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Auto X questions

Old 06-15-05, 10:00 AM
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Auto X questions

I am a NOOB at auto X, and besides wanting more seat time, I would like to learn\understand more so that I can apply it and get better times Can I get some explanation on the followings:

SLALOMS

PIN-TURNS

OFFSET GATES

SWEEPERS

SKIDPADS

LONG CONSTANT-RADIUS TURNS

I think I understand some of them, but I want to fully know what they mean.
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Old 06-15-05, 10:30 AM
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For advice besides, "Don't hit the cones" what are you looking for? Do you want definitions or how to approach each kind of sequence? There are lots of magazine articles and books on how to drive. I found it best to ride along with someone(autox) if its allowed. And try to find someone fast, not a guy that started last week. Actually, try both, that way you can see the difference between right way/wrong way. Have Fun!
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Old 06-15-05, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by jgrewe
For advice besides, "Don't hit the cones" what are you looking for? Do you want definitions or how to approach each kind of sequence? There are lots of magazine articles and books on how to drive. I found it best to ride along with someone(autox) if its allowed. And try to find someone fast, not a guy that started last week. Actually, try both, that way you can see the difference between right way/wrong way. Have Fun!
Done that, I want to understand the game, so that I can become a better player. IMHO, you can't be the best player out there if you don't understand the game; and by learning from somebody else without understanding the game, the follower will most probably adopt the "more experience" guy mistakes.

I want to know what those words means, so that next time I'm at the course, I can see where the pin-turns are at, and what follows; with that I should be able to form my driving line, based on my knowledge.
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Old 06-15-05, 11:19 AM
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A slalom is a series of cones that you zig-zag through, always check the spacing to see if they are consistant, that way there are no suprises of a closer cone that you need to slow down for, or the opposite, bigger gap you can speed up through.

A pin turn is a single cone that has all kinds of room around it so you can choose your own line. It all depends on your car how you take it.

Offset gates are just a shift of the course. Think "chicane" maybe without the shift back. Big cars are more affected by these, depending on the offset small cars can blow right through these.

Sweepers are just long turns that you might be able to go through accelerating the whole time. They could be increasing radius.

Skidpad is a big circle you drive around as fast as the car will let you. Good for testing steady state cornering limits.

Long constant radius turn, a slice of a big circle, it stays the same tightness. Could be called a sweeper too.

Hope this helps, knowing what they are and knowing how to drive them are two different things though. Look at where you think the car should be, a set of offset gates could be forming a sweeper or a slalom, it all depends where your car is coming from and where it has to go afterward. When I was autoxing 20 yrs ago I used to pace the distance between gates etc., it helps give you a better idea of the flow of the course. Now guys are using course mapping software w/ G loads etc.
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Old 06-15-05, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by jgrewe
A slalom is a series of cones that you zig-zag through, always check the spacing to see if they are consistant, that way there are no suprises of a closer cone that you need to slow down for, or the opposite, bigger gap you can speed up through.

A pin turn is a single cone that has all kinds of room around it so you can choose your own line. It all depends on your car how you take it.

Offset gates are just a shift of the course. Think "chicane" maybe without the shift back. Big cars are more affected by these, depending on the offset small cars can blow right through these.

Sweepers are just long turns that you might be able to go through accelerating the whole time. They could be increasing radius.

Skidpad is a big circle you drive around as fast as the car will let you. Good for testing steady state cornering limits.

Long constant radius turn, a slice of a big circle, it stays the same tightness. Could be called a sweeper too.

Hope this helps, knowing what they are and knowing how to drive them are two different things though. Look at where you think the car should be, a set of offset gates could be forming a sweeper or a slalom, it all depends where your car is coming from and where it has to go afterward. When I was autoxing 20 yrs ago I used to pace the distance between gates etc., it helps give you a better idea of the flow of the course. Now guys are using course mapping software w/ G loads etc.
Thanks for the info, and you are right, knowing it and knowing how to drive it are different things. For example, my car was pushing on a tight right corner (almost a 180 degreess turn); when trying to look for info, or reading about it, I found all of this terms and I couldn't understand what I was reading.

Thanks again for the info
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