Driving down a nice 3-lane divided street with plenty of well-spaced stoplights, I was passed by a quick-moving Acura RSX base model. 160hp, not much of a threat I figured. I sped up a bit hoping to catch him at the next light, which I did. So there we sat, side by side, staged and ready to go. I rarely launch my car (mechanical sympathy, and I feel a bit obnoxious revving at a light with my straight-through muffler), and since this was a lowly RSX, I figured a quick slip at 2000 rpm should do the trick. Light turns green, and the RSX rockets away with a couple of quick chirps of the front tires - a nice little FWD launch. Well, in that agonizing time between 2000-3000 rpm, he gained a car length on me before I started to reel him in. By the end of 1st gear I was 1 car length ahead. Quick shift to 2nd, he wasn't giving up! At the end of 2nd, I was about 2 1/2 car lengths ahead and shut down - he continued for a bit and flew by me.
Yeah, I won the race but I though I would blow him away a bit more than I did My shift to 2nd was good, BTW.
I've got a WRX wagon with AccessECU stage 1 reflash and a muffler, otherwise stock. Should the race have been that close taking in to account my wimpy launch? I figured that with 160hp vs 260hp, I could get away with it. Or maybe I should just be happy with the fact that I made up 3 1/2 car lengths from 15-60mph.
Lesson: beware the soft launch!