Drag Racing (legal)
Introducing Drag Racing
Drag racing is a competition between 2 cars, starting from a complete standstill, over a quarter mile distance. It heavily depends on the initial 60 ft of the race, otherwise known as the "launch". Launching techniques vary considerably, based on the way the vehicle is put together. The transmission type, wheels, power, tires, track preparation, suspension and engine all play an important part in achieving the best possible launch for a car. Of course road drag racing is illegal, but it's fine on a race track.
Improving Your Racing Times
The final estimated time (ET) can be improved significantly, by increasing the car's speed over the initial 60 ft of the track. The key to a good launch is to apply considerable power onto the ground, whilst at the same time reducing the wheel spin as much as possible. During the launch, if the amount of power applied is too much and the tires spin, the resultant 60 ft time will not be good. The same is true if insufficient power is applied, as this causes the engine of the car to stall, which makes the vehicle crawl off the line gradually. If you car starts pulling to one side as you launch , your wheels may not be aliened properly and apart ruining your time it may also in the worst case lead to a crash. If you are a serious racer you will properly have a small fleet of dragsters and so if one crashes you need the right fleet insurance to cover the cost of the damages.
Automatic Transmission Launches
With automatic transmission launches, a technique known as power braking is employed. On the drag strip, after correctly staging the vehicle at the staging lane, hold the brake down tightly with 1 foot, whilst gradually applying the gas peddle with your other foot. The engine's revolutions per minute (RPM) ought to gradually increase to the point where the vehicle will either begin to move, or begin tire spinning. Hold both the accelerator and brake peddles down, just enough to stop the car from moving. Once the Xmas tree lights turn amber, release your foot from the brake and gradually push the accelerator peddle down to the floor. The optimum RPM to launch will vary for each car, based on all the factors mentioned above. Begin conservatively with your initial launch, and start increasing the car's RPM on the launches of every subsequent run. After a launch, if the vehicle starts tire spinning, reduce the RPM for the next launch.
Manual Transmission Launches
With manual transmission launches, you should bring the car to a complete standstill, once the vehicle is correctly staged. Hold the clutch down to the floor with 1 foot, whilst pushing the gas peddle down with your other foot. For the initial launch, raise the engine's RPM to a consistent moderate level. Allow the clutch peddle to lift up to a point where the vehicle is virtually ready to begin moving, then hold each peddle still. Once the Xmas tree lights turn amber, gradually release the clutch, whilst rapidly applying the gas peddle enough to ensure a quick launch. Take care not to apply too much gas though, otherwise you will cause a large degree of wheel spin. Begin conservatively with your initial launch, and start increasing the car's RPM on the launches of every subsequent run. After a launch, if the vehicle starts tire spinning, reduce the RPM for the next launch.