Ok, so I'm probably not the fastest indoor karter in the world (yet) but I'd say I'm pretty decent these days so I'll share some things that might help you. A while ago I posted about the basics of Indoor Karting a few “advanced techniques” and I thought I might elaborate on these and introduce a few more ideas as well. Feel free to comment with your opinions.

Shifting bodyweight – this definitely helps on slick tracks. I haven't noticed the benefit so much shifting front to back as I have side to side. I try to “preload” my weight meaning I push my body up against the side of the seat opposite the direction I am about to turn in. My theory is that it will help the outside rear tire bite, and also lift the inside rear which will help the kart turn as the kart has a solid locked rear axle with no differential. How much (if at all) this will help will depend on the tracks grip, the kart, driver weight and the turn. It will likely help heaver drivers that fit in the seat more snugly less. In many, maybe most situations it may be negligible but I do feel in certain situations it helps.

Drafting and taking an aerodynamic lean – while the draft can be huge on an outdoor track in the same types of rental karts at speeds as low as 40-50mph, (you might not think so but I have the data to prove it) I have not noticed any noticeable draft effect on any indoor track. I've experimented with leaning forward, crouching behind the steering wheel to reduce frontal area and coefficient of drag, but I don't think what you sacrifice in steering control (you might end up turning the steering wheel slightly and scrubbing speed), vision, and remembering to shift your weight back for braking and cornering is worth the possibility of slightly faster straightaway speed.

Ballast – There are several ways I have run ballast in rental karts; using a weightbox built into the karts sidepod, sitting on it weight, and wearing weight. Each method has it's own challenges. Wearing the weight on your chest or back is most similar to what a heavier driver experiences and I also feel it does the most of help with kart grip. I think this because you are able to “engage” the weight by leaning in whatever direction you want. A big disadvantage to wearing the weight is it is most likely to interfere with your driving. I've found with weight on my chest my hand bumps in sharp turns with my normal technique. An alternative is to sit on the weight, this won't interfere with your inputs at all, but will alter your seating position slightly. You won't be able to “engage,” the weight, it will be stuck in the same position all the time, so in my opinion you won't see any significant increase in grip. Another alternative is to use a weightbox usually built into the karts sidepod if available. From my experience, this alters the karts handling the most, so it may take the most getting used to. In theory, I think the weight in the sidepod could give you slightly more grip, and it my help or hurt you more turning in one direction vs. the other, but I haven't run like this enough to come to any conclusions.

Feathering the throttle – Indoor karts are underpowered and although many times you can go straight to the floor with the throttle, you may need to feather the throttle at least a little bit, more then you may think. At tracks with buffed/polished surfaces it can be pretty difficult to actually feel when your wheels are spinning under acceleration and when they are completely hooked up. Even at gripper tracks, you may find it sometimes necessary to feather the throttle a bit, especially if running a higher powered/super kart.

Bouncing up and down and leaning forward under acceleration – One of the theories behind this is with less weight on the rear, the engine revs will increase faster. You can try to take advantage of this by leaning forward under acceleration to shift weight to the front of the kart ( leaning forward also coincides with the aerodynamic lean technique) or bouncing up and down in the seat, which will temporarily unload and reload the rear of the kart. I've never felt any noticeable increase in acceleration from this. Although some increase might be possible, it is tough to measure. I guess if you're bored, why not though? It's good for the show. People will think your cool. Maybe.

Sliding seats – Most all rental karts have either adjustable seats or adjustable pedals. If the seat can be slid forward or backward, you can significantly change weight distribution doing so. Seat position is IMO a driver preference. Find what works with your driving style. I know short guys who sit as far back as they can, using pedal extensions to reach the pedals comfortably and big guys who sit far, far forward all scrunched up over the wheel. Sitting forward should make the kart looser or oversteery, while sitting further back should make the kart tighter or understeery. I generally find a position I like and stick with it, however, moving the seat forward or back depending on the kart and track conditions is definitely something to look into.

Following another kart – I've noticed I typically set my fastest laps when I am following someone about the same speed as me. I think a big part of this is motivation to keep up, and having a reference to keep from overdriving the kart. I never thought of it beyond that, but recently I've heard from several people that they've felt following another kart can be faster because they are basically heating up the track for you. I have to say I at least semi believe this as I typically feel more grip and turn my fastest laps when following another fast kart.

Timing screens - I've never been to any indoor track where GPS will work reliably and I don't know of any tracks that will let you use your own timer with heads up display. However I have been to several tracks where the current session times are displayed on a monitor or projector that is at least somewhat visible from the track. Seeing any feedback is obviously helpful in improving faster, even if it is just previous laptimes.

Throttle and brake on standing starts - Many rental karts have some sort of lockout to prevent you from using the throttle and brake at the same time. I've been to some places where some karts will have the lockout while others don't, so it's just something you have to try before leaving the pits. There are two typical places to use the throttle and brake. The first is on standing starts. In theory this will allow the kart to start higher in the powerband, allow the clutch to start already engaged or closer to engagement and allow for faster reaction time (lifting foot off brake vs. slamming foot down on throttle). I've found this does seem to help a bit on all counts, however, the track may frown upon this technique or ban it entirely.

Throttle and brake in turns – This is the second common throttle and brake technique. It has taken me a long time to master this to a point where I am faster doing it then not in certain circumstances. There are several different ways to do it, but what I do is “overlap the pedals”. After braking and turning in, I start squeezing the throttle early, while still dragging the brake. As I'm adding throttle, I'm trailing off of the brake, often braking all the way to the apex. If I find myself carrying too much speed and pushing wide, I ease back into the brake a bit. So through the whole turn, I am getting back on the throttle earlier, if getting completely out of it at all, and braking for a much longer time. The whole process with my feet is much smoother then if I were to take the corner with no pedal overlap. As with on standing starts, I feel hold some throttle/getting back in the throttle earlier helps with staying in the powerband and keeping the clutch engaged. I also feel staying in the throttle keeps the rear of the kart planted. While braking or even when lifting off the throttle, load is transferred forward and there is much less rear grip, particularly for lighter drivers who have less weight over the rear axle (where the only brake in karts is located). Maintaining some throttle keeps the rear loaded. There are definitely people that are very fast without using throttle and brake, but if you find yourself struggling with rear grip and sliding in braking turns, it may be worth a shot to try.

Since this is already way longer then I intended, I'll post some points to think about, and key tips in seperate posts soon.