In Reply to: Need some tips to get fastest 1/4 mi times posted by BlackMCoupe on March 08, 2001 at 10:00:10:
Now, assuming that you can pull decent shifts ... the most critical item in drag racing is the start. This involves staging, setting rpms, and one item overlooked by all the others' comments ... reaction time (RT). Remember, the car starts the clock; not the green light. The time between the green light coming on and your car starting the timers is called RT. A tenth of a second quicker RT than your S4 buddy will gain you 2 (or more!) tenths in ET at the finish. Being a current drag racer, you'd be surprised how many times I've beaten a quicker car in a heads-up (even start) race even though my ET was slower ... all due to RT. This (if ya didn't know)is called a "Hole Shot" ... and it's one of the most satisfying ways of winning in drag racing! A .10 second hole shot could be just enough to offset the ET advantage of the S4.
Some tips: Stage your car slowly, stopping right after the top little yellow (pre-stage)light goes out. This will insure that you leave from the same place each pass down the strip. Get the rpms up early (around 3000) so you can concentrate on the "tree". Get a rhythm going when you see the 3 big yellows start coming down. For your 1st pass, try leaving just before (yes, BEFORE!) the last yellow comes on ... if ya red-light (leave too soon), check your RT on the time slip and adjust your "leave" accordingly. Don't dump the clutch, but rather ... feather it out to control wheel spin. It's best to have too much RPM at the start than too little to prevent bogging. Besides, a little wheel spin is optimum. To sum up the launch process, you'd be surprised how early you can leave before seeing the green. And ... concentration at the start cannot be over emphasized! By all means, do NOT wait for the green! ... If ya do, you've "snoozed" and you're gonna (most likely) lose!
Sure would be nice if you could acquire some DOT street legal BFG "Drag Radials" ... they make a 275/40x17 ($168 each at www.jegs.com) that would be perfect, and really help your traction. You'd want to lower them to 16-18 psi if you could get some, and you could come off the line 500 rpm higher. Otherwise, you should try lowering your street radials to 25 psi, but no lower. You may want to do a quick little burn-out to warm 'em up, but this is really not too beneficial for a street tire. For the "Drag Radials", a 3 to 4 second burn-out is a must. Another trick I do is pump the front tires up to 48 - 50 psi for less rolling resistance.
Once underway, power-shifting (holding thottle to the floor while shifting) not recommended; just make a fast, positive shift. I'd short-shift 1st gear a bit (around 6500)to keep torque up while going into 2nd, but shift at red-line 6800-7000 (with the chip you have) on your other shifts.
Can ya go to the strip and practice before meeting your S4 buddy? If at all possible, do it ... since this would also be a BIG advantage. Cannot beat experience. This drag racing is NOT as easy as everyone thinks; there's a lot to it, as this note implies.
GOOD Luck ... Let us know how ya do! (E-mail me privately if ya have other questions.) FYI