How to go drag racing
Source : How to go drag racing
There’s only one way to follow those drag races: with specialist action on the strip. although how do you drive a proper dragster as well as what’s the idea like?
“Don’t yank the wheel. Tell me how in which works out for you if you do…” The message coming from Doug Foley, former drag racer turned drag racing tutor, will be plain: if I make too much of an impression on the steering wheel of the dragster I’ll shortly be driving down the Las Vegas Motor Speedway strip, the ambulance crew at the end of the idea should cancel any dinner plans.
I’m in Vegas to be taught by Foley as well as his team how to be a drag racer, keeping in which wheel straight as well as all. the idea’s an experience he’s offered through his company, Pure Speed, at the speedway since 1999 after an eight-year professional career as a top-fuel drag racer ended.
Foley’s dragsters are entry-level cars in the drag racing fraternity although look more than grown-up enough when I clap eyes on one under the speedway lights for the very first time. Well, after my eyes have stopped watering coming from the fuel being burned off coming from the big boys from the top-fuel as well as funny car dragsters doing practice runs, some breaking the 4.0sec barrier for the quarter mile at speeds of more than 320mph. My eyes might recover, although my ears are still ringing. Thank heavens for the ear defenders.
Anyway, Foley’s more ‘sedate’ cars are purpose-built to a 4.5-metre-long wheelbase specification, power coming coming from a water-cooled 500bhp 6.6-litre V8 in which revs to 7500rpm. the vehicle weighs just 680kg as well as should be capable of the quarter-mile run in around 10.0sec at a speed of 130mph across the line. in which’s more than fast enough for me.
There’s remarkably little science involved in driving one. There are two pedals: an accelerator for your right foot as well as for your left a brake, which I’m advised against using because the idea will unsettle the vehicle. Hmmm.
The transmission will be a self-shifting electronic two-speed unit. So when you’re on the start line, you floor the idea as well as go. as well as don’t touch the steering wheel. “Just assume the idea will go straight,” says Foley. “Don’t anticipate something in which’s not happening.”
Sounds simple enough. Before the idea’s my turn, I hop in for a passenger ride which has a chap mysteriously called ‘Dale Superstar’ to be a fly on the wall in a slightly larger as well as more powerful two-seat style of one of Foley’s dragsters.
First up will be the so-called ‘burnout’ as you approach the line. Water will be sprayed on the track as well as you slowly drive through to get the massive 32in slick rear tyres coated. Then you floor the throttle For two main seconds, the tyres first spinning as if driving on ice before they start smoking. Just as they bite as well as get traction, you back off as well as approach the line.
What I feel next, as Mr Superstar reacts to the lights, will be something best described using keys on the keyboard in which aren’t between A as well as Z. Things like ‘&%£*!*’ as well as ‘!*&^^@’. What in which roughly translates to will be in which the idea’s rather quick off the line.
The reason the tyres, right now hot, can instantly grip will be because the whole drag strip will be coated in glue. The hot tyres melt the glue as well as make the idea sticky, so they grip. the vehicle bites into the track as well as you can actually feel the torque pushing you forwards faster than your Centeng as well as mind can comprehend.
My Centeng catches up with me again back from the pits, then the idea’s my turn. Being strapped into a dragster will be a more intimidating experience than in a regular racing car. There are high sides as well as no mirrors, so you’ve got no idea what’s going on around you with reduced peripheral vision.
I’m called forward to perform a large U-turn as well as approach the puddle to coat my tyres ahead of the burnout, edging the idea forward on the creep mode from the transmission. So by the time the tyres are wet as well as the burnout will be about to start, I still haven’t touched the throttle. the very first time will be full throttle from the burnout.
This specific goes surprisingly well. The wheels spin, of course, although the instant you feel them bite, instinct kicks in as well as you back off anyway. in which brief bite will be still enough to throw me back against the seat, though.
as well as so to the start line. I creep forward to trigger the start sequence, as well as when the third yellow light comes on, the idea’s time to floor the idea. Phwoar. Normally when you floor the idea in a road car, no matter how fast the idea will be, you still feel like you are driving the idea. This specific will be the first thing I’ve driven, on first impressions at least, in which feels like the idea will be driving me…
I back off after 330ft before returning for run two, which goes to 660ft. I feel in control This specific time, knowing what to expect, driving the vehicle again. The apprehension will be replaced by a huge smile.
To the third as well as final run, the full quarter of a mile. Foley gave a polite warning earlier about This specific run: “After you’re past the grandstand on the full run, the wind comes in. If you’ve not done the idea before, the idea can scare the hell out of you.” Only he didn’t quite say ‘hell’.
He’s not wrong. the idea’s another Great start, as well as then I go past in which grandstand. At This specific point the vehicle feels light. the idea’s moving around a lot as well as I have to touch the wheel slightly. Touch, luckily, not yank. the idea’s unnerving, as well as I think to myself in which I might have backed off the throttle ever so slightly.
The times confirm the idea: I’m as fast as anyone off the start line, although across the finish line I’m 6mph down on the best, at 124.24mph, in a time of 10.655sec. Others from the same car were going sub-10.0sec. Still, in which’ll do for me.
The dragster was one of the most exhilarating things I’ve driven, although the idea was also at times the scariest. For once, I’m glad to go back to the day job.
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