WKA: IRL SoK: Memo Gidley secrets of speed series, part 1

Memo's Madness: Beating Your Competition Before The First Race By Memo Gidley This is the first of a series of monthly tips that will help you win at the kart track. These are some of the things that I do and, as weird or extreme as they...

Memo's Madness: Beating Your Competition Before The First Race
By Memo Gidley

This is the first of a series of monthly tips that will help you win at the kart track. These are some of the things that I do and, as weird or extreme as they might sound, they do work. So, here is a little Memo Madness from the Memo Gidley Secrets of Speed on proper pre-season practice.

Depending on where you live, it's that time of year when the weather is getting a little nicer and hitting the tack for some practice is on everybody's mind. During the off-season, it's great to have bought the latest frame, the best clutch, and cool new gear but ultimately, if you want to win, you need to practice. Knowing how to practice is key to having the best chance of winning.

Just like doing reps in the gym to be strong, if you don't challenge your body and mind at the track, you wont really see big benefits of pre-season practice. My goal is to make every practice at the kart track, as tough or tougher than the hardest day on a race weekend. To do this, I start by getting to the track when it opens and being ready to hit the track when the track goes green. This doesn't mean rolling in around 10 AM, working on your kart, and finally getting on the track at 11:15! This means having your lunch/drinks packed, your kart ready, and getting to the track at 8 AM to be ready to run when it goes green. The only thing you should be doing to your kart for that first session at the track is setting tire pressures, putting fuel in the tank, warming up the motor and going. So, if getting up at 7 AM to make this happen on a Saturday morning is too extreme for you, you might as well stop reading now!

Why is getting to the track early and being ready important? Two reasons: challenging yourself and challenging you opponents. If your pre-season testing consists of showing up to the track mid day and going home early, how is it going to feel on that first race weekend when you must be up at the crack of dawn and don't leave until after dark? And you have to come back the next day and do it all over again! You are going to feel abused and your performance on the track will reflect that. But if you've already done a dozen or more days before the first race, practicing this exact routine of getting up early and going home late, then when the first race rolls around it will seem like a walk in the park.

The other reason for this madness is challenging your opponents. If your competition comes to the track to practice and every time they get there you are already out doing laps and every time they leave you are still doing laps, how are they going to feel? They are going to feel inadequate and like there is know way that they can beat you. This is because in their minds you practice way more than them, regardless of whether you actually do. And in their minds they have already lost! I can't tell you how many times I heard behind my back, "Man, Memo is always at the track. No wonder he is so fast." Just hearing this kind of talk made me stronger! Even if you only practice once a week, or once a month, by following this procedure you will have taken that first step towards beating your competition even before the race.

Next article, making those practice laps count.

Editor's Note:
Memo Gidley is the co-author of the Memo Gidley Secrets of Speed how-to book series including titles on Shifter kart, Two-cycle kart and Four-cycle kart racing. For more information check out www.mgsecretsofspeed.com or email info@mgsecretsofspeed.com.

-Stars of Karting

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Series Kart
Drivers Memo Gidley