, but to all these
must be added those that change the feelings that the driver has
while driving, which, as we have seen, are equally importants.
In fact, the driver feels the slip of the tires and of the kart
(understeer and oversteer) and acts accordingly, this obviously
makes him feel more or less consistent, to the advantage or not of
the final performance.
The adjustments that alter this aspect are many because for the
behavior of the tires in extreme conditions, is necessary very
little to change the slip angles on which they work, so every choice
must be made with extreme care to find the right balance and give to
the driver the feeling that looks for.
In order to modify the drift of the tires, it is possible to modify
the loads acting on the wheels, intervening for example on the width
of the front and rear track widths, or to modify the camber angles,
or to change the toe of the wheels.
Overall, therefore, the technician that must intervene on the setup
of the kart chassis is faced with many choices, which must be
repeated each time, in function of the characteristics of the track,
of the conditions, and of the feeling of the driver. It appears
clear so that even with so much knowledge and experience isn't easy
to make the best choices, also because often the driver, especially
if young, is not able to provide clear indications about the
problems that he feels, and then technician is forced to move in the
Both for those who have little experience, both for the most
experienced technicians who work at the highest levels in tight
competition, it is therefore essential to use tools and software
that provide guidance on how the kart really behaved and concretely
help to make the best choices for an optimal setup.
Continuing the reading you can start thinking of putting a important
step for the growth technique of your team and of your job.