Need some track day adivice

I just finished a local track day on a small gocart circuit (1 kilometer)… The track is full of various corners and speed is from 50 - 120 km/h on the track…So I guees I could only use the second gear, but thats not a chalenge/borring…If I use first gear I will be using 6500-8000 rpm around the corner or 3-4k rmp with second gear… I experied some problems with my gear change… Whitout heal and toe it was really hard to get the gear into first, sometimes it fellt imposible… And heel and toe is a bit too scary for me, need a lot more practise before I can use it…(also need new boots for that)

So It would be nice with some advice about me gear change, should I just push the gear stick harder??? (dident quite feel healty for the gear box), bad idea to use 7k + rpm around corners??? …

I wouldn’t worry about 1st (I’ve never used it on any track after leaving the pits, inc Haynes’ tiny twisty circuit, and haven’t heard of anybody else use it either). It’s doesn’t sound like the sort of circuit where worrying about speed is going to make it any more fun. Perhaps better to focus on braking and lines?


Well first of all its not a reall circuit … But its the only option I got close to me Its a gokart circuit 1 km… I just wanna figure out the fastest way to finishe it… So eather I go all around the track on second gear wich mean from 3,5 K rpm. … Which doesent quite sound optimal for me… Or the other option is to swap to 1 gear in some turns (which was kind of hard due to the massive resistance in the gear box), which means I will be driving in 7-8k rpm in the turns… hmm???

Just thought u might get bigger grip and speed out of the turns doiing 7-8k rpm in 1 gear compare to 3-4k rpm second gear… Or maybe its bigger chance just to spin the car…hmmmm…
And just 1 more question… In a turn , the 1 half part I keep accelerating… is this bad??? (to much braking bf the turn) Is it best to have almost zero pressure on the accelerator here (thinking of the grip of the car)… and just accelerate the last part out of the turn…???

For information: here is the short gokart track:

I know it is some noob questions… But hey… U got a start somwhere… … 0


Assuming you have std PG1 gearbox with synchro’s it will not like being forced into 1st gear without a throttle blip and even then carfeul matching of revs will be needed to prevent damage to synchro’s. The resistance you are feeling is not a problem with the box it is a difference in input speeds between the input and output shafts, matching these 2 speeds is what the heel toeing is for, preventing gearbox damage and wheel lock up during braking. That is why most racing boxes are dog engagement and not syncromesh as the synchro’s wear out quickly in racing situations.

Try and avoid banging it into 1st until you have mastered heel toeing, which can be practiced on every downshift on the road until you get used to it, you would be surprised how quickly you can get into the hang of it without the pressure of a track. Just get used to where your feet need to be and it will start coming naturally.

Then and only then start going into first or you will need to rebuild the box very soon, with perhaps new first gear needed as well.

Here, here with what Jason R says, the sheer difference in the speeds of the two gears (2nd and 1st) means that the syncho’s wont let you change gear. Get yourself those boots if you think it will make you more comfy and get out there practicing n the road.

Other than that get a dog box!! My box will do 60mph in 1st gear so I do use it a lot, I was using it most of the time when coming round the final hairpin onto the start/finish staright at Croft, especially when I was trying to keep up with Randy!!!

Plus with a dog box you could be doing 130mph and it will allow you to select 1st gear, so a little thought does have to be utilised, before talking your foot off the clutch.


Again agree with Jasons comments, I’ve used first at Mallory park’s very tight hairpin (makes the one at croft seem like a huge sweeper )… Basically witht he heel and toe, practise practise practise! You’ll need to give it a decent blip and it’sa better to have the revs a little higher to begin with, it’ll lurch the car a little but it’s easier to drop the revs to the correct speed.

7k rpm will be much better than 3-4 as they’re not on cam really so the engine isn’t running at it’s best…

Do it on the road all the time! I do and it’s just a natural reaction now, even in Diesel Xantia!!!

I thing everybody’s missing the point here.
Niceguy’s problem is that track, it’s a very short one, and it’s not forever.

So, my advice is not to upgrade anything and just ride it with the higher gear.
That will let you build up speed without having a twitchy car or forcing the engine unnecesarily.
Otherise, if you don’t have the revs spot on (and you’re learning) you’ll spin.

You don’t need torque on a practice go-kart circuit.
You need to lean to carry speed through the corner.
If you continue using the higher gear you’ll hate it, and this (together with familiarizing with the track) will make those revs ride to 4-5K RPM with some more practice.

Lots of good advices here thanks guys…

I think I should just follow Uldis advice,… I just dident like to use the 2 gear all the time but it will probarbly be the best until I can manage to use “heel and toe” (gonna take a while)…

Uffff… better try to get some sleep now… not that easy

I would steer clear of using 1st. Not only will you run the risk of damaging the car you will also find it’s time consuming to change gears and you will be slowing yourself up to much going into the corners so you can actually get it into gear.


i don’t think you should bother with 1st gear for this track. Try to stay in 2nd all the time (unless you can manage 3rd anywhere ) and practice your lines and braking as IDG says.

You could also play around with lift-off oversteer in the corners and really get to know the car a bit better - just be careful and make sure you allow plenty room to the inside tyre wall in case you go all the way round occassionally. You could also play with Trail braking.

Anyway, have fun, be careful and don’t worry about using only 2nd gear - better than breaking the gearbox