Roll racing has plenty of critics, but real legitimacy may be near
"Roll racing is not real racing." Chris Harris bristles when he hears those words, and he hears them a lot. The sentiment reaches him from drag racers and from track operators who question this sometimes controversial motorsport's credibility and appeal. He also gets it from haters who associate this type of racing with a public nuisance. https://www.hagerty.com/media/motorsports/roll-racing-critics-real-legitimacy-near/
The appeal of this racing is more due to the lack of traction in todays cars.
The RWD street cars like the Hellcats can’t use all their power. Then the FWD cars for one can’t put the power down due to poor weight transfer. The other issue is many will break parts if they did hook up.
I know I had a 300 hp HHR that could easily run 13’s as a daily driver if I could get the tires too hook up. I once spun them at 55 mpg due to the even higher torque number.
Launching was always an issue for cars for years. It was easy to get a Pontiac into the 13’s but to go faster it too work to the car to make it hook up.
Launching is not hard if you do it right. That means getting the car set up to put the power down. I has a buddy that had decent power and won races against faster cars. How his car hooked up while the others just spun their tires. The right springs, tires, shock, altered wheel base and a few other tricks
Too many just build or buy power and over look suspension and drive line.
I've seen plenty of Roll racing here in the Houston area at a few tracks. I found it incredibly boring versus drag racing. It was like watching a two car parade that floored it and went down the line, then the next set of cars did it and the next, etc. I wouldn't pay to see it but having said that it is better for people to be doing this on a track than doing it on the street. For that I applaud his efforts.
Never heard of this racing series before. It’s wonderful that there is an advocate getting this off the street and on track— where it belongs. Good for Mr. Harris! Why would folks consider this not “real” racing? I’m certainly a traditionalist (aka “old curmudgeon”) and my view is: motorsport is objectively measurable. Who’s fastest/quickest/gets to a line first. This clearly qualifies.
The article mentions drifting— that obviously doesn’t qualify using my definition. I would consider drifting an exhibition…and pointless (see, curmudgeon). No need to fire off hateful comments to me saying how much skill is required to master drifting. I agree, it takes great skill. Gymnastics takes great skill as well; but I don’t consider that to be sport either. Anything that has to be judged is exhibition.
Back in the day a ton of street races were "roll ons", you would try to find the sweet spot usually right around 2,000 rpm (if you had a torquey car), beep the horn and go. That evened out a lot of races that otherwise were not close due to wheel spin.
Back when I was a "youngun", I had a few toys, like a Ford with a 2.75:1 ratio differential, a Nova with a 2.41:1 ratio differential, and a Pontiac with a 2.56:1 ratio differential. I built them for... let's call it "highway use". I would occasionally race guys whose cars had 4.11 or similar ratios but the rule was "First gear only" if it was from a dead stop. When I whupped their butts they whined and called me a cheater, because they thought it should only be okay for them to have a gearing advantage. I also once had an old beater Dodge pickup with a just slightly warmed over 360, but it had a 4.56:1 ratio differential. It beat a heck of a lot of big bucks street rods in the stop light to stop light races. Seems a rolling start would have let some of those whiners win. Then again, top end on that Dodge was about 100 mph although it got there in around the length of a city block, so it still would have beat a lot of them in a rolling start race up to 100 mph. Not bad for a $500 truck built with swap meet parts. I believe that if an idea is for having fun, especially when trying to do it with safety in mind, I'd have to say go for it.
The launch is the coolest and most fun part of a drag race. Awesome to see a car that leaves hard. Can’t imagine taking that out. I applaud anything that increases participation and getting races onto tracks tho. Parade Laps if necessary. Haha