Overtake in Karting

If you want to finish first on the go kart track, you’ve got to master the skill of passing, otherwise known as overtaking. However, it’s not as easy as just driving faster than your opponents. There are specific steps and techniques you can execute in order to overtake smoothly and safely. Usually when you pass someone, it should be around a turn and you should be on the inside of the track. Once you understand the concepts of overtaking, you can become an unstoppable kart driver!


Doing a Basic Overtake

  1. Drive up close behind the other driver to reduce wind resistance. Accelerate during a long straightaway and get as close as you can behind the kart that you want to overtake. Driving directly behind another kart will reduce wind resistance and drag which will cause you to go faster.[1]
    • You should be about {{safesubst:#invoke:convert|convert}} behind the kart you want to overtake.
    • The area behind the other kart that has reduced wind resistance is known as the slipstream.
  2. Shift to the inside of the track and drive next to the other kart. Turn the wheel so that you get close to the inside of the track. The slipstream should allow your car to slingshot itself directly next to the kart that you want to pass.[2]
    • Perform this maneuver as you come up to the corner on the straight away, not as you’re turning.
  3. Turn the wheel to drive around the corner on the inside of the track. Tap the break as you come up to a corner and turn your wheel, making sure to stay next to the kart that you plan on passing. Stay on the inside of the track so that you can pass them once you both exit the corner.[3]
    • Break harder as you come up to sharp corners or you will overshoot them and potentially collide with the kart that you want to pass.
  4. Accelerate as you exit the corner. Press down on the gas as you exit the corner and reposition your kart in front of the kart that you just passed. If done correctly, you’ll be in front of the kart that you wanted to pass.[4]
    • Continue to drive fast so that you can build your lead and prevent them from passing you back.

Performing More Advanced Overtakes

  1. Start taking the corner before the other kart for a lunging overtake. Begin a lunging overtake 2-3 kart lengths behind the kart that you want to pass. Turn your wheel early and aim the front of your kart for the corner. As you take the corner, accelerate right before hitting the break to beat the other kart to the turn.[5]
    • Lunges are best performed on less sharp turns.
    • If done properly, you can position your kart closer to the inside of the track, which will put you in position to pass the opponent as you exit the corner.
    • There is a potential of collision with a lunging overtake.
  2. Break with the other kart then let off the brake for a rolling overtake. Stay close next to the other driver as you take the corner. Stay on the inside of the track and look at the kart next to you to see when they break. Break at the same time, but then quickly lift your foot off the break so that you have more momentum then the other kart. This should give you enough speed to pass them as you exit the turn.[6]
    • Pumping the break should slow your momentum enough to safely take the corner but will give you enough speed to go faster than other drivers.
  3. Break later to beat another kart as you take the corner. If you break later than the kart that’s next to you as you take a corner, you’ll be faster than them and can squeeze on the inside of the track. Make sure to practice taking corners and breaking before trying this, as it could cause a collision if you take the corner too wide.

Staying Safe While Overtaking

  1. Practice driving a course alone to get used to karting. Before you try to overtake, make sure you have plenty of practice just driving the kart around the track. Get used to using the gas, break, and steering wheel. This will help you when you race and pass other karts.
    • If you can't drive on the track alone, just drive slowly and allow the other karts to pass you until you feel more confident driving.
  2. Make your presence known to the other driver when passing. Drive behind or next to the driver for a couple of seconds before you overtake so that they know that you’re potentially going to pass them. This will give them enough time to adjust and get out of your way.[7]
    • It’s best to perform more advanced overtakes, like the lunging overtake, in a competitive setting or you may collide with novice drivers.
    • You should never intentionally bump into other karts on the track.
  3. Break in advance of a corner to avoid overshooting it. Make sure to slow down when you’re taking corners or overtaking soon enough so that you don’t overshoot the corner. If you’re new to karting, go at a slower speed when taking corners so that you can get used to driving your kart.[8]
    • Since you’ll be trying to pass someone on the inside track, overshooting the corner could cause a collision.


  • Be confident as you turn the corner. Second guessing yourself will cause you to miss your chance to pass.


  • Make sure that the other kart driver sees you before you try to pass them.
  • Avoid colliding with other karts on the track, as it could cause damage to your kart or injury to yourself or other drivers.
  • Before you try overtaking in a race, try your overtaking techniques in a non-race scenario.
  • Overshooting the corner could cause a collision which could lead to an injury.