auto x newb - Racing Forum

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auto x newb
Thursday, February 20, 2014 12:03 PM
I am really considering getting into auto x this year. I have never been to a track before or even a drag strip. So a lot of it is new to me, I have done a lot of reading on this forum and others. Seen probably about 50+ videos.... I am looking into the school/training at the beginning of the season but had no luck finding it in my area but have emailed the place that organizes it. I know you can walk the track and that but watching some videos, I am wondering how some guys know where to go? Some of the pylons are placed in different areas and it looks very confusing. I am just wondering if I am just giving myself a hard time or is it common for people to mess up where they are suppose to go? I think that is my biggest worry, forgetting where to go. I feel confident that I can do pretty good, I have been go karting a few times and almost always get 1st. I know that may not be the same thing but I feel that I have always been a pretty good driver. I really wish I gotten into auto x or drag racing many years ago. Its a big reason why I no longer have my cobalt any more. I was younger and had a heavy foot, few speeding tickets/suspensions=very expensive insurance. Some guys may be able to relate. I have now grown up but miss "driving fast". I do drive a little spirited sometimes but nothing like I used to when I was younger. That's why I want to get into auto x and maybe drag racing in the future although I don't think my car would be very impressive at drag racing. First the cavalier was just going to be a DD with maybe a few little mods then I got a steal of a deal on sportlines/koni reds. Even since then, I love how the car handles and it is very hard to resist trying to see how it can perform so that's also why I want to go to a track. Then I can actually take my car to its full potential. I know many say to run stock first but unfortunately I may be in a little higher class(ST maybe?). Any other advise for a rookie auto x would be great. I read the sticky here but if there's other good reads on other sites, that would be helpful too. Maybe I'm just over thinking it and should just go and try it out, just like being as educated as possible.

Most of the mods are in my sign but I'll list how I have my tires and suspension set up
koni reds full soft front and about 3/4 turn from full hard on rear. Didn't really want to have to change this all the time. May look at d specs or yellows in future.
I have 205/55/16 Falken FK452 (max 51 psi) Thinking of running like 40F42R Normally I run them at 36F38R






2000 Cavalier Z24 5spd - Intake, Dynomax muffler, Hawk Pads, Powerslot rotors, Sportlines/Koni reds, Neon Coil, MSD 8.5 Wires - **SOLD**
2014 Kia Forte Koup SX 6spd - 1.6L Turbo - My new car
2015 Kia Sorento EX V6 AWD - Wifes Car


Re: auto x newb
Saturday, February 22, 2014 8:09 PM
Most events will have a minimum of course walk and a drivers meeting before each event. In our region, the regulars are very open to helping new drivers. They do a new driver course walk where they help point out driving lines and will even do ride alongs (in their car to show you the course and with you driving your car to help navigate the course and offer pointers)

Every region cones their courses differently so it's hard to say what you will see on course but most will use pointer cones (cones set on their side next to an upright cone to let you know what side of the cone to travel on) or a series of upright cones to outline the course. Even people that have run events for years make mistakes from time to time. There is no need to worry about making mistakes. The most important thing to do is to look ahead and try to stay on course.... Even if it means starting slow. Driving fast is nothing if you dnf every run because you were off course. Speed will come with experience and the more you do it the easier you will be able to find your way through a coned course.

The sportlines will put you out of the stock class. You can download a copy of the rulebook from the scca website that breaks down the classes based on allowable modifications.

My only other advice is have fun. Don't worry about other people's times... Just work on improving your own time from your first to your last run. As I said before, speed will come with experience.



Re: auto x newb
Saturday, February 22, 2014 9:52 PM
Yeah, I think I'll be fine, just will have to take it easy at first. I found out yesterday that we no longer have a parking lot for auto x this year. Sounds like they are working on finding a new location though. Yeah I'm not sure if rules vary place to place but I might not even be in st (street touring) because of my powerslots? So I might be a class above that. But I'm not too worried about being first or anything. I'd just be happy if I wasn't last. But yeah just looking to have fun and being able to take my car to its full potential. I'm sure it will get addictive and I'll start wanting to do more mods. I hope they find a new location though. If not there's some other events 2-3 hours away.

What would you recommend for tire pressure? Some sites suggest running less in rear but I figured you would want more to help with understeer. Seems like most guys on here run more in rear too.


2000 Cavalier Z24 5spd - Intake, Dynomax muffler, Hawk Pads, Powerslot rotors, Sportlines/Koni reds, Neon Coil, MSD 8.5 Wires - **SOLD**
2014 Kia Forte Koup SX 6spd - 1.6L Turbo - My new car
2015 Kia Sorento EX V6 AWD - Wifes Car

Re: auto x newb
Sunday, February 23, 2014 12:42 AM
I know i'll catch flak from Strat81 because i never bother with tire pressures. But tire pressures depend on the tire and the day. You want to run a pressure that will allow the most of the tread to contact the pavement, but not roll over onto the sidewall. I ran straight 35psi all the way around, but Strat81 and others will play with tire pressures all day long to get them right. If i remember right his pressures usually ended up in the 30-35psi range depending on the day.

Suspension settings are another thing that has to be done after running the car. Auto-xing is nothing like a nice spirited run up a mountain road. I thought my car handled pretty well with the recommended settings from Tein, but after running a few events i ended up playing with them to help eliminate some over steer.




Re: auto x newb
Sunday, February 23, 2014 9:49 AM
Thanks for the advice, may have to play with them to find a good pressure. I was thinking Id run somewhere closer to 40 first. I am thinking my 205/55/16s will roll over easier than your 225/40/18 and Strat81 245/40/17. I hope I can do some auto xing this year. Kind of a disappointment to find out it may be canceled this year in my area.

I found these videos on youtube, I think they are from the 90s but looks like good info on them Autocross School Lessons. There's 11 in total.




2000 Cavalier Z24 5spd - Intake, Dynomax muffler, Hawk Pads, Powerslot rotors, Sportlines/Koni reds, Neon Coil, MSD 8.5 Wires - **SOLD**
2014 Kia Forte Koup SX 6spd - 1.6L Turbo - My new car
2015 Kia Sorento EX V6 AWD - Wifes Car

Re: auto x newb
Sunday, February 23, 2014 10:19 AM
Tinkles(KGM) wrote:

I know i'll catch flak from Strat81 because i never bother with tire pressures.


Blasphemy!

Somewhere in the high 30s is a good starting point, it's easier to let air out if needed. My advice would be to use some window paint on the sidewall to see how far they roll. Try to get as much contact patch as possible. Once you've done that, don't change anything else until you've learned how to handle the car. The most important piece in autocross is the driver. After you've developed yourself as a driver, you can make subtle changes to the car to make it do more of what you want. Yes, higher pressure in the rear will help counter understeer, but in the beginning, you should set all 4 at the same pressure so you don't have any snap oversteer. As a beginner, trying to autocross and having a DNF or hitting a bunch of cones on each run is pretty frustrating. Speed will come with experience.



Re: auto x newb
Sunday, February 23, 2014 9:58 PM
I found 36f/32r worked best for my setup.

That kept the wear to the very edge of the tread without touching the sidewall.

As recommended, start high and lower pressures till you find a happy medium.

P.s. Kyle you ran faster after I played with your pressures at cone killer :p




Re: auto x newb
Monday, February 24, 2014 8:43 PM
This is from last year with about 36 psi in the front, doing some spirited driving. That's why I was thinking 40s, might have to get some paint so I can see how much the sidewalls are actually rolling, I had them at 42-44 for a little last year but they were pretty rough on the roads so tried dropping them to about 36.




2000 Cavalier Z24 5spd - Intake, Dynomax muffler, Hawk Pads, Powerslot rotors, Sportlines/Koni reds, Neon Coil, MSD 8.5 Wires - **SOLD**
2014 Kia Forte Koup SX 6spd - 1.6L Turbo - My new car
2015 Kia Sorento EX V6 AWD - Wifes Car

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