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Thread: My First AutoX Event

  1. #1

    My First AutoX Event

    Well, I finally pulled the trigger on doing some Solo action this year. The event is tomorrow (02/16/2019) and I am nervous because I know my rear end still needs work, I have CELs and top end misfire problems, and performance anxiety because it's going to rain lol. No matter, I'm out here to learn a bit about the sport and have some fun. That way I know what direction to take the actual race car (1st gen RX-7) for next year.

    I'll update this post after the event!
    2003 Blue ZHP Sedan @ 195k
    Paint chips | Current MIL: P0420 | Airbag Light | Poorly Sprayed Black Style 135s |Ugly Alcantara Steering Wheel | Trunk Squeak | Faded Shadowline Trim
    This car is not a peach. It is a precision instrument, and will be used as such.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    16,626
    Good luck!

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
    Randeaux/Rando/John/jr - '06 Cic ZHP; Southern California
    "ZHP or not, I still like you"


    ZHP Performance Package, Cold Weather Package, Leather, Jet Black/Black/BlackCube, NAV
    ESS Stage 1 Twin Screw Supercharger, Sprint Booster, BMW Perf Intake, Magnaflow Exhaust, Dinan TB & STEP S/W, Ground Control Coilovers, UCC Sway Bars, Apex EC-7 18x8.5 ET38
    Dynavin D99+, Hardwire V1 (w/V1 Connection), BSW Stage 1 Speakers, Kicker Amp/Subwoofer
    BMW Performance Strut Brace, Orion V2 Angel Eyes, No-holes License Plate, SMG Paddle Shift Mod, Besian VANOS, Gold DISA, Fan Delete, M3 Side Mirrors
    Note: Actual car no longer resembles signature picture

  3. #3
    I guess I should post my thoughts of the past event.
    Excuses: Novices ran last, there was lots of fog, a bit of rain and nightfall approaching. We were only able to do 3 out of the 5 runs.
    My best time was a 75.xxx which was about the middle of the range of times. I'll get the exact time when they post it.

    Now with that out of the way, this was my first performance driving event with this car and my second performance driving event, ever. The first was the Porsche Experience, which was nice, but a little overpriced IMO. The Cayman is/was wonderful tho . I learned a lot of things about the car and myself out there:

    1) The car's limits are higher than my own. I would tend to second-guess what the car could do, almost doubting some of its abilities, which resulted in me being overly cautious and reserved on my first two runs. My instructor suggested that I let the car loose a bit on the third run, which I did...

    2) The car is very composed, even with sloppy inputs. Not once did I feel like the car was going to get away from me. There was quite a bit more understeer than I would have imagined, so I probably can use a bit more throttle to bring everything back into balance, which should drop my times a bit. Overall, it feels like a perfect beginner's car as is.

    3) My vision is poor. Besides the fact that I wear glasses, I need to be able to look ahead a little more, predict and visualize the course to make my lines tighter.

    4) My coordination needs improvement. This one will come with more seat time. I need to develop more awarness about the car and how my inputs will affect it. Muscle memory and repetition here.

    5) Modifications are useless until I can master the above skills...still need to replace those damned bushings ugh....

    6) I think my racing style is going to be the smooth, deliberate type. I don't think this car will like the sharp, jerky style that I've seen others drive with.


    Next event is on 03/03, I will do rookie class as it gives me a bit more freedom as I can ride alone and experiment.
    2003 Blue ZHP Sedan @ 195k
    Paint chips | Current MIL: P0420 | Airbag Light | Poorly Sprayed Black Style 135s |Ugly Alcantara Steering Wheel | Trunk Squeak | Faded Shadowline Trim
    This car is not a peach. It is a precision instrument, and will be used as such.

  4. #4
    Also, car goals after my skills get better...

    To match or beat this one RX-8 that just has tires and suspension work done.
    2003 Blue ZHP Sedan @ 195k
    Paint chips | Current MIL: P0420 | Airbag Light | Poorly Sprayed Black Style 135s |Ugly Alcantara Steering Wheel | Trunk Squeak | Faded Shadowline Trim
    This car is not a peach. It is a precision instrument, and will be used as such.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Madison, Alabama
    Posts
    325
    You got it with number 5.

    Biggest improvement is the monkey in the loop. Fix the monkey first.

    I am doing a very deliberate modification program on my reach car ZHP

    Suspension and tires. But I am on the third season of autocross with the car. I got to where I knew where and how I was over driving the car and am now fixing that.

    Enjoy
    Family that races together stays together
    2005 330Ci 6MT SGM (x2)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    16,626
    Good stuff, enjoy the process

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
    Randeaux/Rando/John/jr - '06 Cic ZHP; Southern California
    "ZHP or not, I still like you"


    ZHP Performance Package, Cold Weather Package, Leather, Jet Black/Black/BlackCube, NAV
    ESS Stage 1 Twin Screw Supercharger, Sprint Booster, BMW Perf Intake, Magnaflow Exhaust, Dinan TB & STEP S/W, Ground Control Coilovers, UCC Sway Bars, Apex EC-7 18x8.5 ET38
    Dynavin D99+, Hardwire V1 (w/V1 Connection), BSW Stage 1 Speakers, Kicker Amp/Subwoofer
    BMW Performance Strut Brace, Orion V2 Angel Eyes, No-holes License Plate, SMG Paddle Shift Mod, Besian VANOS, Gold DISA, Fan Delete, M3 Side Mirrors
    Note: Actual car no longer resembles signature picture

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Branford, CT
    Posts
    15,397
    Quote Originally Posted by DeathTrap View Post
    There was quite a bit more understeer than I would have imagined, so I probably can use a bit more throttle to bring everything back into balance, which should drop my times a bit.
    Understeer is not corrected with more throttle input with a ZHP. Having an open diff and barely even 200 wheel horsepower isn't going to get you out of an understeer situation. What'll need to do to correct this is not overdrive the car. In my beginning years I found that I overdrove the car far too often, leading to understeer. Be progressive and ease into the limits versus just going in full blast. The very famous and completely true saying is "Slow in, fast out".

    3) My vision is poor. Besides the fact that I wear glasses, I need to be able to look ahead a little more, predict and visualize the course to make my lines tighter.
    Looking well ahead is the #1 thing most performance driving schools will teach you, and they will all make a point of it. If you can learn to look ahead, most of your learning will be rapidly accelerated. This one took me years to fully understand, and now I appreciate it so much! When you look ahead, everything slows down and gives you more time to plan ahead and set yourself up for what's coming versus reacting to it as it hits you. It's always easier to do things in "slow motion".

    4) My coordination needs improvement. This one will come with more seat time. I need to develop more awarness about the car and how my inputs will affect it. Muscle memory and repetition here.
    More seat time absolutely will improve your skills, as long as you practice the correct skills.

    5) Modifications are useless until I can master the above skills...still need to replace those damned bushings ugh....
    Also 100% true. I always advise people that instead of worrying about putting on performance modifications, go maximize your own skills first in the car you already have. Then you'll get a better appreciation for what each mod you install does to the car.

    6) I think my racing style is going to be the smooth, deliberate type. I don't think this car will like the sharp, jerky style that I've seen others drive with.
    Smoothness is one of the key things I struggled with when I first started. I found that by learning the critical skill of looking ahead, the smoothness issue resolved itself. A lot of these skills tie in together. Jerky movements upsets the vehicle's balance, so to fix all of this, I recommend you focus on looking well ahead and everything else will fall into place.
    BP
    2005 330i ZHP / 6MT
    Imolarot / Naturbraun



    It's not the car you drive, it's how you drive it.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by az3579 View Post
    Understeer is not corrected with more throttle input with a ZHP. Having an open diff and barely even 200 wheel horsepower isn't going to get you out of an understeer situation. What'll need to do to correct this is not overdrive the car. In my beginning years I found that I overdrove the car far too often, leading to understeer. Be progressive and ease into the limits versus just going in full blast. The very famous and completely true saying is "Slow in, fast out".



    Looking well ahead is the #1 thing most performance driving schools will teach you, and they will all make a point of it. If you can learn to look ahead, most of your learning will be rapidly accelerated. This one took me years to fully understand, and now I appreciate it so much! When you look ahead, everything slows down and gives you more time to plan ahead and set yourself up for what's coming versus reacting to it as it hits you. It's always easier to do things in "slow motion".



    More seat time absolutely will improve your skills, as long as you practice the correct skills.



    Also 100% true. I always advise people that instead of worrying about putting on performance modifications, go maximize your own skills first in the car you already have. Then you'll get a better appreciation for what each mod you install does to the car.



    Smoothness is one of the key things I struggled with when I first started. I found that by learning the critical skill of looking ahead, the smoothness issue resolved itself. A lot of these skills tie in together. Jerky movements upsets the vehicle's balance, so to fix all of this, I recommend you focus on looking well ahead and everything else will fall into place.
    +1 I have no track experience here but I drive for a living and have for 20 years and all of this applies for truck driving also... I need to do an event in my car now lol.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Johnmadd View Post
    +1 I have no track experience here but I drive for a living and have for 20 years and all of this applies for truck driving also... I need to do an event in my car now lol.
    You should! You'd probably do very well.

    All,
    Thanks for the tips and encouragement!

    The times are posted. I was 21/33, about middle-end of the pack. Not anything to brag about.
    Miss Sarah Edge was the number 1 in Novice with a 63.888. She's a sweet little girl...until she gets behind the wheel and unleashes the beast . She drives a beautiful silver 2011 Carrera S and is Randy Pobst's pupil. Not going to catch up with her anytime soon, but I can dream lol.

    Run #1: 84.964. Taking it easy hitting all the gates. Not much there.
    Run #2: 75.341. A little bit faster, keeping the inputs smooth, small and precise
    Run #3: 75.286. Not much difference, this was the sloppy, letting her hang loose run. Clearly, this is not the way to do AX but fun nonetheless.

    If I was able to do my 4th and 5th runs, I'm sure I could've touched 70 or 71. I started to kind of understand how to speed up and attack the course in "segments" if you will.

    I may do one more Novice class run before I jump to Rookie class simply because Novices get 5 runs instead of 4. I will focus simply on ONE thing, versus trying to correct everything in one go. I think vision and eye placement will help the most, so I'll do that next.
    2003 Blue ZHP Sedan @ 195k
    Paint chips | Current MIL: P0420 | Airbag Light | Poorly Sprayed Black Style 135s |Ugly Alcantara Steering Wheel | Trunk Squeak | Faded Shadowline Trim
    This car is not a peach. It is a precision instrument, and will be used as such.

  10. #10
    TIRERACK.com - Revolutionizing Tire Buying
    Severe weather (thunderstorms) on the last event caused them to wrap it up early. No runs for the Afternoon Heat B.

    Next event is in April so I have time to replace my Guibo, CSB, shifter bushings, Headers(?) Install, subframe and diff bushings, RTABs, control arms and related bushings and maybe a subframe reinforcement. Whew, no time to waste!
    2003 Blue ZHP Sedan @ 195k
    Paint chips | Current MIL: P0420 | Airbag Light | Poorly Sprayed Black Style 135s |Ugly Alcantara Steering Wheel | Trunk Squeak | Faded Shadowline Trim
    This car is not a peach. It is a precision instrument, and will be used as such.

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