Interview with Greg Laporte


In 2015 several former World champions competed in the BRKC. We spoke to 2008 Indoor Kart World Champion Greg Laporte about his experience of the championship.

413177_398532516877379_246250726_o

 


 

BRKC: Tell us a little bit about your role with the Kart World Championship.
GL: I am part of the KWC Committee that was founded towards the end of 2007, when the KWC started hosting it events all over the globe, after the initial 3 events on Northern American soil. In this committee, I contribute as an advisor, making rule suggestions, improvements based on event experiences, and I try to help find new locations as well that would be suitable for hosting a big event like the KWC. There are many great tracks around the world, but karts, kart levelling, facilities, are all as important than the track layout itself. So during the year I try and help out the KWC group as much as possible, whilst during the events itself, I’m a competitor where I have no influence on any kind of decisions.

 


 

BRKC: How did BRKC compare with other similar national qualifiers?
GL: I really enjoyed competing in BRKC, even making it to the finals which had some national & international greats there. It was very challenging, which is what we love the most right? Compared to other national qualifiers (I did the Belgian & Italian series), I must say the level of drivers was similar, but the event managing in BRKC was top notch. The timing schedule was excellent. However, what sets BRKC apart is the live commenting during races, driver interviews and the livestream & live timing. This is a great plus and makes the experience for all drivers extra special. I’m definitely coming back to BRKC if my job allows for it.
 1658376_779647618789191_7570540778561339930_o

 

BRKC: What advice would you give to a driver competing for the first time in a high level indoor competition?
GL: First of all I would advise every driver to drive as much as possible on different tracks (different karts, surface). Mainly because in the big competitions you will have to race guys who do so much racing all over Europe and the World. All the top guys adjust very fast to a new track, new surface, new karts – so it’s very important to understand quickly what makes you fast, and what doesn’t. Simply trying your best isn’t enough – it really takes dedication and even studying to make it to the top.
I would also advise drivers to watch as many races as possible when you’re not driving yourself. To see what lines drivers are taking, to see where overtaking manouvres pay off and when they don’t, to see what pit strategies work best, etc. You really can learn a lot just with your eyes. Also, most drivers are as passionate as you are, so they will never act weirdly when you simply walk up to them and ask them some questions. Me & my teammates do nothing else but talk trajectories and what works & what doesn’t. This saves us a lot of time because we don’t have to learn everything individually.
Finally, the ultimate key to success will be consistancy, which means being able to resist pressure. You must learn to do your races, regardless who is around you. If it’s a reigning champion, an ex F1-driver, or a rookie, they are just adversaries like all others, and that is something really important. You have to show respect, obviously, but never too much. Be selfish, you want to win, so you must do everything it takes and not be overwhelmed by some ‘big-name’. Fast laps, lap after lap, plus good racecraft and strategy will bring you success. Nothing else.

 


 

 

BRKC: What impressed you most about BRKC in 2015?
GL: The level of dedication by the BRKC people (organisers, staff) and the Formula Fast crew. This combination of a serious organisation team plus dedicated track owners were the key to success for BRKC 2015 in my opinion. Obviously the great level and number of drivers made it something special as well.

Interview conducted in April 2015

New Pitstop System for 2016

BRKC races feature one compulsory pitstop to add a tactical element to the racing.

Pitstop strategy is crucial, and BRKC 2016 will feature an all new technological innovation for precise measurement of each driver’s pitstop.

As the driver enters the ‘stop box’ in the pitlane, a laser activates a red traffic light instructing the driver to stop. After a pre-determined time on ‘stop’, the system activates a green light allowing the driver to continue.

A false start will trigger a separate warning light, notifying both officials and drivers that they must pit again to complete a full stop.

Check out the animation for the new system below:

 

How to make a weighted seat

So you’ve signed up for the best rental kart championship in the country. You’ve bought a cool new race suit, booked yourself some practice – and you can almost taste Formula Fast’s famous pizza. But there’s a problem: You’re 60kg and people have been talking about a standard minimum weight for drivers of 90kg.

 


 

The solution? Create a weighted seat. Now first we should point out that the Formula Fast are able to supply you with up to 20kg of lead blocks to fit in the sidepods, so in our example above, the driver would only require an additional 10kg of weight. However, it’s up to you how much of your additional weight comes in the form of a weighted seat. We’ve seen drivers with 5kg-30kg over the years. As long as the seat is deemed safe and presentable by the officials, you will be able to use it at BRKC.

 


 

Where to start?

 

The first port of call when starting this little project is getting hold of the seat itself. We recommend a Tillet kart seat, preferably Medium/Large or smaller depending on your size. If you’re lucky enough to know some ‘owner driver’ karters, pester them for one of their old damaged seats. Since you aren’t bolting it to the rental karts, it doesn’t need to be in the same condition as on an ‘owner kart’.

However, most drivers will find a seat on Ebay. Don’t pay more than around £30 for one – and never buy a brand new seat unless money really is no object.

Seat

 


 

Next

Now you’ve gotten hold of a seat, you’ll need to attach the weight. This should be in the form of lead sheet which can be purchased at any builders’ merchant. For 10kg, you should expect to pay around £30. It may be worth speaking to local roofing companies (get the yellow pages out!) to see if they have any old offcuts of lead you can have for free.

Attach the lead to the back and the sides of the seat with strong adhesive (No More Nails etc.) and allow to dry. Different drivers have different opinions about the best place to attach the weight – high, low, left, right etc. Why not start a discussion on the Facebook group to see what suits you best?

 

934769_10152991817777272_957241147153153597_n


 

Finally

The final thing you will need to do is cover the back of the seat (i.e. the lead) with carpet or soft fabric. This is to avoid scratching the rental kart seat. Carpet shops usually have plenty of off-cuts which they can give you for free. Ask other drivers how they made theirs.

Make sure the seat fits snugly into a rental kart seat by visiting your local track and trying it out! Adding some car washing sponges under the carpet on either side usually helps in this endeavour if your seat is pretty small.

 

10898011_10152991817762272_1347345786694235299_n


 

WELL DONE! You’re a professional rental karter. Post some pictures of your creation on the BRKC Facebook group. Now where was that pizza…?

10917834_10152991818982272_6813303990231993385_n