In order to allow new teams and enthusiasts to better deal with the 24 Hours Karting of Italy, the event they are getting ready to take part in, we have asked some of the Team Managers with the most experience in this type of racing, to give us some useful advice.
CRG‘s format, like that of other promoters of this fun sport that is Endurance karting, aims primarily at having fun and involving drivers and enthusiasts who can go from spectators to protagonists in this type of racing. Therefore, experience or skills are not needed, but rather the desire to experience an engaging activity firsthand. In particular, in the Silver category, the goal is to finish the race and the result for many crews is definitely not the most important thing. Nonetheless, some teams have gained a great deal of experience and over the years have perfected their strategies and their approach to racing, capable of significantly improving the performance of their crew. Having said that, we asked some of the more experienced Team Managers to share some suggestions with us and we have drawn a sort of “guide” in 5 fundamental points.
- Number of drivers and their management: the teams can be made of a minimum of 4 up to a maximum of 8 drivers for what concerns the “Pro” teams or 10 for the “Silver” crews. However, most of the Team Managers agree that the correct number of drivers is 6 in the Pro teams and 8 in the Silver ones, in any case an even number is preferable to an odd number, so as to divide the drivers into two homogeneous groups and divide the phases of the race by sending, for example, 3 drivers at the same time to rest at night, while the other three will take turns for at least 6-8 consecutive hours, before going to rest. Furthermore, many Team Managers also prefer to make the succession of driving stints with drivers who have the same ballasts, so as to carry out fewer operations in the pits.
- Driving advice: drivers are advised to take advantage of the slipstream of the other karts in their driving stints, as they guarantee about 3 tenths per lap, but above all the possibility of doing many regular laps in terms of timing. Furthermore, aggressive driving should be avoided because it is usually not productive and puts unnecessary stress on the kart from a mechanical point of view, while clean driving, a limited use of the curbs and the ability to use little “flying angle” are recommended, so as to have a better speed, both when cornering and on the following straights.
- Management of the CRG kart during the race: the format that distinguishes the 24H of CRG compared to other endurance events is the assignment of the kart by drawing lots to the teams for the entire duration of the race, i.e. without “quick change”. This choice was possible as the fleet of karts used is always brand new and in-depth pre-race tests place all karts within the performance window of between 2 and 3 tenths. Furthermore, in free practice, the teams have some replacement karts available to solve any problems, so as to guarantee all participants a technical comparison on equal terms, without the influence of good luck and misfortunes when changing karts. This technical prerogative requires keeping the kart in good condition throughout the race as an integral part of the race strategy and the technical management of the vehicle is a factor that can make the difference. Many Team Managers point out how the karts of the top teams arrive at the finish line without any sign after 24 hours of racing and even almost clean, therefore without having made any excursions off the track. Every contact, but even a simple excursion on the ground or on a high curb, in fact, can compromise the convergence and reduce the top speed, or simply dirty the carburettor and compromise the engine performance. A smooth drive also allows correct management of the tires which, after 10 hours of racing, can help making the difference if they are still in good condition. Managing the kart in a perfect way is therefore the most important advice on which all the Team Managers agree, but at the same time they all recommend using the free practice well to evaluate any problems and solve them with the CRG technical staff, before the start of the race .
- Strategies: the Regulations of the 24 Hours Karting of Italy give a lot of freedom in terms of strategy by imposing only 30 driver changes to the “Pro” teams and 35 to the “Silver” ones. The Team Managers recommend setting up the race with long stints at the beginning, considering that the fuel lasts for 1h and 30′, and then reducing the duration towards the end of the race. At the same time, you have to be ready for opportunities to save time when making driver changes, or, in the event of a Safety Car or rain, when you spend less time in the pits as happens in F1 and therefore these are opportunities to be exploited even by changing your strategy plans. All Team Managers recommend having the radio available (an online radio kit costs less than 100 Euros), but also agreeing well on signals between Team Manager and driver to have further confirmation of communications.
- The drivers’ preparation: getting fit for the event is the first rule, so on the weight side and train from a physical point of view, perhaps by jogging in the weeks before the race. During the event, however, some useful advice is to eat at least 3 hours before your driving stint (carbohydrates, fruit and vegetables) and drink about 2 liters of liquids a day between water and supplements. This type of event also allows for a few above-average doses of coffee. Having said this, the most effective training remains behind the wheel of a kart looking for rhythm and constancy, more useful factors than absolute performance in terms of time in an event such as the 24 Hours Karting of Italy.
Professional and amateur teams will find an event able to satisfy their expectations by taking part in a unique experience. To find out more about the 24 Hour Karting of Italy organized and promoted by CRG, please have a look at the official presentation on the CRG website by clicking here or contact the Organizing Secretariat: firstname.lastname@example.org