Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 89.djvu/767

This page needs to be proofread.

Timing an Automobile Race

The Mechanism of the Judges' Stand

���Here they come, snorting fire and skidding around the curve at a hundred miles an hour. At such speed, is it any wonder that the judges' records sometimes become confused ?

��WHEN twciitN" or more racinn; auto- mobiles lined up for the start in the big speedway raees during this summer and fall, Numbers 13 and 20 were missing. Number 13 was out because no dri\er will risk his life in a car with that ill-omened designation. Number 20 was omitted because of a mis- take which occurred in the important Astor Cup race last year and which temjiorarily reversed the order of finish and almost resulted in the loss of $1,500 to the misplaced racer. This error was made b\' misinterpreting the call 22 for cars 20 and 2.

Eight checks and double checks arc necessary before the judges can decide the final positions of all of the contestants in a race. Few realize that at a main- tained speed t)f 102.6 miles per hour, which was attained last year, the cars shoot by the judges' stand at the rate of approximately 150 feet per second. With seven or eight automobiles flashing by the stand almost simultaneously at that rate and across the finish line, less than one inch wide, it is easy to overlook one and make a costly error.

To obviate mistakes, the work of timing the cars is dixided into four parts: i — Getting Knowledge. 2 — Checking Knowledge. 3 — Calculating Knowledge, and 4 — Dissemination of

��Knowledge. The first division. Getting Knowledge, is the most important of the lot, because upon this knowledge, and the correctness of it, depends the accuracy of the checking, the calculation and the dissemination.

The entire group of timers is quartered on the upper floor of the judges' stand, generally inside the track, just opposite the finishing line.

The most important man in group No. I and the most important of the entire timing force is the caller. This man has notliing to do but to call off the number of each car as it passes him.

Directly in front of the caller are three men seated at the shelf or table as illus- trated on the following page. Each of these men writes down the number of each car as called on blank sheets of paper torn from the pads and passed to a \Msor who compares them. If they tally, he then passes one along the desk to two men who mark the numbers down on the lap-sheet. This is a long piece of paper nailed to the desk and divided off into squares with the numbers of the cars at the left. Arranged along the top are squares, one for each lap of the race. As each slip bearing the numbers of the cars is passed to the two men in charge ot the lap-sheet, the>' mark down opposite each car number itt-


�� �