Want to try Autocross - Questions
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This is a discussion on Want to try Autocross - Questions within the Motorsports Talk forums, part of the Community - Meet other Enthusiasts category; I purchased a 2015 WRX a few weeks ago and I have just found a local racing club that puts ...

  1. #1
    Registered User Ruby's Avatar
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    Want to try Autocross - Questions

    I purchased a 2015 WRX a few weeks ago and I have just found a local racing club that puts on Autocross events several times a year. I want to put my car on the track so I can get over trying to drive 100 MPH to work and the grocery store but have a few questions first:

    1) I'll have around 1600 miles by the time of the next event, is this too soon to drive aggressively on the track?
    2) Not that I plan to, but will it damage my car if I smash into one of the cones that make up the "track"? (dumb question, I know! But I've never hit one of those things and don't want to be sad with the outcome if I do...)
    3) Anything else I should know? The past events look pretty laid back, you're alone on the course and just timed to place.

    Thanks!

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    1. Definitely wait till after you've broken in your new ride properly before you start pushing it. Might have to wait till the next one after to start. Serious damage can be done from not braking her in properly.

    2. Dont hit the cones

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    Moderator   Sasquatch's Avatar
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    Autox rarely tops 60mph. I only made into 3rd gear a few times in the 4 years I ran in a lot of events.

    1600 miles is enough break in for the engine. Start out slower - as you learn you pick up speed.

    The only damage you'll may see are some paint scuffs. Cone marks usually come off easily. Some could leave deeper scratches that may be difficult to remove, especially in the rain where road grit gets kicked up onto body panels. I've seen people use painters tape to cover the most prone areas for damage.

    You are best off going to an event to actually see for yourself and ask questions of the experienced people there. Start out slow and keep it fun. Good luck!
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    Registered User Ruby's Avatar
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    Ah good call on the painters tape to keep down on the paint scuffs!

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    Registered User tirerob's Avatar
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    no better place to learn how your car Really drives even if you start slow and work into a nice pace. lots of helpful people at the events, maybe not with a car like yours but lots of experience to help out a new racer. scca and autocross events rock!
    when my friends come up, i hear, "you sold the camarrrroooh.....HOLY BLEEP A WRX!"
    Ya has that effect on me too.
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    Where did he go?? http://www.clubwrx.net/forums/builds...ll-thread.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sasquatch View Post
    Autox rarely tops 60mph. I only made into 3rd gear a few times in the 4 years I ran in a lot of events.

    1600 miles is enough break in for the engine. Start out slower - as you learn you pick up speed.

    The only damage you'll may see are some paint scuffs. Cone marks usually come off easily. Some could leave deeper scratches that may be difficult to remove, especially in the rain where road grit gets kicked up onto body panels. I've seen people use painters tape to cover the most prone areas for damage.

    You are best off going to an event to actually see for yourself and ask questions of the experienced people there. Start out slow and keep it fun. Good luck!
    This, I brought my STi to a autox as soon as I did my first oil change. Could have done it sooner.

    Only damage I've really experienced is a few scuffs as mentionned and a inner fender liner popping off.

    Go out there and have some fun, cars are meant to be driven.

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    You should be fine. The only thing I can suggest to start with is upping tire pressure to at least whatever is stamped on the sidewall.
    Go have fun and many clubs offer new drivers to make a few runs with a more experienced "coach" in the passenger seat. Take advantage of that

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    Registered User Ruby's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advice! I've only seen 1 WRX in my area in the last 3 months....I got excited and started waving but then realized I was in my husbands truck and not the car so they didn't get it, just some crazy chick smiling and waving like an idiot! It does look like a few driving WRXs come in for the event though so hopefully I can get some time with someone with experience. (You can throw a rock and hit a Camaro or Duramax around here, Imports not so much) I'll probably go watch the next event and get a feel for it and go from there.

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    Registered User STiDriven's Avatar
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    1) Go do it >1000 miles is plenty. You should have driven that engine hard by now.
    2) Likely it would take a pretty good hit with a new cone to really mark the paint. But in the 8 years I've auto-x'ed my STi I have no marks that wouldn't come out with a good detail with a clay bar/polish. Yes you may rip out a plastic underliner/fenderliner if a cone gets stuck. But nothing a $2.00 set of new plastic pop-rivets wont fix from the auto parts store. Plus - if the auto-x bug really bites you; you will won't care so much about the small things on you've earned from your runs/experience.


    Quote Originally Posted by Ruby View Post
    I'll probably go watch the next event and get a feel for it and go from there.

    Just go do it! You'll likely be just as confused about what is going on even if you go and watch. Which for whatever reason, I've found tends to prevent people from ever actually entering and driving. I think they just don't want to embarrass themselves. But you won't; every one at an auto-x remembers what it was like to be new, so just register and go out and participate.

    You don't even have to have someone you know with you, I'm 100% sure you will be able to ask whomever is near you for help or instruction on what you need to do next to get ready for running - given they are not under their car with parts/tools or running about like a chicken with it's head cut-off ( <- look for those folks if you need an event official, as they likely are)

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    Quote Originally Posted by A265 View Post
    This, I brought my STi to a autox as soon as I did my first oil change. Could have done it sooner.

    Only damage I've really experienced is a few scuffs as mentioned and a inner fender liner popping off.

    Go out there and have some fun, cars are meant to be driven.
    Yes, an oil change before the first event is probably worth it. I'd suggest Shell Rotella T6 5W-40. You do not want a thin oil for Louisiana temps when autocrossing.

    My inner fender lining fastener holes (front bottom) on both sides are long since broke ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mf645 View Post
    The only thing I can suggest to start with is upping tire pressure to at least whatever is stamped on the sidewall.
    That might be too much really. 51 PSI before the tires get hot will reduce your grip. I'd start somewhere around 40 PSI and go up or down in small increments until you dial in what works best. If you are running soft touring tires, then a high PSI may be needed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by STiDriven View Post
    Just go do it! You'll likely be just as confused about what is going on even if you go and watch. Which for whatever reason, I've found tends to prevent people from ever actually entering and driving. I think they just don't want to embarrass themselves. But you won't; every one at an auto-x remembers what it was like to be new, so just register and go out and participate.

    You don't even have to have someone you know with you, I'm 100% sure you will be able to ask whomever is near you for help or instruction on what you need to do next to get ready for running - given they are not under their car with parts/tools or running about like a chicken with it's head cut-off ( <- look for those folks if you need an event official, as they likely are)

    Yes, just do it. A ride along or two with someone experienced will likely get you up to speed faster, pun intended.
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    Buy your own helmet if you are going to do this more than once. I use a motorcycle helmet and keep the visor up unless it's both windy and cold, and then I'll keep the visor down even in the car -- it won't fog up on those days.

    Bring sunglasses, a hat, sunscreen, a folding chair, water, etc.
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    Registered User Ruby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SD_GR View Post
    Buy your own helmet if you are going to do this more than once. I use a motorcycle helmet and keep the visor up unless it's both windy and cold, and then I'll keep the visor down even in the car -- it won't fog up on those days.

    Bring sunglasses, a hat, sunscreen, a folding chair, water, etc.
    I'm in Southwestern Louisiana, I think my tires are more likely to melt to the asphalt before I get cold LOL Didn't think of a helmet, thanks! My moto helmet isn't a full face though so I'll have to pick one up.

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    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ruby View Post
    I'm in Southwestern Louisiana, I think my tires are more likely to melt to the asphalt before I get cold LOL Didn't think of a helmet, thanks! My moto helmet isn't a full face though so I'll have to pick one up.
    Check with the sanctioning body. They may not require a full face. I require a full face on any vehicle but that's just me. Therefore I only own full face helmets. Check with the organizers on what they require and go from there. Open face would be more comfortable for sure.
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    DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed are the author's alone and are inherently worthless.

  16. #15
    Registered User SubieLouv's Avatar
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    Ruby, I just got my WRX this past Febuary. I live in Lafayette and know a few other subie owners that try ot make it to the AutoX in Lake Charles. I also eventually would like to start AutoX. When I find out when my buddy Ryan is going again ill post it in here before hand. Its hard to tell when he is gonna be able to go since he normally works 7 and 7 offshore.

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