Overtaking When Go-Karting: Tips for Safe & Successful Passes

Whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned karter, mastering the art of overtaking can make the difference between finishing first or trailing the pack. And of course, safety always comes first, so we’re emphasising clean and secure moves. Strap on your helmet, and let’s dive in!

1. Know the Track

Before anything else, understanding the layout of the track is crucial. Familiarise yourself with corners, straights, and potential overtaking spots. Look out for long straights followed by sharp bends – these are usually prime overtaking opportunities.

2. Analyse Your Opponent

Every driver has a unique style. Some might brake earlier than necessary or take wider turns. By observing the kart in front, you can identify their weak spots and use them to your advantage.

3. Maintain a Safe Distance

While it’s tempting to tailgate a slower kart, maintaining a safe distance ensures you have ample time to react to sudden braking or unexpected moves. Plus, it gives you a better view of the track ahead.

4. Choose the Right Moment

Patience is key. Wait for a clear opportunity, such as:

  • When the kart ahead goes wide on a corner, presenting an inside line.
  • On a straight, where your exit speed from the previous corner might give you an advantage.
  • When the driver ahead is involved in a duel with another kart, which may slow them both down.

5. Use Slip-streaming

This technique involves positioning your kart directly behind another, using their aerodynamic wake to reduce your air resistance. As you approach the end of a straight, move out of their slipstream and capitalise on your increased speed to overtake.

6. Execute with Confidence

Once you’ve decided to make a move, commit to it. A half-hearted attempt can lead to collisions. Make your intentions clear, and use decisive manoeuvres.

7. Always Prioritise Safety

No race or position is worth a crash. If in doubt, it’s always better to hold back and wait for a safer opportunity. Remember, a clean race is a successful race.

8. Practice Makes Perfect

Lastly, like all skills, overtaking improves with practice. Spend as much time as possible on the track, learning its intricacies and refining your techniques.


Overtaking in go-karting is a blend of strategy, skill, and judgement. Always remember to respect your fellow racers, and prioritise safety above all. And, of course, the right gear – like a top-notch helmet from Zamp Helmets – can boost your confidence and protect you on the track.

So, the next time you’re itching for that adrenaline rush, slide on your helmet, rev up that engine, and take to the tracks. Happy karting! 🏁