Epic Full Send 1-2-1 Shifts From World Cup Finals!
There aren’t too many forms of racing left that feature manually shifted cars, ...
There aren’t too many forms of racing left that feature manually shifted cars, especially not for cars with actual gate-style shifters like you’d find in a manual car from the factory.
And, to be honest, that sucks. Sure, almost any car is going to be capable of running quicker with a modern automatic transmission, but that also takes away a lot of the driver’s role in making a pass down the track. Think about it… with an automatic, the driver pulls the transmission into low, launches and only has to bump the shifter up to the next gear a time or 2, and many cars feature electronic or air-actuated shift solenoids that handle that job, completely removing the driver from the operation of the transmission during the run. While it does make the cars more consistent and in most cases, quicker, there’s also very little input from the driver.
A manually shifted car, especially one that requires the driver to kick the clutch on each gear shift, means there are several opportunities during the run for the driver to screw up. This means each driver has to do his job and do it well, or not only will he take a loss, but he has to take the blame for that loss if he screws up.
One side effect of a class featuring cars with manual transmissions is the fact that there’s no “lockout” device, nothing to keep the driver from sticking the gear selector back into first when he’s trying to shift to 3rd. And when that happens, especially at wide open throttle on the drag strip, some crazy things occur. The most obvious problem is that the engine will scream to an insanely high RPM, completely against its will. With a lot of these cars having been lightened as much as possible in search of quicker ET’s, the rear of them are light enough to pick up by hand. When there are sticky tires up front and the driver sticks the shifter back into first, sometimes the car slows so violently that the rear end raises into the air in a reverse wheelie, or stoppie!
Check out this collection of 1-2-1 shifts from our good friend Hans at Free Life Films, who caught all of these mishaps at the 2017 World Cup Finals!