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How do you enjoy auto-x?

Old 07-25-04, 12:04 PM
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How do you enjoy auto-x?

Please explain how you enjoy paying 35 to 45$ to be out there for a grand total 3 minutes! Thats 10$ a minute!! Thats insane! Im sorry but between the waiting and the delays and what not its just not worth it. This is from someone that ofcourse has gone to track events, where its ALOT more fun, being out there 30 to 45 mins a run and usually 3 to 4 runs a day. I mean that makes more sense and its cheaper!! *end rant*
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Old 07-25-04, 12:35 PM
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I agree for the amount of track time vs. cone time there is no comparing the 2.

Where autox saves you time and money:
- More events, more site, closer to home for me.
- Little prep on the car, not spending 20-40 hours going over the car before the next event.
- Minimal wear on parts and tires.
-Understanding handling is very important over horsepower.
- Fewer $$ spend building a cone car compared to a full track car.
- Risk of damaging car (no walls to hit) and no trailer needed.


I think you can gain a bunch of experience by going to AutoX, seat time is over quickly, but watch and learn from the best. Learn to set up your car and learn to be smooth.

I miss track time on real race tracks but after the last tangle with a GTI and later a Miata, I was forced to cut the car into pieces because of all the damage. Did not really want to spend the time and money to build another safe track car so I autoX just for something to do.

Remember this: GOOD autox drivers make good road racers, but good road racers do not make good autox drivers.
Well that is according to the Cone heads.....


John
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Old 07-25-04, 01:01 PM
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Our local events are $21 for four runs @ 40-50 seconds each. Club members pay an average of ~$16 per event.

Standing around all day, having a short course that only gets u in first or second gear, quick runs and too many course designs favoring cars that can turn short but can't turn at speed, etc. . gets annoying, but it's a good deal around here compared to real track time.

There is a semi-local event each year where a large go-kart track is used and the runs are about 4 min. each, top speed ~80+ from what I've heard. That event should be fun, and I'm going to try to make it to that one.

Autox requires less cost and less preparation for the car. U don't need upgraded cooling or to replace brake pads for autox events. It's a good way to get started in non-drag, non-street racing events that require high amounts of car control skill.
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Old 07-25-04, 06:13 PM
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I mean its just so annoying getting there at 7:30am not running until 10:30 am (and I was the first group). How am I supposed to get better, if I get a grand total of 2 to 3 minutes! At 35$ thats around 10$ a minute! Compare that to track time where you get 3 to 4 sessions anywhere between 30 to 45 mins, I just dont see it. Also the track Ive gone to 3 times already I have not seen a crash just yet, not people crashing into each other (even though I know its possible). Just commenting.
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Old 07-25-04, 10:13 PM
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Autox is about strategy. I spend a lot of thought on analysis of my runs beween them and between events. It is a high speed chess match. I guess it sux to not get to drive enough and get a feel for when everything is right. That is its downside. I wish there were larger courses but asphalt is hard to find for race events.
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Old 07-25-04, 10:38 PM
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Originally Posted by 88IntegraLS
Autox is about strategy. I spend a lot of thought on analysis of my runs beween them and between events. It is a high speed chess match. I guess it sux to not get to drive enough and get a feel for when everything is right. That is its downside. I wish there were larger courses but asphalt is hard to find for race events.
I think if they limited the people and charged an extra few dollars it'd be well worth it. Yet im sorry it was insane, and not worth the time and money honestly. Id rather just save my cash and prep the car for track, and have more time to hone my skills and test the cars ability.
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Old 07-26-04, 01:46 AM
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I understand what you are saying, Fatman. Auto-x WOULD be an extremely good tool for teaching car control and momentum conservation, IF you would get enough seat time. That said, I think the time I have spent auto-x has been very beneficial, as far as track driving and even street driving in general. If nothing else, I need two events a year to maintain Mazda Motorsports membership...

Personally to me though, I could care less about being competitive in auto-x. I can't imagine not doing a mod to my car because it bumped me into a different class. I could care less...
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Old 07-26-04, 07:05 AM
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Originally Posted by rynberg
I understand what you are saying, Fatman. Auto-x WOULD be an extremely good tool for teaching car control and momentum conservation, IF you would get enough seat time. That said, I think the time I have spent auto-x has been very beneficial, as far as track driving and even street driving in general. If nothing else, I need two events a year to maintain Mazda Motorsports membership...

Personally to me though, I could care less about being competitive in auto-x. I can't imagine not doing a mod to my car because it bumped me into a different class. I could care less...
I just wouldnt go again in a stock FD, it makes no sense competing against z06s and Vipers. I mean WTF? I heard they allow catback and intake, so when I take my car (I took my dads since mine was down) thats what I'll say. You should have seen the ss class this is what it looed like:

name Car Time
****** Chevy z06 58.55
****** Chevy z06 61.51
****** Chevy z06 57.12
Javier Mazda Rx-7 O/C =P
****** Chevy z06 58.31

I was like w00t w00t I GOT OWNED!
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Old 07-26-04, 07:58 AM
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To me autocross isn't just about seat time. I enjoy the whole day, not just the three minutes I'm driving. I get rides with other people, BS in the grid, etc. I get to talk like a car geek all day! My wife never lets me do that at home.
AX also forces you to ramp up your learning curve. You don't have lap after lap to fine tune every corner. You have to fix every corner in just a few runs. It gets easier with more experience.
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Old 07-26-04, 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Travis R
To me autocross isn't just about seat time. I enjoy the whole day, not just the three minutes I'm driving. I get rides with other people, BS in the grid, etc. I get to talk like a car geek all day! My wife never lets me do that at home.
AX also forces you to ramp up your learning curve. You don't have lap after lap to fine tune every corner. You have to fix every corner in just a few runs. It gets easier with more experience.
I guess I'll try it a few more times. Also I talk enough car geek stuff nearly everyday with my group of friends so an auto-x is like an overload of it =P.
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Old 07-26-04, 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Fatman0203
I think if they limited the people and charged an extra few dollars it'd be well worth it. Yet im sorry it was insane, and not worth the time and money honestly. Id rather just save my cash and prep the car for track, and have more time to hone my skills and test the cars ability.
I guess you haven't checked out the price of tracking your car. Most estimates I've read suggest about $1000 a weekend. Compare that to the $20 I pay to autocross, and it seems like a bargain.
The key to autocross is the entire exeperience, not just the 50 seconds you're driving. I enjoy hanging out with the rest of the drivers, discussing lines, times, etc.
Second- you should be fairly close to the Corvettes out there. Make that your goal. The FD is not entirely uncompetative in the SS class- just ask Damon. Sure, he'll be the first to admit that the Z06 piloted by a skilled driver is nearly impossible to beat, but that's not to say you can't be competative. As a novice, you're GOING to get owned. Keep practicing and try to ENJOY yourself. Where else can you spend $20 and legally drive your car like Mario Andretti?
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Old 07-26-04, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Umrswimr
I guess you haven't checked out the price of tracking your car. Most estimates I've read suggest about $1000 a weekend. Compare that to the $20 I pay to autocross, and it seems like a bargain.
He's referring to HPDE's which are usually in the $200-400 range (depending on the group).
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Old 07-26-04, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Umrswimr
I guess you haven't checked out the price of tracking your car. Most estimates I've read suggest about $1000 a weekend. Compare that to the $20 I pay to autocross, and it seems like a bargain.
The key to autocross is the entire exeperience, not just the 50 seconds you're driving. I enjoy hanging out with the rest of the drivers, discussing lines, times, etc.
Second- you should be fairly close to the Corvettes out there. Make that your goal. The FD is not entirely uncompetative in the SS class- just ask Damon. Sure, he'll be the first to admit that the Z06 piloted by a skilled driver is nearly impossible to beat, but that's not to say you can't be competative. As a novice, you're GOING to get owned. Keep practicing and try to ENJOY yourself. Where else can you spend $20 and legally drive your car like Mario Andretti?
Well I was expecting to get owned none the less, but the whole talkign with my buddies thing i do that enough =P. Also (as Mahjik stated) I was talking about the track days that are around 300$ in my area and you usually get 4 sessions at around 30 to 45 mins a session. I mean for that price, its really hard to compare it to auto-x. I may continue to compete just to get the discount for the Mazda stuff.
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Old 07-26-04, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Umrswimr
I guess you haven't checked out the price of tracking your car. Most estimates I've read suggest about $1000 a weekend. Compare that to the $20 I pay to autocross, and it seems like a bargain.
The key to autocross is the entire exeperience, not just the 50 seconds you're driving. I enjoy hanging out with the rest of the drivers, discussing lines, times, etc.
Second- you should be fairly close to the Corvettes out there. Make that your goal. The FD is not entirely uncompetative in the SS class- just ask Damon. Sure, he'll be the first to admit that the Z06 piloted by a skilled driver is nearly impossible to beat, but that's not to say you can't be competative. As a novice, you're GOING to get owned. Keep practicing and try to ENJOY yourself. Where else can you spend $20 and legally drive your car like Mario Andretti?
I have 20 weekends of weekend track time and it's $400 a weekend for room, board, travel, gas, track fees. After doing track weekends I've gone back and done a few auto-x and was dissapointed with the experience. Gotta register by 8am or it'll fill up. Wait for 2 hours then work track for an hour. Wait another 3 hours then drive for 3 minutes and go home. Almost entire day spent waiting.

BUT it's a very good way to learn car control and setup. Get to meet good people. Drive fast. Great for entry level people to get their feet wet driving on a cone track. Just not a productive use of time.
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Old 07-26-04, 12:17 PM
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comparing autox to hpde is like comparing pingpong to tennis. similar but different two completely different activites.

Personally I have a great time when I autox but it's with a group of laid back guys who don't take it too seriously.
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Old 07-26-04, 12:31 PM
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I guess thats my problem then. If Ive never been to a track event then maybe I would have enjoyed it more, but since Ive been to a track event and had such a good time riding more than one minute I guess that explains it =/.
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Old 07-26-04, 12:36 PM
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One thing autox will teach you is how to get "brave" with the car. Slowing from 140 mph into Turn 1 (assuming you still have brakes) at your favorite racetrack is not the best way to learn trailbraking techniques IMO; the risks are too high for a mistake. Most (non-idiot) drivers realize this and always keep a little extra in hand. On an autox course however you can screw up without hurting yourself, the car or someone else. You can push the limits and not pay the full price of a mistake.

I would never consider teaching a newb to drive by taking them to the track first. He'll either get scared or he won't learn anything other than how to not fall off the track. He needs to understand the concepts first.
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Old 07-26-04, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by DamonB
One thing autox will teach you is how to get "brave" with the car. Slowing from 140 mph into Turn 1 (assuming you still have brakes) at your favorite racetrack is not the best way to learn trailbraking techniques IMO; the risks are too high for a mistake. Most (non-idiot) drivers realize this and always keep a little extra in hand. On an autox course however you can screw up without hurting yourself, the car or someone else. You can push the limits and not pay the full price of a mistake.

I would never consider teaching a newb to drive by taking them to the track first. He'll either get scared or he won't learn anything other than how to not fall off the track. He needs to understand the concepts first.
I was trailbraking in the auto-x a bit, is the back supposed to come out a bit when I do this? As I entered the turn (while turning) I would give it some brake to get the back to come out some, then give the gas, I would get a small slide but enough to get me though the turn at a good speed and angle for the next turn.
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Old 07-26-04, 12:45 PM
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I've done 2 AutoX days and couldn't believe that I was standing around so much and only got to race for 3-4 minutes total. I did help out with managing the course (flags/fire xtinguish) but overall I would never do it again.

I've done a few HPDE days and I'm hooked. 20-25 minute sessions 4-5x a day is the best. Plus you are chasing/getting chased around the track which makes it even more of a blast. My 2nd HPDE day I got a 2 hour open track session at the end with everyone on there. It was awesome. My back is drenched with sweat from driving hard for so long and I'm soo pumped afterwards. It is a nice stress reliever.

About $149 per day then add in the cost of gas/food etc. However if you take out your chick for a big night it is about the same price (dinner, wine, post drinks, club).

-Mark
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Old 07-26-04, 01:07 PM
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Keep in mind, that $1000 figure includes wear items like brake pads, rotors, and tires in addition to the room/board and track fees.
And obviously it varies from car to car. I know a good set of brake pads (which will last about two HPDE events) cost $250 for my C5. Add $50 for new rotors, gas, etc... It's NOT cheap.
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Old 07-26-04, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by DamonB
On an autox course however you can screw up without hurting yourself, the car or someone else. You can push the limits and not pay the full price of a mistake.
I don't know about that. We've all seen the video of that Vette taking out those people on the AutoX course.
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Old 07-26-04, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Mahjik
I don't know about that. We've all seen the video of that Vette taking out those people on the AutoX course.
"relatively speaking", of course. I managed to be one of the statistics and wreck my car on an autocross course. Most of the time it's very safe. Sometimes it's not quite "as" safe.
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Old 07-26-04, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Mahjik
I don't know about that. We've all seen the video of that Vette taking out those people on the AutoX course.
I'd still insist that both you and the bystanders are safer at an autox than walking or driving down the street
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Old 07-26-04, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by DamonB
I'd still insist that both you and the bystanders are safer at an autox than walking or driving down the street
Oh, absolutely. :yesnod:
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Old 07-26-04, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Umrswimr
"relatively speaking", of course. I managed to be one of the statistics and wreck my car on an autocross course. Most of the time it's very safe. Sometimes it's not quite "as" safe.
Is that just a Vette thing?

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