Judd questions startline games

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Robin Judd says startline tactics used against him at the Goldenstates event in Perth recently were ‘controversial’.

A shock first round loss at the Goldenstates saw Judd lose his lead in the ANDRA Pro Series Top Doorslammer championship.

In the first round, Judd (6.115/241.93) lost to fellow Perth racer Daniel Gregorini (6.140/236.84).

Judd’s press release said Gregorini employed what many onlookers described as questionable tactics on the start line.

“It was a terrible run all-round. After a slow start I was behind, but hauling in Gregorini. I felt a bit of tyre shake and pedalled to gain traction, but lost a little more time doing so. I was gaining on him again when his car moved over towards me, nearly crossing the centre line,” Judd said.

“I was momentarily distracted and accidentally hung on to second (gear) a little too long. After I hit top (gear) I was starting to overtake him again, but just ran out of track.”

After the race, Judd was critical of the 20 seconds allowed for the last racer to move from pre-stage to full-stage. In the USA, pro racers are allowed seven seconds.

“In pre-stage, racers push their vehicles up to a high rpm to maximise acceleration at launch. This heats up the clutch quickly and puts strain on the motor, so minimising the time in full-stage at high rpm is critical,” Judd said.

“Despite the ANDRA rule (brought about mostly by non-supercharged Group Two racers lobbying ANDRA) being in place, there is an understanding amongst Group One racers that they do not deliberately hold the other racer in full-stage at high rpm for any longer than is necessary.

“I was dirty for allowing myself to be put in a position where I could be hung out on the start line. It is a technically legal tactic, not practised in Group One because these (supercharged Doorslammer) cars cannot be held for 20 seconds at five or six thousand rpm without hurting something. I won’t let that happen again.”

Gregorini’s Camaro is Rootes supercharged and uses a limiter on the start line, meaning he does not need to bring up the revs early like PSI supercharged cars such as Judd’s.

Judd was looking to win back-to-back Top Doorslammer events after winning the Australian Nationals at Sydney Dragway in September and, for the second year in a row, the Nationals-Goldenstates double.

While recording a 5.84 pass to top qualify, Judd felt the Perth strip was not yet back to its usual standards.

“The Kwinana Motorplex track is normally a good racing surface. However, it was recently scraped and ground so is still a bit green. I expect it (the track) will get better as the season progresses,” Judd said.

“We were right on the edge running the 5.84 (in the first session). It just happened to be the right setup for the conditions at that time with the car on the brink of tyre shake. The data and TV footage confirm I feathered the throttle twice in low gear. In the next two sessions we simply overpowered the track.”

For top qualifying, Judd picked-up a $1000 cheque courtesy of Perth-based Pro Auto.

Judd’s first round loss meant he missed an opportunity to capitalise on his championship points lead.

“I should have done better, but now I have to fight to regain the championship points lead,” Judd said.

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