Competition Drag Racing

Join the team for a full day race experience at the Perth Motorplex (Kwinana, Western Australia), and cheer on Andy as she races the HellCat Mercedes Benz in full race mode down the quarter mile drag strip, competing against other racers. Come down to the “pits” in between some of the main race events and watch what’s involved in getting the race cars ready for the next round of racing, chat to all the racers, and have your photo taken with the cars.

Lots to See and Do

Going to the drag races isn’t just about sitting for hours and watching loud cars tear down the strip – there’s so much more for the whole family to see and do. 

To start with, make sure you give yourself plenty of time to go and chat to the racers before they start “elimination” racing. Earlier in the day – during qualifying races – they have much more time to show you around their vehicle, take photos and have a good chat. 

Don’t be afraid to get up close and have a look. Don’t touch anything, and be careful not to get in anyone’s way, but if the crew is sitting around chatting, they’re probably happy to have a chat.

Go back down to the “pits” in between some of the main race events and watch what’s involved in getting a car ready for the next round of racing. Some of the bigger cars will do a “full service” between rounds.

Look out for freebies – many teams will have posters, stickers or driver hero cards available for the kids to collect.

Let’s go Racing

The Water Box

The drag racing strip is made up of different compounds, making it very sticky to walk on. But if the soft compound race tyres aren’t warmed up before they head down the track, they won’t stick. So the driver will roll through the water and then do a burnout to warm up their tyres before they line up at the staging lights. The bigger the car and tyres, often the bigger the burnout.

Staging Lights

When the cars line up at the staging lights – some will have a crew member help them get into position – you’ll notice they will first light up the top 2 little white bulbs. Once these are lit up – on both sides of the track – the starter has his signal to start the race. Three (3) yellow lights will count down to a final green light – or red if the driver leaves too early.

“Dial-your-own” Racing

Therapy on Wheels races in the “Super Street” drag racing category, which is commonly known as “Dial-Your-Own”. Basically this means that the team is required to predict the time it will take them to go down the drag strip, and then try to get as close to that as possible while still beating the car in the other lane. During elimination racing, the slower car will get to leave first (the handicap being calculated on their predicted time). 

There’s two kinds of “rounds” depending on the amount of cars in a field, and the track’s preferences. In national races, the car that loses (during elimination races) doesn’t race again, thereby making the field smaller after each round of racing.
For some smaller fields a “Chicago Shootout” is implemented by the track, allowing every racer to race every round – even if they lose – and the winner is then determined as the one who won the most rounds.

How did they lose?

Ways that a driver can lose the race is if they leave the start line too quickly (red light / cherry), if they go quicker than their predicted time (breakout), if they cross the center or outside line, or they’re unable to finish the race.

If you’re not sure about something, ask someone who is wearing a race team shirt, they’ll be all to happy to answer your questions. 🙂