Car Racing – what is ‘sprinting’?

A few people have asked me “What does car ‘Sprinting’ mean?” so I thought I would explain.

Sprinting is a form of car racing that involves cars making a timed lap around a set course on a race track, from a standing start, one car at a time. So instead of regular car racing that’s door to door against others you are in effect racing against the clock – a little like a qualifying lap in Formula 1. At the end of the day every driver’s best lap is selected and ranked in order from slowest to fastest to decide the ‘overall’ winner / results. In addition to the overall category there are also classes which rank similar specification cars against each other – for example by engine size, turbo or NA, or even development level.

We race the PJF Racing MR2 Turbo in the Toyota Sprint Series (TSS), a UK championship dedicated to Toyota only entries. We are in the A1 Pro class due to the high level of modification to the car from standard and we took runner up slot in the 2014 championship.

In the TSS we get 1 or 2 warm up runs which are untimed and allow you to learn the track and setup the car without pressure of timing, then we get 8 timed laps though the day with our best counting. If you hit a track marker / cone or put more than 2 wheels off the circuit that lap is a void run as you may have gained an advantage in lap time. Each run the driver presents the car to the start line, and under control of race direction the driver is presented with a traffic light system similar to drag racing, the green light comes on and away you go – racing towards the Finish line timing beam.

Sprinting is a high adrenaline sport as in normal racing you only get 1 or maybe 2 ‘race starts’ per race day, in Sprinting every run is a race start, with the associated pressure / excitement – and a chance to improve on your performance. Accuracy is important, having an issue early on in the lap can throw your whole run out so it’s important to drive with accuracy & consistency.

All racing is expensive however without the door to door collision damage often seen in normal car races Sprinting can offer a lower financial commitment over a season, but it’s still a high octane, high adrenaline sport!

Let me know if you want to know more!!

About Luke Lawrence

@SpartanRace, Obstacle Course Racer, adventurer, extreme sports enthusiast supported by @biosynergy #makeithappen
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