Thanks Hazmat, that's some great stuff.I used to do a lot of drag racing in the mid 90s and used to bracket race a stick shift SN95 Mustang on street tires. Then I got wise and went for slicks.
The technique for launching on street tires is to hold the car on the converter and then launch smoothly. It's more like squeezing the trigger on a gun as opposed to jerking it (do with that reference what you will!).
For my R/T: 1500 RPM on the converter, let off of the brake, roll on to the gas evenly
For my R/T Scat Pack: 1800 RPM on the converter, let off the brake, roll on to the gas evenly
My launch RPM is almost always the same independent of weather. Where I make my adjustments is with my right foot. On a perfect launch, you should hear the tires chirping slightly as you accelerate. If you don't hear anything after letting go of the brake, it means the right foot needs to be a bit more aggressive. If the tires spin, it means you need to slow down a bit when pressing the loud pedal. If you launch and the nose falls over that means a little more RPM is helpful (provided you're not driving through the converter). On a good launch you should also feel the nose rise as weight is transferred to the rear.
It's a dance and it takes time to get the feel of the car!
With 4.10 gears in my Mustang on all season street tires, I've cut a 1.71 60' which is very respectable.
Now since you mentioned the VR4, I'm also a former Mitsubishi nut! I built a 98 Eclipse GSX (AWD) from a slow 14 second dog into an 11.8 monster with a 2.3 stroker on a small turbo, street tires and pump gas. Hold the e-brake, mash the gas, build 7-8 psi on the stutter box and let it rip. Used to run consistent 1.59 - 1.61 60' times on sticky Falken FK-451s. What a rip! I sold it in 2008 and still miss that car. It was a lot of fun.
Anyway, practice practice practice! And don't hold the car on the converter for more than 4-5 seconds. It increases temps in the trans fluid very quickly. Also allow cool downs in between runs.
Good luck sir!
Oh and tell me your GSX wasn't silver?! Seemed like everyone had a silver GSX or GST back in my day. My VR4 was the stupidly rare charcoal grey that almost looked black. Need to find pics...not sure if any are left.