Results 1 to 20 of 20

Thread: proper starting etiquette

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Elkridge, MD
    Posts
    303

    Default proper starting etiquette

    So the other thread got me thinking I'm a sucker. On starts I don't surge or try to get a run, I try to maintain fairly steady speed that is sort of the average of who is around me wherever I am in the pack. Is everyone else trying to anticipate the start? Frankly what Tristan said about laying back and getting a huge run just sounds like cheating to me? I trying to get a run on everyone else before the green is shown acceptable?

    Section 6.2 of the GCR talks about the field being at a "constant slow speed" prior to the start, getting a run prior to the green seems incompatible with this. Also, the GCR talks about improving your position as "moving out of line or passing", and I believe that shoudlrefer to moving out of your "row", not just your "column".

    Too conservative? Maybe this is why I feel like I rarely get a good start?
    Last edited by evanwebb; 05-12-2009 at 11:30 PM.
    Washington DC Region
    Scuderia Tortuga
    MARRS ITC Scirocco #12

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    134

    Default

    Push the starter until you get the black- then you know whats ok that day. Each starter has his own idea of what is and is not acceptable- what passes for a clean start at one of the tracks I race at would have you parked for the day at the other one.

    Jim Barnsley, Streetwise Service
    WCMA IT2 Neon Twincam
    2009/2010 Regional and Alberta IT2 Champion
    2009 Regional Overall Champion. Second this year, dammit.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Black Rock, Ct
    Posts
    9,594

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Streetwise guy View Post
    Push the starter until you get the black- then you know whats ok that day. Each starter has his own idea of what is and is not acceptable- what passes for a clean start at one of the tracks I race at would have you parked for the day at the other one.
    I assume you mean the black flag? You're kidding right?
    Jake Gulick


    CarriageHouse Motorsports
    for sale: 2003 Audi A4 Quattro, clean, serviced, dark green, auto, sunroof, tan leather with 75K miles.
    IT-7 #57 RX-7 race car
    Porsche 1973 911E street/fun car
    BMW 2003 M3 cab, sun car.
    GMC Sierra Tow Vehicle
    New England Region
    lateapex911(at)gmail(dot)com


  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Colchester, CT, USA
    Posts
    2,120

    Default

    Evan, I hear the sound of a can of worms opening!! LOL


    I don't do the "lay back" method........ And maybe that's why I'm a crappy starter too. In the other post I said i would do anything I can to get an advantage as long as I don't get black flagged. I think you only have a 50/50 chance of making the "lay back" method work (unless you know where the starter is going to throw the green). I don't like those odds.
    Jeff L

    ITA Miata



    2010 NARRC Champion

    2007 NERRC Championship, 2nd place
    2008 NARRC Championship, 2nd place
    2009 NARRC Championship, 2nd place

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    IT.com "First Loser" Greensboro, NC USA
    Posts
    8,607

    Default

    There was a great quip in this past weekend's coverage of the Spanish GP about Mario Andretti. Apparently he was great friends with the starter there, back when they used to wave a green flag in F1. Mario asked him when he was going to wave the green, and the starter replied, "Mario, when you go, you can be sure I'll wave the flag." Or words to that effect.

    I like starts and I treat them as an opportunity to have fun. This is going back to the days when I drove the slowest car in the region and the only chance I had to run with ANYONE unless it was raining, was at the start. So I'm pretty assertive about trying to maximize any advantage I can get. I also think I'm pretty good at it but it might just be that most of the rest of us don't care. And the downside of playing that game is that sometimes one gets caught flat-footed and get dealt a net loss.

    I'm also almost always back in the pack, so by nature there's more accordion influence. This means there's more to be won or lost depending on how the variables are manipulated. That's part of the fun.

    And to me, it's not a matter of laying back multiple car lengths. That's a false promise. It's about relative instantaneous acceleration relative to the other cars. That can be gained in very small amounts of distance, and multiplied over the much greater distance down the length of the start straight. The trick we're trying to engineer is "going" while the other guys/gals are "not going," and have that work out in a way that's helpful, relative to when the green flies.

    One other little detail: For me, it's Job One to be on the inside of Turn 1. Then the inside of Turn 2, 3, 4, and rest of the first lap. We're never truly up to speed at that point so it doesn't matter if my line isn't optimized, and the last thing I want is to get gobbled up in someone else's mistake: Those tend to go OUT rather than IN.

    K

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Wheaton, IL
    Posts
    1,893

    Default

    I play it straight. Try to form up as consistently as the car in front will allow and focus on reacting instantly to that green. No games until after that happens, there is enough worry about then - do you push the guy that was sleeping in front of you, or only leave half of your car on the racing surface as you pass him?
    Chris Schaafsma
    Golf 2 HProd

    AMT Racing Engines - DIYAutoTune.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Ottawa, IL
    Posts
    11

    Default

    Evanwebb

    To me, laying back and getting a huge run should be discouraged. But thatís hard to recognize until after the fact. And where does one draw the line between excessive or not? Were the three in front of him sleeping?

    I normally start mid pack or worse, where itís hard to see the flag. I key off of engine sounds and side to side movement if I canít see the flag. Which means Iím already 1/3 second behind (reaction time).

    I do try to have slightly more speed (1-2 mph) than the cars a couple of rows in front of me. But not so much where Iíll have to hit the brakes (brakes are bad for those behind me). If I see brake lights several rows up, I just ease up under the assumption they wonít be on the brakes long. I just hope the guy in front of me doesnít do a big brake check from street driving habits!

    After the green I put two wheels off, I stop trying to gain positions. Accept Iíve had a good start up to then, and try not to wreck anyone getting back on the pavement. (Two wheels off = high risk of spinning). If I have to put two wheels off to pass, I donít. Too risky.

    I feel if starters allow poor column alignment, it encourages disparity in speeds. If Iím in the twelfth row but I can see the starter clearly, Iím going to be concentrating on him (and trying to be faster than all those others in my peripheral vision!)

    Steve
    ITB MR2

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Bunker Hill,WV.
    Posts
    614

    Default

    Evan
    How about keeping up with the car in front of you on a single file restart? If you need an example I would be happy to elaborate.
    cheers
    dave parker
    "Ignore All Confrontations With Common Sense."

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Savannah
    Posts
    155

    Default

    Evan, I'm in your camp with this. Over the past two years I feel I have only made one "good" start in numerous races. I'm just not that good at it yet. I think I have not figured out the risk/reward ratio for being extremely agressive at the wave of the green flag. My son on the other hand has this start thing figured out. That little fart is fearless, cool, and calculating. He routinely makes four or five positions on EVERY start! I'm a better racer and he's a better starter!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Raleigh NC
    Posts
    3,682

    Post

    I feel I'm "average" on starts. I do try to stay glued on the bumper in front of me, but I don't play games with guessing flags and all that crap. I wood it when I see green or I've detected that everyone (not just one car) else is nailing it too. And I damn sure won't put two off in the grass to pass no matter how much faster I am than the folks in front of me. I'll use my brakes to check up, not the car in front of me, if I do need to choke up on a start.

    I'm protective on the first few corners and would rather give ground than bend metal. Seems to me the risk of bending metal and getting punted off track is worth less than giving up a position. Especially if the give is to a car out of class. Sometimes that give screws me if I get say a IT7 car between me and another ITS car, but I still feel it better than getting a punt.

    Etiquette is a learned behavior and some people are flat out not going to learn it. Those folks you simply remember and make mental notes when having a look at the grid sheets.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Fredericksburg, VA
    Posts
    1,191

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Earp View Post
    I do try to stay glued on the bumper in front of me, but I don't play games with guessing flags and all that crap. I wood it when I see green or I've detected that everyone (not just one car) else is nailing it too. And I damn sure won't put two off in the grass to pass no matter how much faster I am than the folks in front of me. I'll use my brakes to check up, not the car in front of me, if I do need to choke up on a start.

    I'm protective on the first few corners and would rather give ground than bend metal. Seems to me the risk of bending metal and getting punted off track is worth less than giving up a position.
    ^ What he said.
    Earl R.
    240SX
    ITA/ST5

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    1,499

    Default

    I have almost always gained positions on a start at almost every race I have run. If I don't gain at least 1 position between the drop of the green and TURN 2 then I would consider it a poor start. I drive in ITB usually in the top 3 with ITS cars which accelerate faster than any ITB car... even the slower ITS cars have more HP! You simply CANNOT hang back and try to "anticipate" a green flag. That is like running up behind someone one you dislike and sucker punching them without them even knowing. We are all in this together and if you feel that "hanging back" and JUMPING the start is the only way you can do good at starting than re-think what you are doing and how you are doing it. I agree that stepping on that gas just as the green drops is great but intentionally trying to get a run on the field is dishonest and a "sucker punch" on the rest of your competitors. I would 100% agree that if you fall out of line you are considered in violation. Falling out of line is both popping out AND falling out of your Row. Even if your on the last Row anything more than 2 car lenghts back is really pushing what I wuld consider falling out of your Row.

    Remember what I said in the begining a start is WAY more than getting to the first turn. It's all about your position coming out of the second turn that matters. Plan ahead and see what is happening up several rows... the accordian effect usually has it's greatest effect going into and through the first turn. think of it like a tollbooth. the fastlane usually has a longer line but it is much faster and your going to end up way ahead... or maybe that lane way way on the outside only has 1 car so even if you have to stop and pay you just passed everyone because no one is using it, but when you do this you take the chance that the person in front crashes and doesn't have the proper change and they need a damn receipt so they can write of 75 cents on their taxes!

    Have fun and play fair. No sucker punches.
    Stephen

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    In the green Honda
    Posts
    449

    Default

    The question to ask is "What would happen if everyone did what I am doing?" If you don't like the answer then you shouldn't be doing it.

    Just because it works out ok for you (most of the time) doesn't make it right.

    edit: I mean this in terms of "pushing" the rules and taking advantage of other people who are actually following the intent of the rules. Not in terms of picking the correct thing to do and making good and correct decisions.
    Last edited by jumbojimbo; 05-13-2009 at 01:19 PM.
    Jim Hardesty
    ITC 1986 Honda Civic Diablo Rojo Verde
    Never argue your tab at the end of the night. Remember, you're hammered and theyíre sober.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Royal Oak, MI, USA
    Posts
    1,599

    Default

    I'm pretty much like SLUF... the only times I seem to time it right and get going well, the guys in front of me don't, and I have nowhere to go...
    Vaughan Scott
    Detroit Region #280052
    '79 924 #77 ITB
    #65 Hidari Firefly P2
    www.vaughanscott.com

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Rocket City, Alabama
    Posts
    606

    Default

    I try to stay up with the group and like Ron, I will use the brakes instead of the car in front. I would like to think I have had one good start and it was a Barber last year. Midpack but we went into turn 1 3 wide and everyone gave racing room. I talked with Tom Lyttle after the race and he said he didn't think we would make it, but we did

    if you care to see, here it is: [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qBsPoES2M-Q&feature=channel_page[/ame]

    That said, I am still trying to learn racecraft. My start from DFL with Randy Shedd last year was an attempt to "catch" the field, not jump the start but we both were able to get a few positions [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BA7G05Um0ls&feature=channel[/ame]

    I conciously try to stay close and form up correctly but sometimes the gearing differences make it hard to stay "formed" without riding the brakes.

    I have to add that I need this kind of thread as a relative newcomer. A long time friend and racer keeps telling me "that to finish first, you must first finish!" and that means careful, safe starts.
    Paul Ballance
    Tennessee Valley Region (yeah it's in Alabama)
    ITS '72
    1972 240Z
    "Experience is what you get when you're expecting something else." unknown

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    219

    Default

    While I try to usually stay in line, I'll anticipate the green, and want to be on the gas before its waved, so I get a full head of steam.

    In the last few races, I've been gridded right behind very fast straight line cars, so it was really easy for me. They were half throttle (ITS and ITR cars) and I was flat, and by the time they nailed the gas, I continued to be flat and they just pulled away
    ITA Integra | 05 Mazda3 | 03 Mini
    http://www.tomhoppe.com

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Greenville, SC
    Posts
    102

    Default

    Well, I'm certainly not a great starter but for a perfect example of what NOT to do IMO check out the video of the start poted as a response to someone looking for a video of the VIR race last weekend.

    In MY opinion the driver that came down the inside of all the cars in front of him ON THE FRIGGIN GRASS should get at, a minimum a drive through. The fact that he apprears to rear end another car that then sets in motion a huge mess that likely damaged other totally inocent competitors is UNACCEPTABLE.

    This happened to me last year at CMP. An IT7 car blasted down the inside of the grid past all manner of ITS/ITR cars at the start. Now if you're familar with CMP, we were using the front start/Finish, this is not only a LOW probability outcome move it's GUARANTEED to cause exactly what it did.

    This individuals stupid, adolescent behavior cost me thousands of dollars and the entire year out of racing in order to get my car fixed.

    Real race car drivers understand that at the start you do not give up ANYTHING but very rarely is it an opportunity to make up for a poor qualifying performance. If you are faster than someone in front of you then let the situation chill just a bit and then make high probability moves under much more controlled circumstances.

    This is just my opinion but in reading Pobsts' column I suspect this is his philosophy and a philosophy I would much rather follow than the yahoo that took me out.

    Travers
    ITS19

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    North Olmsted, Ohio
    Posts
    519

    Default

    plain and simple, if the guy in front of me goes, I go.
    If they guy in front of me slows, I slow.
    we usually always run with ITS and im in ITA so I never have the front row start. usually in row 2.
    So it helps cause I can see the starter thru the car ahead of me.

    but im usually calm, cool, and colective on starts. I keep up with the pace but usually dont look to pass before the first turn unless there is a great oppourtunity to.

    "No race has ever been won in the first turn, but many of them have been lost there"
    Greg Vandersluis
    #4 1990 Honda Civic Si
    #97 2003 Chevrolet Corvette Z06
    #93 2006 Ford Mustang
    Carbotech/BFGoodrich/Vandersluis Motorsports
    2010 Great Lakes Division ITA Champion
    2012 Great Lakes Division T1 Champion

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    North Olmsted, Ohio
    Posts
    519

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by trhoppe View Post
    While I try to usually stay in line, I'll anticipate the green, and want to be on the gas before its waved, so I get a full head of steam.

    In the last few races, I've been gridded right behind very fast straight line cars, so it was really easy for me. They were half throttle (ITS and ITR cars) and I was flat, and by the time they nailed the gas, I continued to be flat and they just pulled away

    haha same thing with me. ITS cars ahead of me taking their time at the start and im 100% throttle to keep up with them when the pace car peels off
    Greg Vandersluis
    #4 1990 Honda Civic Si
    #97 2003 Chevrolet Corvette Z06
    #93 2006 Ford Mustang
    Carbotech/BFGoodrich/Vandersluis Motorsports
    2010 Great Lakes Division ITA Champion
    2012 Great Lakes Division T1 Champion

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Decatur , GA, USA
    Posts
    183

    Default

    I agree that lagging back and trying to accelerate and time the green is bad form (it's my definition of jumping the start). And with the accordion effect, the chances of hitting it right are more like 20%. You've got a better chance of being off the throttle or even on the brakes. And even if you time it right, it will rarely help that much. You're likely to: a) get blocked anyway by cars fanning out in front of you before you get very far or b) cause what we saw on the VIR video.

    The best thing to do is make sure you can see the flag (even well back in the field it can be done at most tracks). Then go like crazy the instant the flag goes. Remember that if you react even a half second faster than the guy ahead you gain around 50 feet by the time you get to Turn 1 (assuming 50mph start and 115 into Turn 1). That will pass the row ahead of you, and that's a good start.

    I don't think Paul jumped the start in his video and look where it got him. BTW that was me in the green RX7, and it was exciting with him on my inside and another on the outside into a blind turn, but it worked.

    One other suggestion. While the general rule is to hug the inside going into Turn 1, sometimes you find almost everyone is trying to do the same thing. I've occasionally passed 4 or 5 cars around the outside while everyone else was jockeying for the "good" position. So if you're in the outside lane anyway, keep your eyes open.
    Tom Lyttle
    Decatur, GA
    IT7 Mazda - 2006, 2008 SARRC Champion
    ITS Nissan 200SX - finally running correctly
    FP Ford Capri - waiting for a comp adjustment
    GT3 Dodge Daytona - what was I thinking?

Bookmarks

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •