Trailing the pack can be frustrating, especially when you don’t know what else to do to put you ahead of the rest. No matter how hard you seem to press the gas pedal, you’re still stuck behind your opponents. Practice makes perfect, but if you really want to be the first to cross the finish line, check out these racing tips and tricks next time you take a spin at Accelerate.

10 Tips and Tricks to Help you Win Your Next Race

Adjust your seat – Being comfortable plays a huge part in your success. You never know who raced in your kart last. Your seat could be adjusted for someone who is six feet tall or a teenager. Be sure to adjust your seat so that your feet can comfortably reach both pedals.

Focus on your posture – Even though it may seem like a big deal, your posture can actually help your acceleration and maneuvering of the kart. Sit with your back against the seat throughout the whole race. The more you lean forward, the slower you will be.

Hand placement is key – Controlling your kart properly begins with having a good grip on the steering wheel. Your hands should either be symmetrical or mirrored. Think about it as if you were driving a regular car. If you have a lazy grip, you’re not going to be able to control where your car moves – the same goes with go-karting.

Look ahead – Anticipation is one of the best weapons you can have. Knowing the track and what you are going to do next will keep your momentum going, and put you ahead of your opponents who wait until the last second to make a move.

Stick to your racing line – Going around turns can be tricky, but if you know the racing line, you’ll be fine! For all you beginners, the fastest line through a corner is your racing line. By finding this line, you’ll be able to keep up your speed after you go through the corner.

No braking and turning – The last thing you want to do is spin out or lose speed – and that’s exactly what will happen if you brake while turning. By anticipating when the turn is coming up, you’ll be able to brake and slow down ahead of time, letting you keep speed while turning, and blowing by the competition.

Avoid swerving – You may think that by swerving in and out of the competition, you’ll be able to stay in the lead, but swerving actually slows you down and can hurt your chances of winning. Going straight is the fastest way to make it to the finish line, so stay straight as long as possible!

Know when to pass – Most people don’t know how to turn a corner while maintaining their speed. Since you do, take advantage of corners! Pass your opponents around corners while their guard is down. If you wait until the straight-away, there’s a good chance you’ll get stuck behind other racers.

Get to know the track – Practice makes perfect, and that’s especially true on the track. Here, practice means more exposure to and familiarity with the track. Know what to expect around every turn and learn the exact spots where you’ll need to move, slow down, or speed up.

Have fun! – As cliche as it sounds, focusing on fun can actually help you win! By focusing more on enjoying the race, your body will be more relaxed. Being tense can cause you to have too tight of a grip on the wheel, causing you to make the wrong moves during the race.

Now that you have the knowledge to put you ahead of the pack, head on over to the track to show off your new skills! If you really want to see how you stack up against the rest of Chicago, join one of our leagues here!