Page 32 - drc3

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Drag racing is prima-
rily about getting to the
finish line before your
opponent, although if
you read our begin-
ner’s guide to Bracket
Racing in Issue 1
you’ll know that it’s
more complicated that
A driver’s Elapsed
Time (the time it takes
him to cover the 1/4
mile) is more important
than his speed, be-
cause in heads-up rac-
ing it’s all about
reaching the finish line
first, and in bracket
and index racing, it’s
all about covering the
1/4 mile in a pre-deter-
mined time), but of
course the faster you
go the more quickly
you’re likely to reach
the finish line.
The 60 foot beam is
an important one for
racers, so we’ll start
there.The more rapidly
a car or bike acceler-
ates, the more quickly
it will cover the quarter
mile. Tuning the en-
gine to provide instant
power at the hit of the
throttle, and tuning the
chassis to handle that
power are two vari-
ables in this process,
and the crew chief has
plenty of control over
However, all the
power in the world is
of no use unless you
can apply it to the
The 60 foot beam
The 60 foot beam
gives teams a good
guide as to how hard
their vehicle is launch-
ing. Top fuel 60 foot
times in the UK
have regularly been as
low as 0.89 seconds.
A number of Pro Mod
racers have recorded
sub 1 second 60 foot
times too, and some
sportsman racers in
the UK are not far be-
hind. Super Pro racer
Nick Good has
recorded 60 foot times
in the region of 1.03
seconds, with other
drivers like Vince
Gibbs and Steve Tay-
The timing system
Drag strips are broken up into a
number of sectors. Most classes
race to the 1/4 mile mark (we’ll talk
about 1,000 foot racing in a future
issue), so what are all the other
beams there for? We’ll start by
simply looking at where the beams
actually are...
part one...
lor running similar
The 60 foot time is
generated by a single
beam, just like the 330
foot time, which leads
us to another point.
Where a single
beam is used, you
only get a time record-
The beams on the track
ing, not speed. For this
you need a pair of
beams, which is ex-
actly what you have at
the 1/8th mile, 1,000
feet and the 1/4 mile.
The time it takes to
travel between the two
beams is used by
computers to calculate