‘Coffey Ford’ Corner
A pretty difficult corner, usually the ‘carnage’ corner
in racing at Oakleigh. The inside is always the safest place to
be on the first lap, and riding wheels can easily happen if someone
slows down and you cant pull up in time.
The fastest way around this corner is to slighty pull to the inside
of the track on the exit of DPE, and then before the braking zone,
turn the kart back again in the opposite direction the corner is.
Get off the throttle, trail brake
and get the kart angled towards the corner. Be careful of the
bump just as you start to brake, it can upset the kart. At this
stage, you should slightly slide the kart to the outside of the
During this time, have the front wheels pointed straight at the
Coffey ford sign and at the last minute point the front wheels ,
and get on the throttle again. Hold the steering
solidly and smoothly through the exit to keep the kart balanced.
As complicated as this sounds, its not necessary the way to go
around Oakleigh, but this method lets you brake just as late, and
sets your kart up for the exit, as the angle of the kart in braking
helps your exit speed. In temperatures over 27 degrees or so this
way starts to overheat the tires, and with a large amount of rubber
built up, on a big meeting, it isn’t as fast as the normal
brake and turn method. On the other hand, master this on
a green track, a slippery track, at night, and most other times,
and you will have an upper hand on the other guys out there.
I have noticed the fastest drivers around this track always do
Just check out the driver drawing to really understand what I am
trying to say.
Also when you are leading, the guy behind you might try this manoeuvre,
and make an error, thus giving you a kart length or two.
Turn 3 Oakleigh
‘Concept Karting’ Corner
A really, really unnerving corner. Mentally, you have to be thinking
hard on the first lap, because the roll around laps don’t
incorporate this part of the track, so you never know how much grip
there is going to be. I suggest that you don’t pull a move
here on a fast driver, lap 1, because they can easily outbrake,
and literally drive around you.
To get around here fast, you have to be fast on the brakes and very
late. Try trail braking slightly but don’t put a wheel on
the outside grass entering, you will spin. On the exit, there is
a very bad ripple strip with a major dropoff. You cannot run wide
through the corner at all, because you can lose all of your momentum
if you have to brake on the exit. If you fall off the track, you
can easily be eaten alive by anyone behind you. If you do find yourself
in the position of heading towards the ripple on the exit, brake
and get away from there, because dropping a wheel could mean a DNF.
During racing always use this corner to set up a move on the next
corner, by staying as close as you can to the back of the guy in
‘No name’ (I call it ‘the bumpy right hander’)
Easily the roughest corner of the Oakleigh kart track, probably
During the first lap, this corner can be a brilliant place to pull
a move. On the exit of concept just don’t turn and straight
line it under your opponents. They cannot do much about it, because
trying to hold the outside will result in lawn mowing some grass
To get this corner right is relatively difficult, because you are
airborne in the most vital area. On the exit of concept, just aim
your kart towards the outside, and try to miss the majority of the
bump, and try your best to keep the wheels flat. Sometimes you can
have an 8 lap race and have a different line every lap, because
the bump throws your kart into a repletion of ‘hops’
and you completely miss the corner. Try to keep the gas on when
this happens because backing off makes it even worse. On the entry,
keep the throttle flat with the slower classes, and slightly ride
the brake, but with a Rotax etc, just feather the throttle slightly
and ease it around. On grippy tires this corner is very hard on
Mainly just keep away from the bump, and try come a small way away
from the inside ripple, don’t ever climb that ripple, it will
The ‘dipper’ as it is named, has an elevation change,
a great corner, one of my favourites at Oakleigh kart circuit.
During the first lap, things should be starting to sort out, so
don’t worry to much about guys stopped in front, because accidents
are rare on lap 1. If possible go deep, very deep under brakes on
the inside, but only if they pull out to take the corner. Many people
have different lines here, some go wide into it, some go very narrow.
My preference is generally a mid to inside line, where someone would
have to be very brave to pull a move, and it doesn’t bog down
If your kart releases well, especially on sticky tires, just back
off for a tiny amount and tap the brakes, and be right back on the
throttle holding the kart right on the inside ripple, and maintain
speed and throttle. On sticky tires, this corner really lets you
test their limits. Have your brake off and foot flat before you
start heading for the inside apex. And just power out as fast as
you can. On the exit have your rear wheels on the outside ripple.
‘One Tree Hill’
This sweeper is a simple corner, mainly a corner that is never
used for a pass, unless you are being passed back after miscalculating
a move on the dipper. If someone does get under you on the exit,
(this only happens if you brake too late and ruin the pass) just
try and drive around them on the outside here, there is enough room
for two karts to go around, and they will then be on the outside
for the double right.
The fastest way around in the cold is a flick, and power slide
through. Sometimes you do have to chuck the kart around, heat up
the tires and generate grip. If it is too hot for that style of
driving, smoothly drive around, hold the throttle flat the whole
time and keep your exit as tight as you can. The exit of this corner
is all about setting up for the carousel.
Turn 7 & 8
Even though there are two corners here, you treat them as one.
Your line is to be smooth and flowing. The second part of the corner
should never be used as a passing corner, unless extreme circumstances!
eg: crash ahead.
Entering the first turn, you have to hold a tight line after the
sweeper prior, and place your kart to the outside of the corner
and trail brake. You don’t brake very hard. You treat the
braking as part of the corner, because you trail brake while you
turn in towards the first apex, on the throttle. The next part of
the corner is also tricky, you have to expect the kart to squirm
when you are on the bumps, and still maintain a relatively tight
line to come close to the next apex. This whole turn is generally
held flat on the gas, but once again depends what class.
Underestimated, this corner can actually be pretty important around
Oakleigh, as it leads you up to the most important corner of the
When racing, it can never be used to pass without contact. The corner
is full throttle in almost every class, just ride the brake through
On the exit of the carousel, hold a tight line towards the outside
of the corner, and prepare to flick the kart across the track, slighty
touching the ripple, sometimes even placing your front left wheel
over it. You can sometimes use this corner easily to set up another
guy for a last lap move.
When you turn the wheel on a kart, you slow down your speed, the
tighter you turn the slower you go etc… to set up a side by
side appropriate move, run your as fast as you can through the corner,
holding the speed up, as you aren’t going for your usual line.
You are aiming to run wide, and spring under the guy in front, as
he brakes. This is the corner you use for a move on ‘pit corner’
even though you are some 25 metres away from there yet.
Pit corner, to me, is the vital corner on the Oakleigh track.
The straight is relatively small, but you have two sweepers until
you reach the end, and guys can get under you in both these corners
if you are slow out of pit corner.
What you have to aim to do, is get out of the corner as fast as
you can, this isn’t about gearing or a ‘big dollar’
engine. You just have to hold onto as much speed as you can through
the mid point of the corner. To do this you have to try and make
the diameter of the corner larger. This means that you don’t
have to turn as much, therefore not wiping off all your speed by
turning in as tightly.
Because this corner comes up on you so fast, you don’t have
enough time to trail brake and angle the kart towards the exit,
so you have to just go on the knifes edge on the outside of the
track, and place your rear wheels as far to the left as you can,
without dropping off the edge. Back off the throttle and give your
engine a break, start braking hard whilst not braking too much,
but just enough to stay away from the grass on the outside ripple.
You must try and be on the limit on the exit, using your body to
almost lean over the rear wheels and stick them onto the outside
ripple, and hold the throttle flat and use your body to force the
kart to stay where you want it. After you have kept the kart from
the outside curb you can relax, as you have about 3 seconds before
you turn again into ‘Melbourne glass’
Melbourne glass is a flat out sweeper, with many bumps throughout
the turn and on the exit. Prior to Melbourne glass there is a small
flip flop segment, which you never notice while driving, so I didn’t
So entering Melbourne glass, you have to keep the kart very straight
and flat throughout, run a wide line into the corner and hold the
kart flat out keeping close to the inside apex, about half a wheel
length away from the ripple strip. On the exit, try to stay away
from the ripple; putting your rear wheels on it will take away a
tiny amount of momentum. Cross the start line, and enter ‘DPE’
So now you have a complete lap of Oakleigh Go Kart Racing Club
in your memory, one of the most difficult tracks in Australia. Check
out the onboard footage a few times for these methods in use. Behind
the wheel is a top level driver who has driven at Oakleigh since
he was eight, so he knows what to do.
kart club website
Ellery's superb karting website
Video of Luke driving his JICA
More kart track