7 TIPS TO... GO KARTING IN THE WINTER, EVEN WHEN IT’S COLD
Winteris certainly not the best season to go karting: short days, low temperatures, frozen asphalt, and just a few daring kart drivers. And yet, in reality, except for "extreme" conditions with snowy slopes and ice everywhere, nothing prevents you from not keeping your kart in the garage and continuing to get behind the wheel. You will certainly find freer tracks and paddocks with all the space you want: conditions that some kart drivers will find relaxing and fun, allowing you to put up with the nuisance of frozen hands. However, we should not forget that the intense cold is not the ideal running condition for a kart and its accessories, or for the tyres, or the driver. If, you therefore decide hit the track anyway, you should take certain precautions to face the situation in the best possible way.
The tyres are one of the main aspects to consider, since the wheels are the only part of the kart in contact with the ground (cold) and the grip depends on them. When running on a track in winter, it is advisable to ensure that the tyres reach the correct operating temperature, also increasing tyre pressure to 0.85 bar. When the kart is stationary you can use the electric blankets, but they are expensive accessories that very few kart drivers have and that, above all, are forbidden when racing.
When the air is cold it is essential to completely cover the radiator with the curtain karts are supplied with. If you don’t have one, the radiant mass can be shielded with Sellotape. The important thing is minimising impact with the air, so that the engine can reach the correct operating temperature. It is certainly also important to install a thermostatic valve in the circuit, thereby avoiding the passage of water through the radiator if the engine temperature is already low. Never use antifreeze liquid: this is forbidden.
The cold also affects fuel, leading to the formation of condensation in the tank. To remedy this problem, a separating funnel is used to fill the tank. Then it is best to shake the tank thoroughly for optimal mixing of the oil and petrol.
Further to the "preparations" to be made on the kart before running on a track, extra precautions also have to be taken in relation to the steering wheel. In fact, before pushing the kart, everything must be brought up to the right temperature, including the brakes. To do this, you have to heat them gradually during the first few laps, without suddenly stopping, but braking constantly so as to gradually heat the brake discs.
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