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Old 02-03-2011, 03:24 PM   #1
tukaniSVT
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Practice makes perfect

So ... like the saying goes ... how do you guys go about practicing before each regional event?

Should I go to some empty parking lot, set up my own cones and do some practice runs?

I found a link in the SCCA site that had practice layouts ... but I wanted to know what you guys do.

I haven't fully ran since mid 2009 and just started the season this year ... and at the moment ... been getting my butt handed to me. So, just want to close the gap and get back into the competition.

-Ray-


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Old 02-03-2011, 03:43 PM   #2
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Look for test-n-tunes in your area. Often run on Saturdays before 'points' events.
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Old 02-03-2011, 03:57 PM   #3
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Yeah ... I thought so ... I also heard from one of the guys that if I come and help them set up cones that they will let us get a fun run or 2 in there to test out the layout.

-Ray-
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Old 02-03-2011, 04:06 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tukaniSVT View Post
Yeah ... I thought so ... I also heard from one of the guys that if I come and help them set up cones that they will let us get a fun run or 2 in there to test out the layout.

-Ray-
They do NOT allowthat here, but setup is still a great idea in that you get more 'looks' at the course...and instead of chasing cones during the event you can watch and learn what others do.

Take fun-runs after the event if they allow that too.
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Old 02-03-2011, 05:09 PM   #5
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um.....practice i drive to work and school everyday. lol

In my opinion i think wheel time driving is just as good to get as racing time. the STI i used last year i have a lot of racing seat time. but i feel like i need more real world driving time in it just to learn all the little things it would do.

test and tunes are your best bet, but i have so much focus wheel time i dont even think about practice that much for me.
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Old 02-03-2011, 05:21 PM   #6
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Yeah, the post setup run is generally reserved for the saftey steward, and usually only if there is an area that could be questionable.

Get as much time on course as you can, setup, walking, driving, ride alongs, and working on course.

There's lots of stuff you can practice on the street, and still be safe:
-Set up your seat close to competition position
-Make sure all your shifts are quick and smooth
-Alway look ahead as far as possible
-Keep both hands on the wheel and always have smooth steering input
-Heel-toe shifting and left foot braking (start slowly on the later)
-Late apex all your turns (warning, outside the boring driving line, your tires will pick up more crap)

The focus is slow enough, 7/10ths on the street doesn't attract too much attention.
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Old 02-03-2011, 05:37 PM   #7
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Thanks for the tips.

I have indeed practiced Left Foot Braking the whole year. So, I drive my Focus like a goKart now. Left on Brake and Right on Gas.

I still need to practice Heel-to-Toe ... much tougher ... and not really needed as much in AutoX.

I do need to practice more late turning though ... I tend to turn early then find myself looking for my revs again.

-Ray-
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Old 02-03-2011, 09:31 PM   #8
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heel toe works wonders if you have hair pins. especially in the SVT, since it's so damn slow in low rpms in 2nd gear.
lift steering is also a great technique.
something i learned last season, DO NOT take your first run as a feeler run. that's a waste of a run IMO. just drive hard beginning to end.
shuffle technique. (i'm still working on this)
set up at the start. angle your car to get the best start. that is if your region doesn't run like a PRO. (drag start)

talk to people. talk to people in your class, get there perspective on the course. That slalom may look easier starting from the left, but the faster way is to the right.
also, a lot of times you'll have to make a choice, shortest distance VS most speed.
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Old 02-06-2011, 02:00 AM   #9
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Here's my keys to getting better.

- Hang out and talk to the veterans. The Evo school guys know their stuff. They'll keep telling you to look ahead, attack the back of the cones, etc., etc.

- Ride with with veterans any chance you can. Pay attention to what lines they take. How they enter and exit corners. Watch how they drive, what their doing with their hands, with the gas, the brake. Take in as much information as you can.

- Let a seasoned vet drive your car and ride with them. Many people use excuses that their car is holding them back. They need this or that done to their car to make them faster. Having an experienced autocrosser drive your own car will open your eyes, and you'll figure out it's not the car's fault at all.

- And last is seat time, as much as you possibly can. Practice events and novice schools are a great tool for for alot of seat time and for learning for people who are new to the sport. The Evolution Driving School is the king of autocross schools.
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Old 02-07-2011, 10:58 AM   #10
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Thanks man ... Yeah I want to check out the schools this year. Need to look back into the calendar and see what they will come through.

As for the Vet Driver in my car idea ... I gotta find when the instructor guys or the vets are available. It's hard to get them during our own runs ... because usually when its my heat they are either drivers or workers ...

-Ray-
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