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Old 04-01-2010, 01:18 PM   #1
Drives: 2010 Camaro 2SS
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Idaho
Posts: 40
My First AutoCross

So, I went to my first autocross this past weekend. It was a SCCA sanctioned event, and had a school for noobs like myself on Saturday. The school went over basics such as Autocross Launch and Stopping, Skid Pad, Decreasing radius corner and slalom.

I had a bunch of people say how impressed they were with the camaro (First one to be taken to our SCCA region). I held the skid pad pretty well as well as the slalom.

Sunday was the actual autocross. I was in the third group to go, arrived at 8:00 am and didn't get on the course until 1:30 pm, which kinda burned me a little... meh.. anyways..

The course that was set up was full of REALLY sharp turns, and one straight away that was maybe 75 yards. So, the higher horse power cars were at a disadvantage to the shorter wheel based vehicles and AWD's. The last part of the course was basically a figure eight that looped around onto itself then ended with a obtuse angle. And this is the section that I ran into my problems.

I found out the hard way that super sharp turns that loop you around 180 degrees aren't the strong point for this car. I was finding myself unable to see where the hell I was going. I walked the course five times that morning trying to memorize the turns that I knew were going to be a problem. Even after doing that, I found myself guessing where the next cones where.

My first run, I went "Off Course" and counted as a DNF. So that didn't start well. The second and third runs, I took a cone for a ride, that I never even saw. Those A pillars in the car make some nice blind spots. and the Fourth and final run I did another off course. I'm a little bummed... well okay, not a little, but a lot. I wanted to do well, and maybe make something out of this since it's the only thing around less than 700 miles, that I can "race" legally.

I took advice from other drivers saying always LOOK AHEAD, and that helped out a lot on the first sections of the course... but when I hit that figure eight, it all went out the window since I couldn't look ahead until I was already on the damn next corner.

Long story short, I finished 15th out of 19 in the novice class. I would have been 10th, but the cones that I ran over cost me 2+ seconds and bumped me a bit.

The times for the event ranged from 45 seconds (WRX STi) to 65 seconds. I ran a 56.00 + 2. I feel as if I let the other camaro owners down.

Anyone else run into this problem? Should I go to another event and hope the course isn't as hellish and has some corners that I can actually see around?! Any advice!?

I'll post pictures later in the week.
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Old 04-01-2010, 01:33 PM   #2
Mr Twisty

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Nah, you did good... Imagine if a go-cart was allowed on the course, it would have cut those times in half, advantage go-cart.. But you wouldn't want to take a go-cart on a very long trip, would you, advantage Camaro.
"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
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Old 04-01-2010, 01:34 PM   #3

Drives: 2010 2SS IOM L99
Join Date: Jan 2010
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if this is your thing and you enjoy it,if it was me,i would run this course again and keep running it until i got the time you are looking for.then i would move on to somewhere else.
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Old 04-01-2010, 03:05 PM   #4

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its just going to take some practice. Driving a car and racing a car on a track are a whole lot different. Stay at it and hit as many events as you can. Those times will go down. Main thing is to make sure your having fun at it.
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Old 04-02-2010, 03:06 PM   #5
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Drives: 1977 Z28, 2SSRS 2010 M6
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Yeah I agree you've gotta have fun. Did you have any of the more experienced drivers ride with you. That can help a lot. Looking ahead really is the most important thing for car placement and practice, practice, practice. I'm by no means a pro driver but I've gone a few times now and gotten better with each outing. Last time I got the FTD fastest time of the day out of 32. Nothing feels better than when you put a hurtin on some of the cars that are supposed to beat a "heavy muscle car." Thats what one of the import guys called me.
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