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 however extensively reengineered into almost unrecognisable machines, they make use of tremendous traction along with heavy boost to launch off the line quicker than even F1 cars.
This kind of start performance is actually not just staggering, the idea’s also highly important 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 Great result.
Guy Wilks, Britain’s sole remaining entry in This kind of year’s WRX championship, has plenty of all-wheel-drive competition experience to his name. Ahead of his final qualifying race at last weekend’s Circuit de Catalunya round, we ask him how he nails a start in his JRM World Rallycross Team Mini Countryman.
“the idea’s pure aggression. the idea’s a reaction thing,” he says enthusiastically.
“We’ll do a tyre clean before we roll up to the start. the idea’s just to get dirt along with debris off of the tyres along with warm them a little, however we don’t want to warm them too much because these tyres are actually cross-plies, not radial, so if you heat them too much they start to move more along with 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, along with the start martial brings us 10 to 15 centimetres by a trigger point. The trigger is actually a little rod of 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 along with of which signals we’ve jumped the start.”
Once in position, the start procedure begins. Wilks’ routine is actually slightly different to most, because his car’s gearbox is actually still under development, so isn’t yet able to make Great use of first gear.
“I’ll engage second straight away – I have a short first ratio within the Mini so start the idea in second because in first the idea spins the wheels for too long,” he explains. “To grab second the idea’s a double click of the gear lever.”
Observations of earlier starts show of which This kind of initial gear selection jolts the auto as the idea sits on the line, such is actually 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 kind of point the clutch is actually obviously in, along with anti-lag [ALS] is actually on. ALS keeps the turbo spinning so I get no lag off the start line,” he says.
the idea’s right now of which Wilks can press the launch control button on his steering wheel. “The launch control is actually 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 is actually up hill, down hill, how grippy or slippy the idea is actually.”
In Barcelona, Wilks’ launch control limiter is actually set to 5200rpm. “of which is actually to get just enough wheelspin not to bog [down the engine], however not too much of which we drag the idea for a long period of time, because obviously we’d go slower – we want traction.”
Having selected the right gear along with primed the auto’s launch system, Wilks pulls the handbrake on so he can Discharge the footbrake. “I’ve got to make sure I don’t pull the idea too tight because we don’t want to Discharge the rear diff,” he adds. “Only pull the idea just enough to hold the auto so the idea doesn’t roll.”
Wilks’ focus right now turns to the red lights ahead. “When they come on they’re on for four seconds,” he explains.
right now Wilks floors the throttle to send the auto’s turbocharged four-cylinder engine bouncing into its launch controlled 5200rpm limiter. Exhausts start blasting unburnt fuel out like gunfire, along with the drivers, eyes locked ahead, are right now 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 of which window of time is actually completely random. The pressure is actually immense.”
As soon as the green lights flash on, Wilks releases the launch button, sidesteps the clutch along with pulls the handbrake off all at the same time. “I do all these things simultaneously, along with the foot’s already flat to the floor.”
the auto charges forwards. “Bam!”
right now the launch button’s released, the engine is actually free to rev to its maximum. “however 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, along with then traction!”
Wilks right now bangs through the gears as quickly as possible, with the auto’s nose angled towards the sky along with its exhaust violently spitting flames.
“If you get a genuinely Great start along with the surface is actually flat, Petter [Solberg] proved yesterday of which you can hit 62mph in 1.9, even 1.89 seconds. the idea’s real pinning within the seat stuff,” says Wilks.
“Do all of which along with put 5 abreast into the first corner, along with you can imagine the pressure…”
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