How to get better reaction times
Tuesday, 13 February 2001 08:00

How to get better reaction times

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- Deep staging is one way to get better r/t. this is accomplished by rolling past the pre-stage beam. When this done, the pre-stage light will go out, leaving only the stage light on.

This technique works because the front tires are closer to the guard beam. Thus, lessening the time it takes leaving the line.

Be careful! Since you are closer to the guard beam, it is also easier to redlight!

- Leave on the last yellow. This is usually the technique employed by racers since there is a delay between releasing the clutch and the car actually moving.

Between each yellow light, there is a half {.500) second interval. By launching on the last yellow, this gives you a .500 second head start, thus reducing your reaction time.

You will have to experiment with this. Sometimes, you may find that your car reacts very quickly, giving you redlights.

- Check your clutch pedal adjustment. If you have too much slack, the clutch won't release quickly enough.

- Clutch condition is also a major reason cars launch sluggishly. A worn clutch will slip momentarily, delaying the actual movement of the car. If you are making gobs of hp and your tires bite well enough, this may be hindering your r/t.

- Tire pressure is another area most often overlooked by the newbie racer. Proper tire pressure gives you the traction you need to launch your car quickly. If you have too much or too little tire pressure, your tires will break loose more easily and slow its actual forward movement. This affects you reaction time as well.

- Take note of the abient light. The brighter the day light, the longer it will take for you to see the lights on the tree. You should make adjustments to your position at the line (shallow or deep stage).

When you first break the pre-stage beam, you more or less know that you have about 12 inches before you reach the stage beam. Bump your car (move one inch at a time) forward until you break the stage beam. At this point (you are shallow staged), you have only a few inches before you deep stage. You'll want to position you car a little more forward (deeper) in bright daylight than in the afternoon sun. This should make up for any delay in your response to the yellow lights on the tree. By contrast, you should stage shallower when in dim abient light, since you'll react more quickly to the lights since you can see them more easily.

Caution: this is more difficult if you regularly deep stage! Redlights happen more often in the night races than in the day races for those who deep stage.

Remember, you must always TEST! Don't try new techniques during your races. Try out any new techniques during your time trials. When you are sure you are comfortable with what you've tried, only then should you use them in the race. This will ensure you of more consistent times.