Auto X/Road Racing Auto X and Road Course Forum

Top 10 Autocross driving tips....

Old 01-21-2004
  #1  
Autocross Junky
Hey! Look At Me!! I'm a Supporting Member!!
Thread Starter
 
Zzyzx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, US
Age: 40
Posts: 7,222
Rep Power: 298
Zzyzx has a reputation beyond reputeZzyzx has a reputation beyond reputeZzyzx has a reputation beyond reputeZzyzx has a reputation beyond reputeZzyzx has a reputation beyond reputeZzyzx has a reputation beyond reputeZzyzx has a reputation beyond reputeZzyzx has a reputation beyond reputeZzyzx has a reputation beyond reputeZzyzx has a reputation beyond reputeZzyzx has a reputation beyond repute
Top 10 Autocross driving tips....

ANDY'S TOP TEN AUTOX DRIVING TIPS
By Andy Hollis
(Andy is a multiple National Solo Champion and an instructor for the Evolution Solo School)

Originally posted on Miata.Net

[Just got back from a weekend of teaching Evolution schools and thought I'd share some stuff that I must have said a thousand times.]

1] Position first, then speed. Positioning the car perfectly is more important than trying to attain the highest potential speed. For example, you will drop more time by correctly positioning the car nearer to slalom cones than you will by adding 1 or 2 MPH in speed. Same with sweepers (tight line). Same with 90-degree turns (use all of the track). Also, position is a prerequisite for speed. If you are not in the correct place, you will not be able go faster. Or at least not for very long!

2] Turn earlier...and less. To go faster, the arc you are running must be bigger. A bigger arc requires less steering. To make a bigger arc that is centered in the same place, the arc must start sooner (turn earlier).

3] Brake earlier...and less. Waiting until the last possible second approaching a turn and then dropping anchor at precisely the correct place so that the desired entry speed is reached exactly as you come to the turn-in point is quite difficult to execute consistently. Especially when you consider that you get no practice runs on the course, and the surface changes on every run, and you aren't likely to be in exactly the same position with the same approach speed on every run, etc. Better to start braking a little earlier to give some margin of error. And by braking less you can either add or subtract braking effort as you close in on the turn-in point. This will make you consistent and smooth.

4] Lift early instead of braking later. Continuing with the philosophy of #3, when you need to reduce speed only a moderate amount, try an early lift of the throttle instead of a later push of the brake. This is less upsetting to the car, is easier to do and thus more consistent, and allows for more precise placement entering the maneuver (remember #1 above).

5] Easier to add speed in a turn than to get rid of it. If you are under the limit, a slight push of the right foot will get you more speed with no additional side effects. On the other hand, if you are too fast and the tires have begun slipping, you can only reduce throttle and wait until the tires turn enough of that excess energy into smoke and heat. Don't use your tires as brakes!

6] Use your right foot to modulate car position in constant radius turns, not the steering wheel. In a steady state turn, once you have established the correct steering input to maintain that arc, lifting the throttle slightly will let the car tuck in closer to the inside cones. Conversely, slightly increasing the throttle will push the car out a bit farther to avoid inside cones. It is much easier to make small corrections in position with slight variations in the tires' slip angle (that's what you are doing with the throttle) than with the steering wheel.

7] Unwind the wheel, then add power. If the car is using all of the tire's tractive capacity to corner, there is none left for additional acceleration. At corner exit, as you unwind the wheel, you make some available. If you do not unwind the wheel, the tire will start to slide and the car will push out (see #6 above).

8] Attack the back. For slaloms (also applicable to most offsets), getting close to the cones is critical for quick times (see #1). To get close, we must move the car less, which means bigger arcs. Bigger arcs come from less steering and require earlier turning (see #2). Now for the fun part... When you go by a slalom cone and start turning the steering wheel back the other way, when does the car start to actually change direction? Answer: When the wheel crosses the center point (Not when you first start turning back!) How long does that take? If you are smooth, it takes .25 - .5 seconds. Now, how long is a typical person's reaction time? Answer: about .5 seconds. Finally, how long does it take to go between slalom cones? Answer: Typically on the order of 1 second. Given all of that, your brain must make the decision to begin turning the steering wheel back the other way just *before* you go by the previous cone!!

Since this is a mental issue, a good visualization technique to get used to this is to think about trying to run over the back side of each slalom cone with the inside rear tire of the car. To hit it with the rear tire (and not the front), the car must be arcing well before the cone and the arc must be shallow. Attack the back!

9] Hands follow the eyes, car follows the hands. 'Nuf said.

10] Scan ahead, don't stare. Keep the eyes moving. Looking ahead does not mean staring ahead. Your eyes must be constantly moving forward and back, and sometimes left and right. Glance forward, glance back. Your brain can only operate on the information you give it.

Bonus Tip: Don't forget the stuff in between the marked maneuvers! Too often we think of a course as series of discrete maneuvers. There is typically more to be gained or lost in the areas that are in between. Pay special attention to the places where there are no cones
Zzyzx is offline  
Old 01-21-2004
  #2  
Retired suspension supermod.
Hey! Look At Me!! I'm a Supporting Member!!
iTrader: (8)
 
robbclark1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Gaithersburg, MD
Age: 40
Posts: 10,901
Rep Power: 330
robbclark1 is a splendid one to beholdrobbclark1 is a splendid one to beholdrobbclark1 is a splendid one to beholdrobbclark1 is a splendid one to beholdrobbclark1 is a splendid one to beholdrobbclark1 is a splendid one to beholdrobbclark1 is a splendid one to beholdrobbclark1 is a splendid one to beholdrobbclark1 is a splendid one to beholdrobbclark1 is a splendid one to beholdrobbclark1 is a splendid one to behold
want me add that to the Autox FAQ post?
robbclark1 is offline  
Old 01-21-2004
  #3  
Autocross Junky
Hey! Look At Me!! I'm a Supporting Member!!
Thread Starter
 
Zzyzx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, US
Age: 40
Posts: 7,222
Rep Power: 298
Zzyzx has a reputation beyond reputeZzyzx has a reputation beyond reputeZzyzx has a reputation beyond reputeZzyzx has a reputation beyond reputeZzyzx has a reputation beyond reputeZzyzx has a reputation beyond reputeZzyzx has a reputation beyond reputeZzyzx has a reputation beyond reputeZzyzx has a reputation beyond reputeZzyzx has a reputation beyond reputeZzyzx has a reputation beyond repute
I just found it, but it may be a good Idea...
Zzyzx is offline  
Old 01-22-2004
  #4  
Registered!!
iTrader: (4)
 
VTECTypeR's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Pasadena, California, US
Age: 32
Posts: 2,463
Rep Power: 0
VTECTypeR is an unknown quantity at this point
Good Info
VTECTypeR is offline  
Old 01-22-2004
  #5  
Registered!!
iTrader: (2)
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: toronto
Age: 37
Posts: 3,415
Rep Power: 0
AznSaint is an unknown quantity at this point
AznSaint is offline  
Old 01-22-2004
  #6  
Roy
Registered!!
 
Roy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: LA, California, US
Posts: 375
Rep Power: 0
Roy is an unknown quantity at this point
it think it's better put this way... the car goes in the direction your head is pointed. you should be constantly scaning by moving your head, and not just your eyes alone.
Roy is offline  
Old 01-24-2004
  #7  
K Motor Lover Baby!
iTrader: (2)
 
02SilverSiHB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: San Angelo, Texas, US
Age: 42
Posts: 593
Rep Power: 0
02SilverSiHB is an unknown quantity at this point
number 2 is good info for me and number 9 is so true...look ahead!
02SilverSiHB is offline  
Old 05-07-2011
  #8  
Registered!!
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 1
Rep Power: 0
Trinity is an unknown quantity at this point
Re: Top 10 Autocross driving tips....

I'll be doing my first Autocross race tomorrow and this is just what I was looking for. Thanks! Hopefully I can put it to some good use and not wreck anything up
Trinity is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Honda Civic Forum
Replies
Last Post
Supramk3
Mechanical Problems/Vehicle Issues and Fix-it Forum
1
05-11-2015 07:55 PM
Xuhme
Cracked block early R18 Overheating
3
04-21-2015 07:21 PM
CascadiaBlue
Introduce Yourself!
11
04-18-2015 09:13 AM
smmahan
7th Generation Civic
2
04-15-2015 08:17 PM
Karim
West
0
10-22-2001 03:50 PM


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Quick Reply: Top 10 Autocross driving tips....


Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

© 2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.