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Road Course/Track and Autocross For road course/track and autocross discussions.

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Old 09-16-2012, 07:41 PM   #1
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First Autocross next Sunday

I was wondering if anybody here would have some advice on where I should set my tire pressure, or if it should be changed from normal at all? I still have the original Pirelli's and have stock suspension.....for now.
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Old 09-16-2012, 10:55 PM   #2
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I've been playing with pressures right around stock 33-36psi the car with the ZL1 sways likes it around 33psi but the 23rd of this month is the next autocross since I aligned the car so we will see if that changes anything front camber is at -1.3 and I set the rear at -1.1 im hoping to kill this dang understeer
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Old 09-16-2012, 11:06 PM   #3
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The car seems to get very loose as the tires gain pressure from each run I readjust and set my pressures after each run
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Old 09-17-2012, 01:47 PM   #4
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Cool, thanks for the info!
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Old 09-17-2012, 04:47 PM   #5
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The car seems to get very loose as the tires gain pressure from each run I readjust and set my pressures after each run
No reason you have to keep all four tires at the same pressure.

A little more than sticker up front helps turn-in, and a few psi less in the rear than up front can sometimes put a little more slip angle out back (less understeer). Less rear pressure tends to improve mechanical grip back there, which makes the car a little more resistant to throttle-on oversteer on corner exit.

I don't think I've ever set all four tires to the same pressure on any car that called for all four to be inflated the same even for purely street driving.


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Last edited by Norm Peterson; 09-18-2012 at 05:33 AM. Reason: bad splng
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Old 09-17-2012, 08:03 PM   #6
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i just ran my first one at the ls fest a few weeks ago. i also run the fronts higher than the rears by a couple of pounds. the pzeros will probably be fine at 36 front 32-34 rear. my invos like a few more pounds.
i normally do the hpdes and you run lower pressures there because your on track long enough to build up a lot of pressure,
my suggestion is run it with it in comp mode(two quick presses of TC button) and just learn the course the first few runs, i was turning in good times and not over driving like a lot of the high dollar cars.

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Old 09-18-2012, 05:02 PM   #7
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Can people post up some of there HOT tire pressures they are running front and rear just for a reference point?
Mabe add if your running large sways or a agressive alignment (ie. more than -1* camber) this may help also.
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Old 09-18-2012, 05:22 PM   #8
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What most everyone here is saying is technically correct, different tire pressure, alignment, and suspension settings will help shave time at the track.

But, given that this is your first time ever (i.e. you're not a serious autocrosser, at least not yet), you'd probably be better off just showing up stock and getting a general feel for limit driving and a basic sense of how the car behaves. Changing settings on the car will shave a little time once you have more experience and are up to driving consistently at the very limit, but at this point, it probably won't be worth it, particularly if you are just a casual autocrosser who drives on the road 99+% of the time and only once in a while autocrosses.
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Old 09-18-2012, 07:08 PM   #9
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good question about hot pressures. im no expert but i track with a lot of guys who have tons of real world race experience. hot pressure is what matters. all tires are different im learning. the invos like about 39 or 40 hot in the front and about 36 to 38 rear hot.
thats after two 25 minute sessions at a 4 mile track like vir. everything is smoking hot. when they cool off over night those same tires will read 32 front 30 rear. this is a little low for the invos so i need to pump them up a few pounds. i found this out the hard way a few months ago at VIR. i started the tires the second morning without adding any air. it was cool over night and my tires didnt feal right until the secong session.
for autocross you pump them up because you dont have time to build any heat in the tires in 46 seconds.
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Old 09-19-2012, 05:55 AM   #10
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Maybe not 6 - 8 psi from a single autocross run, but I've seen 2 psi on each of the first two . . .


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Old 09-19-2012, 12:15 PM   #11
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yeah as the day warms up and you get back to your parking spot and get out a pressure gauge it will show some change. it doesnt change during the run enough to make any difference at all. your right that it will climb over the day so a good tip from that point would be to check them before each run once you learn what you like.
the main thing is check them often to see what you have and then you are learning what your car/tires like. another reason they say to run them higher by a few pounds on the autocross is because lower pressure with those tight turns could damage the sidewall or roll a tire off the rim even at extremes.
for a first time the main thing is like the other guy said, dont get trick with it, just take you time and learn. shoot the bull with other guys and just get some seat time. its way easier than i thought it was going to be. i still like the tracks much better, but its cheap and fun.
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Old 09-19-2012, 01:10 PM   #12
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Adding some pressure for your autox runs helps prevent you from damaging the sidewalls and/or your rims. Definitely a good move.

Getting more involved in selecting the right tire pressures will require you to also get a tire pyrometer (and not the IR ones). When you come in from a run at the track, immediately get the inner, middle and outer tire temps. The temp profile across the tire can help you make the proper adjustments to tire pressure. Generally speaking, if the center temp is below the avg of the inner and outer temps, add air. If it's greater than the avg, let air out. The absolute values in the profile can help you identify any needed changes to the suspension, etc. There's a lot of info out in the interworld that can help you get the proper tire pressure setup for tracking your car. And adjusting tire pressures is one of the few things you can do to the car during a day at the track to help you go faster.
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Old 09-20-2012, 09:24 AM   #13
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Thanks for ALL the help, guys! I think for the 2-3 races I can get to yet this season, I'll just go with the recommended psi all the way around and check it after each run. I think I might also keep a notebook with pressures and air temps for future reference. If I go full-time next year(VERY likely), then I'll start playing around with different psi front to rear.

Doubleblank, were you at the Fest this year? That car looks familiar....
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Old 09-20-2012, 07:46 PM   #14
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I have done one autocross so far and was surprised at how hard you have to drive the car to post a competitive time. You will find the limit of your car and your driving skills quickly. My best time came with a mix of agressive/controlled driving. Don't over drive it into the corner or you will have severe oversteer. Quickly getting the car settled as you enter the corner then controlled acceleration at mid corner followed by hard acceleration between corners dropped my times. I still have a lot to learn but thats what I got out of one event. Oh and it was a total blast for me and my 14 year old co-pilot.
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Old 09-22-2012, 08:29 AM   #15
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I have done one autocross so far and was surprised at how hard you have to drive the car to post a competitive time.
That's because there is nothing in normal driving that compares in terms of the intensity and duration of a 45 second autocross run. You may briefly approach autocross intensity dodging the remains of a truck tire on the highway or during similar evasive maneuvers, but they're over and done with in a couple of seconds (think "start, three cone slalom, finish line, done"). In any other street driving, you're leaving more margin against losing control because the consequences are far more severe.


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Old 09-22-2012, 09:49 AM   #16
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That's because there is nothing in normal driving that compares in terms of the intensity and duration of a 45 second autocross run. You may briefly approach autocross intensity dodging the remains of a truck tire on the highway or during similar evasive maneuvers, but they're over and done with in a couple of seconds (think "start, three cone slalom, finish line, done"). In any other street driving, you're leaving more margin against losing control because the consequences are far more severe.


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Agree, on the street you can do spirited or agressive driving, but only a fool would test the limits of the car on public roads, especially here in the mountains where I live. On the autocross track, spirited or agressive driving isn't competitive. When some pretty weak cars are out running you by a few seconds, your shamed into finding your limits. Once your able to identify the car and driver limits you begin to work on technique at the limit. Its very challenging and fun. I encourage anyone that hasn't autocrossed to give it a try.
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Old 09-22-2012, 10:51 PM   #17
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Hey guys, what autocross class is the new 1LE SS going to be in? I am thinking of taking my 1LE once it arrives to an autcross at least, if I can't catch a track day just to experience how it handles at the limits etc.

Would appreciate the feedback?
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Old 09-24-2012, 09:53 AM   #18
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Hey guys, what autocross class is the new 1LE SS going to be in? I am thinking of taking my 1LE once it arrives to an autcross at least, if I can't catch a track day just to experience how it handles at the limits etc.

Would appreciate the feedback?
I don't know, but would guess it will be in the same class as the Boss Mustang, so look up what class they are in......Might be Street Prepared, but I'm not sure.

Update on my day yesterday: Finished 9 of 14, I was hoping for a top ten, so am happy. I NEED new tires, STAT....the car felt like it was on ice all day. I dropped the rear pressure to 33 after the first two runs and that seemed to help, also turning off the tc made the car handle MUCH better. It seemed to push more when the traction control was on for some reason. I can't wait for the next one in three weeks!
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Old 09-24-2012, 11:10 AM   #19
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The Boss Mustang runs in AS for stock category. However, the Boss LS is not even classified, so it may end up being a function of which Boss version the 1LE is considered closest to. Chances are that the 1LE won't fit into FS under "Camaro V8 NOC" (not otherwise classified) once the powers that be have a chance to assess its performance.

It may fit into STU, and should fit into ESP, so it's not like you can't find a place to play.

I don't know what the deal would be for the car in a Road Tire class.


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Old 09-24-2012, 11:23 AM   #20
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It seemed to push more when the traction control was on for some reason. I can't wait for the next one in three weeks!
I'm assuming that if TC is on, so is the stability control (which is going to do its darndest to make sure your car remains comfortably understeerish for the average driver who has no idea what autocross is or what life above 0.7 lateral g is like).


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Old 09-25-2012, 10:37 PM   #21
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I'm assuming that if TC is on, so is the stability control (which is going to do its darndest to make sure your car remains comfortably understeerish for the average driver who has no idea what autocross is or what life above 0.7 lateral g is like).


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I left the stabilitrac on..... But, I think next time I'll give it a try with everything off, it felt REAL good without the tc. If we'd been able to make another run I might have tried turning everything off Sunday, but the cool temps combined with wore out rubber made it tough to work up my confidence to that level. There was one other 5th gen SS in my class along with an SRT Challenger and several late model Mustangs. I talked with the driver of the other Camaro, Challenger and a few of the Mustang guys. They were all saying the same thing about lack of grip when getting on the throttle, and some of them have quite a bit of experience, so I don't feel too bad about having that problem. Saw a Caddy CTS-V do a nice little 360 during one of his runs, and there was a BRAND NEW(dealer plates....) Mustang vert that came within around ten feet of t-boning a light pole after sliding sideways for about 70 feet....I'm sure he needed to change his pants after that, lol. It was a VERY fun day!
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Old 09-26-2012, 07:06 AM   #22
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Keeping stability control on at autocross is almost guaranteed to let you learn bad habits, particularly with respect to throttle modulation. Learn where the car's natural limits are and how to use tiny steering and throttle inputs to put it there and more or less hold it there.

Mainly, stability control lets you get away with a good deal of clumsiness (that's exactly what it's there for) by inserting its programmed wishes between what you're trying to do - right or wrong - and what happens down at the four contact patches. It is NOT there to help you learn how to drive at autocross intensity.


As you may have guessed, I'm pretty hardcore against needing any of these electronic nannies (under any circumstances, actually). There is at most just one very minor incident in my 50 year driving history that stability control would have avoided for me, and that happened over 35 years ago. My wife's record over her entire 42 year driving career is better still.


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Old 09-26-2012, 12:36 PM   #23
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I've turned everything off since our first autoX with the camaro but I dont have to worry about power oversteer as bad (if any) comparied to you V8 SS guys. When she drives we turn off traction but leave stabilatrac on, its her first season driving since we got the camaro, it really interesting to watch while she is running on course how often stabilatrac kicks in a pulls throttle out and flashes the light on the dash and keeps the car in line definatly slows the car down in some aspects, not sure if comp. traction mode that the SS's have would be any diffrent, our 5th gen SS that runs wichita region turns it all off due to how intrusive stabilatrac kicks in and pulls power.
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Old 09-26-2012, 08:24 PM   #24
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it really interesting to watch while she is running on course how often stabilatrac kicks in a pulls throttle out and flashes the light on the dash and keeps the car in line definatly slows the car down in some aspects, not sure if comp. traction mode that the SS's have would be any diffrent, our 5th gen SS that runs wichita region turns it all off due to how intrusive stabilatrac kicks in and pulls power.
That is EXACTLY what my car was doing, I didn't notice it near as much after turning off the traction control. My lap without the traction control was my fastest of the day AND it was clean, so maybe I'm a better driver than the car is, lol. I'll start out the next time with no TC and maybe by the end of the day have EVERYTHING off and see how that feels.....
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Old 09-27-2012, 05:44 AM   #25
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I'd rather you shut them all off even for your very first run, and have an instructor ride along with you if this is available.

My reasoning is that you might as well use the earlier runs (that are generally slower anyway) to get somewhat accustomed to the different "feel" of not having any electronic intervention stepping in on you.


Don't let a false sense of pride or anything like that get in the way of having an instructor sitting right seat. I've been autocrossing off and on since the 1970's and had an instructor along with me on all three runs at my most recent autocross.


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