You might be wondering why on earth should drivers put their head down in the straights.
Well, there are multiple reasons for it and let me share them with you in a second.
Here’s the list of why you should keep your head down:
- Reducing the drag in the straights
- Increasing your focus and concentration
- Showing your competitors you’re 100% committed moving forward
We’re gonna go through all of these in a second, but let me first give you some guidelines.
First of all, when I say putting your head down, I mean doing it in a safe way that will still allow you to see the track in front of you and that is fundamental for your safety and for all the other drivers around you.
Second, you should really be able to get back to your usual sitting position with ample time before the next hairpin or corner whatsoever.
You should usually put your head down for 2-4 seconds depending on the length of the straight line and the speed of your go kart.
For example, if you’re in a shifter kart such as a KZ2, you would first want to either be in 5th or 6th gear before putting your head down and you will maximum hold it for a couple of seconds compared to a 60 Mini or Junior which will have lower speeds and therefore you could keep your head down for a bit longer than that, like 3 seconds.
Having said that, let’s have a look at the reasons why you should even put your head down in the first place.
#1 To reduce the drag in the straights
So the #1 reason why you should put your head down in the straights is to reduce the drag.
The drag I’m talking about is the one from the air that you’re hitting with your Kart, body and helmet.
The higher the speed, the higher the drag.
For this reason you have to bear in mind that when you’re on the longest straight line in the track, you will be having lots and lots of drag.
And one great way to reduce this drag is? Let me guess:
By putting your head down.
But that not only is a great way for you to reduce the drag, it’s the only one!
It’s the only one you can CONTROL, because you can’t control the drag of your kart and neither can you control the drag of your helmet.
You can only control the drag from your body and that is achieved by consistently putting your head down in the straights.
#2 To increase your focus and concentration
The second reason for why you should be putting your head down is because that will allow you to keep more focused and “hungry” for purple sectors, overtakes and quick lap times.
I always advise my drivers to do this always on every major straight of the track, since it will not only make you faster thanks to the drag reduction, but also more focused for the rest of the lap.
I know for some people it might seem strange or difficult to get started, but once you keep practicing it, it will become a habit that will reap the benefits in the future.
Believe me, you’re never too old, too short or too good to pull your head down in the straights.
#3 To show your competitors you’re 100% committed moving forward
The final reason for putting your head down is because that will allow you to prove to your competitors behind you that you’re serious about going forward and that you’ve got no intentions of giving that place up.
During a race you’re always fighting so hard and by putting your head down you will signal to the others around you that they should follow you instead of trying tìto overtake you (even if that is not 100% guaranteed).
Go kart racing is all a mental game, and if you wanna win you’ve gotta learn how to play that game properly.
If you’re putting your head down as well as driving properly without making any mistakes, your competitors will notice and you will thank me for that one day.
So that’s it for today, remember to apply this tip the next time you go to the track!
And once again, you’re never too old, too short or too good to pull your head down in the straights to gain that extra tenth of a second.
So just go out and do it.
I hope these tip has been helpful for you to get started winning your next go kart race.
Check out my group coaching program on Zoom that will take you from zero to hero!
It includes 8 group coaching calls per month where we will discuss tips and strategies to get you to winning races in NO time!