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Start & finish lines separated


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#1 Nick Wa

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Posted 11 October 2009 - 15:51

Once upon a time races started and finished on the same line, nowadays the finish line seems to be nearly at the back of the grid. What is the reason for its displacement and when did this practice start?
I am only referring to grid starts.

Edited by Nick Wa, 11 October 2009 - 15:53.


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#2 stevewf1

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Posted 11 October 2009 - 17:27

Good question. As near as I can tell, there are four circuits that don't have this "offset" this year - Melbourne, Sepang, Monte Carlo and Valencia. Not sure about Abu Dhabi yet.

#3 LittleChris

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Posted 11 October 2009 - 20:55

Are the start & finish areas still at opposite ends of the track at Anderstorp ?

#4 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 11 October 2009 - 21:05

At a guess the grids got bigger and more widely spaced they had to move the start line foward. So as too keep the finish line in front of the control tower and timing [and yes most even major events still use manual timing as a back up]
Though how they time the first lap is a mystery as the transponders are triggered at the finish line, or should be otherwise the lunge for a position at the end could cause false results if at the start line.
Really it does seem silly as the first lap is a 100 yards or so shorter than the rest.

#5 RA Historian

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Posted 12 October 2009 - 13:57

Though how they time the first lap is a mystery as the transponders are triggered at the finish line, or should be otherwise the lunge for a position at the end could cause false results if at the start line.
Really it does seem silly as the first lap is a 100 yards or so shorter than the rest.

The mind reels at the scenario of a very close finish with the absurd logic used that almost prevailed at the 1966 Le Mans. Can you just see it: "car X is the winner because, even though he was 10 yards behind he started 15 yards behind so he covered more distance!"

Maybe I should delete this, lest Max or Bernie sees it and decides to use it..... :down:

Tom

#6 Stephen W

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Posted 12 October 2009 - 14:26

Maybe I should delete this, lest Max or Bernie sees it and decides to use it..... :down:

Tom


You are makin' one hell of an assumption there!

:rotfl:

#7 RA Historian

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Posted 12 October 2009 - 16:36

Steve, you mean that they are not regulars here??? :lol:

Tom

#8 Stephen W

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Posted 12 October 2009 - 17:23

Steve, you mean that they are not regulars here??? :lol:

Tom


No that they can read! :wave:

#9 fbarrett

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Posted 12 October 2009 - 17:52

A major offset is sometimes used at Mid-Ohio, I believe because of the blind corner just after the tower.

Frank

#10 Willow Rosenberg

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Posted 12 October 2009 - 17:54

I know this seems like a fairly recent phenomenon, but I remember that it was always the case at Magny Cours before they changed the last corners. This always led to the sight of the winning car crossing the line at about 50mph, which looked ridiculous when they showed it on the evening news.

Also I think the start line is on the pit straight at Anderstorp now.

#11 Stephen W

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Posted 12 October 2009 - 18:43

I know this seems like a fairly recent phenomenon, but I remember that it was always the case at Magny Cours before they changed the last corners. This always led to the sight of the winning car crossing the line at about 50mph, which looked ridiculous when they showed it on the evening news.

Also I think the start line is on the pit straight at Anderstorp now.


I seem to remember Monaco having the Start before the Gasworks Hairpin and the Finish in front of the Royal Box; this would be in the 50s/60s so not necessarily a "fairly recent phenomenon".

:wave:

#12 D-Type

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Posted 12 October 2009 - 18:45

I don't see why there should be a problem with timing. Surely nowadays the clock starts when the red lights go off. Any cars starting ahead of the line get credited with a better first lap time than they deserve and those from behind the line get a slower time than they did.

Did Brooklands, with its finishing straight, always separate the start and finish - or did they also start on the finishing straight?

Steve, the maps in Higham show the Monaco pits on the rise to St Devote and the start/finish on the quayside between the Tabac and the Gasworks from 1029-72. Then in 1973 when they opened the loop around the swimming pool the start/ finish was moved to the St Devote climb. But I am sure I have seen photos of prewar starts there.

Edited by D-Type, 12 October 2009 - 20:24.


#13 stevewf1

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Posted 12 October 2009 - 20:09

Long Beach had the start & finish on opposite sides of the circuit back in its early years.


#14 Willow Rosenberg

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Posted 12 October 2009 - 20:20

I seem to remember Monaco having the Start before the Gasworks Hairpin and the Finish in front of the Royal Box; this would be in the 50s/60s so not necessarily a "fairly recent phenomenon".

:wave:


The 'modern phenomenon' I referred to was having the finish/timing line at the back of the grid, two hundred meters before the start line. Oddly Monaco is one place where they don't do that, which I think is what caught Bjorn Wirdheim out.

I don't think the OP was talking about the pits and start line being seperated, that just came up later. :)


#15 RA Historian

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Posted 12 October 2009 - 20:25

A major offset is sometimes used at Mid-Ohio, I believe because of the blind corner just after the tower.

Frank

That's about it, Frank. Mid Ohio has its pits on a very short straight between the last and first corners. It was discovered that having the start on this stretch immediately before a hard left hander under the vehicle bridge was not the best arrangement. Hence the start was moved to the longest straight on the course, almost a mile up the road.
Tom

#16 stevewf1

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Posted 12 October 2009 - 20:49

I've noticed that sometimes, when a driver retires from a race after completing just 1 lap, no fastest lap time is given. Is this "offset" the reason why?


#17 Tim Murray

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Posted 12 October 2009 - 22:59

Steve, the maps in Higham show the Monaco pits on the rise to St Devote and the start/finish on the quayside between the Tabac and the Gasworks from 1029-72. Then in 1973 when they opened the loop around the swimming pool the start/ finish was moved to the St Devote climb. But I am sure I have seen photos of prewar starts there.

The start/finish line before the Gasworks hairpin was used only between 1955 and 1962. Following the pile-up at Gasworks at the start of the 1962 race, the organisers reverted to the traditional location after the hairpin. (Source: The Monaco Grand Prix by David Hodges)

#18 Muzza

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Posted 13 October 2009 - 01:35

Once upon a time races started and finished on the same line, nowadays the finish line seems to be nearly at the back of the grid. What is the reason for its displacement and when did this practice start?
I am only referring to grid starts.


Wasn't that the case of Suzuka too, a week and a half ago?

Equally puzzled by this phenomenon,


Sal

#19 Robin Fairservice

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Posted 13 October 2009 - 02:02

As far as electronic timing is concerned it depends on where the timing loop is and how the "clock" is started. If the clock starts when the red lights go out, then having the timing loop, wherever the finish line is, can only mean a slightly quicker first lap if the loop is before the start line. I am one of the Timing & Scoring team at Mission in BC, and we start the timing when the green flag drops, and with a rolling start, this is slightly ahead of the first car across the start line.

At Seattle, the Vintage cars use a timing loop at turn nine which must be at least 100 metres before the finish line! The vintage racers are more concerned about laps completed than absolute accuracy with times and positions.

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#20 nmansellfan

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Posted 13 October 2009 - 11:41

I was thinking about this subject a couple of days ago. I wonder whether it was another FIA directive to reduce the possibliliy of 'racing' taking place, i.e. no dashes to the line on the last lap. All in jest, of course.

Certainly if the finish line at Monza was in the place it is now in 1969, the winner of the Italian GP that year could have been different, as would 1971 have been as well...

#21 Catalina Park

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Posted 13 October 2009 - 11:51

Bathurst has had separate start and finish lines for a long time, about 30 or more years.

#22 cpbell

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Posted 13 October 2009 - 12:06

The start/finish line before the Gasworks hairpin was used only between 1955 and 1962. Following the pile-up at Gasworks at the start of the 1962 race, the organisers reverted to the traditional location after the hairpin. (Source: The Monaco Grand Prix by David Hodges)



Any idea why they moved it to the location before Gasworks in '55?

#23 ggnagy

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Posted 18 October 2009 - 13:31

That's about it, Frank. Mid Ohio has its pits on a very short straight between the last and first corners. It was discovered that having the start on this stretch immediately before a hard left hander under the vehicle bridge was not the best arrangement. Hence the start was moved to the longest straight on the course, almost a mile up the road.
Tom


Using the "back straight" for starts at Mid Ohio also has a lot to do with rolling starts. It's rather difficult to have the grid form up between the carousel and the S/F than it is coming out of the keyhole.
Cumberland, MD used to have the start in front of the pits, but the finish line was 2/3rds of the way around the course, in front of the majority of the spectators on the hill.


#24 Charlieman

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Posted 18 October 2009 - 14:13

The offset between start and finish lines can be disregarded for short circuits because it only affects the first lap. On those laps, you have a standing start and constriction at the first three corners or so. Nobody scores their fastest lap on it.

The Nurburgring is naturally contrary. Didn't one of the big cat Jaguar XJ5.3 coupes in the ETCC get a lap record from a standing start? Probably the only lap that it completed...

#25 fisssssi

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Posted 18 October 2009 - 14:20

Maybe it allows the drivers to celebrate whilst driving past the pitwall? Otherwise if it's a close finish they'd have to go flat out all the way to the start line and miss waving to their pit crews :wave:

#26 gio66

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Posted 18 October 2009 - 14:37

At Imola the finish line was moved back in 1999.

Before, there was two stands, A (start/finish) and M (Variante Bassa), with two different ticket price: 500.000 Lire (about 258 Euros) and 200.000 Lire (about 103 Euros). After, we have the same stands but with different names: A (start) and M (finish) and both tickets costs 500.000 Lire. Do you understand?;)

#27 Risil

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Posted 18 October 2009 - 20:54

The CART track they used in Houston at the end of the 'nineties had a start on the opposite side of the circuit. And a pitlane exit that was more challenging than the course proper... :lol: The idea of separating the start line from the finish line is quite a clever one -- think of all the accidents at Monza that could've been avoided if they'd taken starter's orders on the run down to the Parabolica.

#28 D-Type

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Posted 18 October 2009 - 21:16

At Imola the finish line was moved back in 1999.

Before, there was two stands, A (start/finish) and M (Variante Bassa), with two different ticket price: 500.000 Lire (about 258 Euros) and 200.000 Lire (about 103 Euros). After, we have the same stands but with different names: A (start) and M (finish) and both tickets costs 500.000 Lire. Do you understand?;)

Yes, I understand. And I don't think we can blame BCE for this one (at least not directly).

#29 gio66

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Posted 19 October 2009 - 11:06

Yes, I understand. And I don't think we can blame BCE for this one (at least not directly).


Of course not. The tickets was the only source of maintenance of the track promoter.