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Auto-x tips?

 
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Brandon318



Joined: 28 Jul 2004
Posts: 1692
Location: Monterey, CA.

PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2005 5:53 pm    Post subject: Auto-x tips? Reply with quote

I'm going to start auto cross in the next month or so, any advice or tips?
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McK



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
Posts: 1126
Location: Chicago

PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2005 7:24 pm    Post subject: Auto-x tips? Reply with quote

Walk the course with the fastest driver you can. Believe it or not, I grab my friend who drives a 450,000 mile E30 -- who consistently beats people 2 classes above him. Ask them lots of questions. It's not only about how you turn in to a corner, it's about what your feet are doing on the pedals, where you're braking, where you're maintaining throttle or accelerating... you get the idea.

When you're in the car, it's SO important to look far ahead on an autocross course. The transitions and corners come up so fast, you can't worry about where the car is right now, you have to worry about where you want it to be in 2 seconds.

And after that, and in reality bigger than the previous things I've mentioned, or at least directly related, it's about comfort and seat time. Have fun!! Don't get frustrated. The more times you do it, the less and less you'll be worrying about things like shifting and braking and carousels and slaloms - those things will start to feel more and more natural and you'll find yourself focusing on the things that make you faster.

It's all about fun, really. The more fun you let yourself have, the faster you'll find yourself driving.


Oh yeah - two other things. Buy a helmet for yourself. The Chicago BMW club has loaners available, and I'm sure your local club does as well, but... when it's 90 degrees plus outside, do you really want to grab a helmet that was just on some other sweaty bastrd's head?

And consider buying harnesses. Schroth makes a clip-in harness for the E36. It doesn't require drilling through the floorboards to install eye rings or anything, clips in to the drivers seat belts and the driver's side rear belts. It's amazing how much a difference it makes when half your attention isn't being paid to keeping your ass in the seat. You will focus purely on responding to what you suddenly can feel the car doing. Your reaction times will be SO drastically improved, it's hard to explain.

[ 08-30-2005: Message edited by: McK 325iS ]
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dale



Joined: 22 Aug 1999
Posts: 3085
Location: Seattle, WA USA

PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2005 7:50 am    Post subject: Auto-x tips? Reply with quote

McK 325iS,
Is your friend Russ Wiles? Russ has had a lot of BMWs over the years, some with very high miles, and won everything in Autox. Including the SCCA Nationals with his E30 M3 several years in a row in the late 80s, early 90s.

Russ is from my hometown of Sioux Falls, SD. Good guy.

Dale
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McK



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
Posts: 1126
Location: Chicago

PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2005 9:22 am    Post subject: Auto-x tips? Reply with quote

I haven't met Russ, but I'll keep an eye out for him Dale. I haven't participated in the SCCA events out here because of how crowded they get, and we are blessed with on average 2 or 3 events per weekend with all the car clubs in Chicagoland. Plenty of other events to choose from. But I'm sure our paths will cross at some point.

My friend is actually a young guy (21), who surprisingly has put the majority of those 450,000 miles on the 325es. He's got a great feel for how it handles, and modded it smartly for his car classification. It's great to watch him beat E30, E36, and E46 M3's and MCoupes etc.
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