March 9 — Gateway Motorsports Park announced today the 2017 GMP Dragplex E.T. Bracket Racing Series presented by Carl’s 4-Wheel Drive & Performance Center will be contested using the new TruSTART program from Compulink Timing Systems. TruSTART was developed by Compulink’s Bob Brockmeyer and bracket promoters Kyle Seipel and Peter Biondo. It has been implemented for the NHRA E.T. Finals of Division 1, Division 5 and Division 6.
Historically, in a handicapped-tree drag race, if the slower car “red lights” it automatically loses even if the faster car cuts a worse foul start when it leaves the starting line. With TruSTART, if the slower car goes .001 red and the faster car goes .007 red, the slower car will advance to the next round and the faster car will be eliminated.
Simply put, in a handicapped race where both drivers go red, TruSTART will change the game by giving the win to the racer who red lights by the lesser amount. The worst “red light” loses, period, regardless of if a driver leaves first or last.
A quick example: The slower car is dialed a 10.00 and the faster car dials an 8.00. The 10.00 car leaves first but with a red light of -.005 while the 8.00 (faster) car also red-lights but with a worst red of -.015. The 10.00 car loses because he was the first to red-light. The -.005 red driver loses to the -.015 red driver even though the -.005 red driver was closer to the target reaction time. It has always been that way, until now.
“The way TruSTART will function will be exactly how we imagined it thanks to all of Bob’s hard work,” said Seipel. “To keep things fair within TruSTART, the slower car lane will always show a green light until the faster driver launches. At that point Compulink will ‘show’ the worst red where applicable.”
“We actually tried this back in 1986, but for whatever reason it didn’t take off,” said Brockmeyer. “When Peter and Kyle talked to me about it last year, it just made sense now. Prior to TruSTART, the advantage in the red-light department went to the faster car. This helps to make it just that much fairer. Just like whoever breaks out the most loses, so be it when it comes to a red-light.”
In the event of two identical red lights, the timing system will go to the eighth digit out, even though the time slip may only print 3 digits. The actual win will be reflected on the scoreboard.
TruSTART will be utilized for Gateway Motorsports Park’s Super Pro, Pro, Sportsman, Super Pro Motorcycle and Trophy classes during the 2017 series. It will be reviewed for additional special events throughout the season.
For more information on Gateway Motorsports Park, please call (618) 215-8888 or visit www.gatewaymsp.com. Follow GMP on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram.
About Gateway Motorsports Park
Gateway Motorsports Park is the home of INDYCAR, NASCAR and NHRA racing in the St. Louis region. Located just five minutes from downtown St. Louis and covering more than 340 acres, Gateway Motorsports Park is the largest outdoor entertainment facility in the area. Gateway Motorsports Park’s facilities include a 1/4-mile drag strip, 1.25-mile superspeedway, 1.6-mile road course, a state-of-the-art Karting facility and a 14-acre, multi-purpose dirt off-road venue.