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Old 04-18-2011, 04:30 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by soviet View Post
Also, where was this? There was an autocross in Winchester, VA yesterday as well, ran by Mercedes club.
http://www.gws-mbca.org/ax/ax-11/ax11-1.html
http://www.swvrscca.org Charleston, WV
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Old 04-18-2011, 04:30 PM   #22
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Seat time>Evo School>more seat time>rubber>shocks>aligment
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Old 04-18-2011, 04:37 PM   #23
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Auto-X is precision driving... nothing more. SMOOTH inputs - so get the slam on the brakes and make the turn out of your head now!
Also - like everyone has stated above, start with what you have now and progress until you know what you need to go faster. You can improve yourself for free and that is what it takes to do so.
Tires and brakes are first and simple. Suspension is key, but best to do your research for what you want out of the car. Is it DD or weekend warrior?
Power adders are for when you understand which class you will be in and what the competition has done to get there themselves.
Get ride alongs and ride with anyone who will let you that you think is fast.
6" off a cone is worth .5 second so yes you do need to get close to them. If your not hitting a few every now then, you are not trying to place the car close enough.
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Old 04-18-2011, 06:57 PM   #24
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The most important thing to do as a novice is to accept that you will be slower than the others out there. This is ok. Don't add anything to your car to go faster, because for the first year of autocrossing, you're not going to be driving the car to its full potential anways, so $ spent on mods is wasted money.

Ride along with the fast guys to learn what kind of lines they take through certain types of turns and how they navigate the course. Have them ride along with you to give you pointers. Having a veteran driver ride with you to give you input on your techniques is worth more than any amount of advice online from people watching your videos.

From the video, two things popped out to me. The first others mentioned - looks like you gave the cones a wide berth, which sacrifices time. Second, in the wider sweeping turns you went wide and then had to scrub speed and tighten the radius of your turn near the end, which means you're exiting that turn 5-10 mph slower than you could have if you had shed a bit more speed before entering the turn and then slowly applied more and more throttle through the turn. Remember: slow in, fast out. Entering a turn with too much speed will just waste time.

Have fun. This being your first time, there was easily a minimum of 2 more seconds that your car was capable of that you didn't find. The guy on the better suspension and stickier tires was probably also not driving his car to its full potential, so be careful about comparing with others - a fast driver can make a slow car faster than a slow driver in a fast car.

-Ryan
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Old 04-18-2011, 09:12 PM   #25
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Have fun. This being your first time, there was easily a minimum of 2 more seconds that your car was capable of that you didn't find. The guy on the better suspension and stickier tires was probably also not driving his car to its full potential, so be careful about comparing with others - a fast driver can make a slow car faster than a slow driver in a fast car.

-Ryan
Figure out who in your club goes to nationals/prosolos/divisionals and does well and compare your PAX time to their PAX time. It's not a perfect system but it gives you an idea of how bad you really are. Your video had a lot of the usual novice mistakes. Not being inches away from cones, adding steering mid-turn because you turned too late/went too fast/didn't turn enough and not recognizing understeer and correcting it (hard to tell this one with the camera angle though). You're going to hit cones, it's part of autocross. If you really really care about getting the scuff marks on your bumper buy a beater or give up aspirations of being fast.

Tire PSI, put chalk on your tires covering the edge of the tread and one, or more of the arrows that are right where the tread meets the sidewall. Start about 5psi over where you usually run on the street. Pull/add air until you scrub off the chalk right up to that arrow. Less air = more chalk removed.

The only suggestion I would make would be to get an agressive alignment, if you plan on doing this often. Not for the performance benefit but to help you not chew up the outside edges of your tires. You're going to be going slow and overdriving your tires your first few events out.

And your main goal during the day should be to get as many people in your car while driving and get in as many other people's car while they drive as you can. Figure out who like helping the new people and get them to ride along with you and give criticism on your runs.

I'd also suggest putting the camera where you can see your hands and the road, it helps to see what you were doing with your hands.
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Old 04-19-2011, 09:40 AM   #26
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Showing cone placement and hands
Keeping momentum without upsetting the car.
Enjoy - SM2 car that is all NA running with the big boys.
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Old 04-19-2011, 03:34 PM   #27
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For seat time look for car clubs running autoXes. My local PCA runs one a month and you get anywhere from 8-12 runs in. Much better for learning than spending all day to only get 3-4 runs like you do with SCCA. You might look at your local Porsche, BMW, Alfa, Audi clubs to see if they have an autoX program.

Look for any instruction or novice days put on by the SCCA too. The SCCA novice school here gives you a chance to make 15-20 runs in a day plus coaching and instruction to show where you can improve.
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Old 04-23-2011, 09:49 AM   #28
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Good advice i got as a noob is to consciously make the slowest hand and foot movements that still make the car go where you want it. This is a really good start to being smooth. Dont jerk the wheel, dont stab the pedals, intentionally move all the controls as slow as you can get away with.

Dann
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