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First AutoX Rocked! ... need more

This is a discussion on First AutoX Rocked! ... need more within the Road Racing / AutoX forums, part of the Racing Forums category; Well first of all let me say I'm surprised how dead this section of the forum is:-( But last night ...

  1. #1
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    First AutoX Rocked! ... need more

    Well first of all let me say I'm surprised how dead this section of the forum is:-(

    But last night I did my first auto X event and it was a great time. Almost everyone was in good spirit, but they were bashing the WS6 pretty bad before my runs. It was my first time out and I got to take 3 runs. I finished 4th quickest overall, across all cars (regardless of make, mods, or class) and people were surprised as hell...both at "the way the newbie drives" and at how quick the car was. There were about 15 entrants in total, only one other was muscle...a 2008 mustang bullet.

    I took my first run fairly easy at 47.8, second run I got a bit too foot heavy but came in at 46.9 and third run I was starting to get it dialed in and finished with 45.5 seconds on the clock. The bullet with a driver that had been doing it for a few years managed a best of 47.7
    Various other cars, such as neons, cavaliers, vws, audis ran low 46's to low 50's. Then there were the diehards. The porshe 944 turbo clocked 45.9, the eagle talon turbo was similar, a honda civic Si (R tires, and who knows what else) clocked low 43's, a completely debadged rice burner that was lowered, had R tires, custom body kit and who know's what else clocked the fast time of the night with 43.07 (It looked vaguely like it could have been a celica, mitsubishi, or rx-7 before all the custom work...it was Seriously worked in terms of styling..rarely can I not tell what make a car is) and a surprising stock looking early 90's Jetta came in around 44.2 (it looked stock but stayed almost 100% flat and level through the corners...suspicious)

    Anyway, I had a great time and I think with a bit of practice I can shave my times considerably as I over cooked a corner or two front-sliding once or twice and got the back end loser than it should have been a time or two as well...not to mention sliding the whole car sideways (slightly) through a "lane change" a time or two...haha, Fun!
    The pavement is cold here now though, once the sun is down its only about 50-55 degrees outside and I'm running 275/40/17 nitto 555 up front and 315/35/17 out back (street version) I left the car in 2nd and felt no need to go to 1st as the slightest blip of the throttle could get the back end to come around anywhere from 10-65mph and acceleration was still at the limits of the tires.

    Can anyone Recommend a Tire Pressure that might give me a bit more grip? I was running about 4lbs higher than recommended on the street as I thought the tires felt a bit sloppy driving around this summer and I didn't want them turning over onto their sidewalls too much while autoXing...I'm thinking the extra 4lbs might have been too much. But I would love a recommendation from someone experienced.

    As of now I have intake, full exhuast, sway bars, sfcs and an stb...I wonder what it will take to get down to the times of those top cars ;-)

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    Member c5z28's Avatar
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    Strano should drop by. Auto x is great fun and if it weren't for the lack of local gtg's and the money I would do it more often. To clean house koni shocks and autox tires and you would mop up the place. I rode in a locals car who bought his 98 ss brand new with above mods motor stock and it was fast. I had my left hand grabbing the seat and the right the handle. Auto x tires will make a world of difference have fun

  3. #3
    Detailing + Design third_shift|studios's Avatar
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    that's wonderful! glad you hade fun. I ran @ 25 PSi hot and noticed significant grip improvement

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    Quote Originally Posted by third_shift|studios View Post
    that's wonderful! glad you hade fun. I ran @ 25 PSi hot and noticed significant grip improvement
    wow, only 25 psi...did you find the tires wanted to roll over onto thier sidewalls when you were cornering hard, or if they felt "squishy" at all while cornering?

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    Just an update, I finished my second event this week...and I'm getting heckled Really bad now. Everyone seems to have a comment about the "big" Trans Am or my driving...lol, mostly spectators talking trash..the other racers are mostly giving me "wows", and "way to goes" .. though there are a few that won't look at or speak to me. lol

    I took fastest time for a car in my class again by a 4-5 second margin this time and second fastest time of the day overall (average time of all cars was about 78s, a fairly long course I'm told)....the car that ran a better time was Heavily modified and running in the top class (as I understand it...I still have to read up on classes and what mods will put me where)

    But the way I had it explained to me, every car class is assigned a "handicap" and your times gets multiplied by your handicap when they score the event for the official results.
    According to the guy explaining it to me after the last race (another racer who's been doing it for a few years) I would actually be the 1st place overall car in both my first event and second event under this handicap system, that is supposed to give everyone a way to compare all cars of various classes....so I'm smiling....but I still want to try for fastest time of the night ;-)
    Last edited by Intrepidman; 09-19-2009 at 10:09 AM.

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    Member c5z28's Avatar
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    Post some pics next time, i'm getting ready for an auto x coming up in october.

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    Zweeet
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    I'm not a racer, but you're running with 40's up front and 35's in the back--they're not going to distort much if you air them down a bit. But there's a fine line between just right and too soft. Get them too soft and the center of the tread won't get any grip. Run them too hard and the shoulders don't get enough grip. Part of the fun is finding out where the sweet spot is!

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    Detailing + Design third_shift|studios's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Intrepidman View Post
    wow, only 25 psi...did you find the tires wanted to roll over onto thier sidewalls when you were cornering hard, or if they felt "squishy" at all while cornering?
    nope, they grabed like glue. I'm running eagle F1's with about 15k miles on them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zweeet View Post
    I'm not a racer, but you're running with 40's up front and 35's in the back--they're not going to distort much if you air them down a bit. But there's a fine line between just right and too soft. Get them too soft and the center of the tread won't get any grip. Run them too hard and the shoulders don't get enough grip. Part of the fun is finding out where the sweet spot is!
    I'm definetly running my tires on the hard side, but it seems the shoulders are starting to get chewed up a bit...I wonder if this is typical of the nittos, I'll have to try and post a pic. But you can definetly see scratchs and digs in the shoulder of the tread.
    Next time out I'm going to air the tires as usual, do two runs, then quickly air them down about 4lbs and try for two more runs. Its not until october, but we are starting early in the day so I'm hoping to get four shots at the course.

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    nice! good work! I've got all the stuff installed to go auto-x'ing but just have had bad luck with my head gaskets .. hope to get it all r&r'd by next month ... we'll see

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    Just how prepped are you, basic bolt ons...or have you gone all out?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Intrepidman View Post
    Just how prepped are you, basic bolt ons...or have you gone all out?
    all I know is that if I go, I'm in with the big dogs ... lol. drag racer gone street, so I'm carrying a built heavy ass 6.0 iron block up front. Koni 4/4 and strano sway bars, with ground control coil overs. Puts me out of the street/stock classes.

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    Lowered springs such as strano springs or BMR springs and Konis 4/4, adj LCAs/relo brackets, panhard bar or go with WATTS link.

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    The Koni's will be a HUGE improvement over the stock junk, While your doing the shocks, might as well slap on a set of Strano's springs if you can still get them. My current set up is a 35mm front bar, 22mm rear bar, Koni's with Strano Springs, Strano Offset upper control arm bushings, and Rod Ended adjustable PHR Bar. An aggressive front end alignment would also help. On a stock car you may be able to get about -1.5 camber if your lucky. With my setup I have -2.6 camber 4.5 caster and 0 toe. On my street tires I run with 38psi front and 30psi rear. Kuhmo MX's. I mostly run Hoosier A6's now though. I have 295 17's on the front and 315 18's on the rear.

    I usually place in the top 25 here in my region out of about 125 cars or so. We sent 6 guys to nationals this year, so there are no slouches at our events.

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    that's very impressive for your first time OP. here's how it went for me:

    first autox: bone stock apart from cutout and lca's i finished 3rd to last overall on $90 245/50/16 coopers

    second autox: 32mm front bar, bilsteins, hypercoils, phb, lca's, lca rb's, and the same tires(i got hooked on turning after the first one as you can see) i still placed in the bottom 5

    going for my third autox sunday hopefully, this is the new and improved setup:
    -bilstein revalves
    -hypercoils
    -35/21 swaybars
    -lca's and relocation brackets
    -panhard bar
    -street/autox alignment (about -1.2 camber or something like that)
    -subframe connectors
    -hopefully picking up better tires this weekend(have some 17x9's ready to go)

    so hopefully now i can actually place decently now. last time i went i was one of about 3 people NOT on r-compound tires. i'm no race car driver but i feel like i would've done a lot better with stickier tires. better to learn on cheapo's first and then upgrade though i've heard.

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    Member beach cruiser's Avatar
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    Best advice I can give to anyone new to AutoX is to only make one change to the car at a time, stay on street tires until you run out of allowable mods to the car, buy used R-comps and run them for a while, then move to new tires. This will give you seat time and more seat time while you still move up the the finish order.

    And yes, its not really fun getting schooled by Miatas and Mini coopers, but those guys usually have been driving for a while, and chose thier car for a reason.

    I've had other very experienced people drive my car and they still do better than me, so I realized that it's more about seat time and skill than it is about the car. Our F-bodies are extremly difficult to drive on an autocross circuit, I don't even have any motor mods and can smoke my 315 r-comps at will, so patience and skill outwiegh power and brute force. (smoking the tires or overdriving the corners eat up time)

    Hope this helps the new guys to autoX!

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    i'm not overly concerned about fitting into a certain class to stay competitive. i daily drive my car so i modded it just to make it more fun on the street. planning on picking up some nice street tires for now and then if the events become more consistent next season (been about 5 so far total this year) then i'll look into another set of dedicated wheels/tires.

    getting owned by miatas is very humbling however. they are more suited for it though. i'd love to do a real road course but i lack the funds to do so.

    i learned the hard way that sometimes slower is faster. coming into turns too fast, understeering and plowing through the front tires while slamming on the brakes, just to end up at an almost entirely dead stop just to avoid a cone or overshoot a gate sort of kills your times haha. that's probably what hurt me the most the second time i went.
    Last edited by creeper; 09-24-2009 at 09:17 PM.

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    I'm of similar thought to you Creeper in that I modded my car to my liking for the street and general fun rather than trying to fit into any autocross class.

    As for my amazing success so far, I'm sure it would be a different story if I lived somewhere that was more into the sport. (like where beach cruiser competes) We have some truely hardcore guys here that have been racing for years, and some others with very quick, highly modded cars, but the other half of the field is fairly inexperienced and less prepped....plus 20 competitors is a normal summer turn out.

    I would like to come up against a miata sometime though...oddly its one car that no one here seems to run (there was one, but it blew up in spring), I want to see first hand if they deserve the reputation.
    And of course I want to get the WS6 going even faster...I like the way it handles overall, a nice balance of front/rear and I find at high speeds the tail out is quite controlable but I'm sure there's a lot of room for improvement in terms of cornering grip. And I hate how out of control it gets when the tail is out at low speed.
    Its odd, high speed is easy, but low speed never comes back in under control, instead fish tailing always happens...I learned this long ago so I'm careful to keep the tail in on low speed corners while autoXing.

    One thing I wonder about, but don't really have a difinative method of determining is -> if there is ever a time when its faster to take a corner "semi" drifting than it is to run it with very little tire chatter. I know slow and in control can often be the way to go, but both times I was at the track there was one long sweeping corner...picture a half moon shaped corner that is roughly 150-170 feet in length and involves actually turning about 160 degrees in angle over that distance....If I approached it slowly I could hold on the tight line and just go, but any press of the gas would start to steer the car out wide, yet if I ran into the corner more aggressively and was mildly on the gas the whole corner I could still keep the front of the car running tight to the inside of the track while the rear tires howled and were slightly "tail out"...if felt much faster, but that COULD just be in my perception.
    I know that corner got a big reaction from the spectators, a friend was videoing my runs and when I watched it back I could hear the "holy ****s, and Omgs" from the specators as they stood up to get a better look at me going around. lol Sadly though I can't watch myself running at that end of the trach because when everyone jumped to thier feet it blocked my rather vertically challenged camera girls view.
    Last edited by Intrepidman; 09-25-2009 at 12:26 PM.

  19. #19
    Member beach cruiser's Avatar
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    Agreed on the speed deal, My car handles much better at 60+ than typical autoX speeds, At the track (VIR) I can hold my own with the vettes and porches but an autox is completly different. Here's a video from another car on one of our typical courses, Enjoy! http://www.stealthtdi.com/Forums/200...arityEvent.wmv

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