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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
AutoCross, You Have Got To Try This. video added.

:D:D:D:DAnd:D I had a blast today.

I went to a local AutoCross today and had a Blast. When I got there I was watching them put the course together and started to wonder if I was going to enjoy myself at all or was I going to be intimidated by all the other racers that seemed to have a lot more experience than I do by the way most of them were talking. I almost left because I thought there was a real good chance of me hitting the wall,(the course was inside a small stock car track with large concrete walls were some of the course was laid out) I thought I would hit the wall running through the solum course that was on the bank next to the wall. Well I told myself I didn't plan to come to this event just to be a spectator, I was going to run the course no matter how slow I was going to go.

I went to tech inspection and paid my entry fee, at this point it's to late to leave now. I was told to go walk the track and check out the lines I should run, So I did along with another fella who has only done this a few times. He gave me a few pointers and then it was off to the drivers meeting.

There were two groups, I was in the first one, fourth one to run, I wanted to go last so I could watch the other drivers lines so I would have a better under standing as to what the hell I was going to be doing. How the hell was I going to follow those cones and figure out were I had to go and still do it in a timely fashion.

Well here I go, Fourth car out, one of six practice laps to be ran, I run out around the first hair pin into the next curve running a little to hard and spun out and stalled the motor. Well **** I'm thinking, you just found the limit of that curve. I restart the car and spin it around back in the right direction and head through the rest of the course, mid way through I missed a turn and started to head the wrong way when I suddenly realized I was an idiot for not staying on course. I spun the car around again and finished out those solum's on the bank next to the wall and on through the finish line. My first thought was, Man I'm an idiot, what was I thinking coming to this event, but that was followed up with the BIGGEST grin that I couldn't shed the rest of the day.

The cars that were there were, C6's, C5's, C4's C3's, Newer GTO, newer Mustang, a Camaro (early90's) setup for full race, Mini Copper, S 2000, miata, Crossfire, and a WRX.
The times were 40sec to near a minute, After my first two laps I drove a consistent 49 sec time, which was faster than some of the C4's and about the same as the Newer GTO that was running track tires. I didn't get a print out, they only had them posted on a board for everybody to have a look at.

I did nothing to get prepared for this event except to check my fluids. I was going for the experience and not to be competitive, but I did find my self competing with that Foul who spun out early in the day.


I had A BLAST. For anyone who has ever wondered what it would be like to take your car on a track and drive it like it was meant to be driven, don't waste any more time wondering, Go do it, you will have the time of your life.

I can't wait until the next one, I'm hooked.

I didn't get any photo's because I was there by myself with no time to take photo's, BUT I seen a fella there that I thing filmed most of the runs and he said he hopes to post them on Youtube when he's done sometime by the end of the week. I will post the link if I find it.

Thanks for letting me share my day with you,
Riggs.
 

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glad you had a good experience! I've only done one autocross event and I agree that it's a little intimidating at first. Just have to bite the bullet and give it a shot.

Now if you thought that was fun, go try a PDX/HPDE at your nearest road course. Higher speeds, higher G's, no need to work half the day and lots more track time. Costs a little more, but well worth it IMO. Just keep it off the walls :laughing:
 

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I have been known to kill a cone or 3,,,

 

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Now if you thought that was fun, go try a PDX/HPDE at your nearest road course. Higher speeds, higher G's, no need to work half the day and lots more track time. Costs a little more, but well worth it IMO. Just keep it off the walls :laughing:

I was going to say the same thing. The HPDE events rock! You get up to speeds over 100 on most tracks. Down here I would run the No Problem Raceway course once a year and nothing is as fun as hitting 140 on the straight and taking turn One at over 100 mph.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Guys I would love to try the road coarse some day, and I hope that will come soon, but I just had to share my experience with the forum members that haven't ran the autocross course's before. For those who haven't got to really enjoy driving their cars, these autocrosses bring a great opportunity to enjoy their cars even in stock trim and have a great time. I have been going to several show and shines-car shows and find myself board with all those cars that never get truly enjoyed by driving the snot out of them. I beat on my car alot because I want to enjoy what the car was designed for, it's a sports car and is treated as such.

Riggs.
 

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Riggs I'm glad you had a good time. This is definitely what it's about. I am definitely trying to get my car ready for some track time fun. Maybe one day even some airstrip events. The parking and popping your hood stuff is still ok, but there is so much more going on. :thumbsup:
 

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It sounds like you had alot of fun. :partyon:
 

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Awesome !

These cars feel most at home on the open track... :thumbsup:
 

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next summer i wanna participate in the local events, but i gotta at least replace the engine first
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
It sounds like you had alot of fun. :partyon:
Two days latter, I still have a grin on my face, Its starting to hurt.:laughing:



There is a two day event on OCT 2nd and 3rd that I can't wait to go to, although
I can only go one day, too busy to go both, but that may change.



Riggs.
 

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if we happen to end up at Gingerman for next year's DC trackday you damn well better make it a priority :D
 

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My SISTER actually got me started at the autocross. I didnt want to try it at first because I knew she would be faster, but I made 1 run and have been hooked since! Dont worry about being slow, killing a cone or two-everybody out there has done it. It is alot of fun to explore the limits, really see what the car is capable of. I cant wait to try the HPDE or high speed events.:thumbsup:
 

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Sounds like you did OK. The first time I attended an autocross event, I didn't even post a time. Four runs and four did-not-finish posted for off course.


After a few events you will start to instinctively understand the striped cones and the pointer cones. Until then, WALK THE COURSE. Over and over. My times improved dramatically when I started this...

Walk to the area where you will first turn. Look for landmarks-pick your turn in point. Imagine what it will look like from inside your car.

Then walk to the next turn and do the same thing.

When you've walked the entire course like this start the walk again, but this time, think a turn in the advance - When you're at turn one, begin to think about where you want to end up so you'll be ready for turn two.

Keep an eye open for "tricks". Autocross tracks are notorius for having some nearly straight patches that look like slaloms, or a single turn that looks like multiple turns (If you read it right, you can ignore some cones that pull you away from a good line).

Finally, when you're in your car and waiting in line, close your eyes and run the course in your head - If I couldn't run the entire course in my memory before the starter let me out of the box, then I knew I couldn't post a good time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Vette Kirk, That is great advice.



I also want to point out that the times don't mean anything if your not having fun.
I learned a long time ago, no matter how good some one is, there is always going
to be someone else better, meaning I put less value on being the best and more into
making sure I have a good time. I see a lot of people being too competitive and
leaving upset because they weren't the best, while I usually do what I can, as best
as I can and leave knowing I had a good time.

I noticed a fella in a C3 while at this autocross event, he went through the tech
inspection, payed the entry fee, and sat out during the round with all corvettes,
but did drive in the second set of mixed types of cars. He was not fast but
did seam to do alright for the most part through the cones. We had six practice
laps and then there were four timed events, He took three practice laps and
then left. I was bummed, thinking that this guy allowed himself to become discouraged
because he felt he wasn't doing well enough, compared to everybody else.
That sucked, and I guess that was more the point of this thread was to
encourage others to not be intimidated by this simple sport and get out and enjoy
them selfs and their cars.


Riggs.
 

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Bunch of years ago my brother and I ran an F-440. He lives in Charleston W.VA. So we would travel back and forth, I go there and he would come here. He ran that car for a couple years before he talked me into it. That much fun should be, as they say, "illegal". 99.5% of the time he got fast time of day. Me, didn't fair too bad. But had a lot of fun.

Like Vette Kirk said, you gotta be thinking and looking ahead to the next turn. And I did the same thing of going thru the course in my head in the line-up.

My biggest thrill came when he asked if I wanted to go to Texas for the Run-offs. Didn't have to ask me twice. It was held in Fort Worth at the speedway. 3 days of nothing but running thru the course. When it finally came down to the final runs my brother, on his first attempt, got 1/2 way thru the course and the throttle cable broke. Well, we didn't have a spare, and couldn't mickey mouse it back together. BUT, one of the other drivers was very kind and let us use his car. Only problem was, I didn't fit his car. Then we realized he had lead stuffed in the nose and I finally got to fit in it. Talk about working your ass off for 3 drivers to use same car. One steward starting giving me a hard time to hurry it up. Then the head steward quickly put her in her place. I finished last in our class that day and my brother finished 3rd I think. Didn't matter had a ton of fun.

Oh, and we also got to pay to run 3 laps around the 1 1/2 mile track. Got up to around 80 I think. Then on my final lap the engine qiut coming out of turn 2. Had to get towed back to pit road. Now I know how the Cup guys feel.

Long story I know, but if anyone gets a chance too auto-x, DO IT.

Here's a pic of me in the car in Charleston:
 

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Riggs... you are at the start of a wonderful experience. And Kirk is right... WALK THE COURSE!!! and again, and again, until the starter throws vehicles on it. It will make your experience that much more enjoyable.

After running multiple low speed auto-crosses, they next thing you (as I did) will want is to go faster. After a lifetime of drag and circle track racing, autocrossing has me hooked. and High Speed courses (Robeling Road, Road Atlanta, Road America, Meridan, etc) which are 2 to 3 mile true road courses... are AWSOME!

There is nothing better than pushing your baby 120 mph around a corner and then pushing the throttle to the floor and watching as the speedo climbs to around 195 mph crossing the finish line.

Trust me... it will get you hooked!

Good Luck ... and I hope to see you on the track one day.
 

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