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#1 2005-06-23 22:29:55

saabarudriver
It's Swedeapanese!
Registered: 2005-06-22
User Number: 328
Posts: 988

Autocrossing

I posted this on another forum when someone asked what Autocross was and how to get involved. I figured I'd put a copy here in case anyone else out there is looking to get into it.

I just moved from racing a 2003 Mustang GT to the Aero. It's still in the 1000 break-in period so it won't make it to the track for awhile.

I have more info than this if anyone is interested:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Here is the "Beginners Guide to Autocross" from one of the definitive sources on the subject - Grassroots Motorsports. http://grmotorsports.com/news/012005/be … ossing.php

Not a bad read. Autocross (or "Solo II" which is the SCCA brand name) is allows you to basically take any street car and toss it through the cones for minimal investment (about $25 per event around here).

First you need to find an event in your region:
http://www.scca.com/Inside/Index.asp?Id … tes&~=


The SCCA puts on a ton of events but sometimes local car clubs like BMW, Porsche, and even Saab will host events that are open to anyone. You just need to find them so you can register (usually online).

Next, you just need to find out what class you're in:
http://www.moutons.org/sccasolo/

A 9-2X Aero is in D-Stock without any modifications. In the stock class you can still make a few changes. Next stop is Street Touring X which was created to allow for some of the more popular modifications (like an intake for example).

So just head out and give it a shot. Sometimes people go check it out and watch an event before entering. I taught a class of sorts to the team I'm racing on for the new people.

Here's an excerpt:

Prepare your car:

Remove all loose items from your car -- floor mats, driver's carpet, coffee cups, etc. Check tire pressure and chalk your tires.

Register

Register at the trailer
Select a run group and get a car number.
Complete waiver and registration form.
Remember to sign up for a work station once your heat is over
Technical Inspection:

Drive car to Tech Inspection
Car will be inspected for safety
Car Number and Class will be put on window
Course Walk Through

Check course map at trailer
Walk the course with an experienced driver if possible
Check surface for rough spots, sand, bumps, oil, etc.
Study the course, look for:
Turn in and apex points,
braking points, entry point of slalom
etc, etc, etc.
Drivers Meeting:

At the Drivers Meeting you will learn about:

Safety
Danger Zones
Tight Corners
Wet or Oil Spots
Uneven or Rough Pavement
Flagging and Corner Worker Instructions
Availability of Instructors
Once the Event starts

Watch other drivers:

What line are they driving?

Where are the breaking points?

Where are the shifting points? -- (Up and Down)


Now it's your turn:

(1) Bring your car to staging area

(2) Proceed to start line

Check your seat belt
Make sure all loose objects are out of the car
Turn the rear view mirror away from view
Focus your thoughts on how you want to drive & the course

(3) Starter gives the OK!

Start sharp, but don't spin tires
Look ahead at gates & know where you want to be
Remember when to brake and shift

(4) If you should spin

BOTH FEET IN
Hands at 3 & 9 on steering wheel
Look for corner workers to re-start you
Finish the course

(5) If you see a Red Flag or hear a loud horn:

Quickly come to a Complete Stop
Look for corner workers to re-start you

(6) Drive the First Run at Reduced Throttle

Learn to stay on course
Drive a good line
Drive SMOOTHLY
Have fun and ENJOY!!! Let me know if you want more info.



Cheers,

Will

Last edited by saabarudriver (2005-06-23 22:51:29)


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#2 2005-06-23 22:43:08

SilverSubaab
Member
Registered: 2005-06-01
User Number: 128
Posts: 245

Re: Autocrossing

I've always wanted to autocross.  I kind of did it once at a "Mazda Rev It Up" event once and it was a blast!  Good post! smile


07 Subaru WRX TR
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#3 2005-06-23 22:45:13

saabarudriver
It's Swedeapanese!
Registered: 2005-06-22
User Number: 328
Posts: 988

Re: Autocrossing

Thanks!  Glad you enjoyed "Rev it Up", I had fun at that as well.  Did you do the one with the 6 or the one with the 3? 

Autocross is similar for the most part.  There are a LOT less cones though which makes finding your way through the course a bit more challenging.


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#4 2005-06-24 01:08:48

raitchison
I thought we agreed you'd buy a Saabaru
Registered: 2005-06-23
User Number: 331
Posts: 33

Re: Autocrossing

I've been autocrossing or a few years now, it's totally a blast.
http://robert.aitchison.org/show_image.php?id=429
I've even got my 11 year old son doing it.
http://robert.aitchison.org/show_image.php?id=431


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#5 2005-06-24 20:49:42

dirtnyureye
Give it some stick!
From: Virginia
Registered: 2005-06-17
User Number: 256
Posts: 135

Re: Autocrossing

I wanted to give a counter-point to the autocross is fun theory.

I used to be an avid autocrosser and no longer do for a very good reason.

You're beating on your car for a maximum of 3 to 4 runs with each run lasting about 60 seconds. Not only that, you end up spending about 4-5 hours standing on hot blacktop to make your runs and work the course. You pay $20-$25 for the 3 to 4 runs.

It was an extremely fun activity before I woke up to see the reality behind it all (worn down brakes, tires, suspension parts, etc).  Autocrossing is essentially a sport that's meant for treating your car like a beater for 4 minutes on a Sunday. 

Just in case you are new to the sport, some may think it's fun to toss your car around on an autocross course, but many seasoned drivers will frown down on you and give you the look of death. Driving recklessly does not impress anyone at an autocross except for other n00bs.

Otherwise, have fun! cool It really is a fun sport, but when your wallet starts to feel very light, I hope you can figure out why.


MBM Aero 5s w/ Sport Package

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#6 2005-06-25 01:43:41

Nereus
Totaled 6/4/06 with just 6,241 miles
Supporter
Registered: 2005-05-24
User Number: 88
Posts: 533

Re: Autocrossing

I've run a few laps myself and must I agree that you'll likely spend $40 and 5 hours for "only" 4 60 second runs, but those runs are sweet!

If you don't drive then you can watch for free and leave whenever you like (some really hot cars may be there)
This is one of the few ways to legally "enjoy your car's full potential"

FYI:
The BMW 330 is also in "D" and they will be hard to beat
Your insurance likely won't cover any damage from "racing activities"
You can have multiple drivers use the same car, you can share the 4 runs or pay for separate sets of 4 runs
The best times are often due to the driver and not the car.  I've seen Saturn owners that can beat Corvette owners repeatedly


You should do this at least once in your life (probably two or three times)


ONE.org because no one should die from poverty
*I'm rarely here anymore, email is the best way to contact me.  PMs may sit for weeks/months.

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#7 2005-06-25 02:07:42

raitchison
I thought we agreed you'd buy a Saabaru
Registered: 2005-06-23
User Number: 331
Posts: 33

Re: Autocrossing

It's good also because it teaches you to drive at the limits of your car's abilities, that way you can use those skills if ever in an emergency situation.


Lava Orange 5 Door 5 Speed Mazda3
--------------------------------------------
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#8 2005-06-25 22:45:27

saabarudriver
It's Swedeapanese!
Registered: 2005-06-22
User Number: 328
Posts: 988

Re: Autocrossing

Nereus wrote:

I've run a few laps myself and must I agree that you'll likely spend $40 and 5 hours for "only" 4 60 second runs, but those runs are sweet!

If you don't drive then you can watch for free and leave whenever you like (some really hot cars may be there)
This is one of the few ways to legally "enjoy your car's full potential"

FYI:
The BMW 330 is also in "D" and they will be hard to beat
Your insurance likely won't cover any damage from "racing activities"
You can have multiple drivers use the same car, you can share the 4 runs or pay for separate sets of 4 runs
The best times are often due to the driver and not the car.  I've seen Saturn owners that can beat Corvette owners repeatedly


You should do this at least once in your life (probably two or three times)

Wow, what a buzzkill.... big_smile

I guess if you find you enjoy the events, the people, and the competition....than the rest is worth it.  Regarding the Bimmers in D-Stock, you said it yourself - it's normally more the car than the driver.  The best mod is experience and track time.


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#9 2005-07-10 20:35:36

Scargo
Freely Inhabiting the Space I'm In
Supporter
From: Hancock, NY
Registered: 2005-06-15
User Number: 227
Posts: 14179

Re: Autocrossing

Although one poster said it's like driving your car like you stole it for 4 minutes on a Sunday (could actually be longer, depending upon the course and level), Autocross is still the cheapest way into (safe) motorsports, and you really do feel as if you are going fast (especially at the divisional/solo tour and national level). As for beating on your car, it depends upon how prepared you are, AND the fact that in any sport, you have to keep up with the maintenance (be it yourself (runners need expensive shoes, cyclists can spend lotsa buck on equipment (ask me how I know), or cars.).

I ran an '85 VW GTi from new (post break in, or course) until it's untimely death due to severe storm damage (a 35 ft maple landed on my car in 2001:P). I was competitive (okay, that's the driver part, until the last 3 years of running, when the car simply lacked the power on the divisional and national level courses, it still did VERY well on the slower speed courses) and the car was a daily driver for the first 8 years or so of it's life, but it never was a garage queen. I simply maintained it. The single biggest expense was tires, it actually PAYS to buy competition tires for the sport. They last LONGER than street tires in competition situations. Same for track days. Its a matter of the purpose of the tires. In fact, no major system of my car EVER broke, that wasn't recall related. And that was close to 17 years of competition, the last 14 or so heavily. The car even looked nice.

As for standing out in the sun for several hours, well, yeah, but if you do it enough, and meet enough regulars, you'll be plenty entertained. Especially watching newbies. Best of all, the techniques you learn in driving not only apply to track days (BTDT) but certainly in emergency situations while driving (had one of those today with the 9-2X, a woman just STOPS in the middle of a 2 lane highway, and lets a car out of a parking lot, never checking her rearview. I was impressed with the Saabaru's brakes, they're QUITE effective, nearly as strong as the Brembo's on my Audi //S6.  They can get the tail quite light, which is normal at the braking threashold. The thing was that I wasn't in a panic in the panic stop, I've been there before in competition type situations. Not sure if (when the tail got light) I would've been as calm and stable if I hadn't done that countless times before, learned where it was safe.

Just my $0.02,

Scargo


1995.5 Audi //S6, Black/Ecru; MRC Stage 2, Eibach/Bilstein, RS2 BBK, HID's, Eurotails
2005 Saab 9-2X Aero Satin Grey; Cobb STX tune/Cobb 25 mm FSB, 22mm solid adj RSB/H6 upgrade/Noltec Camber Plates/STI Pinks, Koni Inserts/Whiteline Rear Stress Bar/Izixhood/Stromung DP, Crucial HF Kitty, STi catback, Hella MicroDE fogs, color keyed/polished roof rails.

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#10 2005-07-10 20:42:15

saabarudriver
It's Swedeapanese!
Registered: 2005-06-22
User Number: 328
Posts: 988

Re: Autocrossing

What he said banana 

I can't wait to get back out there, I'm starting to get the shakes.


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#11 2005-07-10 20:51:55

Scargo
Freely Inhabiting the Space I'm In
Supporter
From: Hancock, NY
Registered: 2005-06-15
User Number: 227
Posts: 14179

Re: Autocrossing

Just be careful not to use any identifying features when posting to public forums. Autoweek has reported several documented warrantee claim refusals due to info being posted w/rt to cars competing in even Autocross (which really doesn't kill the car, it kills the tires, which aren't covered by the manufacturer) when they've determined that the driver competed in their car. So, don't say where you run, when you run, or what your results are, or whom you are. Of course I don't intend to run anymore, I'm over it big_smile. One nice thing about this forum, you're identity is not on public display.

Scargo


1995.5 Audi //S6, Black/Ecru; MRC Stage 2, Eibach/Bilstein, RS2 BBK, HID's, Eurotails
2005 Saab 9-2X Aero Satin Grey; Cobb STX tune/Cobb 25 mm FSB, 22mm solid adj RSB/H6 upgrade/Noltec Camber Plates/STI Pinks, Koni Inserts/Whiteline Rear Stress Bar/Izixhood/Stromung DP, Crucial HF Kitty, STi catback, Hella MicroDE fogs, color keyed/polished roof rails.

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#12 2005-07-10 20:58:15

saabarudriver
It's Swedeapanese!
Registered: 2005-06-22
User Number: 328
Posts: 988

Re: Autocrossing

Very good point.  It's an easy step - take off your tags while running (you're off the main road you don't need em).  When you post action shots, make sure if you do leave the tags on to blur them.  I found that the local Ford dealers didn't care that I was running the Mustang but with Saab I'm not taking any chances.  Especially since I bet they don't get a lot of cars that get raced through their service bay.  I'd rather NOT lose the 2 years free service or even worse the warranty.

Radley Acura down near Woodbridge denied my friend a warranty claim because someone who works there saw a picture of his TL on the track at VIR. 

The worst though - MITSUBISHI!  They have sent employees to the track to take pics of Evos.  mad


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#13 2005-07-10 21:03:49

Scargo
Freely Inhabiting the Space I'm In
Supporter
From: Hancock, NY
Registered: 2005-06-15
User Number: 227
Posts: 14179

Re: Autocrossing

I simply cover the tags with White duct tape. Didn't have to worry about the GTi after the first two years, but with a 4 yr warrantee, it's too much to lose.  (not that I'm thinking about it or anything!).

Scargo - noting in the 2004 Nats results for D-stock that WRX's are sooo far below the radar they're invisible. hmmmm.


1995.5 Audi //S6, Black/Ecru; MRC Stage 2, Eibach/Bilstein, RS2 BBK, HID's, Eurotails
2005 Saab 9-2X Aero Satin Grey; Cobb STX tune/Cobb 25 mm FSB, 22mm solid adj RSB/H6 upgrade/Noltec Camber Plates/STI Pinks, Koni Inserts/Whiteline Rear Stress Bar/Izixhood/Stromung DP, Crucial HF Kitty, STi catback, Hella MicroDE fogs, color keyed/polished roof rails.

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#14 2005-07-10 21:09:58

saabarudriver
It's Swedeapanese!
Registered: 2005-06-22
User Number: 328
Posts: 988

Re: Autocrossing

I might just get some springs and head into STX big_smile


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#15 2005-07-10 21:50:16

BSlickOH
2005 9-2X Aero Silver
From: Loveland, OH
Registered: 2005-06-20
User Number: 286
Posts: 439
Website

Re: Autocrossing

It's probably worth linking to the autocross thread at nasioc.  It does a nice job of listing what mods are legal in which class.  Aeros should follow WRX guidelines, Linears should follow 2.5RS guidelines.

http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/showthread.php?t=174189


1998 Acura Integra LS

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#16 2005-07-10 22:15:04

desertaero
Member
From: Rockville, MD
Registered: 2005-05-24
User Number: 87
Posts: 370

Re: Autocrossing

thats sweet...so it looks like D-stock (hopefully stx later) for me


'05 Desert Silver 92x Aero 5MT

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#17 2005-07-10 22:26:53

Scargo
Freely Inhabiting the Space I'm In
Supporter
From: Hancock, NY
Registered: 2005-06-15
User Number: 227
Posts: 14179

Re: Autocrossing

Per SCCA website, Linears are in G-stock, Aero's in D-stock.

Aero's go to STX, or BSP (yeah, right, if you think they're outclassed in D-stock, wait 'til you see what you're up against in BSP!), forgot to check Linears (prolly C or D SP, they're not as outclassed)

Bear in mind, the outclassing really doesn't become noticable until you're running at the Divisional and National level. PLENTY of time to improve the driver to meet the ability of the car before then. Only then is the outclassing a real thing.

Scargo


1995.5 Audi //S6, Black/Ecru; MRC Stage 2, Eibach/Bilstein, RS2 BBK, HID's, Eurotails
2005 Saab 9-2X Aero Satin Grey; Cobb STX tune/Cobb 25 mm FSB, 22mm solid adj RSB/H6 upgrade/Noltec Camber Plates/STI Pinks, Koni Inserts/Whiteline Rear Stress Bar/Izixhood/Stromung DP, Crucial HF Kitty, STi catback, Hella MicroDE fogs, color keyed/polished roof rails.

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