If you’re a fan of motorsports, you’re probably familiar with the concept of a stop and go timer. This simple device is used to measure the time it takes a vehicle to come to a complete stop, and then accelerate back up to a set speed. It’s a crucial metric in many forms of racing, and can often mean the difference between victory and defeat. But have you ever wondered what the world record is for stop and go timing? In this article, we’ll take a look at the history of this fascinating record, and explore some of the factors that contribute to a successful attempt.
What is a Stop and Go Timer?
Before we dive into the world record, let’s take a quick refresher on what a stop and go timer actually is. As we mentioned earlier, it’s a device that measures the time it takes a vehicle to come to a complete stop, and then accelerate back up to a set speed. The most common application of this timing is in drag racing, where drivers are required to complete a “burnout” before launching their vehicle down the track. The burnout heats up the tires and removes any debris, ensuring maximum traction for the launch. After the burnout, the driver pulls up to the starting line and engages the stop and go timer. They then accelerate down the track, reaching a set speed (usually 60 or 100 miles per hour), before braking hard to come to a complete stop. The timer then starts again, measuring the time it takes the vehicle to accelerate back up to the set speed.
The History of the Record
The world record for stop and go timing has been hotly contested for decades, with drivers and teams constantly pushing the limits of what’s possible. The first officially recognized record was set in 1975 by Al Bergler, who completed the stop and go process in just 2.16 seconds. Bergler’s record stood for over a decade, until it was finally broken in 1987 by John Force, who completed the process in just 1.84 seconds. Since then, the record has continued to be broken and re-broken by drivers such as Frank Hawley, Chuck Etchells, and Tony Pedregon. As of 2023, the current world record stands at 1.4 seconds, set by Tim Wilkerson in 2017.
What Makes a Successful Attempt?
So what goes into a successful stop and go timing attempt? There are a number of factors that can influence the outcome, including the skill of the driver, the quality of the vehicle, and the conditions of the track. One of the most important factors is traction. Without enough traction, the vehicle will struggle to come to a complete stop and accelerate back up to speed quickly. This is why drivers often perform burnouts before launching their vehicle down the track, as we mentioned earlier. Another important factor is braking power. The driver needs to be able to apply enough force to bring the vehicle to a complete stop in a short amount of time, without locking up the brakes and losing control.
The Future of the Record
So what does the future hold for the world record for stop and go timing? It’s difficult to say for certain, but one thing is for sure: drivers and teams will continue to push the limits of what’s possible. As technology advances and new materials become available, it’s possible that we’ll see even faster times in the future. It’s also worth noting that the current record was set in a funny car, which is a specific type of vehicle designed for drag racing. It’s possible that other types of vehicles could set their own records in the future, such as motorcycles or even electric vehicles.
The world record for stop and go timing is an impressive feat that requires skill, precision, and a well-tuned vehicle. From the early days of Al Bergler to the modern record-holders like Tim Wilkerson, drivers have been striving to push the boundaries of what’s possible. While the current record of 1.4 seconds is incredibly fast, there’s always room for improvement. As the sport of drag racing continues to evolve, we may see even faster times in the future.