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mzf

Tips for newbies at Autox

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This thread is intented to provide tips for newbs to help them at autox. If anyone has good tips on how figuring out tire pressures, tightening your seatbelt before a run, keeping both hands on the wheel, or anything else, please post it here.Please, no off-topic posts. I'm the only one allowed to do that.

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Good idea!My tips I wish I got before my first event:-show up early and ask lots of questions-ask questions about driving techniques while marshaling-if in doubt, take the shortest line-turn the wheel the least you have to in order to make the cornerSomething Jackie Stewart said in a Top Gear episode that really hit home for me: (badly paraphrased) "Don't push down the gas pedal unless you're certain that you won't have to lift until the next corner, and try to do that as soon as possible in the corner."That's a fricken genius way of saying that! He's getting you to set up the early part of the corner so that you can get on the gas earlier in the middle and exit.

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Don't be afraid to take it slow for your first 1-2 runs and learn the course. You won't learn anything by pushing the pedal to the metal and going off course/DNF all over the place.Get an experienced driver to come along with you. And vice versa, go for ride-alongs with others.Listen carefully during the rookie course walk (unless it's Mike speaking). Go for multiple course walks with experienced drivers.Don't worry too much about car setup your first time out. Just set it (ie: tire pressures, shock settings) and forget it. Work on your driving first, your car later.

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Don't mess with the red integras. :D But really, don't expect to do well right off the bat. Aim high, but be happy with any bit of improvement. Auto-x comes naturally to very few people -- the rest of us take a while!

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Hot doggin' and showing off will win precisely ZERO points with this crowd.Be down to earth, willing to participate and communicate with others, and you'll fit right in.And DO LOTS OF COURSE WALKS!

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Also be careful who you get your advice from. Look for people that are actually doing fairly well in their classes, and for tire pressures ask them what they drive, or have driven. I know when i had my Jetta i would not go ask one of the RWD guys what tire pressures to run because it's totally different. As well i remember i parked beside an unnamed person in a ZX2 at a couple events and the information that he was spouting off was extremely counter intuitive to what i was doing and what i was hearing else where's. So i went to Timing and Scoring checked the placings, and then promptly dismissed all the information given to me.Rookie course walk! very informative! and then also walking with other people that know what they are doing, but don't be too nosy and try not to talk too much or you'll distract them and then they won't help you.

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agreed. course walks are always good, but you'll get more out of them if you look ahead as if you were driving it, and WALK YOUR LINE. you need to see the course from the same vantage point as if you were driving it to get the best feel.walk with experienced guys, or just follow them to see their line, and when they stop, feel free to ask why and what they're contemplating. you're better off getting pointers on someone's 2nd or 3rd walk through, as they'll know the course better, and on their first walk they probably want to concentrate (take that as a piece of advice for your first walk too - try not to get distracted on your first walk of the day if you're serious about doing well).

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when doing course walks this is what I do:1st walk - get the general course memorized2nd walk - walk the line you want to take, memorize this and write it on the course map3rd walk - as you walk the course walk it from the beginning in your head with the right line up to the point your at on the course. be precise how far you want to be away from certain cones. keep doing this until you reach the end. During this walk pick your look ahead points, memorize these (most important). when you go out on course you'll automatically look ahead if you follow your plan.- 4th walk go through all the turning points, lines and your look ahead pointsMy secret is out! :) you'll now be as fast as I am.

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The #1 thing to learn at Autocross that will make you faster:Realize that it's not the car, it's you! You are the reason your car is slow. You are the reason you are hitting cones. You are the reason your car is understeering. You are the reason your have too much oversteer. Everything else is your tires. :DPS. We all know Jeremy is slow. :P

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Don't listen to anything I say either, ask Jeremy in the black BMW. :) The only good advice that I have other than asking Jeremy is...keep both hands on the steering wheel and... stickers make you fast!Nik

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funny that no one has mentioned tire pressures yet. put in lots. like max pressure as labeled on the tire's sidewall is a good start. there's a club air compressor on site, but try to do this before arriving. and do bring a pressure gauge for pre-race pump up as well as post-racing deflating. jump in other's cars for ride-alongs lots for the first few events.

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there's a club air compressor on site

Probably not this year. That was a personal compressor. In short, make sure you have a portable compressor if you want to change pressures. There are usually a few on site that you can borrow if you ask nice.

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Probably not this year. That was a personal compressor. In short' date=' make sure you have a portable compressor if you want to change pressures. There are usually a few on site that you can borrow if you ask nice.[/quote']maybe if there's some money in the budget we can look at a cheap one for the club?

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maybe if there's some money in the budget we can look at a cheap one for the club?

Thanks for volunteering to do the legwork. :DI make no promises on this one.

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ok, even though this is my fault (partially), let's try and keep this on topic. lol

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Probably not this year. That was a personal compressor. In short' date=' make sure you have a portable compressor if you want to change pressures. There are usually a few on site that you can borrow if you ask nice.[/quote']Have you even asked the owners if it could be made available to the club until Autocross buys their own? You shouldn't just assume. ;) Sue :)

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Have you even asked the owners if it could be made available to the club until Autocross buys their own? You shouldn't just assume.

Actually I believe I did a while ago and hadn't heard anything back so I assumed no news is not good news. That, coupled with the rumors that other Turners including Jim, would be racing something and trucks aren't allowed I kinda figured there wouldn't be room to lug it around.If this means you are volunteering the compressor great, we would appreciate it. :D

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Don't be embarrassed if you hit the horn or wiper blades when racing, I've been autocrossing for 2 years not regularly though and it does happen I'll hit one of the two. Also if you have a manual you will rarely hit 3rd gear.

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A few newbie questions:Wouldn't lower tire pressure increase the contact patch thus improving grip?Is shifting required or do most stay in a set gear throughout the course?If I have fully adjustable dampeners, in general would it be best to setup the front stiffer than the rear or vise versa?

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A few newbie questions:Wouldn't lower tire pressure increase the contact patch thus improving grip?Is shifting required or do most stay in a set gear throughout the course?If I have fully adjustable dampeners' date=' in general would it be best to setup the front stiffer than the rear or vise versa?[/quote']I ran my first time with stock pressure and it sucked. I then ran it 15 psi more in the front and 12 more in the back it handeled so much fricking better then before.I tend to shift to second and stay in that gear

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