Drag racing is a competition where cars race on short tracks. The vehicles start from a standing position. Actually this is what is so challenging: starting from a fixed position, building up speed and trying to finish the quarter of a mile stretch in the shortest time possible. Drag racing became popular in the United States, after World War II. The finishing speed is anywhere between 100 to 300 mph.
The world record for a drag race is 4 seconds and finishing speeds of 350 mph. Cars are modified to take on this pressure. The success of a car racing in such a race depends on its weight to horsepower ratio. Through modifications, this ratio is increased. So, we are looking at a vehicle that is light but more powerful. This will help in increased acceleration. Sometimes turbochargers, Superchargers or nitrous oxide are used to increase the power of the car.
Drag racing has caught on in many countries. In Australia and New Zealand, those who participate are called Hoons or Boyracers. In Hong-Kong, drag racers use Japanese cars and motorcycles. In Japan, street racers are known as Hashriya. The Japanese have taken street racing into 3 levels. You have the racing which happens on expressways and highways, known as Kousoku battles, the Roulette-zoku variation which is the race on circular expressways. Here the racers drive round and round. The third variation is the Togue. This is the most challenging race, as the track that is chosen for this are the narrow winding mountain roads.
Motorcycle is the most popular form of street racing in Malaysia and Philippines. These guys are infamous due to the hair-raising stunts that they perform. These racers are really dare-devil because they also race their bikes weaving in and out of stationary and moving traffic at very high speeds. This kind of racing is called Cilok. In Sweden the racing is legal and called Blackrace. This is run on closed streets and the cars race against the clock, even though the starting time for the 2 cars is the same. Swedes use Volvos and Saabs to race in. The British traffic laws have banned street racing making it completely illegal. This does not, however, deter those daring people who want to indulge in this very dangerous sport. In the United States, it is in California that this sport is popular. In fact, California is considered to be the place where drag racing first came into existence.
There are only 3 rules for street racing:
- At the finish line the winner is in the front
- The course is chosen by the Leader
- The finish of the race happens when the pursuer gives up
The National Hot Rod Association or the NHRA is the body that oversees drag racing in North America. The other body is the Feld Entertainment’s International Hot Rod Association or the IHRA. The NHRA favors the quarter of a mile while the IHRA prefers to hold its races on an eighths of a mile strip.