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Old 05-25-2004, 11:51 AM   #1
Obnoxio
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Default Newbie auto-x questions

Im going to be running my WRX this sunday for the first time. Having never been to an auto-x, I dont want to be completley stupid. So heres a few questions:
First, what kind of helmet do I need? Will my old motorcycle helmet be acceptable?
Second, well I think that was about it actually. Anybody got any good tips for a first timer?
Flame suit on.
-Toddb
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Old 05-25-2004, 12:07 PM   #2
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Your old motorcycle helmet should be fine as long as it is snell rated M2000 or even snell M1995 (for now).

The best advice is to have an instructor ride with you for your first few runs. They will give you advice on what you are doing right & wrong.

Also be prepared. Bring plenty of water/ sunscreen, comfortable shoes.
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Old 05-25-2004, 12:16 PM   #3
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There should be absolutely 0 flames to a thread like this. Depending on what organization you are going to Auto-x with, M1995 might not be enough, 2000 will be good though.

As for tips, don't be scared to walk up to some of the guys that are experienced and ask them to walk you through the course before the races start. This will happen just after you take your car to get inspected. Most people at the auto-xes are very happy to pass on what they know to a new person and will answer any questions you have. Don't be resistant to criticism with them, some may be harsher than others, but take all the advice you can get.

Walk the course as many times as you can before you have to go to the drivers meeting and memorize where everything is. It may seem silly, but knowing that directly after the 2nd left is a hard right will be invaluable when you are out there.

Scooby Freak was dead on with his advice: bring water, maybe a sandwich (long day with not much time to grab a bite), sunscreen, shoes you feel very comfortable in, and a hat. A good portion of the day is not spent racing but standing around.

Also, when you are not running, watch the others as they run the track. Watching the timing that they use for braking, turn in and the lines they follow will be a big help in progressing your own knowledge.

Sorry for the long winded response, Have fun out there though, its an adiction, one that I am proud to share in

edit: Oh yea, forgot. Don't go out there and go full blast through the course. The most important lesson you'll learn out there is faster is not always faster, sometimes the slower speed will catch the shorter time.
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Old 05-25-2004, 12:21 PM   #4
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If you have any ability to change tire pressures, that will be a big help. Any type of pump and gauge will be useful. If not, just stop at a gas station near the event and add some air. Most people run over 40psi front and a few psi less rear, especially if you are on stock tires. Exact numbers are hard to say - maybe 44 front, 40 rear for stock tires is a safe starting point???

You will also need to empty your car of pretty much everything, including floor mats, before your runs, so have a trash bag or some type of container to put it all in!

Read one of the many Autox FAQs available on the Web... they will tell you all this plus more.
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Old 05-25-2004, 12:24 PM   #5
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The only flame possible would be "Do a search'.

Otherwise... Read this:

The Solo-II Novice Handbook
http://www.tirerack.com/features/solo2/handbook.htm
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Old 05-25-2004, 01:15 PM   #6
dowroa
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Only a truck, for now. ;)

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Quote:
Originally posted by Obnoxio
Im going to be running my WRX this sunday for the first time. Having never been to an auto-x, I dont want to be completley stupid. So heres a few questions:
First, what kind of helmet do I need? Will my old motorcycle helmet be acceptable?
Second, well I think that was about it actually. Anybody got any good tips for a first timer?
Flame suit on.
-Toddb

For ANY first time autoXer (as I have recently brought LOT of my n00bie friends out ), these are MUST HAVES:

- SUNSCREEN -- you are not going to have fun if you are a crab at the end of the day.. AND YOU WILL BE.

- Chair -- when you are not working, you WILL want a place to relax.

- Comfortable clothes and closed toe shoes. No one wants to be on their feet for 10 hours and be miserable.

- WATER, WATER, and more WATER... and food . Sometimes, there are no restraunts nearby.

- SOMEONE you KNOW. It makes the day MUCH more fun and makes you WANT to come back if you have someone to talk about how much fun you are having, driving techniques, and "ROFL!! You see that spin?!?! I was going nuts!!"


Other than that, depending on your class, I would just go out there to have fun. If you are running RE92s, that is about all you are going to do anyway with those tires on. Oh, and if you have any problems with shredding tires oh not wanting to wear yours down... you might as well get over it or get another set of wheels. After the day (depending on treadwear rating) your tires will look like a puppy chewed on it for a few hours.

After an event, I would start worrying about other things.

Just let us know how it turns out!!

- dow
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Old 05-25-2004, 05:59 PM   #7
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As soon as I saw the thread I was thinking of the link that KC put up. Danged old man is fast!
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Old 05-25-2004, 11:03 PM   #8
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Besides the sunscreen (or umbrella, depending on the weather conditions...) and water, the most important thing to remember is that you're there to have fun. I tend to get nervous when doing something new. But there's really no reason to put yourself under pressure. Almost everybody sucks at this when they start out. Give your best, enjoy it, and then go to more events. You will get better over time, it just takes practice.

The other important thing is: Ask questions! Don't worry if you don't know exactly what to do. Just look around, pick the closest person you can find, and say "Hey, I'm new, can you tell me where to register?" Most people love to help out newbies, and it's a good way of getting to know everybody. I know I have met some great people as a result of doing dumbass things like forgetting the handle for my floor jack at home.
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Old 05-25-2004, 11:11 PM   #9
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Walk the course... Walk the course... Walk the course... Walk the course... Walk the course... Walk the course... Walk the course... Walk the course... Walk the course... Walk the course... Walk the course... Walk the course... Walk the course... Walk the course... Walk the course... Walk the course... Walk the course... Walk the course... Walk the course... Walk the course... Walk the course... Walk the course... Walk the course...
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Old 05-25-2004, 11:21 PM   #10
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5 mph in grid 5 mph in grid 5 mph in grid 5 mph in grid 5 mph in grid 5 mph in grid 5 mph in grid 5 mph in grid 5 mph in grid 5 mph in grid 5 mph in grid 5 mph in grid 5 mph in grid 5 mph in grid 5 mph in grid 5 mph in grid 5 mph in grid 5 mph in grid 5 mph in grid 5 mph in grid 5 mph in grid 5 mph in grid 5 mph in grid 5 mph in grid 5 mph in grid 5 mph in grid 5 mph in grid 5 mph in grid 5 mph in grid
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Old 05-26-2004, 12:06 AM   #11
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At the DC region SCCA events my M90 helmet is fine. The way they explained the rule to me, it's the current one (2000) plus the last two (95+90). I need to get a new one anyway (track days) but I haven't had any problems yet..

john
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Old 05-26-2004, 12:34 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by SLKWrx
Depending on what organization you are going to Auto-x with, M1995 might not be enough, 2000 will be good though.
Well since Obnoxio mentioned "old" motorcycle helmet, I'm guessing it won't be a 2000.

But a frequently forgotten fact is that according to SCCA rules, the current certification and 2 previous certifications are allowed. So for the time being, that would be 90, 95, and 2000. However, your local region might further restrict the allowed helmets (or a non-SCCA club might have totally different rules).

Obnoxio, even if your helmet isn't allowed, all autocross events I've been to have had loaner helmets available for newbies to use. So I wouldn't be too concerned...
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Old 05-26-2004, 12:34 AM   #13
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Ah, I see John beat me to it.
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Old 05-26-2004, 12:43 AM   #14
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Look ahead!
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Old 05-26-2004, 12:45 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by KC
Walk the course... Walk the course... Walk the course... Walk the course... Walk the course... Walk the course... Walk the course... Walk the course... Walk the course... Walk the course... Walk the course... Walk the course... Walk the course... Walk the course... Walk the course... Walk the course... Walk the course... Walk the course... Walk the course... Walk the course... Walk the course... Walk the course... Walk the course...
...just to reiterate. Can't do this enough. Everything else (advise wise) tends to be useless unless you know where you are going.
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Old 05-26-2004, 01:03 AM   #16
DrBiggly
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Walk the course AND look ahead. If you forget, you can always see what's next.
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Old 05-26-2004, 01:19 AM   #17
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Do what KC and Watkinsm3 said to do. Second, walk that course but with this stipulation. Walk with an instructor or experienced autocrosser. I alway try to take newbies out to walk and point out the key cones for them. The less you think about while driving on course the better. (reason for walking many times). Third...stay on the course. Fourth, be smooooth. And number one (and out of order) have fun. Once you do this a couple of times you can join our co-dependant autocrossing addict club called the SCCA. We have regular meetings on Sundays to hang out and discuss our addiction. It doesn't help me a damn bit though. I still can't get enough.

Dave
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Old 05-26-2004, 08:21 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by DrBiggly
Look ahead!
Was that comment directed at me or at the original poster?

If it was directed at me, it wasn't that I wasn't looking ahead, it was that I was taking the course nice and easy, struggling to stay on course, and John finished before me!!

If it was directed at the original poster, excellent advice!!
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Old 05-26-2004, 10:42 AM   #19
DrBiggly
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Quote:
Originally posted by jcroy66
Was that comment directed at me or at the original poster?

The original poster. I find that it's been one of the things that is hardest to remember to do. Looking ahead creates much smoother lines for me and helps my times quite a bit.
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