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how to get startyed

 
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Old 01-10-2011, 01:47 PM
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how to get startyed

hey guys ive always wanted to get into this type of racing
how would i go about entering and learning about it?
what kind of mods are allowed?
costs?
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Old 01-10-2011, 09:31 PM
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Re: how to get startyed

(Except for the last paragraph, this is drawn from an article I wrote several years back...if it's copied elsewhere, the black helicopters will come and find you...otherwise, enjoy!)

An autocross is a time-trial competition held on a temporary closed course, usually set up in a large parking lot or on an unused airfield. A typical autocross course is a half-mile to a mile long, marked by traffic cones forming gates, much like a downhill slalom course in skiing. Competitors run the course individually (hence the SCCA’s term "solo") and have their times recorded by an electronic timer. Knocking over cones carries a time penalty, which is added to the raw lap time. Each competitor runs the course several times, and at the end, compares his or her fastest time with those of similarly classed competitors. Competition is often close, with the top places separated by tenths or even hundredths of a second. Courses emphasize handling and driver skill over sheer speed – stock cars seldom exceed speeds reached on any interstate highway.

Autocrossing has elements of both drag racing and road racing. Like drag racing, drivers and cars start on an equal footing with the competition – there is no advantage to grid or track position. Like road racing, autocrossing demands the ability to read the course, find and drive the fastest path through a collection of turns and straights – and often without the benefit of a practice lap. Autocrossing is about keeping the car and driver on their collective limit for the entire run -- there is no place to relax and assess position or plan the next move.

Classes are designed to pit cars of similar performance and preparation level against one another, encompassing everything from stock, street-legal cars to purpose-built racing cars.

In terms of participants, autocrossing rivals drag racing as the most well-subscribed motorsport in the United States – thousands of people compete in events are held all over the country nearly every weekend of the year. Getting started is fairly easy. You must have a normal driver’s license and car in decent mechanical condition, equipped with seatbelts. If you’re under 18, most clubs require some sort of a permission or release form from your parents. You’ll need to pump up your front tires to somewhere between 40 and 50 psi, either at the event or before (if there’s no air available at the site). If you have a Snell 2000 or newer helmet (M or SA-rated), bring it -- if not, there will usually be loaner helmets available. Since most autocross sites are nothing more than large expanses of pavement, drinks, a hat, some powerful sunscreen, a cooler full of non-alcoholic drinks, and some lunch come in handy. Depending on the climate, a raincoat and a cover for your gear might be necessary, too -- events don't stop for rain!

Ranger -- If you're in Deltona, you're in luck. SCCA Central Florida Region (http://www.cfrsolo2.com) runs events in Deland almost monthly. Martin Sports Car Club runs at a site in Tavares. Central Florida Road Course (http://cfroadcourse.com) in Orlando also runs events every month or so. Depending on how far you're willing to travel, there are regular events in the Tampa area (where I run), Gainesville, Jacksonville, Ft Myers, and Miami -- Autocross.com has a club list for the whole state. Event fees run anywhere from $30-$45, which gets you 5-10 runs on the course, and sometimes lunch. You don't necessarily have to be a member of the club running the event to enter, although it may cost you more. Find an event, contact the club running it, and sign yourself up -- just tell people you're a newbie and you'll get as much help as you can stand. If you get over this way, need specific contacts, or have more questions, shoot me a note.
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Last edited by Jamie; 01-10-2011 at 09:37 PM.
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Old 01-11-2011, 12:59 AM
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Re: how to get startyed

will do thanks ALOT man that helped out quite a bit.
is there any way to practice or methods of learning how to drive on the track?
ive only ever driven on roads or drag strips
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Old 01-11-2011, 01:07 PM
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Re: how to get startyed

Nice post! I check out cfrc once and a while. Most of their hype now is the drift events tho. They used to run a road racing course but i haven't seen it done in a while
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Old 01-11-2011, 01:08 PM
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Re: how to get startyed

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Originally Posted by ranger11x View Post
will do thanks ALOT man that helped out quite a bit.
is there any way to practice or methods of learning how to drive on the track?
ive only ever driven on roads or drag strips
Watching alot of videos on youtube helped me alot. Best motoring super lap battles at Tsukuba was pretty much my inspiration for a long time. Check it out if you get a chance
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Old 01-11-2011, 01:30 PM
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Re: how to get startyed

For AutoX the suspension is the most important thing IMO

Just depends on what kind of racing you wanna do. If see preludes dirt track racing lol
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Old 01-11-2011, 10:49 PM
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Re: how to get startyed

Quote:
Originally Posted by ranger11x View Post
is there any way to practice or methods of learning how to drive on the track?
ive only ever driven on roads or drag strips
I need to put my website back up one of these days. OK...here's more of the article, with some things I've found useful enough to pass on to students, and some things I've found useful for pratice as well.

There are no warm-up sessions in an autocross -- every run is a hot lap. Thus, a fixture of all autocross events is the course walk. Walking the course a few times allows you to fix shift points, turn points, and corner entry and exit lines in your mind, so you can concentrate on placing the car where you want it during the run, rather than figuring out where to go next.

Since the fastest path between two points is a straight line, the key to picking out a path through the gates is to string together a series of the longest straight lines possible. There is no requirement to go through gates squarely, which often allows you to smooth out corners. Be aware of the width of the car when walking your path -- allow a little over an arm's length to your right.

On the staging grid, set your seat so you can put full force on the brake without locking your knee or sliding forward in the seat. You should be able to hold the steering wheel with just your fingertips, thumbs laid up along the front of the wheel -- an old rally trick which helps prevent you from using your arms to brace against the steering wheel and improves your car control. Prelude seats are very good -- even with nothing more than the stock seat belts, they do a good job of holding you in place.

Practice tip: You can practice some of this on the street without being a hooligan in traffic. Use the same seat position on the street you do on course, and hold the steering wheel the same way -- with just your fingertips. It's not only good practice, it's better car control!

Like drag racing, all autocross runs begin from a standing start. A good start can be worth several tenths of a second, so it pays to work at it. Also just like in drag racing, the best launches come from finding the balance between traction, throttle, and clutch. (That varies for every car, but for both my stock 2d and 4th gen cars on race tires, I settled on a slow step off the clutch at 3700-4000 rpm, then squeeze the throttle as the tires hooked up.) There are a couple of critical differences from drag racing, though. In most autocrosses, the clock does not start until the car moves through the forward light -- which means there's plenty of time to settle down and find that combination of throttle and clutch where everything hooks up. There's no excuse for smoking the wheels all the way to the first gate and wasting precious seconds. The other key difference is that many (but not all) courses have some sort of bend right at the start, which means as soon as the car gets moving, be prepared to modulate the throttle, rather than just mashing it to the floor.

In most cases, you'll only shift once, since most courses can be run in second gear. Like in a drag race, a quick 1-2 shift can save critical tenths of a second, but even more important is a smooth shift, to avoid upsetting the car's balance. The shift point depends on the nature of the course -- that's one of the important things to decide during the course walk. After shifting to second, it's rarely worth going back to first gear, so if the first turn comes up fast enough, it's often better to hold off shifting until leaving the corner.

Practice tip: At stoplights and stop signs, get to know exactly where your clutch engages. If traffic permits, work on feeling the clutch engage and then squeezing the throttle -- you don't have to smoke the tires to get this right, and after awhile, it becomes second nature. Practice smooth upshifts as well, especially that critical 1-2 shift. Ideally, it will feel like an automatic transmission -- just a smooth buildup in speed as you go through the gears.

Out on course is where all that walking pays off -- knowing where you are and where to look allows you to concentrate placing the car where you want it, rather than figuring out how to get to the next gate. In most cases, you'll be setting up lines two, or even three gates ahead, so look that far ahead of the car. Preludes like to be driven smoothly. It's possible to carry lots of speed into a corner and pitch the car into a throttle-off drift, but it's not usually the fast way around the course. Whenever possible, brake before you turn into a corner -- "slow in, fast out."

Practice tips: LOOK AHEAD -- this skill is as valuable in regular driving as it is on an autocross course! Autocross champion Andy Hollis says "Hands follow the eyes, wheel follows the hands, car follows the wheel". Get to know your brakes -- when coming to a stoplight or stop sign, if traffic permits, apply steady, constant pressure to the brakes from the point at which you start until you stop. See if you can stop where you expect, without varying the pressure on the pedal. (Don't practice this in traffic!) And practice smooth lines through corners, even at low speeds. Racing legend Stirling Moss once said, "the steering wheel is merely the means of introducing the car to the corner". With a proper line, you should be able to hold the wheel at a constant angle through the corner, without any corrections. Practice smoooooth....

The finish is just as important as the start. It's important to drive all the way through the timing lights -- a common mistake is lifting before crossing the lights. Control in the finish chute is also important. On most courses, all cones in the finish chute count against your time -- even those after the timing light. There may also be a "stop cone" at the end to insure you come to a complete stop before exiting the course back onto the grid at a slow speed -- and if you hit the cone, it's a DNF.

Quote:
Originally Posted by abstract
I check out cfrc once and a while. Most of their hype now is the drift events tho. They used to run a road racing course but i haven't seen it done in a while
They're not doing the road racing course with cars any longer. Drift events, autocrosses, and karts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 00CDMLUDER
For AutoX the driver is the most important thing....
Fixed that for you.
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Old 04-14-2011, 01:13 AM
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Re: how to get startyed

very nice I think I might start out with something like a hatch
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Old 04-25-2011, 05:37 PM
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Re: how to get startyed

Lots of good info here, thanks Jamie I am going to have to read all of this later when I have more time
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