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Old 04-20-2011, 09:46 AM   #1
polarisboy385
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Hey guys, so scca is holding an autocross event up by me the beginning of may.

I kind of want to take a shot at some racing.

Unfortunately (/fortunately?) I have what I think might be a hinderance.... a automatic.

I wanted to get some input on what you guys think or feel or have experienced about running autox in an auto. (I do have the sport shift mode so I can controll the engine a little more)

I currently have no mods at all, my cars is at about 33k miles, new tires..... do you think it would be safer for me to sit out the race till I take my car in for the 30k service, and my mechanic can check out all my necessary connections (end links and struts and bushings) conditions?

Any sort of advice/opinion would be great.
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Old 04-20-2011, 09:52 AM   #2
leecea
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Yes, attend and have fun. Take advantage of any novice help they offer, like guided course walks or instructors sitting in the passenger seat.

OK, the 4EAT is not ideal but it certainly isn't a deal breaker. You can still learn a lot about how the car handles and what line to take through typical autox course elements. You can still improve and get faster!

Safety wise, you'd have to be very unlucky for a 33K mile car to have problems.
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Old 04-20-2011, 09:53 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leecea
Yes, attend and have fun. Take advantage of any novice help they offer, like guided course walks or instructors sitting in the passenger seat.

OK, the 4EAT is not ideal but it certainly isn't a deal breaker. You can still learn a lot about how the car handles and what line to take through typical autox course elements. You can still improve and get faster!
Thanks so much, I would love to just go and take some slower runs...

Is there any sort of etiquette when participating? (Slower cars in the back?)
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Old 04-20-2011, 10:05 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by polarisboy385 View Post
Is there any sort of etiquette when participating? (Slower cars in the back?)
Every region will vary a bit. My region has a novice class which helps identify people who may need some help, plus we have instructors available to help you. The biggest eye-opener for me was to let an instructor take my car around while I rode in the passenger seat. That really helped me understand what autox was supposed to be like and gave me the context I needed to start pushing beyond my normal street driving experience. They will also ride along with you to help you get better.

The event will likely be very "organized" and you'll be asked to put numbers on your car and be assigned a "heat" for taking runs and another heat for working. Ask for help from the organizers and they can fill you in on the details. It will seem a bit intimidating at first because you'll feel like the only one who doesn't know what's happening, but people are usually happy to help.

Things I'd suggest you take are:
- Food, water, sunscreen
- Some blue painters tape for making car numbers
- You'll want to run higher than normal tire pressures (40-42 psi is good to start with) so a small 12v air compressor is useful but you can always just stop at a gas station and put 40psi in on the way.

This looks like a useful guide: http://rmsolo.org/coneclps/NoviceGD.pdf
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Old 04-20-2011, 10:07 AM   #5
polarisboy385
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leecea

Every region will vary a bit. My region has a novice class which helps identify people who may need some help, plus we have instructors available to help you. The biggest eye-opener for me was to let an instructor take my car around while I rode in the passenger seat. That really helped me understand what autox was supposed to be like and gave me the context I needed to start pushing beyond my normal street driving experience. They will also ride along with you to help you get better.

The event will likely be very "organized" and you'll be asked to put numbers on your car and be assigned a "heat" for taking runs and another heat for working. Ask for help from the organizers and they can fill you in on the details. It will seem a bit intimidating at first because you'll feel like the only one who doesn't know what's happening, but people are usually happy to help.

Things I'd suggest you take are:
- Food, water, sunscreen
- Some blue painters tape for making car numbers
- You'll want to run higher than normal tire pressures (40-42 psi is good to start with) so a small 12v air compressor is useful but you can always just stop at a gas station and put 40psi in on the way.
Awesome! Thank you very much!
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Old 04-20-2011, 10:18 AM   #6
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The helmets have to be dot and snell approved correct? I have an atv helmet at home would I be able to rock that?
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Old 04-20-2011, 10:53 AM   #7
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Helmets must be at least Snell 2000 (and newer) approved.

Automatic... 2 feet, two pedals. I don't see a problem.

As far as car condition... 30k miles, you're fine. Just run (unless the battery isn't tied down, and you have things making loud clunking sounds in the suspension). Speeds are low, and speeds for most novices, generally lower.

--kC
(PS. You missed the specific autox forum by a click)
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Old 04-20-2011, 10:58 AM   #8
polarisboy385
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KC
Helmets must be at least Snell 2000 (and newer) approved.

Automatic... 2 feet, two pedals. I don't see a problem.

As far as car condition... 30k miles, you're fine. Just run (unless the battery isn't tied down, and you have things making loud clunking sounds in the suspension). Speeds are low, and speeds for most novices, generally lower.

--kC
(PS. You missed the specific autox forum by a click)
Lol yeahhhh I realized that too late. Damn app... blaming it on the droid!!

And thanks btw
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Old 04-20-2011, 12:25 PM   #9
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actually having an auto is a great way to learn smoothness in autox, it's one less thing to worry about.
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Old 04-20-2011, 12:38 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by polarisboy385 View Post
Hey guys, so scca is holding an autocross event up by me the beginning of may.

I kind of want to take a shot at some racing.

Unfortunately (/fortunately?) I have what I think might be a hinderance.... a automatic.

I wanted to get some input on what you guys think or feel or have experienced about running autox in an auto. (I do have the sport shift mode so I can controll the engine a little more)

I currently have no mods at all, my cars is at about 33k miles, new tires..... do you think it would be safer for me to sit out the race till I take my car in for the 30k service, and my mechanic can check out all my necessary connections (end links and struts and bushings) conditions?

Any sort of advice/opinion would be great.

Doing it at RIT SCCA May 1st or 15th?
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Old 04-20-2011, 01:21 PM   #11
StuBeck
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Put the car in second, and go. I did my first autocross at RIT in an 89 Corolla automatic...and beat an M5 by 5 seconds. Don't use the sports shift mode after you've hit 2nd.
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Old 04-20-2011, 01:26 PM   #12
polarisboy385
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Studmike02

Doing it at RIT SCCA May 1st or 15th?
1st!

Quote:
Originally Posted by StuBeck
Put the car in second, and go. I did my first autocross at RIT in an 89 Corolla automatic...and beat an M5 by 5 seconds. Don't use the sports shift mode after you've hit 2nd.
Thanks very much!
Its going to be a learning experience that's for sure

If anyone is going, I know of a couple. Look for the dude with an orange 09 2.5I ill be out looking for others too get advice and pointers from
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Old 04-20-2011, 05:04 PM   #13
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1st!
See you there! Ill be driving my 06 white 2.5i!

You on buffaloscooby.com ?
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Old 04-20-2011, 05:49 PM   #14
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When driving my friend's cars that are 4EAT, I typically start in 1 then shift to 2 and then as soon as it shifts up to 2 throw the stick back down to 1. The car won't downshift again until it is going slow enough to do so and then you can go back to 2 when you are ready again (this is needed more at rally-x than auto-x since the speeds are lower). You can always just leave it in 2 as has been said if that seems like too much work.

With all that said, since this is your first event, just throw it in 2 and forget it. You will have enough on your mind trying to remember to look ahead.

Have fun!
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Old 04-20-2011, 06:13 PM   #15
polarisboy385
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Originally Posted by Studmike02

See you there! Ill be driving my 06 white 2.5i!

You on buffaloscooby.com ?
Ill keep an eye out for ya!
I register per the website flr-scca.com and I have a list of people register....
what's your name
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Old 04-21-2011, 06:05 PM   #16
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When driving my friend's cars that are 4EAT, I typically start in 1 then shift to 2 and then as soon as it shifts up to 2 throw the stick back down to 1.
That's a pretty good idea, never thought of that.

I've been to around 25 autocrosses with my 4EAT wagon and I'm having a great time with it. I will do my brake stall launch in first, shift to second and only shift back down to first if it's a really tight corner. Like KC said earlier- 2 pedals, 2 feet...left foot braking helps a lot!! I made myself daily drive using left foot braking to get comfortable with it and now I can't imagine not doing it.

Here's an old thread I have bookmarked that may help you too: http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/showthread.php?t=261466
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Old 04-21-2011, 06:43 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rez1138

That's a pretty good idea, never thought of that.

I've been to around 25 autocrosses with my 4EAT wagon and I'm having a great time with it. I will do my brake stall launch in first, shift to second and only shift back down to first if it's a really tight corner. Like KC said earlier- 2 pedals, 2 feet...left foot braking helps a lot!! I made myself daily drive using left foot braking to get comfortable with it and now I can't imagine not doing it.

Here's an old thread I have bookmarked that may help you too: http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/showthread.php?t=261466
Ill practice that starting tomorrow!
I saw some vids today from the drivers standpoint, and it looks fun as hell!

is there any sort of regular course set up the scca mandates or are they pretty much random and calculated?

For those of you going, ill see you out around 7 as I walk the course.
Ill be rocking the reddish orange 2.5I with a penguins shirt on.
Feel free to shout at me.....
Rob
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Old 04-21-2011, 07:33 PM   #18
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Don't start in 2, as the trans will be locked into 2 so your acceleration will suck. What I did is just control gear with the throttle. Just give it gas @ the apex and she'll kick down a gear. It's when you completely let off the throttle that it wants to upshift.
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Old 04-21-2011, 08:20 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by polarisboy385 View Post
Ill practice that starting tomorrow!
I saw some vids today from the drivers standpoint, and it looks fun as hell!

is there any sort of regular course set up the scca mandates or are they pretty much random and calculated?
Rob
The course is new every time. There are guidelines as far as safety goes for what the course can be near but that is it.
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Old 04-21-2011, 08:37 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonklein611
Don't start in 2, as the trans will be locked into 2 so your acceleration will suck. What I did is just control gear with the throttle. Just give it gas @ the apex and she'll kick down a gear. It's when you completely let off the throttle that it wants to upshift.
Ill be able to kick it down quick... cause I've got the tiptronic style.

If I'm thinking right, if I kick it into first quickly, will that help me swing my car in if I start to understeer out of the turn?

I'm probably overthinking this but i. Love as much pre info as possible

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeisen

The course is new every time. There are guidelines as far as safety goes for what the course can be near but that is it.

I figured as much!

Thanks guys!
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Old 04-21-2011, 09:28 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by polarisboy385 View Post
If I'm thinking right, if I kick it into first quickly, will that help me swing my car in if I start to understeer out of the turn?

My advice would be to just lift off the throttle or unwind the steering wheel a bit if you're understeering coming out of a turn.

Besides, if you have the throttle down coming out of a turn and you try to shift down into first the tcu won't let you shift anyway- that's the reason jeisen's shift technique works. It will only let you downshift when it deems it safe.
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Old 04-21-2011, 09:43 PM   #22
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Ill be able to kick it down quick... cause I've got the tiptronic style.
Ah, I forgot about tiptronic. I had a really really old 4EAT (1996).
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Old 04-21-2011, 10:04 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rez1138

My advice would be to just lift off the throttle or unwind the steering wheel a bit if you're understeering coming out of a turn.

Besides, if you have the throttle down coming out of a turn and you try to shift down into first the tcu won't let you shift anyway- that's the reason jeisen's shift technique works. It will only let you downshift when it deems it safe.
Ok cool! I appreciate all of the help from everyone!!

I look forward to meeting a couple of you

Quote:
Originally Posted by jonklein611

Ah, I forgot about tiptronic. I had a really really old 4EAT (1996).
Yeah its about the only thing that keeps me sane.... I love sttandards but I'm stuck with the 4eat
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Old 04-22-2011, 10:57 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by polarisboy385 View Post
Ill be able to kick it down quick... cause I've got the tiptronic style.

If I'm thinking right, if I kick it into first quickly, will that help me swing my car in if I start to understeer out of the turn?

I'm probably overthinking this but i. Love as much pre info as possible




I figured as much!

Thanks guys!
Don't do this until one of your last runs, you want as few things to think about, and the time you gain will likely be negated by the amount of time you aren't putting power down because of shifting. With a manual, I've never downshifted during a run.
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Old 04-22-2011, 11:24 AM   #25
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If you are exiting a turn and the car is understeering it will just make things worse to accelerate more. A little sliding is normal and if you're not going to hit cones or go really far off your line, maybe just stay with it. Otherwise, lift off and unwind the wheel until it grips again.

If you are seeing a lot of understeer, try a couple of things:

1. Make sure you are not turning while still hard on the brakes. The tires don't have enough grip to do both. Brake a bit earlier so you can be off the brakes when you turn.

2. Try going into the turn a bit more slowly and maintaining constant speed until the car is pointed in the direction you want to exit, then floor it as you unwind the steering.

But remember that a good instructor riding with you will be far better than all the online advice.
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