There are different type of runway racing event types;
Single Car - Standing Start
This is where a single car will start from a stand still and then accelerate as fast as possible down a measured distance, with the goal of maintaining the highest top speed within that distance. Runway racing does not typically record the time it takes to cover the set distance, but if the distance is say 1.5 miles, some events will measure the cars speed at set distances. This could be at the 1/2 mile and 1 mile.
What is the best type of set up for a standing start? Cars that are AWD, have a launch control system and use a automated manual gearbox (for example DCT as used on VW/Audi based cars) or full automatic gearbox. These cars are able to accelerate hard off the line with minimum to no wheel spin, change gears quicker and tend to post the best acceleration times.
Single Car - Rolling Start
This is where the car is allowed to pass the starting line while already moving. For example in some runway event the car can start 500 feet front the starting line and pass while doing 30 mph in second gear. This type of event is popular with drivers as it reduces the stress on the cars gearbox, driveline and clutch etc.
Side-by-Side - Standing Start
This event type is where their are two cars at the start line and will race over a set distance, and is the most popular type of runway racing. Currently the longest distance is 1/2 mile for this event type. The goal is to see which car will pass the finishing line first and the highest top speed.
Side-by-Side - Rolling Start
This event type is the same as above but allows the two cars to have a rolling start. It is a great way to see how different cars accelerate once they are moving. For example one car my be rear wheel driven, and the other AWD. The AWD would have an advantage from a standing start, but with a rolling start that advantage is removed. Some drivers compare side-by-side to real world driving situations.
This is another event type that is not held on a runway, but on a closed section of public road. There are a few road rally's but they are 'average speed' events, and are not the same as a runway event. But there is one 'road rally' event where the goal is go as fast as you can over a 4 mile section of road in Sun Vally, ID.
Carry on learning