Watergrasshill, Kartworld Co Cork. Track analysis & review for the T4 kart

The 2022 race season recently kicked off here in Ireland and the 2nd round of regional and first round of national championships were both held in Kartworld, Watergrasshill, Co Cork. This was my first time racing here and I came away feeling pretty fond of this track. One of the nicest things about the track is that it's on a slight slope, and relatively short, meaning that it's a great track to spectate the races as you can see every single corner and not miss any of the action.

Summary

Smooth track with large, unforgiving curbs that will punish you if you take too many liberties with them. It has a nice mix of speed and turns, with no less than 3 hairpins, combined with a long sweeping right turn that can have you sitting at the rev limiter for quite a while. Good runoff spaces mean that you can take risks and not worry too much about bending an axle after hitting a nearby wall. This track is used for many different types of events, including drifting so depending on the weather, the track can be well and truly rubbered in and provide plenty of grip in the dry.

Sprocket choice for the T4 at Watergrasshill (dry)

The range here will be somewhere between 76 and 80, depending on the conditions, your driving style and of course skill.

Turn by turn analysis (in the dry)

Turn 1

A long, sweeping right hander coming off the main straight provides a good opportunity for overtaking if you can get the inside line after a good exit from the final corner. Of course, that will compromise you down the back straight so be careful. So far I've found that neither a wide nor tight line works here, but shoot for the middle and, depending on the grip, you can keep full acceleration here through the corner. A tight exit onto the back straight is optimal to not lose tenths of a second.

Turn 2

A right-hand hairpin, you can dive in late here. You can clip the curb slightly, but take too much and it will send you for a wide exit where there's a deep shore waiting to punish you if you dip a wheel in there. If you find yourself going wide, make sure that shore passes under you.

Turn 3

A left-hand hairpin with a large curb. Again, take this curb with caution as it can also send you wide. You want a good tight exit out of here to stop someone getting on your inside for turn 4.

Turn 4 & 5

I'm combining these as you can't talk about one without considering the other. Turn 4 is a deceivingly complex corner. At a glance, it looks simple, a very slight left right before a right-hand hairpin. But there's quite a lot to get done in this quick left hander.

  1. Choosing the right moment to shift the load on the kart from right to left as you transition to the hairpin
  2. Not getting turned in too early, this will send you wide on the hairpin exit costing you precious speed before the fast section

There's a shore that I see a lot of drivers use as a marker for turn-in, but for now I prefer turning in slightly sooner. Most drivers gently clip the curb while keeping the kart as stable as possible.

For the hairpin, I find diving in with speed to be best for me, clipping the curbs slightly and keeping it tight enough on exit. You'll notice karts that run wide here into the stones lose a tenth or two and let you get right up behind them.

Turn 6

A very slight right-hander before the home straight. A good exit from the hairpin can mean you get an inside line here. Watch out for the rough surface though, keeping the kart stable and smooth as you try get on the inside of someone in front on the straight may be preferable.

Facilities

  • A restaurant on site means you're not having food from a van.
  • Indoor (in lobby) toilets are very well kept
  • Outdoor (attached to building) toilets are available too if you're camping
  • Nearby Watergrasshill village has a shop and deli which is great for lunch and coffee
  • For fuel you'll be driving a 20 minute round trip to Grandons station in Glanmire so make sure to factor that in
  • For fancier lunch/coffee, try Bean & Leaf in Riverstown
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