ClubWRX Forum banner

1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
759 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Title says it all. Are there any insider "secrets" you guys can give me so that I don't come back here on Monday morning and you guys laugh at me for not knowing something simple? ;) You know, things like...
  • Only have enough gas to get through the day to save weight
  • Remove everything possible to reduce weight
  • Remove everything possible so that it doesn't rattle around
  • Best PSI for tires - weather forecast says temps in low 70's
  • Make sure I drive as much as possible above 3,000rpm
  • Don't try to break the tires loose
  • Be comfy with heel-toe
  • Don't launch hard off the line cuz it's not worth it - times will be more dependent on course performance
...you know, things like that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
958 Posts
Walk the course as much as you can.
Ask questions to veterans that are there.
Depending on the course, but I never get out of 2nd. And never push in the clutch except for going in the stop box.
Look ahead, not at what your doing. (easier said than done)

I'm by no means a expert, those are just things that work for me.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
13,124 Posts
Take everything out of your trunk
Make sure you don't have anything in cabin that flies around (CDs, garage opener)
Make sure your tires have appropriate amount of air
When you go around corners and you need to brake, don't use the clutch it will slow you down
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
280 Posts
I'm still pretty new to autocross but I wouldn't worry too much about the racing itself. You're going to have a blast and love it even if you do terribly. I wasn't even paying attention to my times my first one because I was laughing as I rolled back in! Just do what you can to make the day enjoyable. Get there earlier so you don't feel rushed, prepare what you need/don't need for your car the day before, etc..

Honestly I go pretty hard on the car... because well...its more fun!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
759 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Excellent feedback, everybody! Thanx!

I hope to have some YouTube videos up when I'm done, but if anybody has any more suggestions/recommendations, I'm all ears!
 

·
Master Baiter
Joined
·
22,114 Posts
Walk the course as much as possible. If you can talk with a more experienced driver during this, do so.

Have an instructor ride along the first few runs.

Have someone film you. Third party perspective can help improve runs. If you can set up in-car too, do it, but I'd worry more about third party.

Shift into second and stay there unless you have to go to third. Focus on driving, not shifting.

Don't worry about other peoples time. Focus on improvement throughout the day.

Sunscreen. Beverages. Folding chair (in case you have time between runs/work)

Have fun.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
759 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
What about making sure that the cars cools down between runs? Should I run the car as cool as possible after it warms up? Or is this a non-factor?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
958 Posts
Oh I forgot to mention, try to beat yourself not others. At least at first.

And most important, have fun. I always have a huge smile on my face after.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
296 Posts
Do you worry about other cars bumping into a messing up your new car? I would be. I'm guessing there will be other inexperienced auto-xers on the course, most likely driving something that is worth a fraction what your car is.

I don't mean to be a party pooper, I think it would be fun as hell, but I'd be worried sick that my car my get some nasty dents and scrapes.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,299 Posts
Walk the course as much as possible. If you can talk with a more experienced driver during this, do so.

Have an instructor ride along the first few runs.

Shift into second and stay there unless you have to go to third. Focus on driving, not shifting.

Don't worry about other peoples time. Focus on improvement throughout the day.

Sunscreen. Beverages. Folding chair (in case you have time between runs/work)

Have fun.
This is great advice.

I don't think it can be said enough, walk the course! Repeatedly. Try to get an experienced driver to walk it with you. Do the novice course walk.

Do you worry about other cars bumping into a messing up your new car? I would be. I'm guessing there will be other inexperienced auto-xers on the course, most likely driving something that is worth a fraction what your car is.

I don't mean to be a party pooper, I think it would be fun as hell, but I'd be worried sick that my car my get some nasty dents and scrapes.
You understand that its not side-by-side racing, right? There is 1 car on the course at a time.
I've never seen a collision at an Auto-X event. A couple of parking blocks hit by a car that got over-excited & plenty of cones taken out, though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
759 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Ok so what exactly am I expecting to garner from walking the course? Just memorizing the turns and gauging my speed and control? Where to swing wide and prepare for turn entry?

I'm a pretty quick learner and I have a knack for feeling the car and its abilities. Imma be honest here, but due to time restrictions I was planning on probably missing the course walk entirely and taking the first few runs pretty slow. Now, with all of the emphasis on it, I see that's a bad idea.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,299 Posts
Course walk for at least these three things.
1. Learn the course. It's real easy to get lost in a sea of cones.
2. Learn what the cone signals mean. Whats a slalom, whats a turn, how do I know which way to go? extra important on your first time!!
3. Develop a line strategy. How do you want to attack the course? Where are tricky parts or places that could unsettle the car?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
172 Posts
Most events that I have been to, someone will walk up to you since it's your first time, and offer to have an experienced driver sit passenger side and give you some advice on the course.

If this is an option, you will gain more speed from this free advice, then you will from $10,000 in mods to the car.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
759 Posts
Discussion Starter #15

·
Registered
Joined
·
759 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Alright so a few last minute questions left:
* I'm assuming I want to turn off the traction control... ?
* I still would like to know if I should open the hood and let the engine cool down a little bit between runs... To let the heat soak dissipate if anything I think...

Everything so far has been solid advice - so thanx again!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,751 Posts
Autox courses aren't long enough that your engine is going to heat up any appreciable amount. Since you'll be in high boost for most of the course, don't shut off the car as soon as you finish. Let it idle for a minute after the stop line.

The traction control on my STI doesn't interfere much at all on autox or the track. I sometimes forget to turn it off and don't see that it even triggers.

The best advice is that the way to get the best times is to be smooth and pay attention to your lines. That's really what autox is about is teaching how to drive smoothly. When you walk the course, walk it as if you're in the driver's seat of your car. Then when it's time to actually do your runs, you'll have walked the line you actually drive.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
759 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Alright everybody! I have the YouTube playlist up: 2012 WRX First AutoX - YouTube :drive2:

Overall, my times were hanging with some of the more experienced guys and guys with a lot more money under the hood, but there's a lot I need to improve on:
  • Better camera :)
  • I need to attack those first and last turns a lot later to come out on the exit better in line
  • I need to attack the slaloms earlier and try to be at the apex before I even pass the cone
  • Brake harder
  • Turn harder
  • I need tires so that I'm not killing my daily driver's tires
  • I need to figure out how to better correct understeer - maybe sway bars, but I'd rather an upgrade in the driver's seat first :)
The day was a LOT of fun. There were only like 20 cars out there, so we were basically able to just drive as much as we want. Almost no lines at all, and no work requirements. It was awesome.

...I was sad that I was only one of three Subies, though... :(
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,376 Posts
The traction control on my STI doesn't interfere much at all on autox or the track. I sometimes forget to turn it off and don't see that it even triggers.
For what it's worth, the traction control was starting to hold me back on a few turns. Still not confident enough to turn it off though - it definitely saved me a couple times from almost certain spins.

Overall, my times were hanging with some of the more experienced guys and guys with a lot more money under the hood, but there's a lot I need to improve on:
  • Better camera :)
  • I need to attack those first and last turns a lot later to come out on the exit better in line
  • I need to attack the slaloms earlier and try to be at the apex before I even pass the cone
  • Brake harder
  • Turn harder
  • I need tires so that I'm not killing my daily driver's tires
  • I need to figure out how to better correct understeer - maybe sway bars, but I'd rather an upgrade in the driver's seat first :)
The day was a LOT of fun. There were only like 20 cars out there, so we were basically able to just drive as much as we want. Almost no lines at all, and no work requirements. It was awesome.
The fun is what counts =)

I had a ton of trouble with turn in on my car after braking for some reason. I think its just a problem that is natural to our cars.

I have a set of RCE blacks on stock struts along with their sway bars. The car rolls way more than I'd like, but it sticks pretty well, and when it slides it slides very neutrally (could have been kudos to the traction control there). I wouldn't recommend the set up for a track car by any means... but seems to work okay.
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top