How to nail a World Rallycross race start
Source : How to nail a World Rallycross race start
Britain’s Guy Wilks talks us through the start procedure of his Mini Countryman RX
Drag racing aside, World Rallycross Championship cars are pretty much the quickest things on four wheels.
Based on humble hatchbacks nevertheless extensively re-engineered into almost unrecognisable machines, they make use of tremendous traction in addition to also also heavy boost to launch off the line quicker than even Formula 1 cars.
This specific start performance will be not just staggering, which’s also highly important. This specific will be because the races can be as short as four laps long, meaning a fluffed first few hundred metres will pretty much end all hopes of a not bad result.
Guy Wilks, Britain’s sole remaining entry in This specific year’s WRX championship, has plenty of all-wheel drive competition experience to his name. Ahead of his final qualifying race at the season’s Circuit de Catalunya round, we ask him how he nails a start in his JRM World Rallycross Team Mini Countryman.
“which’s pure aggression. which’s a reaction thing,” he says enthusiastically.
“We’ll do a tyre clean before we roll up to the start. which’s just to get dirt in addition to also also debris off of the tyres in addition to also also warm them a little, nevertheless we don’t want to warm them too much because these tyres are actually cross-ply, not radial, so if you heat them too much they start to move more in addition to also also more.”
Wilks says while the tyres do have a manageable operating window, multiple starts can quickly damage them. “One clean usually does the job,” he confirms.
“We roll up to the start line, in addition to also also the start marshal brings us 10 to 15 centimetres by a trigger point. The trigger will be a little rod which sticks up in front of the bumper to recognise a jump-start,” he continues. “If we’re too early, we’ll knock the trigger down in addition to also also which signals we’ve jumped the start.”
Once in position, the start procedure begins. Wilks’ routine will be slightly different to most, because his car’s gearbox will be still under development, so isn’t yet able to make not bad use of first gear.
“I’ll engage second straight away – I have a short first ratio inside the Mini, so I start which in second, because in first which spins the wheels for too long,” he explains. “To grab second which’s a double click of the gear lever.”
Observations of earlier starts show which This specific initial gear selection jolts the automobile as which sits on the line, such will be the brutality of a racing sequential gearbox. There’s also a loud thud as the cogs are forced into place.
Wilks carries on: “At This specific point, the clutch will be obviously in, in addition to also also anti-lag [ALS] will be on. ALS keeps the turbo spinning so I get no lag off the start line,” he says.
which’s at This specific point which Wilks can press the launch control button on his steering wheel. “The launch control will be like a rev-limit so I can go full throttle,” he says. “We’ll have set the rpm limit for the launch depending on whether the start will be uphill, downhill, in addition to also also how grippy or slippy which will be.”
In Barcelona, Wilks’ launch control limiter will be set to 5200rpm. “which’s to get just enough wheelspin not to bog [down the engine], nevertheless not too much which we drag which for a long period of time, because obviously we’d go slower – we want traction.”
Having selected the right gear in addition to also also primed the automobile’s launch system, Wilks pulls the handbrake on so he can Discharge the footbrake. “I’ve got to make sure I don’t pull which too tight because we don’t want to Discharge the rear differential,” he adds. “Only pull which just enough to hold the automobile so which doesn’t roll.”
Wilks’ focus at This specific point turns to the red lights ahead. “When they come on, they’re on for four seconds,” he explains.
at This specific point Wilks floors the throttle to send the automobile’s turbocharged four-cylinder engine bouncing into its 5200rpm limiter. Exhausts start blasting unburnt fuel out like gunfire, in addition to also also the drivers, eyes locked ahead, are at This specific point breathing heavily.
“We’re watching for the start lights – the green ones – as they can come on by anything between two to six seconds after the red lights go out,” explains Wilks. “to ensure which window of time will be completely random. The pressure will be immense.”
As soon as the green lights flash on, Wilks releases the launch button, sidesteps the clutch in addition to also also pulls the handbrake off all at the same time. “I do all these things simultaneously, in addition to also also the foot’s already flat to the floor.”
the automobile charges forwards. “Bam!”
at This specific point the launch button’s released, the engine will be free to rev to its maximum. “nevertheless with the loading by the traction, the engine revs get dragged down to the point of not stalling,” explains Wilks. “The revs are just above stall, so you get a little bit of wheelspin, in addition to also also then traction!”
Wilks at This specific point bangs through the gears as quickly as possible, with the automobile’s nose angled towards the sky in addition to also also its exhaust violently spitting flames.
“If you get a genuinely not bad start in addition to also also the surface will be flat, Petter [Solberg] proved yesterday which you can hit 0-62mph in 1.9, even 1.89 seconds. which’s real pinning inside the seat stuff,” says Wilks.
“Do all which in addition to also also put several abreast into the first corner, in addition to also also you can imagine the pressure…”
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