Finding the correct tyre pressure settings for your kart is one of the most important parts of setting up your kart to deliver the best on track performance. Tyre pressures are key to getting the best performance out of your kart.
Generally increasing the air pressure makes the tyres get hotter quicker increasing grip but too much pressure and they will overheat and start to become greasy and slide. Finding the right balance between the tyres coming on at the right time and not overheating at the end of the race is the ideal setup.
Several factors affect the pressure setting you should use:
If the track is green (not been used that day), dusty or sandy you’ll need to increase the pressure to compensate for the lack of grip. As the track grip increases start to lower the pressures.
A gripy track will need lower pressures, on a busy practice day tracks often become “rubbered up” the high level of track grip can give your kart too much grip and make the kart feel stuck to the track, this stops the kart from releasing off the corners leading to slower lap times.
Different track surfaces require different pressure settings. In the UAE you would normally use lower pressures at RAK Track than Dubai Kartdrome as the track surface at RAK Track is a lot coarser than the Kartdrome.
Generally, as the temperature drops you should increase the tyre pressure to compensate for a cooler track surface. Alternatively, if the temperature increases a lot you will need to drop the pressures.
Type Of Rims (wheels)
The type of wheel rim used on your kart will affect how the pressure increases during the course of a track session. Kart rims are made of either aluminium or magnesium. Magnesium rims are more porous than aluminium rims and have a greater tolerance to heat leading to a more stable tyre temperature and constant grip level.
Aluminium rims become hotter earlier in your track session leading to tyre temperatures rising quicker than magnesium rims. Aluminium rims generally offer less stable tyre grip levels in long sessions.