Rye House Driving and Set-up Guide by Senior Rotax MAX front runner Andy Rees-Reynolds
Here you don’t want to be way out wide, but neither do you want to be too tight. You will see a lot of drivers coming round stadium with opposite lock. And they basically use the pendulum effect to turn the kart for the 2nd apex. When the karts well set up, you should drive it like a car. And just apply a bit more lock for the 2nd apex and aim straight over the kerbs to give you the straightest line to Regis elbow.
Regis elbow - Turn 2
This the easiest corner at Rye House, but because its so easy people don’t tend to think about it!!! You have got to maximise your speed, here so as little steering as possible. Run the kart over the last section of the kerb, and use the entire track on the exit. Its simple but you will be surprised how many don’t use the whole track!
1st Hairpin - Turn 3
This bend is all about the braking. You have got to really brake like you mean it, and get that nice chirpy sound going. Now don’t turn into the corner too early. You basically want to aim for the latter part of the inside kerb. So hit a late apex to get you out of the corner. If you go in too hot, or turn in too early you will find yourself running wide and doing chains on the jump!!
Here are two examples of how this corner at Rye House should and should not be taken -
How it should be taken.
How it should not be taken.
.2nd hairpin - Turn 4
Now you have to brake just after you have turned slightly left for the slight kink between the two hairpins. This unsettles the chassis slightly. Now you apex point for here, is basically the part of the kerb that sticks out the most. So that’s the join between the red and white colours. You can get away with this slightly early turn in because the corner opens out a lot on the exit so use all the track and you should run up to the kerb by the Rye House corporate pits. You can however take a slightly later apex and run up the inside of people on the exit if you wish to try and overtake.
Pillion corner - Turn 5, and 6
People say Stadium is a high balls corner at Rye Bouse, but personally the entry into Pillion is a real teeth gritter!! You really need to be aggressive here. There’s a lot of reference points on this part of the circuit so getting you turn in points and braking points etc is fairly easy. Its just basically about how much you trust the kart……or how big your balls are!
Now you have exited the hairpin and run diagonal across the track. Your first reference point should be the kerb on the right hand side of the track after the cut through. Now you want to get as close to that as you can without hitting it, and getting into a bit of a mess. Now, when I see that kerb, I think you should go a bit old skool 100cc, which we all know is damn cool!!! That means dab the brakes, and allow the kart to turn with the back wheels nicely drifting slightly right next to the kerb on the right, which goes slightly to the right. As soon as the karts turned using the brake you have to aim straight over the kerb with you foot mashed on the throttle!! Go proper banzai, and get all 4 wheels off the track over the kerb. Now you then have to wait for the kart to land (how cool!) as it batters your stubs and kingpins to death (sorry dads). As it lands you have to nail the brake pedal short and sharp as you straight line to the kerb stones about half way round the right hand section of pillion corner. As soon as your front wheel nips the kerb your back on the throttle, taking the kart up to the kerb stones on the exit.
People try to do the perfect line round pillion. But if you do as above you find as you nail it over the kerb on the left hand part of pillion, you will just be lunging at people into the right hand section with out even meaning to do it!!
The Esses - Turn 7, and 8
Now you have come out of Pillion and make your way over to the right hand side of the track. Here you must think about making the first part of the esses as straight as possible. So I turn in late, and aim for the last white section of kerb. Keep some steering lock on as you go up the kerb. As this allows a smooth step up onto the kerb as the rear wheel is in the air. Now you get as much of the kart as you can on the kerb and aim to jump the last bit of grass. This sounds like a ruff ride, but when you get it right it is super smooth! And allows you to get a nice late apex onto the main straight with out losing to much speed through the esses.
Exit on to the main straight
Here it’s all about maximum speed off the corner. So between the left hand part of the esses and the last corner, keep the revs up. Hit your late apex ay the beginning bit of the white kerb and the end of the red part like below, with the steering as straight as possible. If you do it right you wont have to run too far over the kerb on the exit.
Now Rye has every thing. It has flowing corners, it has sharp changes of direction, it has bumps, kerbs, subtle camber changes and probably the slowest bend in karting!
This means its very difficult to set up a chassis. And get the kart doing exactly what you want it to do all the way round the track. If you want to be fast at rye you have to compromise and use your body and steering to get the kart through the bits its not so good at.
Lets have a think about the layout of Rye House. You have to maximise the short straights as much as possible so you need to get the kart off the corners as fast as possible. So that means no bog, but that also mean drifting out, Reebok classic max style isn’t going to work either. We want DRIVE off the bends. So that means we want that kart nice and stable on the entry, mid corner and exit.
Take stadium. You want to attack this corner with maximum speed. So you don’t want the kart braking away from you. You want a nice smooth entry. With minimum steering and your foot flat on the throttle. You then want the kart to stay stable when you lift off. So here I'd be looking for stability in the form of very mild understeer. This does however cause a problem where stadium tightens up. And there you have to use your body to get the kart to turn. So get that rear a bit lose, and get out the seat if you have to!!!
Now going into the hairpin it’s all about lifting that inside wheel controlling it, and putting it back down again. So this is where you’ve got to trust the kart, it will turn, and apply as little lock as possible and as smoothly as possible. So you can keep a controlled entry without losing the rear of the kart, and bogging on the exit. So keep it up, and release the lock as you power round the corner, so you can get the drive you want.
It’s the same with the second hairpin. And pillion. Its all about being smooth but aggressive with the brakes, getting on the throttle as soon as you can.
The last place you really have to think about set up is the esses. You need to get up on the kerb as smooth as possible, as that means getting the front wheel on the kerb first, and then the keeping the rear wheel in the air also by controlling that rear wheel with the steering lock. Getting up on the kerb. Then dropping the kart straight so you can turn for the last corner.
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