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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Alfa Cup Standing Start?

The purpose of this thread is to discuss, post videos, post pictures, and make suggestions to help make the Alfa Cup more enjoyable to participants and spectators.

With that said, what would Alfa Cup participants think about giving standing starts a shot? It would make for an interesting start because a lot of the full race cars up front have a tall first gear while a lot of the cars in the middle to back have stock gears. Just a thought and looking for opinions (good and bad).
 

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While I don't yet run the Alfa Cup races, I sort of like this idea. The only draw back I can see is if during this drag race type start, one of the car up front brakes something (clutch, transmission, driveline) it could get ugly real fast.

As an alternative to a standing start, how about an inverted one (faster qualifiers in the rear)? It would make the racing better (more passing) at least for a couple of laps.

Just a thought.......
 

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Gifford,
You could run the risk of sand-bagging in qualifying :p
Though, if we could fit two point awarding races into every event (like DTM) and revert for the 2nd race, that could be fun... Or, start the cars in opposite order of the Alfa Cup overall standing...

We could replace the Sunday morning qualifying with a 1st race (starting in reverse order of the overall standing), and update the overall standing before the 2nd race, and again start in reverse order.
Jes
 

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standing starts

this could make things really interesting for participants and spectators. only thing better would be a classic Le Mans start :p

while i don't participate, i would be concerned that this would place a lot of extra strain on the drive train. especially the clutch and giubo :eek:
 

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The standing start would be a blast, but I think the inverted start could be even more fun.

When I used to race Karts, one of the clubs used a pea-pick for the first heat. For the second heat, a coin toss determined if we would use an inverted start.

My most memorable race of all time was starting 18th and finishing 3rd. I was passing someone every lap!
 

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Get into it guys. We run standing starts at our local club circuit sprints. Drag race to the first corner. Good fun.
 

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Standing start is STUPID

Gentlemen: Alfa cars are NOT designed to be drag cars. I suspect a standing start would gut half of most of the field. Good for the people who can get work doing repairs for stupid people. Alfa cars need to "spool" up and get going before they hit things hard. I can't believe anyone would suggest that when there are so many better options. Sounds like a guy who my client finally discovered was trying to drag race his Wankel powered RX-5. Can't deny it had lots of horses with double supercharger? turbo? but NOT bottom end and he blew it three times before client got wise and refused to honor the warranty. His law suit did NOT succeed. But, this is just my opinion. Maybe you don't like your Alfa?
 

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It's an interesting idea but I think it would be too hard on the drivetrain. Also, if someone gets excited with his/her race clutch and stalls the car, it could be dangerous for cars that are behind the stalled car... especially for cars that are two or three cars behind the stalled car.

I love the idea of having multiple race. BMW club runs a qualifying race, a sprint race (for points), a fun race (for bragging rights) and a mini endurance race (one hour race with a ten minute mandatory pit stop for fueling). The points for the endurance is double that of a sprint race. With small number of races (three this year) offered by AROSC, I think the club should serious consider having more point races. This will make it more interesting and worth while for the racers. Have a point race on Saturday afternoon, a fun race on Sunday before lunch (inverted grid), and finish the weekend with another point race in the afternoon (the grid will be based on the results of Saturday race). This way, if your car breaks down Sunday morning, at least you'll be going home with some points.

Colin
 

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No standing starts--everything else is fair game

I was waiting for Bruce Colby to chime in here but since he hasn't let me say, I don't think the club will go for a standing start race or Le Mans start. It's just too dangerous.

The other ideas, multiple races, inverted starts, mixing the two groups (Alfa and non Alfa) etc, are all fair game. We've done inverted starts before and often this decision is made in real time by whoever is setting up the grid. The guys who run the events these days (Greg Nelson and Dennis Fibrow) are not Alfa drivers and are happy to turn over the job of setting up the Alfa grid to one of the Alfa people. I think Fabrizio set up the grids at Buttonwillow. I guess it's up to Bruce to designate who that would be although as originator of the Alfa Cup Anthony might be first in line here.

One of these times the stars are going to line up (no other competing events) and we are going to get 15-20 cars in the Alfa Cup. I think we were over 10 at Buttonwillow.

Doug Bender
 

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You americans seem to not be able to think beyomd your own shores. The rest of the world has been doing standing starts since the second car was built. All of the racers you read about on this forum from those places that aren't america have cars that dont blow their gearboxes into a million bits every standing start. They are all Alfas with basically the same running gear.
If you remember, they are made in Italy and I am sure they do standing starts there.
I'm sure with all the wonderful things that USA pruduces, someone somewhere could build a clucth that can get a small 4 cylinder car off the line and survive for a few laps.
This isn't about just having a drag race. Personally, I think drag racing is for people whos attention span isn't greater than 8 seconds. Maybe it's about the idea of trying something different.
C'mon guys. Don't knock it un till you have tried it...
 

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I've been watching this post and I guess it's time to say a few things.

1. There will be no Le Mans starts due to well recognized safety issues. Frankly, it’s difficult for me to believe anyone would even suggest this.

2. I think standing starts are highly unlikely to take place at our events because they are generally considered less safe than rolling starts. They are also tough on the equipment. I, for one, am not interested in chewing up my drive train just for a few seconds of raw excitement. The Competition Board has discussed standing starts in the past and there has never been any interest in doing it. However, I will bring it up again at our next meeting.

3. Inverted starts can elicit sandbagging in the qualifying races but they also tend to put the less experienced drivers in a "high pressure" situation which can be avoided. They are, however, not out of the question. We have done them in the past and we may do more of them in the future. We generally use our "best guess" for starting positions on the qualifying race grid. We could invert this very easily but we would probably give drivers the option of starting at the back if they felt more comfortable doing so.

4. Running multiple points paying races at an event sounds like an interesting idea and it would provide a mechanism to avoid sandbagging issues with inverted starts. However, there are some practical considerations which may be transparent to people who aren't volunteering their time to put on the events. The volunteers, most of whom also enter the events, would have to spend even more time girding cars and scoring races. To someone who hasn't done it, it may seem like this shouldn't take much time but it does. Also, the additional race time would have to come at the expense of practice time but I think this could be worked out. That said, I like this idea and if we can figure out an equitable way to do it, we’ll no doubt give it a try.
 

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There will be no Le Mans starts because of the age and condition of most of the drivers ( cars also - youngest car in competition is probably 20, average around 30 some over 40). Picture me, Art Russell, Bruce Colby, etc. running to a car, squeezing in and trying to get belted up. Anthony would have a lap and a half on us before we were out of the pits.:rolleyes:
As far as standing starts, the problem as I see it, is not piling up on busted cars in front of you, but running over the guys who are push starting the cars in front of me.:eek:

Inverted starts are great. Especially for me since I will almost always be pole and I have a pretty good bit of Slide & Wide practice under my belt.:D
 

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I have changed my mind about sugesting you guys doing a standing start. I dont think your wrists can hande the effort of those first gear changes. But we will never know........
Ive seen race cars from america on TV before, Have you learned to turn right yet?
 

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Standing starts may be more interesting for the spectators, however from a driver's point of view they are too risky. I believe it's best to stay away from them.
 

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Why are they risky. Isnt that one of the ideas of motorsport? Taking a few risks. With a few minor exeptions, every circuit race in Australia (and for that matter, the rest of the world)has a standing start. Its all about knowing what to do in that situation. Why should you guys be any different?
It makes me very annoyed that a minority says "we wont do it, its too dangerous" when they havn't even tried it, as well as having the evidence that it is not more dangerous than other aspects of the sport.
When our races start here, an emergency vehicle is able to follow the field around for the first half a lap or so to deal with any situations quickly. A standing start allows this to happen. I have even been involed in a serious shunt, a few corners into the race, where this vehicle was needed. If it wasn't there, things could have been a lot worse for me.
Properly prepared, your driveline can take it.
All my race cars run standard drivelines and I have found it well up to the task of several years of punishment. All the failures I have had have been while moving.
C'mon guys, give it a go. you might end up pioneers for you sport in USA. And at the same time have a s++t load of fun.
 

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anthony,

do the standing starts by all means.

when i was in europe, nearly all the races I attended were standing starts. they tend race rain (more like monsoon conditions) or shine too. lots of people here pack their things up and dont race if it sprinkles here.

rolling starts are so SCCA,indy,Nascar-ish like to me.

the clutches should stand up without any problems this day and age.

ps sorry for the hi-jack, I have a sparco fire bottle system that need servicing. any idea where i can get this looked at?


ciao
 

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I usually do not disagree with Anthony. Maybe it is my age but the original Can-Am and Trans-Am are within my living memory. Some of the more vivid moments came during disasterous standing starts that occured all too frequently. Varying skills and equipment left many drivers seriously injured. I can also remember that it was the less skilled and more poorly funded teams that fought for the standing starts. I have pictures from a drivers meeting when the organizers took a vote amongst the drivers to see if there should be a standing start or rolling start. The hands in the air voting against a standing start included Gurney, Hill, Ginther, McLaren, Hall, Donahue and all the other true "pros". To them it was too unpredictable and chaotic. Small mental mistakes or equipment faults led to major problems. Of course, if you can "jump" the start then you might be able to overcome skill and equipment shortcomings. Or not. The best 22 drivers in the world (aka F1) manage to muck it up too often as it is. We do not need any unnecessary screw ups interfering with our ability to get reasonable insurance rates or track dates. My 2 cents.
 

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My dear Spannerman:

Standing starts are inherently more risky because the likelihood of a mid-pack stall increases the chances of a serious shunt. Rolling starts effectively eliminate this risk. The Alfa cup is not a professional series. It's simply a bunch of Alfa guys out for some driving fun.

There is plenty of risk in motorsports. Adding to it by going to standing starts will not improve the driving experience. It will simply raise the chance that a few Alfas will have their lovely bodywork altered for the worse.

BTW, have you ever done a rolling start? For the driver, the experience is essentially the same as that of a standing start because all the cars are traveling at essentially the same speed before the green flag is dropped. Those who manage the start better, or have better gearing, or more power will still have to dodge the slower starters ahead of them. Many changes of position occur at the start and into the first turn regardless of the type of start.

As for the issue of driveline and clutch, there can be no denying that a rolling start is easier on the vehicle. Again, we are not a professional series with factory mechanics waiting at the boxes ready to change a clutch in 30 minutes. We are out there to drive our cars and have some fun. I don't know about the other drivers, but I'd rather not touch a wrench the entire weekend. Adding to the risk of having to pull out my tool box does not not add to my level of fun.

So, you Europeans might like to think you are superior, better, or whatever you think, by doing your standing starts. We just do it smarter.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Thank you everyone who posted their thoughts. I've been thinking of ideas to make the Alfa Cup a little more different and this was one of the things that I've been meaning to ask participants for some time now. It looks like we'll stick with rolling starts and I'll move down my list of things to help make the series better and lure more participants.

I feel a reverse grid is just as risky as a standing start. Usually people who start in the back tend to be less experienced or have mildly prepared cars which could create an uncomfortable situation for them in turn 1.
 
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