|Tech Tips - It's About Time|
All forms of racing have one thing one thing in common, it's all about time. The funny part is how 3 people watching the same thing can get 3 different times.
Many decisions and conclusions are based on lap times, and while transponders are growing in use, the stopwatch is still our first tool of defense. But, even this simple device requires some techniques.
When timing I always stand in the same spot, but pick your spot so people or safety vehicles, etc will not block your view. Next, pick something on the opposite side of the racing surface to use as a start/stop point. This point should be close to perpendicular to the flow of race traffic and may require that you stand in a different spot (pick wisely as this is your home for the rest of the weekend - don't change points).
When clocking your car do not look at the car, rather, focus on your timing object on the other side of the track and hit the button when the car breaks your line of sight. This does take concentration to hit your car if in a group and you may need to glance to your car a few seconds before it reaches the line, but quickly look back to your object before the car reaches the line. Now, just hit the button. I find my thumb is more repeatable then my index finger, but you may be different.
The final tip is the age of your stopwatch. I find that after one season of every week usage, the buttons get worn. The thing will still start and stop, but I notice the buttons have a different feel and my times tend not to match the transponder. However, with a new watch I'm nearly always within 0.03 seconds (or closer) of a transponder time.