Flip a WRX in Autocross
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This is a discussion on Flip a WRX in Autocross within the Motorsports Talk forums, part of the Community - Meet other Enthusiasts category; I notice in alot of wrx autocross videos that around tight turns one of the wheels may lift up. Is ...

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    Registered User The Gator's Avatar
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    Flip a WRX in Autocross

    I notice in alot of wrx autocross videos that around tight turns one of the wheels may lift up. Is it a legitimate concern to worry about flipping the car during autocross, or is it nothing to worry about?

    PS: I know stupid question
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    Registered User G8toWRXDave's Avatar
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    The center of gravity is so low the car will slide before it flips.

    Now if there was excessive speed, car slides off the pavement into the grass, then it could flip.

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    Registered User The Gator's Avatar
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    Thats what i figured. I have never really heard of one flipping outside of rallycross. It was just something bugging me. Thanks.
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    A curb or other low profile obstacle (an uneven seam of tarmac) can easily induce a flip.
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    Registered User The Gator's Avatar
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    That would be unfortunate.
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    Captain James of the SS Impreza has gone down with the ship Drews's Avatar
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    Large city riots usually induce a flip as well.
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    Registered User The Gator's Avatar
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    I agree.
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    OMG WTF MainFrame's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sasquatch View Post
    A curb or other low profile obstacle (an uneven seam of tarmac) can easily induce a flip.


    A WRX is pretty hard to flip. I slid sideways into a storm drain at about 50mph and the car didn't come close to flipping, it just put the axle through the transmission housing, out the other side, and crumpled the frame. Low center of gravity causes it to slide before the wheels come up, and in my experience, if you catch an edge it will just shatter the tires/hubs and rip the undercarriage off the car.. not that it's impossible to roll the car, I'm sure I could if I tried.

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    You'd have do some pretty serious stuff to get it flip. I hit some ice with mine and put it into a really mean slide, then ended up "parking" on the curb fairly well. when it first hit the curb it just snapped perpendicular to it then when went right up and over, i don't even think the body rolled much.
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    Registered User Annihilator817's Avatar
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    Its a legitimate concern.

    The main reason you are seeing the rear wheel lift has little to do with the possibility of flipping the car though, in fact, it reduces the possibility. It happens because poeple are using larger rear swaybars to reduce rear traction and induce rotation. As was previously mentioned, as long as the car loses traction it is unlikely ot flip.

    However, every year RS/WRX/STI all have VERY soft suspensions from the factory. When you start upping the traction with sticky street tires or r-comps, and don't upgrade the dampers to control the roll in the transitions, you are greatly increasing the risk of rolling the car in a quick transition (think slalom). The stock dampers provide basically NO control in transitions, and the car is literally flopping back and forth, building inertia. For this reason, you should NEVER run r-comps on a Subaru at an autocross (or any car for that matter) without upgrading teh dampers.

    FWIW, I've had an RS on 225/45/17 RT-615's up on two wheels in a quick transition, and ended up black flagged for the rest of the day. I upgraded the dampers before the next event, problem solved.

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    It's to their credit that they black flagged you. I always wondered about something like that, especially in some of the rough concrete parking lots used sometimes, because there's just so much traction and the cars are all road cars.
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    Registered User SamXp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Annihilator817 View Post
    Its a legitimate concern.

    The main reason you are seeing the rear wheel lift has little to do with the possibility of flipping the car though, in fact, it reduces the possibility. It happens because poeple are using larger rear swaybars to reduce rear traction and induce rotation. As was previously mentioned, as long as the car loses traction it is unlikely ot flip.

    However, every year RS/WRX/STI all have VERY soft suspensions from the factory. When you start upping the traction with sticky street tires or r-comps, and don't upgrade the dampers to control the roll in the transitions, you are greatly increasing the risk of rolling the car in a quick transition (think slalom). The stock dampers provide basically NO control in transitions, and the car is literally flopping back and forth, building inertia. For this reason, you should NEVER run r-comps on a Subaru at an autocross (or any car for that matter) without upgrading teh dampers.

    FWIW, I've had an RS on 225/45/17 RT-615's up on two wheels in a quick transition, and ended up black flagged for the rest of the day. I upgraded the dampers before the next event, problem solved.

    -Ken
    Very well said. You're obviously going a lot quicker than the average car at an AutoX, though. Most don't go nearly fast enough to induce a flip.

  14. #13
    Registered User Annihilator817's Avatar
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    That is a good point, and applies just about everybody that participates in this sport. As the skill level goes up, the level of prep has to go up for safety reasons.

    As anyone starts to develop more driving skill, and also as they learn to get the most out of their setup, they tend to find that limit right before the car breaks traction, and they can drive at that limit more often, and thus, more likely to get into sticky (no pun intended) situations with their car....

    This was my rookie year back in 2008 (eh, it must have been 2009 since the class is ST not STS)





    The car is not in a transition, its in a sweeper in full acceleration. Setup was 100% stock with a 25mm RSB and 225 RT-615's.
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    WOW That's a sick picture! I'm guessing black flagged means you cannot continue to compete? I don't know much about Auto-X.
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  16. #15
    Registered User Annihilator817's Avatar
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    Correct. Black flag means fix the problem, or find another ride. So i just hopped in a friends car for the rest of the day....
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