Here's how a race car pit stop works

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A pit stop can be a work of art or an exercise in tragedy.

In Formula 1, they can be completed in mere seconds, while some racing series have mandated minimum times before a car can leave the pit lane. The folks at FCP Euro hung out at the edge of the pit to document the dance that is a racing pit stop, and the resulting video provides some wonderful insight into what's taking place.

The team providing this view is MARC Cars, which was competing in a recent round of endurance racing here in the States. The track is Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and the cars being used are V-8-swapped Mazda 3 race cars.

The very first thing that happens when a car comes in for a full pit stop, is one of the crew members attaches a grounding cable to the rear of the vehicle. This makes sure there's no static in the air as fueling is about to take place. During fueling, the only other change that can happen to the car involves swapping drivers.

Once fueling is done, the grounding cable is pulled off and an air line is installed. This raises the car off the ground as it's equipped with an air jack system. Once it's in the air, a pair of crew members swap the wheels and tires for a fresh set. MARC Cars racing has no need for repairs at this point in the team's on-track adventure so it's just driver changes, fresh rubber, and more fuel.

If the pit stop is completed in less than 50 seconds, the driver has to wait. That's the minimum pit stop time required by this racing series. Once the timer hits that 50.0-second mark, then the driver hauls butt out of pit lane and gets back into the fray.

The real take away from this video though? It's how badly we need Mazda to make a V-8-powered Mazda 3.

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