I didn't hear the announcers counting down (I could barely hear myself). What was funny was PiKA doing their own countdown, usually within 1s.
One thing I didn't expect is that, given the stagger between lanes, the starter has a nearly direct view across to Lane 3, about a 45 degree angle to Lane 2, and is looking head-on at Lane 1. This makes it very easy to spot forward motion in Lane 3, harder in Lane 2, and nearly impossible in Lane 1. If the starter's position was moved to the Lane 3 side of the road, that would provide an equal view of each lane, and all the entries will be nearly in line with each other.
My only starting experience is with short track speed speedskating, where the starter is slightly in front of and to the side of the start line. There you stare straight along the start line, and any motion before the gun is grounds for a false start, and the slight frontal view lets you figure out who it was. With buggy, I see one entry straight ahead, and the other two are out opposite corners of my eyes which makes it harder to see if someone is creeping forward. How does track deal with the 200M staggered start?