ad
Countdown to 2016 Australian Grandprix:
2016 Formula1 World Championship Calendar

Australia | Bahrain | China | Russia | Spain | Monaco | Canada | Baku | Austria | Great Britain | Hungary | Germany | Belgium | Italy | Singapore | Malaysia | Japan | USA | Mexico | Brazil | Abu Dhabi

Introducing children to motorsport

Talk about other disciplines of motorsports around the world

Moderators: Lyria, Mafia, Lawrence, Administrator

Introducing children to motorsport

Postby f1datavis on Fri Jul 06, 2012 3:48 pm

When, where, how and how old?

What age would you be comfortable taking your kid karting? My daughter loves the early morning races watching the "brum brums", but she thinks they are too loud (shes 2). Son a bit small at 11 months...

Want to make plans... :)
User avatar
f1datavis
 
Posts: 1100
Joined: Thu May 17, 2012 7:01 pm
Location: Northamptonshire, UK

Re: Introducing children to motorsport

Postby Lyria on Thu Jul 12, 2012 3:45 pm

Have to say I think your kids are a little too young yet, you're sounding a little likt the equivalent of the hubby who buys a train set for his son when the wife announces she's pregnant. :rotflmao:

Be calm my friend, the time will come for karting and once they get into it (and you find out exactly how much it's all going to cost you) I think you'll wish you'd not got them into it so soon maybe :hihi:
User avatar
Lyria
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 17749
Joined: Sat Aug 16, 2003 5:01 am
Location: England

Re: Introducing children to motorsport

Postby Ciro Pabón on Wed Jul 25, 2012 1:18 am

Well, I like to teach kids to race, so there you go. I take no responsibility, F1datavis, talk with Mrs. Datavis first. I apologize for the length of this post (as usual): most of it is copy/paste from my notes.

Kids can start as young as three, as Alonso and Montoya prove. However, Senna started at thirteen, Hamilton at eight (I think, perhaps seven).

Almost no circuit will allow people under six to race, because of insurance.

You will pay around one pound per lap (if you own the kart) or 1.5 pounds (if you rent it).

Any vehicle would do, is better to start with something else instead of a noisy and dangerous kart at that age. Kids (specially girls) love electric toy vehicles. Do not use tricycles, they will learn the wrong way.

Do not push them. As Lyria implies, allow them to like it, it can become as boring as violin lessons if forced.

Safety tips I teach to kids (and parents)

I might forget something (I'm writing from memory) but:

- Use chest and rib protector jackets if on a kart (I have cracked ribs). They will protect you: the plastic seat will jar into your back if you hit a tyre wall.

Image

- Large helmets are dangerous, young people have weak necks, neck brace designed for racing is MANDATORY at any age.

Image

- Make them use arm sleeves and elbow and knee pads (at least for the outer elbow, once you understand why: meanwhile make them use both).

- Braid their hair if it is long (or at least secure it AND put it under helmet).

- No loose clothing while racing.

- Do not allow them to use googles, only full face shields. Helmet should protect chins.

- Make them use sturdy shoes, socks, long sleeve shirt, long pants.

- Take note where the fire extinguishers are. Ask. Learn where the marshalls or caretakers are. Learn their names.

- Check you have all your health cards or whatever you need in case you have to go to a hospital (sorry, but that's important). ALWAYS learn where the nearest hospital is and check beforehand if they will receive your kids (a call will do). Carry a first aid kit.

- Assure yourself they know what signs you will make when you want them to stop.This can sound ridiculous, but DO NOT STEP INTO THEIR PATH when you want them to stop.

Learn to check the kart (I'm copying/pasting/translating, so I'm pretty sure this is it)

* Check the kart has a chain guard, to retain a broken chain. The guard will have an extension all the way back to the bumper in kid's karts.

Image

* The floor pan must be within one inch of the frame from the front of the seat forward, so it will not trap their feet if bumped.

* Seats must be immovable laterally and longitudinally. The seat must be made of one piece without any peaks or add-ins. You should not be able to adjust the seat while in motion. NO PART OF THE SEAT SHOULD BE AFTER THE VERTICAL OF THE REAR AXLE.

* The fuel tank must be bolted BENEATH THE STEERING SHAFT (unless is part of the engine)

* The header MUST extend past the fuel tank, but NOT PAST THE REAR BUMPER. They must have NO SHARP EDGES. Header support brace is required.

* All pipes must be in a secure fixed position.

* The kart must have rear brakes MINIMUM. All brake bolts and supports SHOULD HAVE nylock nuts, preferably pinned

* The kart should have a ROTOR GUARD PLATE

* The kart should have front AND rear bumpers, REQUIRED. For kids, REAR BUMPER SHOULD REACH FROM TYRE TO TYRE.

* Nerf bars (side bars) are MANDATORY for kids.

Image

* Front spindles must be keyed and pinned.

* Rear axle must have snap rings on both sides.

Image

* Steering wheel nut must be keyed or pinned. The three bolts that hold the steering wheel to the hub must have nylock nuts. All tie-rod bolts must be keyed or pinned.

* All bodies, side panels and nosepieces must be securely mounted.

* All karts are required to have a brake rotor guard or Wolf plate (it prevents the rotor from eating through your seat and then your back).

Image

* No limited slip or free-floating hubs. All rear wheel hubs will be locked to the axle to turn with axle during racing (not only they are dangerous but they teach you wrong).

Things you can teach them and learn yourself

Teach them to feel the speed on their cheeks by feeling the wind (a bicycle will do, if they have one).

Teach them the racing line, by using the Racetrack game (you just need an squared paper and a pencil). They will learn more than in a simulator. A simulator, of course, is helpful, but not for very young kids: it will teach them wrong.

Racetrack game
Image

Walk a road with them and watch it. Teach them where the curve starts, teach them if the curve has transitions (between the straight and the circular curve), teach them how the road twists in those parts (hi, raymondu!), what a superelevation is and how it develops along the road (it could surprise you). The ideal way is on a bike (on foot or on car you do not feel the sideslope).

Teach them to observe the path of the water on the surface of the road (because the dust will be there). Go outside with them when raining and after the rain.

Make them touch the road: they should distinguish when pebbles are slippery and where the oil patches are. The only way is touching them.

Teach them Newton law by using a two meter (the longer the better) rule with a groove, Galileo style. Lay it slightly inclined. Make them drop marbles on the groove and mark where the marble pass at the one second mark. Now do the same for two seconds and then three seconds. They will realize quickly that in the second second the ball moves twice the distance and in the third second, four times the distance. This will teach them that twice the speed means four times the stopping distance and give them the rough idea of why speed can be dangerous if you do not take inertia in account. Few people understand the law of kinetic energy intuitively.

Make them realize that you automatically leave a 2.5 seconds gap between the rear wheel of the preceding car and the front rear of yours (it's easy if they start to count when the car ahead passes a bump and then they feel when your car passes the same bump). Teach them that in a circuit you have to overcame that instinct.

Teach them the Coulomb law of friction by weighing a spare tyre on your home weigh scale. The make them push the tyre laterally using the same balance. They will learn that the tyre can exert roughly the same lateral force as its weigh.

Play with them while on a car trip to recognize road signs. Teach them the continuous/discontinuous lines, but also the difference between yellow and white lines, the difference between regular curve signs and dangerous curve signs and the sign for accident-prone sites. It could be one of the most important teachings of their lives.

Just in case: dangerous curve
Image

Normal curve
Image

Teach them the flags (nothing like going to a real race to learn that) and the rules. It's a good opportunity for you to start learning them, it will take you a couple of years, so start now... :hihi:

Teach them that racing is everywhere. A good book I've used is Jonathan Livingston Seagull. To chase your dreams, you know... :indian:

Image

Finally, for you, the last resource:

Five dangerous things you should let your children do
Ciro

GP meliora est
User avatar
Ciro Pabón
 
Posts: 1901
Joined: Tue Apr 25, 2006 5:01 am
Location: Cali, Colombia

Re: Introducing children to motorsport

Postby Warweezil on Tue Aug 14, 2012 10:23 pm

It should also be remembered that not everyone has the talent/finances to compete - but that doesn't mean that Mo'sport is closed to them. Some UK Circuits welcome "Cadet Marshals" from age 14 onwards. Despite not being able to go out on post, they work in the paddock area and get to learn about assembly etc, so by the time they attain 16 and can go out on post (but not trackside on a live circuit) they have a good grounding in procedure and safety.

Yeah - we all want to be there in the pack, but when that isn't possible, you can still get really close to the action - and make a valuable contribution to Motorsport...
Image
Original Member no 137
The voices in my head may not be real..... but they have some damned good ideas
On Post.... Out there..... Up Close & Personal
User avatar
Warweezil
 
Posts: 3123
Joined: Tue Oct 08, 2002 5:01 am
Location: Half way up on the left... Too far from Home!

Re: Introducing children to motorsport

Postby Funkmother on Fri Sep 14, 2012 4:43 pm

Still, you can get 15 minutes in a go-kart here for $11 or something. I don't remember how old my kids were before I put them in a kart but the steering requires a certain level of strength in those things. I think the track has a thing on the wall that says, "You have to be taller than this to drive". They have a two-seater and before my son was old enough, I put him in one of those with me and took him for a blast. It was cool. :thumbs:

That was the only form of motorsport I could ever afford and these days, even that is out of the question. :yaynot:
The metaphorical inuendo flows like chalk.
User avatar
Funkmother
 
Posts: 12928
Joined: Wed May 14, 2003 5:01 am
Location: The land of the endless shore

Re: Introducing children to motorsport

Postby Ciro Pabón on Sat Sep 15, 2012 11:52 pm

Ecclestone: "You have to be taller than this to drive"
Image

It is recommended that you use the "exterior" circuit for kids, so the curves are not that tight. Of course, that happens when you have several "sub-circuits" in a track.

That allows you to reduce Ackerman (you know that Ackerman means that the inner wheel turns more than the outer, so I won't explain).

Frankly, FuMo, the "taller than xx" means you can reach the pedals, that's it.

As long as your kid can reach pedals and steering wheel, he can drive a kart, believe me. I've taught kids for almost 30 years, after all I'm 40-something years old ("something" being 12 :)).

About the "out of the question" I recommend to spend less in six packs and more in karts. Eleven dollars could buy you 2 six packs around here... ehem. Besides, if you don't teach your kid to ride a bike, handle a soccer ball (or a baseball), go to the stadium and drive, what kind of father you are? A bad one, I think.

Since Paleolithic times Neanderthals have taught their kids to drive! Egyptians taught their kids to drive! Romans did too, as well as your founding fathers. Follow the line, mates... and they all used karts, as is well known.

At 16 is too late! He won't pay attention to you, he has been already trained by his mother not to.
Image
Ciro

GP meliora est
User avatar
Ciro Pabón
 
Posts: 1901
Joined: Tue Apr 25, 2006 5:01 am
Location: Cali, Colombia

Re: Introducing children to motorsport

Postby f1datavis on Sun Sep 16, 2012 8:22 pm

Well Ciro you have out done yourself. This is really great information, I really appreciate your efforts and time you put in. All printed off...
User avatar
f1datavis
 
Posts: 1100
Joined: Thu May 17, 2012 7:01 pm
Location: Northamptonshire, UK

Re: Introducing children to motorsport

Postby Lawrence on Tue Nov 06, 2012 6:31 pm

f1datavis wrote:When, where, how and how old?

What age would you be comfortable taking your kid karting? My daughter loves the early morning races watching the "brum brums", but she thinks they are too loud (shes 2). Son a bit small at 11 months...

Want to make plans... :)


Get him a slot car set. If he spends hours trying to maximize his times around the track...then he might be a driver. It he just enjoys crashing the cars...well, this might not be the sport for him. In the end, these kids come hard wired with all kinds of genetic code passed down to them from parents, grandparents, great grandparents and even some relatives that no one wants to talk about. You will be surprised with what excites them and amazed that they are totally uninterested in other things. Probably best to expose them to everything you think is worthwhile and let them pick and choose. They ain't that easy to spoon feed, if you know what I mean. My son has not shown a strong interest in racing, even though I have taken him to tracks, etc. He is probably not going to be the next Lewis Hamilton.
"To explain the lure of speed you would have to explain human nature; but it is easier understood than explained...Speed is the second oldest animal craving in our nature..." -- T. E. Lawrence
User avatar
Lawrence
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 10465
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2005 5:01 am
Location: United States --- Washington DC


Return to Other Motorsports

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron

Copyright 1988-2011, Inside F1, Inc.