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Typical rolling start in the American Le Mans Series
Typical rolling start in the American Le Mans Series

Rolling starts, sometimes referred to as flying starts, are most common in stock car racing. However they have also existed in open wheel, touring car and sports car racing. Cars are led on to the track in rows of two or three in order of qualification position. The cars then run a few pace or parade laps behind the safety or pace car at a safe speed. When it is time for racing, the pace car will move off the racing surface and the cars will remain at the pace speed until the flag man waves the green flag. Rolling starts are also used to restart races in most racing series, as restarting using a standing start is time-consuming and impractical. Rolling starts are generally considered more prone to accidents than standing starts, especially on a road or street circuit. Open wheel racing is most prone to this occurrence. This is because cars tend to bunch up close together before the green flag in order to better position themselves and because acceleration is greater. Contact most likely occurs immediately after the green flag or at the first turn.

Video games that contain rolling starts are usually simulations that specifically depict stock car or American open wheel racing. EA Sports' NASCAR series is a notable example. However, arcade titles also utilize a rolling start. The most notable use of this in an arcade game is Sega's Daytona USA.

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