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Old 04-04-2013, 11:51 AM   #1
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Default Ran my first SOLO event last weekend, SSM

Was meh.

Can somebody explain how to make 7.5hrs of standing around worth 4.5min of seat time? I know I must be missing something here as it's a really popular motorsport.
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Old 04-04-2013, 11:58 AM   #2
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I like the intensity. If there was a track with 40+ turns/mile and large runoff to the walls/armco/etc I'd likely be all over it. And how you have 3-6 times to get it perfect after never having seen the course before.

Also, how much time did you spend shooting the **** and hanging out with with random car people, that arent waxers, you'd never met before? If it was under 5 hours, you're doing it wrong.
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Old 04-04-2013, 12:05 PM   #3
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Welcome to why I hardly autox anymore. The only events I run are the test and tunes (as many runs as you can muster) and the 24 hour autox we have locally (also as many runs as you can muster, but for the runs you do have to work more)

Otherwise I stick t track events. I personally feel like they are more seat time for you buck anyways.
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Old 04-04-2013, 12:42 PM   #4
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7.5 hours of standing around? That club is doing it wrong. I'm an officer, and show up at 7am, and get off site between 3 and 5 depending on whether we do fun runs(I'm ussually one of the last to leave, and first to show up). It should be possible to show up at 9, and be gone by 2.

I love the different course every event + 3-6 shots at the course to get it right. After 8 runs or so I'm bored. Also if your hands aren't shaking when you come off course, you're too slow.
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Old 04-04-2013, 12:49 PM   #5
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7.5 hours of standing around? That club is doing it wrong. I'm an officer, and show up at 7am, and get off site between 3 and 5 depending on whether we do fun runs(I'm ussually one of the last to leave, and first to show up). It should be possible to show up at 9, and be gone by 2.
Wow that would never fly here. If we were so far ahead of schedule that we were gonna get 6 runs done and the truck packed and leave by 3 there would likely be a lynching of the club leadership for wasting daylight. I'm equipment chief of our scca region, so I show up, drive the truck from the on site storage and unpack it at 7am, then I try to pack up quickly when we're done our runs so we can finish trophies by 6:30ish. We used to not get out till 7, but packing the truck got significantly faster when I cleaned and organized it for an entire day during the school last season. 12 hrs for 6-8 minutes of high intensity low risk driving and hanging out with your friends.
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Old 04-04-2013, 01:20 PM   #6
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Also if your hands aren't shaking when you come off course, you're too slow.
This. Although if you are in SSM for FI reasons and still on street tires, that is a waste of time. I speak from experience. Might as well install a block of wood under the throttle. Get some half used R-comps. Makes a WORLD of difference.
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Old 04-04-2013, 02:24 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by matthewdesigns View Post
Can somebody explain how to make 7.5hrs of standing around worth 4.5min of seat time? I know I must be missing something here as it's a really popular motorsport.
it's not, you're not.
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Old 04-04-2013, 02:49 PM   #8
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try autox in Texas while its 130-degrees on the asphalt, it sucks even more. One track day and i gave up autox for good. they need designated track workers for autox, then i might do it again.
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Old 04-04-2013, 02:56 PM   #9
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Autocross isn't for everyone. It is a good starting point because of the price and safety (can only go so fast in a parking lot), but when you compare it to the seat time you get with a HPDE or similar event, it simply doesn't compare.

If you are in it for seat time, it won't be worth it.
If you like to meet and hang out with some great people, it is worth it.
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Old 04-04-2013, 02:59 PM   #10
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How'd you do?

Auto-x never seemed worth it to me, although I've only been to 1 and I was watching. I'm planning on giving it a shot still.
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Old 04-04-2013, 03:09 PM   #11
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How'd you do?

Auto-x never seemed worth it to me, althoughI have no idea what it's like.
fixed for reality.

For me, It's about perfect since I love the competition and the adrenaline rush, but don't have the cajones to deal with someone else balling up my car. At least in autocrossing not only is it tough for me to total it, if someone does it's going to be me. I just don't think I could invest several thousand dollars and hundreds of hours, just to write it off.(and don't fool yourself, NEVER take to the track what you can't walk away from). Ya, the $$/track time suck, but drag racing is even worse. If I wanted to go to the track my investments would have to double since my wife drives with me.

Cliff's Notes: Yep, $$/track time suck, but it's the competition that drives me as much as the driving itself.
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Old 04-04-2013, 04:28 PM   #12
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Autocross is a good entry point into motorsports and it's always good to know who has a local one so you can shake down your car without resorting to breaking the law. I've been autocrossing for a few years, and comparing it to the track isn't exactly fair; however, I do agree that the $ (or hours)/seat time is pretty bad. Autocross will help and hinder you on the track, but the hindrance is easy to "unlearn" and the first-hand knowledge of how to react when the car is unsettled or sliding is worth the price of admission. The track is all about "slow hands", but being able to break out the "fast hands" from autocross when stuff is going awry can save your bacon on the track.

Just to look at it through a different lens: Think of autocross as 25% motorsport, 70% social, and 5% complaining about some arbitrary rule and being a semantic dick about things. Running in a competitive class definitely makes or breaks the experience once you have a dozen or so events under your belt.

It also helps to remember that you don't have go full-on autocrosser to get something out of it. Personally, I doubt I'll ever go to a Nationals event because my car is borderline legal in CSP, and I know I'm not going to be able to compete with people who literally bring 4+ sets of fresh A6 Hoosiers and have $80k into their Miata. It's all about balance and managing expectations.
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Old 04-04-2013, 04:36 PM   #13
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try autox in Texas while its 130-degrees on the asphalt, it sucks even more. One track day and i gave up autox for good. they need designated track workers for autox, then i might do it again.
I'm with this guy, especially regarding the heat. We do have a local place with no course work that runs night events (non-SCCA) and that was a lot more fun. $10 more and no cone fetching? That's a premium I'm willing to pay.


I do feel like autocross is a good entry point and can be a lot cheaper than HPDE stuff, if you are content to be non-nationally competitive.
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Old 04-04-2013, 04:50 PM   #14
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Just to look at it through a different lens: Think of autocross as 25% motorsport, 70% social, and 5% complaining about some arbitrary rule and being a semantic dick about things. Running in a competitive class definitely makes or breaks the experience once you have a dozen or so events under your belt.

It also helps to remember that you don't have go full-on autocrosser to get something out of it. Personally, I doubt I'll ever go to a Nationals event because my car is borderline legal in CSP, and I know I'm not going to be able to compete with people who literally bring 4+ sets of fresh A6 Hoosiers and have $80k into their Miata. It's all about balance and managing expectations.
This is probably a good way to think about it.


Also I'm not convinced that those who bring 4 sets of tires to nationals are really getting extra out of them.
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Old 04-04-2013, 04:53 PM   #15
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This is probably a good way to think about it.


Also I'm not convinced that those who bring 4 sets of tires to nationals are really getting extra out of them.
It depends on the class. A halfway decent CSP car? Not really you get 40 some odd runs before they really start to fall off. But like a stock class cobalt SS? sure you can cord the front tires in 12 runs at Lincoln because coarse concrete, no camber, tons of powah fwd. I can see 2 sets of tires, a set for the pro and time on the practice course and then a set for the championship. And of course having a set of H2O's on reserve with hoosier and a set of 15x9 for them to go on.
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Old 04-04-2013, 05:00 PM   #16
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It depends on the class. A halfway decent CSP car? Not really you get 40 some odd runs before they really start to fall off. But like a stock class cobalt SS? sure you can cord the front tires in 12 runs at Lincoln because coarse concrete, no camber, tons of powah fwd. I can see 2 sets of tires, a set for the pro and time on the practice course and then a set for the championship. And of course having a set of H2O's on reserve with hoosier and a set of 15x9 for them to go on.
OK, that I can see. I always forget about the Pro Finale since I've never run it. Yep, with a Good(bad?) DS car you can definitely chew through some tires. I forget about that sort of thing since I've never been in a class like that. ES Miata, FSP Neon, Shifter Kart, now the DP car, none of them had any huge tire wear issues.
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Old 04-04-2013, 07:33 PM   #17
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Personally, I doubt I'll ever go to a Nationals even.
If you really like auto-x and the social aspect; may I recommend looking to get a gig as a tire warmer on a better prep'd car and going. Most of the stories and nicknames in our local club have stemmed from the out of town events than is healthy. Nationals is extremely fun: See Big Wheel Pro Solo.
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Old 04-04-2013, 08:24 PM   #18
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Being a tire warmer is only fun if you beat the owner.
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Old 04-04-2013, 08:37 PM   #19
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Being a tire warmer is only fun if you beat the owner.
Talkin **** brah?!

Autox is not really that fun. As GAMO tells me, he goes for the people

I go to the test n' tunes (basically you run as much as you like). Track events are certainly more fun, but they are expensive. I would do atleast two autocrosses to get the mazda dev. membership for the year until you start doing TT (if you plan to).
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Old 04-04-2013, 10:09 PM   #20
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Standing around for 7.5 hours is nothing....Twice a year I tow my car to Nebraska...16 hours EACH WAY to stand around for a week

If you have to ask these questions...the sport just might not be for you. No harm no foul and to each their own. I personally don't get the folks that just do local events. I run more National level events than I do locals these days. The courses at National Events are just much more challenging, the competition is MUCH stiffer and the people are AMAZINGLY cool.
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