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-   -   Point Me In The Right Direction? (http://www.focusfanatics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=134718)

Co0p3r 09-13-2007 08:09 PM

Point Me In The Right Direction?
 
Well..I am going to try a early career at racing..Not Drag Racing..But like closed circuit.. With Hp regulations etc..im 16 and i know..every 16 year old thinks there invincible..but i got that out of my head and have been working on the fundamentals of performance driving about 9 months now..I feel that i am a very good driver and could stand a really good chance with my class etc...anyone know what kind of racing im talking about? Tracks like Laguna Seca etc...but way smaller and for 3-400 hp cars.. any feedback please??

WeeAsp 09-13-2007 09:29 PM

Welcome to FF.

Not to sound like your Dad or some old curmudgeon, but your best bet to prepare your path is to forget the big tracks for now.

Use that as an ultimate goal.

Autocross is the best place to start.

A lot of people will "poo poo" AX as an entry into road or closed circuit racing, but it is not.

AX teaches you a lot about yourself as a driver and the car you drive. Initially, the only person you have to beat is yourself. You are racing against the clock. Everything that happens on a road course is compressed into HALF the time on an AX course.

As a result, you are applying skills that you have to execute in a timely and deliberate fashion with AX. On a road course, you have time to think about it. This is not always a good thing. The more time you have to think, the more opportunity you have to second guess yourself. Eventually, with AX, things become second nature and muscle memory takes over.

The other thing is that in AX, everything you do translates directly to the big tracks and the street. With a road course, this is not always the case.

There is an old expression, that you may have seen before, that pretty well sums it up.

"Good autocrossers make GREAT road racers. Great road racers make LOUSY autocrossers."

The last thing, being that you are only 16, is the issue of expense. You can go to an AX and basically "run what you brung". The only additional equipment you need to get started is a tire pressure gauge and access to an air pump at a gas station.

Set your tire psi for 10 psi over stock and drive. Be sure to return to street pressures on the way home.

Don't worry about modifications or race tires for at least your first year in the sport. You may not win a lot of events, but the experience you gain will pay off tremendously in the coming years as you advance your career.

I would recommend that you AX for 2 full seasons before trying a road course (especially one like Laguna Seca) and go from there.

It's GREAT to see that you are interested in trying out legal and sanctioned racing. Make heavy use of the expertise at your local AX and then at road courses as you become comfortable in that environment.

There are people with natural ability, I am not one of those people, but we can all learn. So, pay attention to the gray beards, listen to their advice, and use your youth and enthusiasm to go far.

Good luck and remember that there are a number of experienced drivers on this forum that can provide perspective.

[race]

eventerke 09-13-2007 09:57 PM

One other thing to look into is karting.

Alot of serious racers got thier start in karting (including many F1 drivers).

Co0p3r 09-13-2007 10:06 PM

yeah..i tried karting locally..was good at it but didnt really like it..im wanting to advance into road courses maybe like forza motorsport course lengths..etc..i will start AX'ing in the spring.. where would a good place in ohio be to go?? and iv got mostly all the NA mods on my SVT...should i go FI in spring?

eventerke 09-13-2007 10:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Co0p3r (Post 1755580)
yeah..i tried karting locally..was good at it but didnt really like it..im wanting to advance into road courses maybe like forza motorsport course lengths..etc..i will start AX'ing in the spring.. where would a good place in ohio be to go?? and iv got mostly all the NA mods on my SVT...should i go FI in spring?

Check www.myautoevents.com, or scca.org to find your local club events.

On upgrading your car - I'll quote you exactly what my instructor PM'ed me in preparation for my first HPDE:

Quote:

Seriously, stop worrying about the damn car so much and concentrate on learning to drive it.
Go, drive, LISTEN and LEARN - if you are patient and have a good attitude, you will be amazed at how helpful people in motorsports can be. Never be afraid to ask questions.

If you show that you can be a good learner, opportunities will present themselves.

To summarize, less [wrenchin], lots of [:D] and [driving] equals [clap] and [pray]

Co0p3r 09-13-2007 11:20 PM

Alright..thanks for the help bro..ill just keep that cash tucked away incase i need something :)

tua03332 09-13-2007 11:42 PM

I guess its too late to add my 2cents but here i go anyways....I started AX'ing two years ago with no background in racing, besides videos games and go-karts. I took people's advice in not dumping any money into my car until the current season. I started out about 10secs behind leader in my class. After two years i was about 4secs and then after this season with mods i am about 3secs faster than him.....I know i still got tons of learning to do plus plenty of mods left, but the one thing I learned that no one mentioned was the opps. The past 2 1/2 yrs I've had my fair share of opps, trust me something will break in your car and need to be replaced. You will need money to pay entry fees, gas, tolls, food and anything else before you actually buy stuff for the car. That money will go fast. So be prepared for anything and good luck!

fusi0n 09-14-2007 01:54 AM

This is the best excuse for not going to college that I've ever heard of.

Co0p3r 09-14-2007 08:29 AM

..i am going to college..computer engineering fyi. 3 days a week. next fall..im a senior atm.


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