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Old 05-03-2004, 09:39 PM   #1
leecea
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Default Slalom technique question

Assuming equal spacing, I figure the fastest way through a slalom is to maintain a constant speed and do it fast and smooth. Others seem to be constantly on and off the gas.

Any thoughts about throttle technique in a slalom would be very helpful.

BTW: I know that turning early and keeping close to the cones is the biggest goal.
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Old 05-03-2004, 09:46 PM   #2
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Brake as late as possible, then start easing down on the go pedal as you get a rhythm going so that when you exit the slalom your foot is on the floor.
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Old 05-04-2004, 08:40 AM   #3
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Full throttle... and if you hit a cone, just glance back to be sure.



When I think about it, I have no idea what my right foot is doing, all I try to do is keep running over the backside of the cones. This will help keep your rhythm going, and if you push out a little bit, it won't kill the run, because you will have a little room to recover.
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Old 05-04-2004, 10:10 AM   #4
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Quote:
maintain a constant speed and do it fast and smooth.
I think that this is the key. Some people (who go slow and get sideways in their 2003 WRX ) will often use a quick trailing throttle to get the front to grip or the back to rotate -- generally not the fast way. The fastest guys in my area always look pretty "slow" through the slaloms - with a constant throttle position.

If the slalom looks "exciting" - it's usually slow.

Quote:
and if you hit a cone, just glance back to be sure.
...never look back
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Old 05-04-2004, 12:09 PM   #5
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constant partial trottle until the apex of the 2nd to last cone
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Old 05-04-2004, 12:16 PM   #6
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If your hands aren't moving, you don't have enough throttle.

IOW, if you find yourself going straight, then you aren't going fast enough.
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Old 05-04-2004, 12:52 PM   #7
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The on/off throttle is really for steering the car through the slalom.

As you are off throttle, the weight transfer to the front and the car steers more decisively in the direction of the steering wheel.

When on throttle, the weight transfers to the rear, stablizes it, and allows for a smoother steering transition towards the other direction, hence allowing again a stable front-end transition.

If the car is setup with a looser end, if you stay on throttle through all the entire slalom - at least in my experience and our car setup - the rear end becomes too loose, causing us to slow down, or it spins.

Obviously, position the car towards the back of the cones is the primary manner to go through the slaloms, but without throttle steering, for me, I loose significant time.
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Old 05-04-2004, 01:13 PM   #8
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smoothe is fast

but not quite smoothe is faster

watch the guys that get top pax of the day a lot go through slaloms and youll see the read end wagging around.
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Old 05-04-2004, 01:21 PM   #9
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Thanks everyone. I think my car is pretty neutral in slaloms, so maybe that's why I feel like the constant speed approach works for me. The comments regarding exciting being slow and constant motion from turn to turn are good reminders for me to keep in mind as I run.
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Old 05-04-2004, 01:46 PM   #10
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Quote:
watch the guys that get top pax of the day a lot go through slaloms and youll see the read (sic) end wagging around.
The only time I wag the tail in a slalom is when it's only 3 cones. Then I enter the slalom fast enough while braking so that I swing the rear tire around the cone as I run a tight line with the front tire, and at I'm full throttle as the middle of the car passes the cone. And if I have to cut back the other way to get around the 3rd cone, it's a quick lift/floor it and I'm through.

If it's a longer slalom, I don't want the rear end to swing out, because that adds time to my run as I try to catch it.

But what do I know? I'm stuck getting 2nd in PAX so far this year... damn boxer4racing WRX!!!


http://www.thscc.com/autocross/event...-0321indx.html

http://www.thscc.com/autocross/event...-0425indx.html
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Old 05-04-2004, 02:13 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by Fred
But what do I know? I'm stuck getting 2nd in PAX so far this year... damn boxer4racing WRX!!!


http://www.thscc.com/autocross/event...-0321indx.html

http://www.thscc.com/autocross/event...-0425indx.html
Interesting....Shawn beat you by a lot more than Tom. Looks like Tom's losing his edge!
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Old 05-04-2004, 02:31 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by MNbiker
Interesting....Shawn beat you by a lot more than Tom. Looks like Tom's losing his edge!
I dunno.... the kryptonite worked over the weekend at the SEDIV..



- Miranda
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Old 05-04-2004, 02:37 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by zoomfactor
If the slalom looks "exciting" - it's usually slow.
in the words of the alien. "...the car is crashing for the entire run. you just hang on and try to keep the back behind you."

ask keith what my car is like in a slalom. it's exciting. when i get it "right" i literally can't move my hands any faster. it's physically impossible. each steering input for the next slalom cone is also a "catch" of the back of the car from the previous steering input. this all usually happens with some level of throttle application, but NO LIFT. i sometimes have to slow down more then i'd like entering a fast slalom just so that i can apply throttle throughout without flying off the course. the last cone in the slalom is typically in grave danger. i've punted it with the rear bumper before.

nate
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Old 05-04-2004, 02:53 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by solo-x
ask keith what my car is like in a slalom. it's exciting.
I was trying to find that pic of you at nationals, but Gimp moved and no longer has a comcast account.

Nate's car is very interesting.... it really is, foot to the floor and hold on. I took it for a 'spin' at the school on the course and at the end of the slalom, gave a little too much sterring and wheeeeee around we went. Only one to spin the whole day!

I guess my answer to the original question would be 'it depends'. What's before or after the slalom? Do you have to give it up near the end to make a corner for the next element? Is the section before the slalom slow? The optimum is to either be holding speed or acellerating through the slalom... any way you can get through it without slowing down while you're in it.

Sure, you may have to slow down at the beginning and find your speed, so entry is important to be lined up to get to the backside of the 2nd cone as best as possible and the ending really depends on the next course element if you have to let up... or the cone before the last, you can just stomp on it....

This is where the 'looking ahead' comes into play, and having a few coursewalks with a few ideas in how fast you'll be going so while you're on couse, you can make minor adjustments.

This past Sunday, we had a 4 cone slalom right at the start... I acellerated all the way through it to a 90 degree right hander. If I just held my speed, since it was the 1st part of the course... I would have been s....l....o....w

So again... 'it depends'.
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Old 05-04-2004, 03:28 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by Midnight_Gold
I dunno.... the kryptonite worked over the weekend at the SEDIV..



- Miranda
Wow, no kidding! That's some serious whup$ass
Way to go, Tom!
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Old 05-04-2004, 03:32 PM   #16
Fred
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Quote:
Interesting....Shawn beat you by a lot more than Tom. Looks like Tom's losing his edge!
Actually, I was on the stock (90k mile-old/ busted) suspension plus bigger rear sway bar and 205/55/16 Azeni at the first event. I had just bought the car at that point, and hadn't even ordered the Konis yet. At the second event, it was modified a lot more.

And I don't want Tom to lose his edge - don't want to hear any excuses when I kick his *** again this year...

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Old 05-04-2004, 03:54 PM   #17
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Quote:
Interesting....Shawn beat you by a lot more than Tom. Looks like Tom's losing his edge!
Kevin forgot to mention that Tom coned away his best 2 runs (almost 0.8) that day. My fastest raw with a stupid cone was 0.2 raw behind GH Sharp's AS Boxer

Like my car is fast and stuff

Midnight_Gold definetly doesn't take enough credit for how much she helps my driving......seriously....

As far as slaloms go.

I try to brake enough for the slalom while leaving enough room for a good entry. Sometimes that is before the slalom if its tight, but a lot of the time, I try to brake while entering the first gate in the slalom. Its very important to brake enough. If you brake too much, you can always get on the gas, but youre DONE if you get late through the first slalom gate. Then I try to hold on the car through the next gate or two as its really loose on slalom entry, and then smoothly go to wot at the 2 cones from the end. One important thing that I learned. NEVER STOP TURNING. If you ever go straight or stop turning you either will be late for the next gate, or you are going way too slow.

Another thing that has worked for me, was to try to run over the back sides of the cones with your rear wheel. Try it. Its REALLY hard and you'll find that youre turning a whole lot earlier. I've gotten to the point where almost all my cone marks are either on the back door or the back bottom of the sideskirt.

-Tom
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Old 05-04-2004, 04:43 PM   #18
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Ya know, I bet I could've had a coned run that was AT LEAST a second faster than my fastest unconed run... hmmm... and if I had skipped a gate or two, I probably could've had FTD!



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Old 05-04-2004, 04:44 PM   #19
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But, yes - Tom's car is "stupid fast."
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Old 05-04-2004, 05:23 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by Fred
But, yes - Tom's car is "stupid fast."
It's only as fast as the driver can make it. Soo... did you just call Tom stupid? Hey Tom! Did you hear that? He called you stupid!

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Old 05-04-2004, 06:07 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally posted by Fred
Ya know, I bet I could've had a coned run that was AT LEAST a second faster than my fastest unconed run... hmmm... and if I had skipped a gate or two, I probably could've had FTD!



That cone baaaarely fell over. If the wind was blowing the other way, it probably would have not fell over

Quote:
Originally posted by KC
It's only as fast as the driver can make it. Soo... did you just call Tom stupid? Hey Tom! Did you hear that? He called you stupid!

KC has been called insanely fast on multiple occasions

-Tom
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Old 05-04-2004, 06:09 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally posted by trhoppe
KC has been called insanely fast on multiple occasions
Or was that fastly insane?
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Old 05-06-2004, 03:45 AM   #23
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Anyone ever feel that the car just won't steer fast enough in a slalom? I think (although I haven't been able to confirm) that the 2.5GT probably has a slower steering ratio than the RS, WRX, and STi. In tight slaloms I really don't think I can go as fast as the car should be able to go because I just can't get the wheel around quickly enough. Quite frustrating, because it really feels like I'm giving up time.

Anyway, I agree with what has been said by others. I actually had talked to KC about this not too long ago to see what his thoughts were. Turns out I was doing about everything that he has suggested here, but I still feel slow sometimes (back to the rack ratio issue).

It's a good feeling when guys tell you after a run, "I was working out at corner 4. Man, I couldn't believe how close you were to the cones in that slalom!!"

Pat Olsen
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Old 05-06-2004, 01:08 PM   #24
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I have the same problem Patrick. I had a decreasing radius slalom at the autocross last weekend (went from 90 feet to 35 by the end) And near the end I was turning A LOT. I just try and go through them smoothly pretty much since I can't get the rear around at all (I'll just understeer) and get as close to the cones as possible.
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Old 05-25-2004, 10:45 PM   #25
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since the shortest distance between any two points is a straight line, it is often better to run the slalom in a zig-zag line rather than a smooth, constant speed S-curve.

If the cone is your apex, then you are behind in the slalom. You want to turn in to the cone well before you get to it.

Use the brakes to plant weight on the front tires and allow you to make a nice quick change of direction. Then full power, for a spit second then brake ( in a straight line) get the weight forward, pivot the front end, power on again. Do this all the way through the slalom. This is the fastest way through.

If you are really adventurous you can try to left foot brake to keep the turbo spooled up and really help your throttle response.

It is key to plant the weight on the front end to allow you to turn the car and not push/scrub wide.


Gonz.
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