Starting rules changed for 2009 Unlimited Hydroplane racing season
The 2009 American Boat Racing Association season will have only a few rule changes but the new starting rules will be a major focus for the drivers, teams and fans.
The starting rules have changed. Now qualifying and elimination heats will have a major impact on how the boats start in the new assigned lanes platform.
Now, teams will have assigned lanes, selected through qualifying and elimination heat finishes.
The following method shall be used to determine the order in which starting lanes are chosen for all heats:
(a) Heat 1A & 1B - Final qualifying order shall determine first choice of lane i.e. the top qualifier shall have first choice for lane assignment in his drawn heat. The second place qualifier shall have the second choice of lane assignment in his drawn heat, etc.
(b) Heat 2A & 2B - Lane choice shall be determined by the reverse of the final position of the previous heat. i.e., first place in Heat 1A shall choose last, second place chooses second to last, etc. The last place finisher in the heat shall have first choice of lane for the heat in which he has drawn. Should two identical positions of the previous heat draw the same heat in the section then the first choice of lane (or the tie breaker) shall be determined by the final qualifying order.
(c) Heat 3A & 3B - Final heat and Provisional Heat - Choosing order for the provisional and final heats shall be determined by cumulative points from the qualification heats.
a. Final qualifying order shall be used to break any ties on points to determine lane choice for the Provisional and Final Heats.
(d) Drivers shall choose lanes for the first heat at the driver's meeting
(e) The qualifying speed of the hull that is raced in Section 1 shall be used to determine lane choice.
a. New lane choice shall be made if the qualifying speed of the hull raced in Section 1 results in a new final qualifying order.
(The start clock will continue to be used as it has been in the past--10 min to the 5 min, 5 min to the 5 min -- the clock starts, 5 min, 1 min, and zero START.)
The only other rule change involves fuel flow in Rule 13/E. In 2008, the maximum fuel consumption was 4.3 GPM (Gallons per minute). This year, the GPM will be limited to 4.1.