Looking for a few launch tips

I hope this is in the right spot, if not, I apologize.

Anyways, IF I can get my car together in time, I’ll be heading up to Lancaster this Tuesday for n00b night, for my first time.

I’ve heard several different opinions about how to launch, and was curious what you all had to say about it.

Vehicle specifics:
2001 Cavalier Z24
5 speed transmission
Stock suspension
Stock motor mounts
Battery in the spare tire well
Douglas GT-H “performance” tires (I was low on cash and needed to pass inspection :slight_smile: )

Anyways, little things like how much gas in my tank, tire pressure, take out my jack and spare? take out my back seat?

I’ve never done this so I’m asking for help, there’s no way I could address all of the required issues without assistance.

Thanks in advance.

most important tip your first time out…especially being fwd… if it starts hoppin, DON’T STAY ON THE GAS let off a lil :wink:

What’re the Downsides of allowing wheel hop?

I just had to replace both my upper strut mounts, could my assclowning and allowing wheel hop have killed my mounts prematurely?

It beats the fuck out of the whole car, like hitting 2x4’s. And kills the axles, but also isn’t doing anything good for the contraol arms/bushings, rack, tie rods, lower ball joints, the suspention/steering/drive train… intior rattles.

well lets just say way back when, my first time at the track i cracked the transmission alllllllllllll the way around the differential housing, because i had such bad wheel hop and kept on it

According to weatherchannel.com, Tuesday will have a low temperature of 70*, and a high of 95*. They open around 5-6pm I believe, so by then I’m guessing the temperature will be around 80-85*.

How will this heat affect traction with street tires?

I currently have a short ram intake set up, which is pulling mostly warm air from the engine bay, and quick fixes I can do to force some colder air into the engine?

first off, why is the battery in the spare tire well???, you dont have a race car, so it should be where its supposed to be.

secondly, just ease into it when launching, and you should be ok, dont drop the clutch and hope for good results, unless ur running slicks, which i see your not.

The battery is in the spare tire well for weight distribution. From what you’ve said, I see you’re not too familiar with the Cavalier.

GM’s disasterpiece.

Among problems like factory wheel bearings with no front/rear seals (shortens life span), poor strut mounts (also shortens life span), among many other problems, another huge problem is the car being horribly off balance, right from the factory.

When I have time, I plan on having the car weighed on one of those scales, with one scale per tire to give me an idea where weight needs to go.

We can’t all own GN’s man! lol

when i took my GS to the track, i just turned TC off, and eased into the throttle, it spun a bit, but FWD is a bitch to launch, since it was my first time.

i hate FWD launches. much easier with RWD lol

I can spin easy as well, so the best thing for the launch is to ease into it, then when I’m hooked (around 5mph) go WOT?

I’ve been screwing around as usual on the road, and the “best” launch I think I’ve done, gave me a little chirp, but other than that, and th spin into 2nd, it was solid.

Would that give me a better time than dumping the clutch at 3K ?

Also, I’m suposed to go on the last yellow, right?

Pre Stage
Yellow (go)

Those wheel bearings are pretty easy to replace. No packing at all, three bolts and you’re good to go. Plus the replacements come with the missing seals. We did both in under two hours.

i takes 1/2 to do 2 wheel bearings in a cavy…get lifetime warrenty at AZ and kill as many as u want…and is ur battery secure in a battery box ot tied down…do u have a bettery kill switch on the outside of the car…some tracks rewuire that if ur batt. is relocated…

Yep, battery in the trunk will require an external kill switch with label indicating on/off, and the battery must be securely tied down.

To avoid pissing off everyone, drive the FWD car AROUND the water box and do not enter it. Doing so would only drag water onto the track. Street tires wont require a burnout, a light clean off is all you need to do. Pull up to the line slowly, prestage, stage, then hold your rpms at desired launch. You wont know what works for your car until you try. I would start out low and keep going until you find what is best. Lancaster is uneven at the lights so it may roll forward to a red light if you arent careful. Dont worry about reaction time, it doesnt affect your ET. At the end of the track, let the guy in the right lane go first on the return road at lancaster, unless he is far enough ahead or behind that it wouldnt be practical to do so. Watch for deer and stranded cars on the return road. Rinse. Repeat.

And dont forget to :tspry:

Awesome help from everyone, thanks!

A few late replies though, I had my first 8 runs tonight in the First Time class.

My times suck, and reaction time is even worse.

The lanes were A LOT stickier than normal asphalt, it’s gonna take a lot of practice launching to get my RT down, but here are my times:

Time Trials I had 4 runs:
RT 1.28
60ft 2.80
ET 11.37 @ 64.57

RT 1.18
60ft 2.63
ET 11.15 @ 64

RT 1.08
60ft 2.41
ET 10.90 @ 63.93

RT .82
60ft 2.54
ET 11.14 @ 63.48
(Loss, but says Foul under his car #)

Round 1 First time class
RT 1.34
60ft 2.49
ET 11.16 @ 63.01
(Loss, moved to X Class)

Round 1 X class
RT 1.25
60ft 2.51
ET 11.15 @ 63.10
(Win, Says Breakout under his car)

Round 2 X class
RT 1.22
60ft 2.58
ET 11.12 @ 60.74

Round 3 X class
RT 1.09
60ft 2.41
ET 10.92 @ 63.54
And I lost, but I’m slowly getting used to the track, launcing and everything else involved. I had a great time, and I knew to go around the water pit, thanks Mark.


glad you had fun out there, keep practicing those launches, get those 60 fts down and youll have much better times :tup:

try lowering the tire pressure up front, and slightly raising it in back

Thanks 87FoxGT… I think you’r name is Mike, right?

Adam, I’m running Nitrogen filled tires right now, and I’d like to see what times I can crank out before lowering the pressure.