The Starting System
drag racing is a pairing of two vehicles against one another
in a race through a straightaway course. Hence, the start
is the key to its uniqueness, because all races start from a
standstill. Today's modern starting system, commonly
referred to as the "Tree", is a product of continued
development, designed to provide each competitor with the
fairest start possible The system features a vertical
series of lights, displaying a visual countdown for each
driver. Most drivers try to make their move between the last
amber light going off and the green light coming on.
Technique in staging and starting is one of the most vital
skills an E.T. Handicap drag racer can develop, since a
majority of races are won or lost at the starting line.
Close observation and lots of practice pays off.
performances are monitored for each run: the elapsed time
and the speed On an elapsed time run, the vehicle leaves
the starting line, "breaking" the light beam which activates
the electronic timer. As the vehicle continues through the
course, the timer records the elapsed seconds and fractions
of seconds until the vehicle breaks the finish line beam and
stops the timer. Top speed is determined by the vehicle
tires breaking two additional light beams, at the finish
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