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Old 12-27-2002, 03:16 PM   #1
wes
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Default Explain to me the popularity of Auto-X

I did some auto-x ing for a couple of years and was bored out of my mind! I would sit out at the track for 7-8 hrs just so I could run 4, maybe 6 1 minute laps. I dont get it. I switched to kart racing. Talk about track time!!!! You get 2 or 3 practice sessions of about 6 laps and then two 6-8 lap qualifyers and then a 6-8 lap final. This wasnt meant as a rip on auto-x, I just dont get it.
I could see it as a social event where you want to hang out with other car people, show off your cars and then run a few laps but for me the length of time sitting around wasnt worth the track time.

P.S. I did my share of cone counting and corner work
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Old 12-27-2002, 03:46 PM   #2
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Then it wasn't for you. Oh well. Glad you found something that worked better for you.

Auto-xing isn't for everyone. That is for certain. One of the greatest challenges is beng able to walk the course, visualize it then go out and do what you visualize, making minor corrections at speed. You have only a few runs to get it right, and no course is the same week after week, so there's no 'learning the apexes'.

Especially for national events, it IS more about the friendship and commraderie that develops over the YEARS. Auto-x is a social event so to speak.

I mean, yeah, it is kinda nuts when you think about driving 4 days to Nationals, towing a car to a race with total seat time of about 6-8 minutes. But that's part of the allure.

--KC
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Old 12-27-2002, 03:51 PM   #3
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Keith is just crazy, I dunno what these fools are doing to drive 18 hours (each way) for 20 minutes of seat time (nationals)



-Tom
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Old 12-27-2002, 04:09 PM   #4
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I have been battling the boredom aspect of autocross for awhile now......Spending an entire day for 4 60 second runs has become a bit hard to justify. Even worse are the events that cost $20-25 and give 3 40 second runs

I have to admit that in the past 3 seasons I have learned alot from autocrossing. I really do believe it is a good way to learn car control, even if it is at relatively "low" speeds.

One thing that has concerned me lately though is that it can teach some bad habits as well, mainly driving for that one smoking run at the expense of consistency. The rallycross championship I help organize does 6 cumulative runs and I notice that autocrossers (including myself) generally have the hardest time putting in 6 consistently quick runs.

At this point I'm planning on sitting out the 2003 season, have to wait and see if the bug bites again as the season approaches.....

C
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Old 12-27-2002, 04:15 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by Big C
I have been battling the boredom aspect of autocross for awhile now......Spending an entire day for 4 60 second runs has become a bit hard to justify.
exactly why i stopped going...

just glad i found something else to occupy my need 4 speed

Jamie
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Old 12-27-2002, 04:20 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Big C
Even worse are the events that cost $20-25 and give 3 40 second runs
That's why I decided to quit auto-x as well.

Boooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooring
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Old 12-27-2002, 04:22 PM   #7
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Quote:
Boooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooring
You guys have definetly never attended a ProSolo
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Old 12-27-2002, 04:38 PM   #8
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I stopped autocrossing when I had my VW. Combination of the cost/seat time, and ignorant people. It is a way to test your skills out, and have fun, I just wasnt having any fun. I am thinking of trying it again in my WRX, not sure yet. You are right about the Kart Racing. You get alot of seat time. I looked into getting one, and competing, but I am over 6 foot, and an all around big guy, and a guy that runs told me, that there isn't a class to put me into (cause they go by weight), but you could get one for like $1000, pay $20 on a saturday afternoon, and play all day long. Sounded fun, just don't have a $1000 to drop into a toy, I will only use once in awhile. I now want to Rally Cross. If you have your own Kart, go autocross that, and kick some butt
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Old 12-27-2002, 05:45 PM   #9
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I actually started out doing high speed events (HPDE's, etc) and then later started autocrossing. Now, I actually prefer autocrossing over HPDE's pretty much because its not as hard on the car, and it isn't nearly as dangerous. If I had a dedicated race car with full cage and other safety equipment, I'd probably split my time 50/50 between track events and autocrosses (I currently only do 1-2 track events a year). Even with a dedicated track car though, I'd still autocross a lot...its just too much fun.

The cool thing about autocrossing is that you get to meet so many other car nuts. If you attend events once a month, for example, you see many of the same people and get to know some of them, which only adds to the fun. At HPDE's you meet different people everytime, so its hard to get to know anyone.

If you only autocross for the 3-4 minutes of seat time, you are definitely doing it for the wrong reasons.
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Old 12-27-2002, 05:48 PM   #10
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Default NASA X

thats why I do NASA autoX instead of SCCA...
for 30$ I get 8 runs (they limit the field to 80 cars in NASAnortheast), 2 half speed practice runs, and about 4 fun runs for 1$/each.
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Old 12-27-2002, 05:51 PM   #11
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Default kart classes for older and larger people

You should look into 2 cycle kart racing, specifically the yamaha sportsman class. The senior class has a weight minmum of 360-365 combined for kart and driver. that means you can weigh 200-205 and still be at the minimum. Its not as cheap as they say, but you can start out with used equipment and get the hang of it and then upgrade down the road. If your local karting scene is big enough you can get 12-18 guys in the class and you can have a blast racing for 8th or 9th place even when you are just getting started. Also weight isnt always the difference its mostly about experience and skill.
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Old 12-27-2002, 05:55 PM   #12
DILLIGAF Racing
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I think the point the guy was trying to get across to me was I was too fat. Just kidding, he said the height is a major factor, because I couldn't get low enough in the Kart to be aerodynamic. I dunno. Still want to look into Rally, just don't want to use the WRX. Still anal about it.
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Old 12-27-2002, 07:30 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by DILLIGAF Racing
Still want to look into Rally, just don't want to use the WRX. Still anal about it.
I have yet to do a rallycross, but have seen a few of my autocrossing friends cars after they did a rallycross....dirt and mud everywhere! And I mean everywhere. After seeing that, I don't think I will do one with my street car.
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Old 12-27-2002, 08:17 PM   #14
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Simple explanation. It is a venue for people who would like to race but cannot afford a full on race car or who do not want to risk being mangled in a higher speed form of racing. Also it translates well into daily driving and knowing what you can and cannot do with your car to avoid accidents. It is also a very competitive sport to drive in. You have to be exceptionally skilled at placing your car in the right spot at the right angle at the right speed to win at higher levels. Run against guys like Tom Hoppe or KC in the same car as them and scratch your head as to why you can't get close to them in time. Not boring.

Dave
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Old 12-27-2002, 08:54 PM   #15
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Maybe it's the club you ran with. THe regions I've been with you are out on course for maybe 30-60 minutes ONCE during the day, and you get 4-8 runs depending on how many people show up.

It's nice with some other clubs if you arrive early and help out with the morning setup you don't have to work at all the rest of the day

But yeah different clubs will have ignorant people and helpful people, you just have to weed them out or look for the novice instructor - because he's supposed to be newbie friendly.
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Old 12-28-2002, 12:19 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by DILLIGAF Racing
I think the point the guy was trying to get across to me was I was too fat. Just kidding, he said the height is a major factor, because I couldn't get low enough in the Kart to be aerodynamic. I dunno. Still want to look into Rally, just don't want to use the WRX. Still anal about it.
Something like 40 - 60% of the cars at rallycrosses are WRX's or RS's. Worried about damage or what?
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Old 12-28-2002, 12:26 AM   #17
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Default Re: Explain to me the popularity of Auto-X

Quote:
Originally posted by wes
I did some auto-x ing for a couple of years and was bored out of my mind! I would sit out at the track for 7-8 hrs just so I could run 4, maybe 6 1 minute laps. I dont get it. I switched to kart racing. Talk about track time!!!!
Yeah, I have the same issues with rallycross... I really want to learn left-foot braking, countersteering, scandanavian flicks, etc... but I end up learning the most from the time I spend on back roads (not really optimal either, already had an accident trying that). Are there any similar alternatives to rallycross, especially for newbies?
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Old 12-28-2002, 03:29 AM   #18
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I don't really like it either. I will go to only the practice sessions where you get about 10-15 runs at it. There are a lot less people there and it was a great time to get to have a instructor ride with you. Hopefully they will have on again soon!
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Old 12-28-2002, 04:01 AM   #19
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Default Re: Explain to me the popularity of Auto-X

I think you guys are upset cause your racing in crowded regions.

I get 5 minute long runs for $25. And there are several formats that are being experimented with, like a "practice" format where you pay like $30 and race all day all you want but you just wait in a line thats made like parking spots (it was really fun and you didnt have to wait long at all, I got ~8 runs in). The "enduro" format where they have like 3 2 lap runs on saturday and 1 5 lap run on sunday for trophies... and we have 3 different venues here too.

And I tried carting, and I hated it... I autocross mostly cause track days are damn expensive! And rallycrossing/rallying is fun, but I only have this one car for me to use I'd like it to last
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Old 12-29-2002, 09:46 PM   #20
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Sure, Auto-X is not perfect...

But where else do you get to toss YOUR car around on a tight course and learn how it handles when making quick manuvers?

Don't say track days or rally-x's because its not the same type of manuvering. Both of those are different and are also must-attend events for the driver who wants to know how to control their car on all types of surfaces and at all speeds.

I also find that the adrenaline rush from one go at an auto-x course is stronger than lapping at a track, but that's because your packing a lot of action into a 60 second course. That doesn't appeal to all people, but it does appeal to quite a few based on the numbers we see at events.

-BrianK
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Old 12-29-2002, 11:42 PM   #21
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Did someone say track day

Default

It's been stated before by others, but for me at this point is it's just basically a social event. I mean I like to do well and will spend some money to do so but it's pretty tough to get THAT into it at least for me that I would think about going to nationals. I'm basically just biding my time increasing the level of equipment on my car before I take it to the track. I have an AE86 for auto-x later if I want which I think is a better (read more fun) car for those type of events anyway.

I will however be close to the last to say that auto-x is worthless as far as teaching car control and correct reactions to what the car is doing not instinctive ones. Also ít's something fairly cheap and fun to do on the weekends and it gets the speed bug out of me for a little while anyway. I can also see where auto-x can help someone wanting to do high speed track driving later due to the car placement skills and car attitude control that are very critical in auto-x. It really cracks me up when guys that have done a lot of track driving come out to auto-x and start downshifting all over the place and don't know how to toss the car around enough.

Anyway, I'd say for most people here it's just something fun to do on the weekends and a social event. As long as you stay in with the right people at the events and not the "rice"element that always seems to come out then it's pretty fun...
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Old 12-30-2002, 12:28 AM   #22
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Auto-X is a great stepping stone for other racing endeavors. Generally guys that auto-x pick up track stuff fairly well while track drivers are kind of lost doing autox. You basically see just about every type of corner you can imagine at all kinds of speeds. Peter Cunningham started out by autox'ing in this region many moons ago and look at him now. Another guy is Paul Eklund (rally), who is a multi-time national autox champ.

For me autox is as much a social event as a driving competition. It's good to compete with your friends, especially fellow Subaru guys. I've met alot of good people through autox. We have a group of about 10 Subaru guys in this area that all autox regularly and during the season there are events every weekend. I'm making the jump to SM this year and there should be at least two other SM Imprezas in the mix.

Events in this area are usually capped at 150 drivers and we still get 6 1+ minute runs in pretty easily. I've been to an event with 180 entries where we still got 6 runs. Even at our first event last year we had 270 entries and still got 4 in.
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Old 12-30-2002, 01:23 AM   #23
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I've actually spent a decent amount of time thinking about this very subject. I'm used to motorcycle racing and trackdays, where you get a good 4h of track time, and 4h of non-riding time. You're exhausted by the end of the day. However, my most enjoyable autocrosses have been the smaller ones, not more than 30 cars. You end up getting off the course, resting for 2 minutes and are right back out there. The other side is long courses with few cars. A 2 minute course seems like an eternity whilst navigating it. And with a small run group, it's at least a solid hour or so of runs.

The NorthEast seems crowded, a lot of people show up to Autocrosses (80-90 cars is average). It takes 10 hours to get 4 run groups done; each run is under 60 seconds. Those are the days I found myself asking why I was standing in the blistering sun/driving rain for 10h for a total of 4 minutes driving time.

In my first year of autocrossing, I find I'm a far better driver overall. However, I also find myself dreading the "big autocrosses" and 10 hours of standing around waiting. I've had friends come with me for autocrosses, and they've all enjoyed the car time, the social aspects, but not the waiting to run again.
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Old 12-30-2002, 01:52 AM   #24
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Ive noticed most folks complaining about auto-x's are folks who have congested events and bad coordinators (10 hours? Local events here are designed where you race/work in either the morning or afternoon, not both) and also WRX drivers. Perhaps because someone like me in a cheap 1.8L impreza can compete with them and their cars and actually win?

Ok, ok... Enough ranting guys, we know that some folks dont like autocross and some dont like kart racing, and even others dont even like WRC. Everyone enjoys different things
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Old 12-30-2002, 08:35 AM   #25
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If you have a 10 hour autox, you have some bad organization.
In our club we have first car off at 10:30. With 130 drivers, we are done with 4 runs at 3:00pm, and usually have fun runs. By the time results/trophies/cleanup are done, we are outa there at 5:00pm.

I myself take my autoxing pretty seriously. I run the national events, and am very adimate in getting a national championship this year. I am trying to use autox as a stepping stone into a racing career and to get myself noticed. Apparently it has worked ok so far

-Tom
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