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Running around in circles
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm going to my first autox next week. Any tips? What to bring?
I'm so psyched and nervous at the same time :D
I've already got the most important thing, helmet. What else?
TIA :)
 

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Empowered Consumer
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jcatral14 said:
I'm going to my first autox next week. Any tips? What to bring?
I'm so psyched and nervous at the same time :D
I've already got the most important thing, helmet. What else?
TIA :)
Bottled water, suntan lotion, and a sense of humor.

Have fun,
Alex
 

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M Mad
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10,476 Posts
Relax, enjoy yourself, stay on course. Let people know youare a novice, and get help if you need it. Listen to your time at the finish and if you were off course, and don't know where, ask someone experienced to ride with you to figure it out.

Yesterday had one poor guy be OC for all 4 runs. :(
 

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Living on the redline
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I'm sure Andy can advise you on this :eeps:
 

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OMGWTFBBQ
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What everyone else has said. Try to learn and enjoy without letting yourself get overwhelmed. Don't let yourself be intimidated by other cars that have been "prepped." Stock classes are where it's at...and wagons rule! :D

My wagon (currently retired from competition and serving the rest of the family):

 

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TeamM3 said:
I'm sure Andy can advise you on this :eeps:
I'm still just a noob myself. :)

But from one noob to another… Just go out there and have fun. Don't go out and try to win your class, don't even compare your times with others, just try to improve your times on each run. Once the autox bug hits you, be careful it can get expensive, but it also gets a lot more fun!! :thumbup:
 

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zeddy
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·clyde· said:
What everyone else has said. Try to learn and enjoy without letting yourself get overwhelmed. Don't let yourself be intimidated by other cars that have been "prepped." Stock classes are where it's at...and wagons rule! :D

My wagon (currently retired from competition and serving the rest of the family):

D stock is where my 323i resides, right next to the Volvo S60r :dunno:

Ed
 

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Running around in circles
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks guys :thumbup:
I'm sure I'll have lots of fun. I know some veterans who'll go so I'll be sure to hook up with them for more info and tips :)
I'll post pics...
 

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2 pieces dry white toast
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jcatral14 said:
Thanks guys :thumbup:
I'm sure I'll have lots of fun. I know some veterans who'll go so I'll be sure to hook up with them for more info and tips :)
I'll post pics...
the NJ crew are good peeps. Don't be afraid to ask anything. Unlike Ny where you have to pace the slolam yourself :eeps: If you dare ask you get dirty looks!

Make sure to stop by and say hi!
 

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Running around in circles
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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Well, I went and had fun :)
Was extremely nervous at first cause I didn't know what to expect but I had an instructor drive with me a few times. Good thing too otherwise I would have been O/C a coupla times. I had 4 runs. Would've been 6 but I had to cut out early :bawling: My times were 86(yikes), 76, 72, and 74. For comparison, the fastest times were <65 with most cars in the 65-70 range. I felt the smoothest on my 4th run but it doesn't show in the time :confused: I know someone here mentioned not to compare my times with the other cars but I couldn't help it. Came last among all bimmers, lmao :bigpimp:
Overall, I was pleased. I didn't do anything to my car. Came as is. I didn't even play with the tire pressures. Tire pressures? What tire pressures? :rofl: I just put the car in sport mode and let it rip. Also maybe I was driving conservatively as I didn't knock down one cone or go O/C. My DSC was on too so that could've been a factor no? Next time I'm gonna play around a little and tweak my tp, turn off DSC, go into step mode and drive a lil bit more aggressively. That should help with my times.
Can anyone weigh in on this?
TIA

BTW I'll post some pics tonight :p
 

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A few more tips for your next event…

1. Run 10 PSI more per tire all the way around from what you run on the street (45 PSI all the way around should do it). You’ll have quicker / crisper steering response, less slip angle, but most importantly you won’t ruin your tires by driving on the side walls.

2. Put your step in 2nd gear and leave it at that. Don’t try and shift manually and don’t leave it in auto.

3. Walk the course until your feet hurt. Make sure you know “the line” to take around the course. Then close your eyes and see if you can drive the course in your mind. If you can’t remember where the course goes, walk some more.

4. Make sure you keep your car on “the line”, even if you have to slow down to stay on line that is always faster then driving faster and making the car go off line.

5. If your car is pushing in a corner, even if it’s pushing just slightly, go slower through that corner so the car doesn’t push. You will feel slower, but in actuality you will be much, much faster.

6. Look ahead… no, you don’t understand, I mean far ahead!! Do not look at what is happening right in front of the car, look at the next corner and the next corner after that. When you get to that corner, you better already be looking at the next two corners. It’s hard to remember to do this when driving, but trust me, if you do it, it pays off BIG time!!

Good luck at the next event and keep us posted on your progress!! :thumbup:

Andy
 

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OMGWTFBBQ
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Andy said:
3. Walk the course until your feet hurt. Make sure you know "the line" to take around the course. Then close your eyes and see if you can drive the course in your mind. If you can't remember where the course goes, walk some more.
On top of this, break the course into chunks or sections. Most courses will have four five or six easy to define sections that are dominated by a single element (a slalom, "skidpad", big sweeper, a few gates in rapid succession that make a sequence, etc) with a gate or two before and/or after the dominant feature. If a course map is available, look at it before you walk and try to memorize the sections. It's a lot easier to remember the chunks and their order than the whole course...plus it makes the next step of trying to memorize the course easier if you do it one section at a time.

A lot of it depends on the course itself. Sometimes there will be very tight, complex looking courses with a lot of cones and you really need to know where it goes to be able to make it around. Other times, you might see very open and clearly defined courses that you could probably drive without having seen a map or walked it beforehand. Different clubs and different sites do things differently and the variations can be stunning.

5. Look ahead&#8230; no, you don't understand, I mean far ahead!! Do not look at what is happening right in front of the car, look at the next corner and the next corner after that. When you get to that corner, you better already be looking at the next two corners. It's hard to remember to do this when driving, but trust me, if you do it, it pays off BIG time!!
Looking ahead is something like the gospel of autocrossing, but it is possible to look too far ahead if you don't know what you should be looking at, how to pick it up out from the huge sea of other cones, how you want to approach it and how to process everything in your peripheral vision. When you're first learning, looking two or three gates ahead is usually enough to keep you from going off course or having anything surprise you. Make yourself look ahead, but not so much that your eyes are on the finish right when you're breaking the start light. ;)
 

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Living on the redline
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stop listening to these guys and go have fun :angel:
 

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take'r easy
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I'm still a noob but the dsc definitely will slow you down. I felt "smoother" but I was consistently slower. I recommend you don't deactivate it all the way until you've had a run in with it on or, at the very least, halfway off. The first time I took it off all the way I spun so take it easy. :rofl: Too bad it wasn't caught on video.
 

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Running around in circles
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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Pics...







Results...
1. 2000 323ci 64.437
2. 2000 328i s.p. 65.200
3. 1986 325e 66.184
4. 2002 Mini Cooper S 66.418
5. 1989 325i 66.881
6. 1989 535i 69.873
7. 1989 325i 70.541
8. 1994 325i 70.809
9. 2003 325it a 72.884 :thumbup: :rofl:
 

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Running around in circles
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Bump
Well I'm going again this Sunday. Imma try all your tips :thumbup:
I was telling my friends, my goal this Sunday is to come out second to last :rofl:
Hopefully I do it ;)
 

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cruztopless said:
I'm still a noob but the dsc definitely will slow you down. I felt "smoother" but I was consistently slower. I recommend you don't deactivate it all the way until you've had a run in with it on or, at the very least, halfway off. The first time I took it off all the way I spun so take it easy. :rofl: Too bad it wasn't caught on video.
Just to give you and idea about how much DSC affects you. In the last autocross I went to, I only had DSC half way off for my first afternoon run (not on purpose :mad: ). I got an 81 and change with no cones. My fastest run of the day was 74.5 and change with no cones, and all my runs (we got 8) that wern't OC or didn't include a spin were around 75.

I'll also second the need to add air to your tires. +10 PSI might be a bit much depending on what you run on the street. Ask around, but I'd start somewhere around 40-42 PSI and adjust from there.
 

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2 pieces dry white toast
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jcatral14 said:
Bump
Well I'm going again this Sunday. Imma try all your tips :thumbup:
I was telling my friends, my goal this Sunday is to come out second to last :rofl:
Hopefully I do it ;)
I'm not saying whether I'm going or not, just that I am packing 4 wheels, jack, and tool box into the back on Saturday night. :eeps:
 
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