How to Beat Anyone at the Lights

Fancy yourself as a bit of a drag racer? To get a good start it is essential to get as much power to transfer to the road as possible. Follow these steps for a guide to get off the line quickly.

Steps

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    Set the engine speed.
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    Set and hold the revs in your engine's power band. If you're familiar with the car you'll know instinctively where this is, but when starting with a new car consider having a look at the power and torque curves. A Honda Civic Type-R has a very different power delivery to a Porsche 911 Turbo. Note: Don't 'blip' the throttle, as you won't be able to accurately set the revs.
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    Release the clutch progressively. Never dump or 'sidestep' the clutch. This will result in a massive shock to the transmission, and almost certainly produce uncontrolled wheel spin (less likely in a four wheel drive car). Instead, release the clutch progressively, and counter the drop in revs with a slight increase on the throttle. Limit the wheel spin using a combination of clutch slip and throttle control, and try to fully release the clutch earlier rather than later. In the wet, it can be a good strategy to pull off the line gently then gradually squeezing on the power, thus keeping wheel spin to a minimum.
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    Squeeze on the power.
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    When you're off the line it's still critical to keep throttle application progressive, especially in a powerful car or in the wet. Accelerating too hard can lead to 'fish-tailing' and prevents power from transferring to the track.

Article Info

Categories: Cars