Start Launch

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Getting a good start on any sort of drive is a technique to be mastered. Getting off of the line first or amongst the first ones also has a considerable psychological effect. What you need to do, is to use the accelerator decisively (to get the car to accelerate quickly) but smoothly (to get it to transfer power through the driven wheels unto the road surface ideally) and accuratly (to get it just shy of actually spinning and slipping).

If the road is dry, you probably will be able to set off quite quickly. Additionally, you may find burnt rubber from faulty attempts to get a quick start. These are more than just warnings, they can actually work to your advantage, since they will supply you with better traction of the wheels are placed on them. However, in wet conditions, these marks will create an oily floating mixture that will tend to have the opposite effect, in which case you should stay off of it and quite remote from it. Remember, it's the driven wheels that count in this positioning, not the rest of the wheels (unless in a four-wheel drive car).

In rallying, the conditions of the start are usually gravel and the car has a four-wheel drive system. It must be stated, however, that gravel can still give you the bite you need, if the car has been adjusted to it. Most modern WRC cars have differentials with modes, allowing to switch them to gravel driving. Still, it is imperative to be smooth in throttle application, so that the transsmission and drivetrain are not overloaded and that the wheels don't spin and dig into the gravel.


In a manual car

Set first gear, hold down the clutch and set engine speed with steady and gentle throttle application, without blipping it. Now, release the clutch progressively (to avoid a very emberassing stall) but decisively. As the plates come in contact, apply gentle throttle to balance revs and resulted wheelspin, balancing the re-engagement of the clutch with the throttle, untill releasing the clutch completly and applying the throttle progressively but quickly according to road conditions. If the conditions are indeed slick or wet, it's better to release the clutch almost completly almost without throttle.

In a WRC car

Press the button on the wheel for "launch control", set the differential, active Turbocharger "Anti Lag system". Set first gear, de-clutch,. Apply the handbrake. Now, begin to rev-up the engine, progressively release the clutch, apply throttle to balance the clutch, and than release the clutch and handbrake and begin applying throttle quickly but smoothly.

In an automatic car

This section might not be reconmended for a standart planetaric automatic gearbox or a CVT, but rather to a modern DSG gearbox. Activate "sport" or "power" if available. In most DSG gearboxes, you would have to shut off traction control or stability control and turn on "launch control". Now, set drive, cover the brake with the left foot. Increase engine speed by easy throttle application, release the footbrake and begin to power out progressively and delibratly. This whole procedure should be made very gently, but should be snap quick, to avoid heat of generating inside the gearbox.

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