Jump to content

Photo

How to Win the Race Start

- - - - -

  • Please log in to reply
18 replies to this topic

#1
Johnny D

Johnny D

    Veteran Member

  • Moderators
  • 5,854 posts
  • Location:Fremont, CA
  • Region:San Francisco
  • Car Year:1999
  • Car Number:88

Before a race, think about where you’re starting on the grid. Who is starting around you and what are they like to race with? Can you trust them to run wheel-to-wheel with you? Are they fast starters? Do they run a few fast laps, then begin to fade?

 

Analyze those factors and have a plan well before you head out for the start of the race.

 

During your first pace lap (or the first lap of a practice or qualifying session for that matter) your first priority is to get the tires and brakes up to operating temperature. Many drivers will weave back and forth across the track to heat the tires. This is great, but be careful. Often, you will end up in the "marbles" off line with cold tires. Many drivers have spun out doing this. Also, it has been known to happen where two drivers get so caught up trying to warm their tires, that they actually collide. Watch very closely for what the other drivers around you are doing. Don't be surprised by someone accelerating and then braking very hard.

 

In fact, race tires will heat up quicker from hard acceleration and braking than just weaving back and forth from side to side. Remember that.

 

On pace laps, I like to weave back and forth mostly to warm up my body (get my arms moving with the steering), while using the brakes with my left foot to heat them up. I'll also accelerate hard in a straight line (getting some wheelspin), and then brake heavily. If possible, I'll hang back a little when approaching a corner, then accelerate to take the turn quickly - even trying to work the steering wheel back and forth to scrub the front tires. At the same time, I'm taking one last good look at the track surface, in case some oil or whatever was dropped in the previous races. If it's raining, I'm really working the car around to feel how slippery it is. I want to make sure I'm comfortable with what the car is going to feel like during the opening laps.

 

At the start, look far ahead, not just at the cars around you. If possible, watch the start of other races to see where (approximately) the starter drops the green flag. And if you are using a two-way radio, have a pit crew member watch the starter and radio you as soon as he sees the flag drop.

 

Sometimes you can hang back just a little from your grid position, then begin to accelerate just slightly before you think the green flag is going to drop. If you've timed it right you will have a slight advantage on the others around you. If not, you're going to have ease off the throttle. You don't want the flag to drop just as you're backing off the gas.

 

In fact, depending on your grid position, once you have started to accelerate, don’t lift. If you do and the green flag drops, you’re going to lose positions. If you try to anticipate the green and begin accelerating, stay on it (within reason, obviously). If you do this, one of two things will occur:

 

   - the flag drops just after you begin to accelerate and you get a jump on the field; or
   - the starter doesn’t drop the green flag and there will be a second pace lap (don’t try jumping the start the second time).

 

Be careful going into the first turn on the first lap, as more crashes happen here than anywhere else. Having said that, it is very important to get a good start. If you start too conservatively, and lose contact with the lead pack of cars, you may never be able to make up for it.

 

SPEED SECRET: Races are not won in the first corner; however, they are often lost there.

 

It's usually best to run as quick as you can for the first few laps, then settle in to a comfortable, consistent pace - all the while ready to take advantage of any opportunity to pass. Never turn down an opportunity to pass - you may never get it again.

 

SPEED SECRET: Most races are decided in the last 10% of the race.

 

Being a great race starter is as much about your mindset as it is about any technique or skill. If your attitude is “I’m going to the front” or “I’m staying at the front,” the odds of you doing that are much higher that if you’re thinking “I’m going to try to protect my position.” Make a decision to be decisive and make the most of every start, and you’re likely to do that.

 

Ross Bentley

 

https://www.windingr...the-race-start/


2011 NASA Western Endurance Racing Championship E3 Champ
We have a Winnah! - Won their 1st race... Congratulations! Beta-Tester - Assisted us with beta testing the website. Donor - Made PayPal donation Bona fide - A bonafide Spec Miata driver Novel Approach - When a paragraph simply won't do... Survive the 25, NASA Thunderhill - Survive the 25, NASA Thunderhill Instigator - Made a topic or post that inspired other Make it Rain - Made Paypal donation of $100+

#2
Danica Davison

Danica Davison

    Always the bridesmaid never the bride

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,391 posts
  • Location:Jacksonville Biatch
  • Region:Central Florida
  • Car Year:1999
  • Car Number:10

During your first pace lap (or the first lap of a practice or qualifying session for that matter) your first priority is to get the tires and brakes up to operating temperature. Many drivers will weave back and forth across the track to heat the tires. This is great, but be careful. Often, you will end up in the "marbles" off line with cold tires. Many drivers have spun out doing this.

 
Jim Drago should have read this before race 2 @ Sebring :rotfl:

 


  • Jim Drago, tylerbrown, Preston Pardus and 2 others like this

John Davison
Autotechnik Racing / 5x Racing
2016 - Central Florida Region Champion
2017 - The People's Champion
2017 - President of DSFC
#itcouldbeyou

Series Champ - Won a points based series in a Spec Miata Chatterbox - Blah blah blah... Blah blah blah Instigator - Made a topic or post that inspired other We have a Winnah! - Won their 1st race... Congratulations! Bona fide - A bonafide Spec Miata driver

#3
davew

davew

    Veteran Member

  • SMembers
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,293 posts
  • Location:Beloit, Wi
  • Region:Chicago
  • Car Year:1999
  • Car Number:72

My only change to this would be to get pickup off the tires. Weaving seems to work better than the accelerate/brake technique for getting the tires clean. Pro racers don't have this problem as they usually take the race tires off in the pit lane and install paddock tires. Us club racers, generally drive back to our paddock area on hot sticky tires that pick up every stone, tire worm, gum wrapper etc. on the way to the paddock from the track.

 

I usually spend 25-50% of the pace lap getting the tires clean by weaving. You can hear the chunks hitting the underside of the car. Then do the accel/brake to get heat into everything.

 

As Ross says , it is very difficult to win the race in turn 1, especially from P25. But it very easy to loose the race


Dave Wheeler
Advanced Autosports, the nations most complete Spec Miata shop
Author, Spec Miata Constructors Guide, version 1 and 2.0

Building Championship winning cars since 1995

4 time Central Division Spec Miata Champion car builder 2012-2013-2014-2017

Back to Back June Sprints Spec Miata 1-2 finishes 2016 and 2017

5 time June Sprints winner in Mazda's

6 Time Northern Conference Champion Car Builder

2014 SCCA Majors National point Champion car builder

2014 SCCA Runoffs winner, T4 (Bender)

2014 Central Division Champion, ITS (Wheeler)

2013 Thunderhill 25 hour winning crew chief

2007 June Sprints winner, (GT1, Mohrhauser)

Over 200 race wins and counting.
www.advanced-autosports.com
dave@advanced-autosports.com
608-313-1230

Survive the 25, NASA Thunderhill - Survive the 25, NASA Thunderhill We have a Winnah! - Won their 1st race... Congratulations! Sponsor / Advertiser - Site sponsor / advertiser... support these guys! Donor - Made PayPal donation Bona fide - A bonafide Spec Miata driver

#4
Jim Drago

Jim Drago

    East Street Racing / 2 Time National Champion

  • Administrators
  • 5,766 posts
  • Location:Memphis, Tn
  • Region:Mid South
  • Car Year:2000
  • Car Number:2

 
Jim Drago should have read this before race 2 @ Sebring :rotfl:

 

 

I had a sneak preview and put too much emphasis on this :)

Ironically, did you notice the dam thing didn't spin as easy when I tried to spin it intentionally back the other way :(


East Street Auto Parts
Jim@Eaststreet.com
800 700 9080

Hoosier Super Tour points Champion - Hoosier Super Tour points Champion ARRC Champion - Won the ARRC Race in a Spec Miata Series Champ - Won a points based series in a Spec Miata BFG Supertour Winner - Majors Winner - Circuit of the Americas Winner - We have a Winnah! - Won their 1st race... Congratulations! June Sprints winner  - June Sprints winner June Sprints winner  - June Sprints winner June Sprints winner  - June Sprints winner June Sprints winner  - June Sprints winner SCCA National Champion - Won SCCA Runoffs at Road America SCCA National Champion - Won SCCA Runoffs at Road America

#5
lillyweld

lillyweld

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 38 posts

Ironically, did you notice the dam thing didn't spin as easy when I tried to spin it intentionally back the other way :(

 

Because the tires had warmed up by then!


  • Jim Drago and Danica Davison like this

Cooper Lilly

#69 Spec Miata

Henderson, Kentucky


#6
Richard Astacio

Richard Astacio

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 302 posts
  • Location:Stamford CT
  • Region:NER
  • Car Year:2003
  • Car Number:80

 
Jim Drago should have read this before race 2 @ Sebring :rotfl:

 

 

LMFAO!!!! I wish I had logged on earlier I would of been all over it. Just for the record....that is my recording that I sent to Jim. 


Richard Astacio

2003 Spec Miata VVT & 2013 Cup Car
 

We have a Winnah! - Won their 1st race... Congratulations! Donor - Made PayPal donation Bona fide - A bonafide Spec Miata driver

#7
Bench Racer

Bench Racer

    Different strokes for different folks : )

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,008 posts
  • Location:Wauwatosa, WI
  • Region:Milwaukee
  • Car Year:1990
  • Car Number:14

To bad all the observers behind TWO TIME don't post. :bigsquaregrin: That would really be some SMACK. :rotfl:


Broken record - You are starting to sound like a broken record. Donor - Made PayPal donation Bona fide - A bonafide Spec Miata driver

#8
SaulSpeedwell

SaulSpeedwell

    Veteran Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 757 posts
  • Location:NEOhio

I had a sneak preview and put too much emphasis on this :)

Ironically, did you notice the dam thing didn't spin as easy when I tried to spin it intentionally back the other way :(

 

Let me guess .... #LeftSideWeight ...? :)


  • Jim Drago likes this

For faster reply than PM:  miataboxes>>>AT<<<gmail>>DOT<<<com


#9
Jim Drago

Jim Drago

    East Street Racing / 2 Time National Champion

  • Administrators
  • 5,766 posts
  • Location:Memphis, Tn
  • Region:Mid South
  • Car Year:2000
  • Car Number:2

To bad all the observers behind TWO TIME don't post. :bigsquaregrin: That would really be some SMACK. :rotfl:

i'm not really a good sport... but figured would be best to take it on the chin myself and get ahead of it :)


East Street Auto Parts
Jim@Eaststreet.com
800 700 9080

Hoosier Super Tour points Champion - Hoosier Super Tour points Champion ARRC Champion - Won the ARRC Race in a Spec Miata Series Champ - Won a points based series in a Spec Miata BFG Supertour Winner - Majors Winner - Circuit of the Americas Winner - We have a Winnah! - Won their 1st race... Congratulations! June Sprints winner  - June Sprints winner June Sprints winner  - June Sprints winner June Sprints winner  - June Sprints winner June Sprints winner  - June Sprints winner SCCA National Champion - Won SCCA Runoffs at Road America SCCA National Champion - Won SCCA Runoffs at Road America

#10
Bench Racer

Bench Racer

    Different strokes for different folks : )

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,008 posts
  • Location:Wauwatosa, WI
  • Region:Milwaukee
  • Car Year:1990
  • Car Number:14

I had a sneak preview and put too much emphasis on this :)

Ironically, did you notice the dam thing didn't spin as easy when I tried to spin it intentionally back the other way :(

Because your a good sport, by rule.

2. A car that fails to start with the pace lap or falls out of position during a pace lap relinquishes its grid position and may rejoin only at the back of the field.  Why spin the thing around (got your tires dirty again),stay on the racing surface, let the field pass by, turn slightly right and take your DFL position. :bigsquaregrin:   It's easy to be an armchair quarterback way after the fact. :soapbox:


Broken record - You are starting to sound like a broken record. Donor - Made PayPal donation Bona fide - A bonafide Spec Miata driver

#11
B(Kuch)Kucera45

B(Kuch)Kucera45

    Veteran Member

  • SMembers
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 562 posts
  • Location:Idependence
  • Region:NEOhio
  • Car Year:1991
  • Car Number:45
Im sorry I jinxed you,I wanted you to do a donut in the pits not on the warm up lap ! :)
  • Jim Drago likes this
Kuch
Bona fide - A bonafide Spec Miata driver Instigator - Made a topic or post that inspired other

#12
Jim Drago

Jim Drago

    East Street Racing / 2 Time National Champion

  • Administrators
  • 5,766 posts
  • Location:Memphis, Tn
  • Region:Mid South
  • Car Year:2000
  • Car Number:2

Because your a good sport, by rule.

2. A car that fails to start with the pace lap or falls out of position during a pace lap relinquishes its grid position and may rejoin only at the back of the field.  Why spin the thing around (got your tires dirty again),stay on the racing surface, let the field pass by, turn slightly right and take your DFL position. :bigsquaregrin:   It's easy to be an armchair quarterback way after the fact.  :soapbox:

I didn't know that was the rule, however MANY have since informed me. :) I feel pretty safe in saying I don't think I will ever need to know it again :)


East Street Auto Parts
Jim@Eaststreet.com
800 700 9080

Hoosier Super Tour points Champion - Hoosier Super Tour points Champion ARRC Champion - Won the ARRC Race in a Spec Miata Series Champ - Won a points based series in a Spec Miata BFG Supertour Winner - Majors Winner - Circuit of the Americas Winner - We have a Winnah! - Won their 1st race... Congratulations! June Sprints winner  - June Sprints winner June Sprints winner  - June Sprints winner June Sprints winner  - June Sprints winner June Sprints winner  - June Sprints winner SCCA National Champion - Won SCCA Runoffs at Road America SCCA National Champion - Won SCCA Runoffs at Road America

#13
Danica Davison

Danica Davison

    Always the bridesmaid never the bride

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,391 posts
  • Location:Jacksonville Biatch
  • Region:Central Florida
  • Car Year:1999
  • Car Number:10

I didn't know that was the rule, however MANY have since informed me. :) I feel pretty safe in saying I don't think I will ever need to know it again :)

 

Jim ... Maybe if you were in the drivers' meeting instead of standing outside, you would have heard that rule, as it was discussed :P


  • Jim Drago likes this

John Davison
Autotechnik Racing / 5x Racing
2016 - Central Florida Region Champion
2017 - The People's Champion
2017 - President of DSFC
#itcouldbeyou

Series Champ - Won a points based series in a Spec Miata Chatterbox - Blah blah blah... Blah blah blah Instigator - Made a topic or post that inspired other We have a Winnah! - Won their 1st race... Congratulations! Bona fide - A bonafide Spec Miata driver

#14
Danica Davison

Danica Davison

    Always the bridesmaid never the bride

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,391 posts
  • Location:Jacksonville Biatch
  • Region:Central Florida
  • Car Year:1999
  • Car Number:10

So technically, you should have been penalized three cars for every position ... so even though I broke 2 laps in .. I still beat you :)


  • Jim Drago likes this

John Davison
Autotechnik Racing / 5x Racing
2016 - Central Florida Region Champion
2017 - The People's Champion
2017 - President of DSFC
#itcouldbeyou

Series Champ - Won a points based series in a Spec Miata Chatterbox - Blah blah blah... Blah blah blah Instigator - Made a topic or post that inspired other We have a Winnah! - Won their 1st race... Congratulations! Bona fide - A bonafide Spec Miata driver

#15
Jonathan Goring

Jonathan Goring

    Junior Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 9 posts
  • Location:Torrington, CT
  • Region:NE SCCA
  • Car Year:1999
  • Car Number:11

LOL something like this happens to all of us once in a while. 

 

One time at NHMS I was starting on pole and didn't realize (didn't read the supps) that on the pace lap they use NASCAR 3/4 instead of the normal infield which we were racing on. At about the split between these two options, I looked down at my gauges. The pace car and the rest of the field meanwhile peeled off onto the banking while I continued onto the infield. When I looked up from my gauges I saw no pace car in front and no one in my mirrors. WHERE DID EVERYONE GO!? lol


  • Jim Drago and Marc Cefalo like this

Jonathan Goring

-Driver Coach- 

 

http://www.jonathang...motorsports.com


#16
Jeff Wasilko

Jeff Wasilko

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 235 posts
  • Location:Boston, MA
  • Region:NER
  • Car Year:1995
  • Car Number:08

LOL something like this happens to all of us once in a while. 

 

One time at NHMS I was starting on pole and didn't realize (didn't read the supps) that on the pace lap they use NASCAR 3/4 instead of the normal infield which we were racing on. At about the split between these two options, I looked down at my gauges. The pace car and the rest of the field meanwhile peeled off onto the banking while I continued onto the infield. When I looked up from my gauges I saw no pace car in front and no one in my mirrors. WHERE DID EVERYONE GO!? lol

 

That's certainly an easy way to lose it on the start :-)

 

Starting on the nascar oval is certainly weird but really no other way to do it.


  • Jim Drago likes this

#17
SaulSpeedwell

SaulSpeedwell

    Veteran Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 757 posts
  • Location:NEOhio

I didn't know that was the rule, however MANY have since informed me. :) I feel pretty safe in saying I don't think I will ever need to know it again :)

 

Would you rather be Lance Armstrong or David Dewhurst?  I could argue it either way.  DD would argue it both ways, because Dewhurst.


For faster reply than PM:  miataboxes>>>AT<<<gmail>>DOT<<<com


#18
Bench Racer

Bench Racer

    Different strokes for different folks : )

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,008 posts
  • Location:Wauwatosa, WI
  • Region:Milwaukee
  • Car Year:1990
  • Car Number:14


Broken record - You are starting to sound like a broken record. Donor - Made PayPal donation Bona fide - A bonafide Spec Miata driver

#19
Jeff Wasilko

Jeff Wasilko

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 235 posts
  • Location:Boston, MA
  • Region:NER
  • Car Year:1995
  • Car Number:08

Classic!






0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users