April 21, 2023
SKUSA Super Nationals Track Layout Review
SKUSA has announced the track layout for the 2022 Super Nationals. It will be the same layout used in 2019 at the Rio Hotel and Casino, so let’s review a lap around that configuration so you can hit the ground running at this year’s event.
Bear in mind that the track surface plays a big role in how the track drives. This year’s race is taking place on a different surface than the 2019 race, so the track will handle a little bit different, but overall the line should be similar. Let’s begin.
Head down the first straightaway into the fast flat-out left-hander, which should be flat out this year as well, and then into Turn 1. Turn 1 is really wide, which means you can carry a lot of speed into the first corner. Early in the week, the track normally does not have that much grip, so tread lightly into this corner early in the week. As the event continues, this corner tends to rubber up and reward drivers who can push the limits. It’s also a spot where you can make up a lot of time on your competitors. There's a fine line between over-driving this corner and under-driving this corner, and anyone who is under-driving is going to get taken advantage of on the brakes going in.
When you enter Turn 1, make sure you carry a lot of speed into the corner and also turn in late enough that you can get a nice late apex off the corner. This allows you enough time to get back to the left side of the racetrack for Turn 2.
When you come off Turn 1, use all the racetrack, and then head into Turn 2, using almost all the racetrack on entry. The secret to Turn 2 is that you're really focusing on turns 3 and 4. Turn 3 is a flat-out lefthander, which doesn't affect the line much, but you need to have a straight exit out of Turn 2 to get a good run through 3 and into 4, which is an excellent passing zone. You will see a lot of drivers making moves in this corner, so be ready for it.
That’s why you need to be strong and have a nice late apex through Turn 2. Do not overdrive this corner. Back it up just enough so you can get a nice straight exit.
You really don't want to have to turn much through Turn 3. If you can keep a straight line out of there, that's really helpful. Come out of Turn 2, don't use all the racetrack, keep a nice straight line out of Turn 3 and head down the long back straight into Turn 4.
As you go into Turn 4, you realize that the sharpest point of this corner is the beginning. As you get farther into the corner, you realize that the corner starts to tuck back to the inside of the racetrack, which means that the sharpest point of the corner isn't necessarily your apex. You want to apex on the backside of the inside curb, so you get a nice straight run out of Turn 4 and into Turn 5. If you can stay close to the apex curb on the exit, you'll get a nice straight run out of this corner, and you'll be able to be fast going into Turn 5.
Now, Turn 5 is a very fast corner, and you want to be able to carry a lot of speed into this corner. You don't need to brake much for this corner because it is fast and wide, and leads to a flat-out chicane. The best way to get through Turn 5 is to brake lightly on entry into the corner, rotate the kart, and then get back on the gas as soon as possible so that you can carry enough speed through turns 6 and 7, which are taken flat-out before you get to turns 8 and 9, which form another chicane, but much slower than turns 6 and 7.
Turn 8 is another good corner for passing, so pay attention. When you approach Turn 8, it should be a nice, easy braking zone because you want to carry a lot of speed through the chicane. Try not to turn so hard on the exit of the corner to make Turn 9. Drive as straight a line as possible through the chicane so you're better set up for the last corner.
Turn 10 is one of the most important corners on the racetrack because it sets you up for the long back, straightaway, which will exaggerate any mistake you make.
It’s critical to balance between over-driving and under-driving. A lot of drivers under-drive by focusing on getting a late apex to get onto the straightaway. What happens though is that they kill the momentum by over-slowing the kart attempting to make a late apex. On the other hand, if you overdrive this corner, you lose so much time on the exit of the corner because you end up running out of racetrack.
Make sure you brake late enough that you're carrying enough speed through this corner, and then trying your best to late-apex the corner so that the kart is straight going onto the back straightaway. On the back straightaway, make sure you get your head down and tuck for a while because this straightaway is super long.
Please note that you can't really pass into the flat-out left-hander unless you get completely beside the driver in the middle of the straightaway. It's really hard to get by them going into that fast left-hander. It’s best to stay behind and be prepared to out-brake them going into Turn 1.
I hope that helps you prepare for the 2022 SKUSA SuperNationals. Good luck!
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