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Autocross Racing The place to discuss information about autocross stats, tips and events. Track sanctioned events only.

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Old 08-06-2007, 03:26 PM   #11
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I would take a road course as well I love those things :D I've been on a couple now, but it was a year before I started to race in the SVT. I had my old ZX3 and I had the urge to do it, but never did. Since you also have an SVT that's inexcusable and you need to get out there and do somethin about it lol ;)

go have some fun in the car on a track and you'll def. wanna keep doin it :D
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Old 08-06-2007, 05:49 PM   #12
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I've never auto-Xed mine nor ran it at the strip. Not that I dislike either, just haven't had the urge.
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Old 08-06-2007, 07:07 PM   #13
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Bluey -

Both are extremely satisfying in the adrenaline and driver education departments.

Here is the basic breakdown.

AX: $15 - $30 per event. Approximate track time of about 8 minutes for the day.

That is an upside and a down side. Upside is that it is inexpensive and not a lot of preparation is required. You can show up to an AX with a tire gauge and be ready to run. The down side is there is a fair amount of waiting and 8 minutes isn't a lot when compared to a 20-30 minute session on a track.

However, keep this in mind. An AX is basically a road course that is compressed into a very short time frame. Fast corners, slow corners and long straights. The key is technique. Speed is the result of good technique.

The other thing is that AX is a great training ground when it comes to preparing to visit a road course event. EVERYTHING that you do at an AX has direct applicability on a road course. It doesn't necessarily work in reverse.

The other factor is RISK. There is virtually no risk to you or the car in an AX. Not saying that it doesn't happen on a rare occasion, but that's why they call it rare.

There is an old saying "Good autocrossers make GREAT road racers. Great road racers make LOUSY autocrossers."

The other is that if autocross was any easier, they would call it road racing.

Track Events: Average cost $350 -$500 per weekend depending on the track.

Take into account the cost of entry and then start adding in car prep. If your car is a daily driver, be prepared to spend at least $200 - $600 (assuming that you pay someone else to perform the work) to get the car ready and to pass a technical inspection for the track. There is brake fluid to be flushed, brake pads to be changed/upgraded and so forth.

The stakes are also much higher. Go to a big track and the risk goes up EXPONENTIALLY. There is the distict possibility of injury to you and your vehicle at speed.

The majority of novices (no disrespect) fall into 1 of 2 categories. They are either more focused on the speed aspect of being on a race track than they are on technique. As a result, they tend to creep through the corners and go balls out on the straights. Or...they are so intimidated by being on a race track that they creep around constantly worrying about bending the car.

That said, a big track is a VERY rewarding experience.

So, my recommendation would be to seriously try autocross before heading to a big track. Use that time to develop an understanding of you as a driver and your vehicle in a dynamic environment that you would never encounter on the street. In AX, you will push the car to the limits of the vehicle, the environment and you as a driver without fear of repurcussion. Do that at a road course without any experience and there is a good possibility that the car will go home on a hook.

I'll share my own experience and I say this not to blow my own horn, but just to give perspective. I started autocrossing when I was 17. Prior to that, I spent all of my money at the drag strip. At the time, I didn't think that ANYTHING could be better than that. 1 AX and I never went back to the drag strip. It was almost 7 years before I went to my first road course event at Summit Point. All of the veterans kept telling me "Get some more experience at AX before you go to the track. It will be worthwhile." They were right. I picked up the racing line almost immediately (mostly because of a GREAT instructor) and felt comfortable.

The experience factor aside, the biggest reason for the delay was money. I was still in college and working part time. My first track event in an 89 Formula Firebird cost me $1000 for fees and car prep.

Use AX as your training ground...
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Old 08-06-2007, 08:14 PM   #14
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autox it!!. just like weeasp said it's a great learning experience. don't worry about being fast. just worry about the course layout and not missing a gate. speed will come with time.
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Old 08-06-2007, 08:45 PM   #15
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well depending on the road course some are quit forgiving and even if you spun out you'd be fine. There is a course by me called Gingerman Raceway and I have no idea how anyone could get in an accident over there except for the last turn. There is SOOOO much runoff room it isn't even funny.

But then again I started out at a road course drivers school and then started at the track learning what to do, so I am the opposite of you there asp :D
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Old 08-06-2007, 08:52 PM   #16
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no to be a dick to you joe, but with mods the same, weeasp driver skill is way higher then yours cuz in a/x you do learn how your car reacts and how to push your car to the limits without overduing it and not bring your car home with a tow truck. but the more you do it the better you get, i enjoy a.x cuz its cheap and i have no real tracks around here so yea...
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Old 08-06-2007, 08:56 PM   #17
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I don't believe I ever said he was a worse driver then I did, did I Chris?!? Obviously he's a better driver, he should be, he's been doing it for YEARS. I said NOTHING about his skill as a driver PERIOD. Quit assuming it makes an ASS out of U and ME ;)

I am just saying starting out at a road course doesn't necessarily mean you are bringing your car home on a tow truck
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Old 08-06-2007, 08:58 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avengerc4 View Post
well depending on the road course some are quit forgiving and even if you spun out you'd be fine. There is a course by me called Gingerman Raceway and I have no idea how anyone could get in an accident over there except for the last turn. There is SOOOO much runoff room it isn't even funny.

But then again I started out at a road course drivers school and then started at the track learning what to do, so I am the opposite of you there asp :D
True. Butif I rolled back time and went to Watkins Glen for my first ever event, I would be TERRIFIED!

Even now, the boot can give me the shakes...
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Old 08-06-2007, 09:02 PM   #19
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lol now with that I agree ASP. Choose the road course wisely definitely lol...I dunno if I'd even wanna do Watkins Glen right now. I like the simple road courses over by me just for the sheer fact I get more time.
Plus with me, I get better with time and on a long run, for me, I learn the lines better and what to do and what not to do a lot quicker. with an auto-x if you mess up your done basically...like you said 8 min kinda sucks for a whole day when I can go to a track for a whole day and get 2 hours of racing in.
I'm sure auto-x is harder and I WOULD like to try it some day, but for now I don't even know of any around me really.
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Old 08-06-2007, 09:48 PM   #20
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well when i read yor 1st post you said that gingerman and some road courses have a lot of runoff if you mess up, sure it happens to the best of us, even pros go off course, but dont point out that its ok to mess up becuase there is extra track just in case you do, but yea he has done it for years, and it does take practice
but id love to try a track cuz im sure itll be more fun then autox due to more track time
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