Occasional Dunlop Series competitor Kristian Lindbom has urged fellow V8 Supercars drivers to engage in top level karting competition to refine their skills.
Lindbom made the call after recently competing in the Castrol EDGE CIK Stars of Karting Championship earlier this month, where he finished 14th in a 24-strong field in the KZ2 class.
“It is the most physical thing I’ve ever driven. You have to hold yourself up when braking due to the force from the front and rear brakes,” he said of the experience.
“(And that’s) with one hand mind you as you’re pumping through the gears with your right hand, the shoulder and core strength requirements are far more than any other vehicle I’ve driven.
“In the V8 you need a lot of leg strength and strength from your hips to push the brake pedal and keep modulating accurately for long periods of time, as well as putting up with up to 60 degree cabin temperatures.
“The KZ is far more demanding on the upper body and the longest you will race is around 20 minutes, however the focus required to keep pushing is far greater than anything I’ve ever experienced before in any race car, or kart for that matter.
“The next time your cool suit fails at a street circuit it will be a walk in the park compared to what a KZ2 final throws at you.”
See below for a Q&A with Kristian Lindbom, provided by Karting Australia
QUESTION: How did you find your guest appearance in the Castrol EDGE CIK Stars of Karting Championship?
LINDBOM: For me, I achieved everything I wanted to so I was happy. My main objective was to actually finish both finals, which half way through Final 1 I didn’t think would be achievable as I was so tired.
QUESTION: What were some of the most surprising aspects of it?
LINDBOM: I knew the KZ2 karts were brutal, but not at the level I experienced on the weekend.
I do a lot of running and cycling mainly to keep leg strength for the V8 Supercar, so I think I was surprised how important race specific fitness is in those beasts.
QUESTION: Do you have a new-found respect for the modern day top line kart racer?
LINDBOM: The great thing about CIK is no matter how small or big the field is there’s always a high quality of driver at the top, because the process to succeed doesn’t change over the years.
What impressed me was how in tune everyone is with setting up their karts, wet and dry, when I was just trying to hang on.
QUESTION: Can you compare a KZ2 kart to anything you’ve ever driven before?
LINDBOM: It is the most physical thing I’ve ever driven. You have to hold yourself up when braking due to the force from the front and rear brakes – with one hand mind you.
As you’re pumping through the gears with your right hand…the shoulder and core strength requirements are far more than any other vehicle I’ve driven.
The race lines are so wacky and adapting and understanding why they are necessary was definitely a challenge.
It was a very enjoyable challenge though and has definitely increased my versatility, which, in my opinion is the most important area of being a racing driver.
QUESTION: Do you believe racing a kart would be beneficial for any V8 Supercar driver out there?
LINDBOM: Physically the demands are very different. In the V8 you need a lot of leg strength and strength from your hips to push the brake pedal and keep modulating accurately for long periods of time, as well as putting up with up to 60 degree cabin temperatures.
The KZ is far more demanding on the upper body and the longest you will race is around 20 minutes, however the focus required to keep pushing is far greater than anything I’ve ever experienced before in any race car, or kart for that matter.
The next time your cool suit fails at a street circuit it will be a walk in the park compared to what a KZ2 final throws at you.
QUESTION: Was it a quick way to test your race fitness, and do you believe it sharpened you up if you had to get back behind the wheel of a V8 Supercar?
LINDBOM: As I said before, it’s a very different fitness so I really struggled. That made it mentally harder but the focus required to do lap after lap within a tenth of each other is the same for any racing vehicle.
I was lucky enough to drive the KZ2 kart a day before testing a V8 Supercar a few weeks ago.
The last time I had driven any kind of racing car/kart was October and I was amazed at how coordinated I was straight away in the V8 so I’m a definite believer that driving anything competitively helps.
QUESTION: Would you recommend having a guest appearance to other top line drivers?
LINDBOM: As long as their ego is ready for a beating. You have to go in with the knowledge that you are racing some of the worlds best drivers in their habitat and they are relentlessly fast, all the time.
QUESTION: How did the body pull up?
LINDBOM: Very good actually. I have a good base level of fitness from a lot of cycling and running and get great nutritional advice from Heath Meldrum of NRG Fitness which aids recovery a lot.
Although I did need to go see my Chiropractor, Nick, for him to straighten out my spine on Monday though.
QUESTION: Did racing at that level bring back memories for you?
LINDBOM: Racing a KZ2 kart is something I have had on my bucket list since I first saw Ryan Briscoe drive an ICC kart at the opening of Eastern Creek International.
So sitting on the grid for my first race was some what of a flashback to 16 years ago.
QUESTION: Did you have fun?
LINDBOM: It was a lot of fun. I didn’t put much pressure on myself and got to enjoy being a part of it the whole weekend.
I had my two housemates with me all weekend, Nick Percat on the spanners (who also owns the kart) and Adam Hughes as my team-mate and Josh Brooker along for the ride.
We even went out for a cheeky little drink on the Saturday night and made friends with the local bar owner, Nigel.
QUESTION: What was the toughest part of the weekend?
LINDBOM: Final 1. Just from the sheer shock of never having experienced such brutality my body was asking me on lap 5 ‘what are you doing? You can’t do another lap let alone 20′.
Surprisingly Final 2 was much easier and the body/mind conversation was more along the lines of, ‘ah I just did this a few hours ago, piece of cake’.
I had a lot of arm pump all weekend so I went for a little jog before the Final 2 and that seemed to help.
The advice from Heath really got me through.
For anyone struggling to finish finals, he is definitely the guy the talk to.
See below onboard with Lindbom