Wayne Gapp – On High Speed Handling

This comes from one of the NHRA event guides

Wayne Gapp

High Speed Handling…

WG-HighSpeedHandling 1.png

“One must be especially careful when piloting a short-wheelbase machine of 100″ or less. You have to have a lot of respect for them since everything happens so fast. The biggest problem is overcorrection, so the #1 recommendation for a driver who is starting to get a bit out of shape is to almost do nothing. You almost have to act by instinct, since you just don’t have time to think of what you are going to do and then do it. On a bigger car, like the Maverick or a Camaro, you can get by with lifting off the gas a bit, correcting, and then stabbing the throttle again, but that’s impossible with small car. If you do get out of shape, you must first forget trying to continue the run, since you’re going to get a bad time anyway, and you should never turn the wheel more than 2 degrees.”

“If you are crooked when you come off the starting line, the main thing is not to make your shift to second gear at the normal time, since that is when you would get the maximum jolt to the tires, making your situation worse. Another thing to try is over-winding past the normal shift point, which would also kill the power somewhat, as the front tires are likely back on the ground at this point and you might have more luck in making some kind of correction.”

“Handling problems don’t necessarily end at the finish line. On any good run around 154 mph or more, I’ll always try to stop very slowly, using the brakes as gently as possible until I get below 100 mph, and then I’ll start to hit the brakes harder. You never want to even come close to having them locked up at over 100 mph, since you’d never have a chance to correct the car if it ran over an oil slick. If you blow an engine, the primary thing is not to use the brakes at all, or at least until you have pulled the chute, and then use them only very gently.”

“Big cars are much easier to drive, but many experienced drivers have trouble when they go to the little cars since they think they can drive them the same way. Anyone can make a good run in them when everything is right, but it takes a lot of experience, gained through careful practice, to know how to react when something goes wrong.”

WG-HighSpeedHandling 2.png

One thought on “Wayne Gapp – On High Speed Handling”

  1. Hence why those Pro Stock Pintos had such a notorious reputation for handling! I can’t even imagine, not to mention the little Dodge Colts.

Comments are closed.