Originally Posted by Zewerr
Two really good ways to help make you faster, is have someone with experience drive your car through the course with you as passenger, or registering for a local autocross school, if one's available. Aside from simple experience, these are the best ways to hone your skills.
^^That's exactly right. You'll be amazed at what YOUR car is capable of, what it's supposed to feel like, and sound like. It is a humbling experience we all had to go thru. Especially if you think it's your car holding you back, let a pro drive it for you.
Once you understand what you're trying to accomplish, then you're ready to have an instructor ride with you. Some will just point out where the course goes. Forget about him- you want the guy who's going to find fault with your driving and who is going to make you do it right. I had an instructor (he was actually just another compettitor, but a good one) who acted like I was 16 and he was my old man- he really gave me hell, but I needed it and I'd say I took 2 full seconds off my time that day by listening to what he was saying. By the time it was over, I came within a half second of beating him, and I got 2nd place sts. We were both thrilled!