Racing Tips for the Manila Harbour Centre Article by: Dr. CLunky
Saturday, 18 November 2000 08:00

Racing Tips for the Manila Harbour Centre
Article by: Dr. CLunky

Drag racing is a very tough sport. Finding every "little" advantage over your opponent is part of the game. Below is a lsit of Racing Tips, specifically for the Manila Harbour Centre strip. These tips were compiled after watching hundreds of passes down the strip by street cars as well as race cars. You may already be doing some of these things, but if you do all of them, I'm confident that you can extract better and more consistent performances at the track.

Use the RIGHT lane.
This lane has been used for ALL record setting runs. There is already a layer of rubber build-up extending till the 60 foot marker, making this lane "stickier" than the left lane.

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Know your time for BOTH lanes. Each on the lanes at the MHC run differently. The left is the slower lane, while the right is a bit faster. This is due to the traction differences between them. Practice on both lanes so you know what you will be dialing-in. Make sure to CHANGE your dial-in according to the lane you are using.

Place tires on the "black tire marks". This is the rubber build-up I mentioned earlier. Place your tires right on these marks. The rubber to rubber contact will aid your launch, improving 60' times.(note: you may need to launch at a higher RPM than the left lane)

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This car spun its tires, since the tires WERE NOT placed on the black tire marks.

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Note how this "Pro Class" driver places his tires RIGHT on the marks.


For better reaction times with stock (or near stock) cars, "deep stage". These cars react slower than race cars. Deep staging or staging deeper than normal will move your car closer to the guard beam. That means, you will trip the timer sooner, lowering your reaction times. (note: its easier to redlight when deep staged)

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FOR PROSPEED Events: run you "qualifying runs" LATER in the session (cooler air temps). Typically, time trials start at 3pm and end at 6pm. If you make a run at 3pm, chances are, you can run a bit quicker at 5pm to 5:30pm. The air temps have dropped enough that your times will improve. For those who qualify at the bottom of their class (aka, on the "bubble"), this may mean the difference of being in Pro Class D or Pro Class C!

Establish a "routine" and STICK to it!

For example:
1. You do a 5 second burnout
2. then move to the staging lane.
3. You wait for your opponent to Pre-Stage
4. then you Pre-Stage
5. then he stages.
6. Then you stage (deep or shallow).
7. Then you rev up to lauch RPM.

Doing this will allow your mind to focus better at the job at hand. This will ensure more consistent results. There are so many things to watch out for in drag racing, so FOCUS is very important.

Do a BURNOUT! Not the spin the tires for .25 seconds, I mean GET SOME HEAT in to those tires! Especially street tires (yes, even those sticky intermediates) don't heat up very easily. When I mean hot, I mean over 100 degrees F! And if you are worried about tire wear, let me tell you that burnouts don't eat up tires as much as you think! It takes a lot to wear out tires. Even slicks. I used to do HUMUNGOUS burnouts at English Town and I still went a whole season with my Mickey Thompson ET Drags (I raced twice a month, plus I street raced EVERY weekend)! That's well over 100, 5 second burnouts.

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Set up your car for the first 1/3 of the track. Its the MOST IMPORTANT section. Most people think that if you make a mistake at the start, you can make it up at the top end. Let's analyze this briefly. On a 15 second run, you spend half that time on the first 1/3 section of the track. That's 7.5 seconds! The remaining 7.5 seconds is run in the last 2/3. Remember, too, that what ever time you make up in the beginning, translates ALL the way down to the finish line! So, improve a tenth at the 60' mark, you just improved you ET by a full tenth of a second! It's not only much easier, but also MUCH CHEAPER than building enough HP to improve a tenth at the "big end" of the track.

first_third.jpg (19931 bytes)

Try to get the "right lane". Organizers won't like this too much, but if your opponent is not paying attention, you can take his advantage away! This can make for delays in the running of Eliminations. But, the few of you that read and take this advice WILL benefit if your opponent DOESN'T know about LANE CHOICE! It won't work all the time, but, this can be the difference between winning and losing.

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Notice how this easily this car spins its tires

Stage LAST. Make SURE that the starter is READY. Many times, the people at the timing system didn't get to see the car numbers (due to crowds blocking their view), and both cars are already staged and revving up their engines, only to be told to back off the line. WAIT to make sure that the starter IS READY. Don't worry about your opponenet. Let him load up his plugs (revving the engine at high rpms for a long time with no load tends to do this). His launch won't be as good (esepscially if his car is HIGHLY modified!). Stage when ONLY when you know everything is set.

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Do your burout LAST. Let the other guy do his first. Make him wait for you at the line. Before doing your burnout, make sure that you won't be sitting at the line for too long. Your tires will, negating your burnout. This happens all the time. You will have the advantage when you tires are HOTTER than your opponent's.

In the LEFT lane, use your handbrake to hold your car steady while staging. The car tends to roll more there than the right lane. Tape up the button on the hand brake to make sure you don't make a mistake of leaving it engaged! It's recommended to do this in both lanes, but more so in the LEFT lane.

Stage deeper in the LEFT lane. Due to tire spin, caused by having less rubber accumulation, cars REACT slower in the LEFT lane. Staging deeper than normal will compensate for this.