Tips & Techniques for Drag Racing

The reaction time of a driver can make a big difference in just about a quarter of mile race. Just as the lights turn green, it usually takes around 1.5 to 2 seconds for Torque Car members to get their car moving off the line.

Light changes can be probably judged after a few runs and precious time for the launch can be cut down. For keeping the reaction time sharp, alcoholic drinks and heavy or greasy food should be avoided and plenty of sleep should be taken in the earlier night.

Only water should be taken, stimulants can even slowdown the reaction time of a driver. The most preferred food to be eaten would be pasta as it gives a slow release of energy without giving a lazy feeling. Practice should be done as much as possible as it makes a one perfect. The launch is most likely the single biggest factor that effects the time in drag racing apart from the power of the car, therefore launch techniques should be practiced again and again.’

Drag Racing

The seat has to be adjusted so the driver will not have to stretch for the pedals and the steering wheel can be gripped without leaning forward. Reaction time can be reduced because of bad posture. It should be ensured that the harness is secured and is not restrictive, concentration is to given on the track ahead rather than the other driver.

As the duration of the drag racing is concerned, the aim is to keep the engine in the power band and traction has to be maintained. If one tests the car on a rolling road, the result graph will show the position of the power band. The power for most cars will start to fail again at about 1000 to 2000 rpm before red line, this is the logical place for changing the gear.

Gear changes require valuable time, some drivers place their foot on the accelerator while changing the gear for keeping the revs up. However, this technique will not work on cars which put down a lot of power as wheel-spin will just be introduced, rather one should try to match the engine revs with the speed of the wheels and drive train during every gear change.

A fast power gear change technique can be found that will work well. Every car is a little bit different. Some cars need a minimum dip of the clutch if their biting point is high while others need the clutch pedal for travelling the full distance.

The technique of pulling the car out of the gear and depressing the clutch just before selecting the next gear works very well. It should be remembered that the revs have to be adjusted if the car is producing more power as a loss of traction can easily waste precious time.

The traction needs to be balanced with the amount with the amount of unleashed power. There are some drag racers who rev high for getting a wheel spin and then pull back the throttle as they launch and when the tires bite, they again put on the power.

A vey powerful car needs a careful control of the accelerator and reign in some of the tendency for wheel spin.

4 wheel drive cars have a lot of traction off the line but a 4 wheel drive can be broken down if too much is asked, therefore the clutch can be used to control the quantity of power that is being put down.

2 wheel drive cars always suffer from wheel spin, four wheel drive more then RWD so it has to be determined how much has to be allowed for the best possible launch. Riding the clutch during launch will help in controlling the wheel-spin and the driver will finally be able to feel the point of most grip as the accelerator pedals and clutch are feathered. The clutch should be used more than the accelerator during launch for controlling the power that goes to the tires because the engine should be in its power board.

The pressures of the manufacturers are designed for giving equal pressure across the whole tread. The reduction in pressure will allow the tire to cup and reduce the grip in the center of the tire. It is good to begin with recommended pressures and carry out a standing start and spinning the tires.

The tire marks have to be checked, if they are of even shade on the entire width of tire then they have to be well left alone. If the marks in the center are darker, the pressure has to be reduced slightly. It is just a trial and error for getting an even deposit of rubber on the road on the whole width of tread and not just reducing the pressures.

The focus should be on area beyond the finish line. There are a lot of drivers who easy off just before the finish line.

Fitting in larger pedals will provide more range for control and addition of a fast shift gear level will make the gear changes faster. However, the margin of error will be reduced with the tighter and shorter throw.

When running 14 seconds or less, the aerodynamic improvements to the car should be observed. Smaller models can be used as a replacement for wing mirrors or they can be removed. For improving the flow of air under the car, an engine sump shield can also be fitted.

Further Readings:

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