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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've ran cars on the track and done a few roadraces many years ago. But never Drag racing in 1/4 or 1/8 mile.

I need an education from preparing position, warming up and lining up at the lights until the moment you stop at the end of the 1/8 or 1/4 mile runway in as much deatil as you can.

What is the surface of the track at the starting area? How will be different from basic asphalt?

Is that water on the ground before you light up the rear wheels? Would tires still be wet and should I expect an even more spin after a burn out?

Do you light up the tires for warm up in 1st or 2nd gear?

Approx. what RPM do you get up to before dropping the clutch (especially with my car)?

Given my transmision (not much on 1st gear), do I want to shift through first real quick or prolong it to redline?

How hard do you go through your shifts?

What happens mid way?

What do I want to know about stopping? Down shift?

What do I want to check before and after a run?

Every bit of detail would help.

Thanks.

::KOUROS
 

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Senior Charter Member
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What is the surface of the track at the starting area?

Can be concrete or asphalt depending on track.

How will be different from basic asphalt?

It's usually covered in a layer of rubber from previous runs.

Is that water on the ground before you light up the rear wheels? Would tires still be wet and should I expect an even more spin after a burn out?

Yes that is water. If not running slicks, drive around it. If you can't, spin up the tires to remove any water. Drive slowly through the water boxes so as to not get water up into the wheel well were it can drip down back on the tires.

Do you light up the tires for warm up in 1st or 2nd gear?

1st in my opinion (although my drag experience is with automatics mainly).

Approx. what RPM do you get up to before dropping the clutch (especially with my car)?

each car is different, acts different. Too much RPM, too much tire spin. Too little, and can bog off the line.

Givem my transmision (not much on 1st gear), do I want to shift through first real quick or prolong it to redline?

Depends on where the motor starts to let down (HP tails off). Again, trial and error. I would shift at 6000 RPM to start.

How hard do you go through your shifts?

Hard without chancing missing a shift. Do you have a rev limiter?? If so, not as big an issue for the motor.

What happens mid way?

Smiles.

What do I want to know about stopping? Down shift?

Keep on the gas all the way through the traps. Let off the gas and coast. There are can be two turn-off areas. I don't down shift personally.

What do I want to check before and after a run?

Check for leaks, etc. Also, it's a very good idea to have the car warmed up. This includes the tranny. Jack up the rear end, use stands, and let the tranny and rear differential warm up. This assumes, of course, that the car wasn't driven there in the first place.

This is my general experience from track time all-be-it not with my roadster...with my 69 Camaro. I'm certain others will chime in.

[ December 06, 2006, 01:33 PM: Message edited by: Mark9 ]
 

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MKIII
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373 Posts
in terms of preparing position. Let the guy in the other lane do a burnout first, then you do yours (keeps the heat in your tires rather then waiting for the other guy) Go up to the beams, light up the first bulb (pre stage) wait for the other guy to light his up if he hasn't done so already. Slowly inch forward until the 2nd bulb lights. Depending on how fast your car reacts to the throttle you can inch a little more when the light on, but not much or else you will red light (inching further is called stagging "Deep") IF you car is a slower reacting to throttle response and you just broke the 2nd beam and stopped you can leave off the last amber light. You will obviously have to play a little to see just how fast you car reacts to leaving off the last amber but generally you will cut a good reaction time b/c the car leaves slower, so by the time the last amber lights you hit the gas and the car actually moves your tires will break the beams pretty close to when the light turns green (hence good reaction time)


1)Most tracks concrete to a certain distance (some 300 ft some 660ft mark), but can be asphalt.

2)it is water, go threw water slow do a mild burnout to get water off and build up some heat in the tire (not as important as with slicks)

3)Depending on gearing usually 2nd if Stick, autos 1st to 2nd possibly third depending on how much heat you want in the tire (first to second generally good enough)

4)Depends on your motor and where it starts to make power, i would say at least 3K minimal, in our mildly built T/A we leave at 5500, runs 10.20's all day on motor 8.8-9.1 on NOS. If your auto can only go as high as your stall on tq converter.

5)launch off first take it to your shift point then shift to second.

6) very hard, if you can shift quickly you can do just normal shifts really fast, otherwise you can power shift, which basically leave your foot on the gas and just press the clutch pedal to change gears to keep the engine RPM up (don't recomend this for beginners, takes time to master this technique)

7) nothing really just your heart pounding away in your chest as your adrenaline is pumping

8) just put the car in either neutral or leave it in gear and let it slow down by itself, occassionaly lightly press the brakes to help it slow down

9)Make sure nothing is leaking/broke, and everything is where it should be.

Also, let the car cool down a bit between runs, not completely cool as if it was sitting in your driveway for hrs, but just give it 15-20 minutes. If you drive it to the track do the same thing but depending on how far you are give it more time the further the drive.
 

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FFCobra Fanatic
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Mark gave some good info. Unless the tires used need to be heated skip that part. Some tires will do better hot so try a water burnout then compare how the car launches with not doing one. Water burn out will be ok in 2nd gear since they will break loose easy and you want them to smoke.
Not doing a water burn out, just to a short dry burnout to put heat in tires.
Practice will tell how to leave the line. Street tires you may not want to dump the clutch, just feed the clutch out and gas on till car is moving getting out of first gear by around 5000rpm's or so. By short shifting first gear it lets you get into second where the pedal can be mashed without spinning tires. Tire spin is your enemy,less they spin best your times will be.
Shift consident at same rpm for 2 runs. Next try different shift points and so on till best times tell you the best rpm to shift at.
Try to run each lane. Most times one lane will be faster do to how much traction can be had on its launch pad.
Play with air psi. Little less then what you run on the street may work better. Drop 2-4 psi to start and adjust from there.
Having some one watch or record your runs will help a lot so you can see what was done good and what not.
Never look over to the other lane,always at the tree.
Watch the tree go thru the lights sveral times befor you get to run. This will help you understand it's timing to better help when to leave and on what light to leave on. As soon as you stage(both yellow lites lite up) stop. Stageing shallow like this gives you some free time on the clock allowing time for car to take set before time clicks away.
Have fun,dont have unrealistic expectations on what times you turn compared to what the car is capable of turning. First time racer getting into the 12's is fantastic,but low 13's is more realistic first time out.
Keep trying to go faster but always to do be consident. Verie tire psi,shift points,starting rpm and tecnigue. All these can improve times.
Once you run back to back runs where time only changes a 10th or two then is time to look at making changes to car compared to changes in style since now your driving consisdent.
Last,pics and or videos must be posted here after track event. :D
 

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Junior Charter Member
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Something that has not been mentioned.

When you get to the starting line, there are two lighted beams for staging at the line. As you break the beam, a light will come on on the "christmas tree". Once both lights are lit in both lanes, the lights will begin to light up moving down the tree. First, the yellows and then finally to green. You will need to learn what light to leave from. You don't leave on green. You will need to put things in motion when you see the 1st or 2nd yellow light up the tree from green. This gives your mind and body time to react so that your car actually leaves as the green light is coming on. Not when your brain acknowledges seeing the green light. If you see green you're late!!

Also, the track should be prepped with some type of traction modifier. If you ever get the chance to walk down the track, you will have to peel your shoes up each step. As Mark9 said there will be a layer of rubber laid down on the track. You want to line your car up to run down those tracks. That is the best surface for traction.
 

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Charter Member
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street tire run, racing the clock:
1. go around the water box
2. spin a little to clean tires, not to the point of smoking them
3. drive really slow until the one yellow is lit. Dont drive too deep. Too deep is the second yellow (or 2 yellows lit)
4. the reaction time doesnt matter. So leave when you see green
5. kind off drop the clutch fairly fast as you give it throttle. You will feel the spinning and modulate accordingly. Bring the rpm up to 6000 and shift. You shoudl be able to almost lay completely into it in 2nd. Powershift third and forth.
6. If for any reason you feel out of control or the car is spinning too much. LET OUT, you always can run again. Better safe than sorry;)
good luck, its addictive like everything else that is fun! especially racing a cobra.
7. Then you will realize mid 12's and lower aint easy as it looks!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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with grooved street tires, the water will screw you. It sits in the grooves and continues to leak out at the light. My best street tire launches are using the above info. Long and short burnouts didnt seem to change anything. My best 60ft is 1.8sec with bfg g-force road course tires. With DR's and a burnout you can shave off another .2 to .3 sec. But, from my own experience - reinforce the 3-link.
If you spin 1st bad, your time will be 2.2 sec or more. You will learn that most of your E.T. is in the first 60ft. THe cobras still turn decent times do to the high trap speed from a high power to weight ratio.
 

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If you want you can drive around the water and then back in until you get the rear tires wet. Touch the gas enough to spin the tires for a rotation or two, pull forward, then burn the atwer off for best heat and traction. I raced 9 second Ford F bodies for years. The only peopl who should be driving straight through the water are those with "skinnies" up front and big slicks out back. Do your burnout in second gear if possible and don't go nuts. Once you see steam/smoke you're wasting rubber.
 

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Surface & Launch

Walk the start line first if you can. Be careful its sticky and your sneakers will hook up and you may fall. Don't ask.

I would "Roll out" in first, then stab it hard. Peddel it if needed after. Reason being, if somethng breaks, its here.
 

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FFCobra Addict
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Check your seat belts twice, keep the shine topside and take it easy! Don't try and drive like John Force on the first run. Drive it safely yet aggressively. Downshifting I've always heard was a bad idea at the drag strip.

Be safe,

Dee
 

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Senior Charter Member
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there is more than enough runoff space. Downshifting is not necessary.
 

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First and formost, relax and enjoy yourself. Take your time when you go for the first time, if you don't understand something ask for assistance, Don't wait until you have made a mistake that can cause damage to you, your car or others.
If you are running on anything other then drag slicks I would avoid the water(known as the bleach box.) Short burn out to scrub the tires and get a feel for adhesion in the staging area. Light the first yellow light and then roll very slowly until next yellow comes on....then stop. Wait for the lights to go down the tree and most will tell you to leave on the yellow light right before the green, this will give most people a decent reaction time for the green light. Just remember your doing this for fun. Here is a clip form my first ever run. You don't see me go around the water box and I staged too deep and shut off the second yellow light. Remember to have fun, have fun, have fun.
Sean http://www.putfile.com/media.php?n=Drag1
 

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FFCobra Fanatic
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Whew ... I agree with a lot of what has been said BUT:

Since the car is relatively new to you, in this scenario at least, baby it a little on the first run. You can adjust after you shake it down the first run (plus you'll be a little less jittery after you get the first pass under your belt) and you're not trying to get into the final round of the Nationals here, you just wanna see what she'll do.

1. Stay out of the water! As Trevor said, you'll never get all the water dried up and you'll be much more likely to be pointing at the guard rail when you leave.

2. If you're comfortable doing burnouts, do a short one if for no other reason than to get a feel for it on that surface. Locate the staging beams before you start and don't cross the beams on your burnout.

3. Don't worry about the other guy too much. Concentrate on your lights but remember that if his pre-stage and stage lights are lit first, the tree starts pretty fast after your stage light comes on. Creep up on the beams until the pre-stage light comes on (the very top) then inch forward until the second (stage) light JUST comes on.

4. After you're both staged, the tree counts down (usually) YELLOW, YELLOW, YELLOW, GREEN (Probably about as fast as you read that). If you staged as described above, leave when the last yellow comes on (it's good practice even if r/t doesn't matter).

5. First Pass I would leave about like you did in the video you made (where you start it and pull onto the road ... only this time it's already running o'course). I wouldn't wind it all the way to 6G tho, I'd probably granny shift it about 5G. I wouldn't try to power shift it at all on the first run. Grab 2-3 and 3-4 about 5G also. You won't need fifth so you're done shifing when you get to 4.

6. As someone else said, keep on it through the trap ('til you cross the second beam). You'll have plenty of room to slow down before you turn out. Don't forget to stop at the timing booth for your slip.

7. Try to wipe the grin off your face while you check your temps and give it the once over before getting in line again. Change up one thing at a time in the next runs (launch rpm, shifting rpm/style, etc) to see if you can improve and don't get discouraged if your first or second pass is the best of the day.

HTH
 

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FFCobra Fanatic
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Another thought, you hear us all talking about the stageing lights. You will be able to see them on the ground before the tree,they will be obvious. Keep in mind that once you make the first light come on the car only needs to move another inch or so till second one lights.Wanted you to be aware they are close together.Watching others first will show you where they are at and how cloose they are. Also many tracks have a little dip right at the staging lanes making the car sit still at the starting line without haveing to hold the brake on. Check to see if your lane has this dip since if it does you can have a foot on the gas and other on the clutch without needing to take time moving your foot when launching. Be aware that by the time you go thru the traps, you will more then likely be going faster in your cobra then ever been on the street. Slow down easy,no need to quickly haul down from the high speed,plenty of room to slow down before the turn off.
 

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the 3-link is only weak with DR's or slicks. Its fine for street tires, becuase it spins instead of sticks.
 

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When you drag race.. this is the way it goes..
I gotta have a bad ars motor.. Bang.. trans goes..
I gotta have a tougher trans.. Bang.. drive shaft goes... flying..
I gotta have a tougher rear end.. Bang..won't hook up..
Gotta have slicks.. Bang.. everything breaks..
Slicks make it EXTREEMLY hard on everything..
Gotta have cool drag 4 link setup..

And it just keeps on going round and round..
Racing of any type requires deep pockets.
 

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FFCobra Fanatic
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Kuros the 3 link needs better support or renforcement to hold up to hard launches with sligs or dr tires.It can break the welds or pull the brackets off the frame. Do a search for the 3 link support brackets made by one of the vendors here.
 

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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I have the Banana Bracket bolted and welded all around (made sure I don't worp the axle housing). Should there be a concern. Also I'm trying to understand why is there so much pressure at that point on the 3-link setups. I don't get the geometry too well.

Highjacking my own post here
.

Many thanks for the responses.

-K
 
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