Autocross pivots or 360's;what are your proven techniques? - Focus Fanatics
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Old 09-26-2006, 01:08 PM   #1
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Autocross pivots or 360's;what are your proven techniques?

I have tried these a few different ways with mixed success.(only my second time A/Xing))The course I have been to has two of them,one is at the far end of a long section, 180 degree direction change and the approach is wide open second gear(40mph),optional left or right.I have tried hard on the brakes,into first gear,turn and accelerate out.I have tried going wide in second gear going as tight as the understeer will allow me and lastly,the old parking brake slide-in skidding tight,turning and accelerate out.The fastest seems to be hard braking into first gear and turn,but when I ask around,I get lots of variations on all three styles as answers. The second pivot is a 360 degree with lots of room to be creative,but more like 30mph.It seems like the fastest cars go into the corner in first,turn and accelerate out,but they are rear wheel drive with serious HP.I am on the verge of doing a Torsen just for the fact there does not seem to be a "fast" way for me to take these without feeling like I'm pulling into Grannys driveway.Any tips from the veterans?


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Old 09-26-2006, 06:15 PM   #2
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This is a tough one to explain.
1st off, forget the E-Brake method.

For a tight 180, I brake right at the threshold (ABS kicking in), and at the split second before turning in,
shift to 1st, turn the car, and gently roll back on the gas so the inside front tire doesn't spin.
I also come in wide, and go out narrow.
See...Late Apex...>>> http://www.eurotuner.com/howto/38238
Scroll down to "The Line", it's explained there with Figure B being the proper line.

360...
Haven't had any of those, unless you consider our "skid pad" at a test and tune to be one.
Hint...adjusting the steering wheel is costing you time.
Hold the wheel steady, and adjust the line of the car with the throttle.
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Old 09-27-2006, 07:11 AM   #3
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Your 180 technique is about what I found to be the fastest way around.I will try to come in wider and go out narrow. Yea,that 360 is a toughy.It's actually more like a 400 as you enter at 6 oclock,pivot around and depart at 9 oclock toward the next gate.I read the article and will try it more like a decreasing radius rather than a 180.I hope to have my Torsen in and some Hoosier A6's on before the next event.What is your feeling on running a little bit wider tire up front?I'm thinking 245/35/18's in front and 225/40/18" out back,as there does not seem to be much going on back there anyway.Kind of like a big rudder....
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Old 09-27-2006, 11:36 AM   #4
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^^^Depends on what class you are already in. Going from a 215 to a 225 won't have any real effect, not as much as just playing with tire pressures will be. Going real wide is going to throw you in a whole other class, and still won't be nearly as effective as balancing the car with the right PSIs and the right line.

As for your 360s, or Carousels as we call them. You have to get as close as you possibly can to the cones and drive right at the edge of available grip. Most people try to go through those much too fast and end up wasting time understeering around it, going wide, and not having traction to accelerate out. You can do great things in these with finely adjusting your line via left foot braking, but that's not something you want to try right away. Just concentrate on getting close and controlling speed so that you have traction all the way around.

As for the 180s, as WD40 said, you just have to take the SIFO (Slow In Fast Out) line, and it also really depends on the gate after it. What's the next gate's distance, angle, etc etc. And what line do you need to have through that gat for the one after it? How you take that 180 is completely dependant on the next 2 sections after it. Sometimes I fly in at speed and get a lot of rotation in 2nd if I have an easy angle and distance to get a good line through the next gate. Other times I hit the brakes hard and exit in 1st if the next section is tight and I need to get on the racing line right away.

Autocrossing isn't mastering a corner, it's mastering the corner you'll be at soon.
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Old 09-27-2006, 04:31 PM   #5
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They only classify us by vehicle configuration at this particular club.They throw all Foci and Contours in the same class.It's not a real technical group,but that's all right with me.I just enjoy thrashing my car without having to worry about the cops.I just ordered a Torsen diff and Centerforce clutch,as my stock clutch was not real happy with the abuse I have been giving it lately,and if I am going to step up the traction,I had better make sure it can handle the job.Mabye I will just go to some 225/40/18 Hankook rs2's up front and try that.They seem pretty good for a street tire.I will try the Carousel technique you suggest instead of plowing around with no traction
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