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NEW TO AUTO-X AND ROADRACING? look in here...

 
Old 01-27-2004, 09:54 AM
  #41  
eaa1964
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Default Re: NEW TO AUTO-X AND ROADRACING? look in here... (clutchdust)

Now that the basics have been covered...How about ...

Where do I get NON-magnetic numbers that are 10 inches? I used 6" #'s last year and they said I will need to change to 10". My local sign shop thinks I am nuts. I found my last static cling #'s by talking a used car dept out of a 3 so that I could mix and match as necessary.

Thanks in advance for the help.

Elizabeth


[Modified by eaa1964, 3:43 PM 1/27/2004]
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Old 01-27-2004, 10:43 AM
  #42  
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Default Re: NEW TO AUTO-X AND ROADRACING? look in here... (eaa1964)

Elizabeth,

I had some adhesive-backed vinyl numbers made at American Sign shops. I then stuck the numbers onto clear Contact paper and trimmed around the edges. The contact paper has a less aggressive adhesive, so it's easier to peel off the car. And because it's an adhesive rather than static cling, the numbers don't blow off at speed. I store the numbers on plastic sheet protectors in a three-ring binder. The only disadvantage to my numbers is that they stretch slightly each time they are peeled, and dirt builds up on the adhesive, so they are not going to last forever.
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Old 01-29-2004, 09:04 AM
  #43  
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Default Re: NEW TO AUTO-X AND ROADRACING? look in here... (clutchdust)

What about down-shifting for a turn? Or shift in the turn? Or does it just depend on the turn?
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Old 01-29-2004, 03:23 PM
  #44  
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Default Re: NEW TO AUTO-X AND ROADRACING? look in here... (merrick)

Downshifting in a turn will usually loosen the car up unless you blip the throttle as you're shifting. If you do this while braking, that's the technique called "heel and toe".

I usually do my downshifting while braking in a straight line; that way the car isn't upset near as much. Is heel/toe a much better technique? Sure, but I've found it very hard to practice it during an autocross, and practicing it on the road just isn't the same. Still, I'm working on it, hopefully one day it'll come.

All I know is every time I've tried it while on course my times have worsened.

HTH, and have a good one,
Mike
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Old 01-29-2004, 11:06 PM
  #45  
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Default Re: NEW TO AUTO-X AND ROADRACING? look in here... (merrick)

merrick: Of Course, it depends on the turn's shape, elevation change, radius, pavement, camber and other factors.

The purpose of downshifting is to slect a gear that will maximize your control through the trun you are about to enter and maximize your acceleration out of that corner, NOT to slow the car. The brakes are used to slow the car to a speed where the tires will have sufficient grip to overcome the centrifugal force which is pushing your car toward the outer part of the turn.

If you do not have to downshift to provide this maximum control and acceleration, then DO NOT downshift. As Vettedrmr has pointed out the technique used to both Brake and Downshift simultaniously prior to a turn is called "Heel and Toe". Which is basically matching the engine revs to the new lower gear by manipulating the throttle at the same time you are on the brakes to slow the car. This technique takes time and practice to perfect, and if you do not use it in the "braking/downshifting zone" then you can upset the traction and balance of your car and also an abrupt downshift without matching the engine revs CAN and WILL damage your clutch, transmission, rear diff and driveline, and possibly the engine.

If you downshift prior to a turn, then stay in that gear through the entire turn. DO NOT shift in the turn, unless the turn is very gentle and you're running out of revs in the lower gear that you selected before the turn, and you actually could go faster in the higher gear. Generally, DO NOT shift up or down in a high G turn. The shifting process will tend to upset the car's balance and could cause your car to loose traction.

As I stated above, one of the purposes of downshifting before a turn is to maximize your control of the car through the turn. I am assuming that this "control" is at the highest speed attainable given the mechanical and physical limitations of the car and the track. The attitude/balance of the car through a turn is contolled by you by using 3 basic variables: the SPEED that you have entered the turn (too fast and your out of control and too slow and you're wasting time); The STEERING INPUTS you provide which tells the car where to go; and the ACCELERATOR which can provide "decelleration" if you lift off the throttle, a "steady state" if you apply enough throttle to maintain your speed, or "acceleration". Notice I didn't mention Brakes. Although brakes can come into play in some unusual situations or types of corners, the basic rule is to get all your braking done in a straight line and DO NOT touch the brakes in the turn.

These are the basics and I hope that it has helped to clairfy why some turns are best taken by downshifting prior to the turn and others really don't require a downshift.

Jim Helm
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Old 02-04-2004, 09:19 AM
  #46  
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Default Re: NEW TO AUTO-X AND ROADRACING? look in here... (clutchdust)

I'd just like to add that you should be courteous on the track. At road course DE's there are going to be faster and slower cars than you on the track at the same time. If cars are coming up behind you in the turns, wave them by as soon as you get to the next straight if that's permitted. If you're faster than the car in front, wait until they hand signal you to pass...again, if that's permitted. If everyone's courteous and leaves their egos behind all can have a great time.
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Old 02-10-2004, 01:06 PM
  #47  
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Default Re: NEW TO AUTO-X AND ROADRACING? look in here... (Jim 47)

So what I am hearing...Go fast in straights, brake and downshift (if necessary) at same time prior to the corner, accelerate out of corner, repeat as necessary.


PLEASE EXPAND ON THIS. How do I tell if I am in the appropriate gear? ie: first or second? Let's say it's a short straight with right 180 at the end followed by 2 s turns. Is it better to start in 1st, short shift into 2nd and back to 1st for the 180 or drive the rev limiter for 50 yards in first?


thanks

EAA


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Old 02-12-2004, 08:32 AM
  #48  
Jim 47
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Default Re: NEW TO AUTO-X AND ROADRACING? look in here... (eaa1964)

So what I am hearing...Go fast in straights, brake and downshift (if necessary) at same time prior to the corner, accelerate out of corner, repeat as necessary.
Excellent, You have captured it in a nutshell. There are a few other nueaunces while your actually "in" the corner, but what you have said is basically IT.

I find it difficult if not impossible to answer your question about what gear to use through some sequence of turns. I, you, or anyone would have to drive that particular segment of track to give you an accurate answer. The fundamental answer is: You should be in the gear(s) that will take you through that segment of track in the shortest amount of time. You basically want to keep your engine RPM's in the 4000 to 6000 range where you can get the most torque to the track, but if this requires several up/down shifts in a short distance, sometimes it's better to keep it in the higher gear, let the RPM's dip down into the 3000 range, and avoid all those time eating shifts, and keeping a smooth application of power throughout the segment of turns.

Basicallly, what you are doing as a driver is managing the traction of your tires on the track under the set of conditions which are presented to you. The closer you can keep the tires/track traction at the maximum point, in general, the quicker you will be. There's a couple of exceptions to this rule where you are delibertly trying to slide the tires in order to rotate the car, but in general, the quick cars will be right at the adheasion limit of the tires all the way through the corner.

Making this happen is your responsibility by using the correct gear for that particular car and corner, entering the turn at the optimum speed for that particular car and corner, and manipuliating the throttle and the steering wheel to choose the right line through the corner and keep the tires on the edge of adheasion with the track. This is the FUN part of road racing.

I've never been on a track that required shifting down to 1st gear. There is a section of track at Summit Point that is similar to the segment which you have described. I enter that segment in 3rd gear, and keep it in 3rd through that entire segment. Even with racing tires on the car, I have plenty of rear wheel torque to keep the tires right at their adheasion point and to rotate the car where I want to. Maybe this is not the presice answer you were looking for, but I hope it was helpful.

Jim Helm
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Old 02-12-2004, 08:48 AM
  #49  
eaa1964
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Default Re: NEW TO AUTO-X AND ROADRACING? look in here... (Deslok)

Thanks Jim.

I am trying to gather as much info from the more experienced people out there so that I become more efficient in local autocrossing events...hence first gear.

again, much thanks to those who are educating us.

Elizabeth
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Old 02-16-2004, 10:49 PM
  #50  
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Default Re: NEW TO AUTO-X AND ROADRACING? look in here... (eaa1964)

As we started a new season, maybe a penny or two about autoXing Corvettes.

1. It's usually a humbling experience your first few times out.
2. Nothing more embarrassing than being lost on a course. Walk it at least three times. Ride with someone, have someone ride with you.
3. You will have 3, 4 or more runs. Run 1 is FIND THE COURSE. Run 2 is a little bit better, and so on. Your best run should be last minus one, so you can hang it out on the last one.
4. Smooth is fast. Tire noises are usually bad.
5. Water, skin block, hat, sunglasses, folding chair, digital tire gauge, white shoe polish, working gloves (cones get dirty), good attitude.
6. Look ahead for cones and cone workers.
7. If you see anything that's not right: a worker on the course, a cone that's down from a previous run, a car that's spun out and maybe stalled, STOP- that's the only way to point out something to the timing booth that they may not be aware of. Then proceed at a slower pace (ie not racing or practicing) through the lights. You'll have a better case to argue for a re-run.
8.If you get red-flagged STOP, proceed when allowed and trip the lights at a slower pace (no practice runs allowed).
9. If you get lost, STOP before zooming around- don't wander around and find another car on the course the hard way --the corner workers will direct you back on course. AND TRIP THE LIGHTS unless directed otherwise.
10. Even though smooth is fast, everyone really appreciates a Corvette spinout, they are so much more louder than other cars.
11. If you lose it, stay off the gas, lighten the brake pressure, and wait for the car to come back-- calm down, look around, find the course; trip the lights, and go and greet your appreciative audience.


[Modified by mike_webb_tx, 3:50 AM 2/17/2004]
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Old 02-21-2004, 10:39 PM
  #51  
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Default Re: NEW TO AUTO-X AND ROADRACING? look in here... (mike_webb_tx)

Good post.
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Old 02-26-2004, 06:37 AM
  #52  
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Default Re: NEW TO AUTO-X AND ROADRACING? look in here... (lager99)

Hi All

Although a newbie to this forum, I've been racing bikes and cars for 35+ years. All these comments are excellent.

One of my own, observed from many years with SCCA working as a F&C Marshall, inexperienced drivers 'follow their vision'.

That is, don't be too intent to 'rubber neck' a wreck or you might become an unwilling participant.

BTW, http://www.trackdayonline.com/ lists the majority of track day events around the U.S.


[Modified by clayfeet, 11:41 AM 2/26/2004]
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Old 03-15-2004, 10:03 PM
  #53  
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Default Re: NEW TO AUTO-X AND ROADRACING? look in here... (clutchdust)

clutchdust: great post - very imformative. this will be my second year to autox...the only problem i have at times is reading the cone...is there a book or an article that describes what they mean...thanks
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Old 03-29-2004, 09:30 PM
  #54  
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Default Re: NEW TO AUTO-X AND ROADRACING? look in here... (varkwso)

Great topic - appreciate the input!

Bring money and water - got it!

Tell it like it is!
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Old 04-08-2004, 10:31 PM
  #55  
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Default Re: NEW TO AUTO-X AND ROADRACING? look in here...

As a sort of newbie to the message board, I would like to thank each and every one of the Older and more knowledgable members who have together created this thread. There are many of us newcomers to the Auto Cross sene and I would venture to guess this was a very very helpful thread on getting started. Its all striaght forward and to the point. Not too in depth that we cant understand. but at the same time gets the point across. Well put together and VERY VEYR educational, Even for the sort of experiecned members. Again, thanks for setting aside time and effort to take care of us newbies!!!!!

Tony
99 C5 Hardtop
All Stock as of now


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Old 04-16-2004, 04:26 PM
  #56  
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Default Re: NEW TO AUTO-X AND ROADRACING? look in here... (Vette Ed)

On the cones ... basicallt a cone laying onit's side points the way to go -- a directional cone. A vertical cone is like a post you go to one side or the the other in a slalom, and in between them in other cases.

A cone is considered "hit" if it is a vertical cone and has been knowcke dout of it's "box", or it id it no longer vertical. That's 2 seconds. Directional cones have no penalty. However, in *many* cases hitting a directional may mean you are already off course. But if, say you hit a directional cone as you hit a slalom entry cone, it is only 1 cone, not two.

hope that helps. If not, ask at the next autox, they wil be more than happy to explain it.
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Old 05-24-2004, 08:34 AM
  #57  
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Default Re: NEW TO AUTO-X AND ROADRACING? look in here... (eaa1964)

Thanks Jim.

I am trying to gather as much info from the more experienced people out there so that I become more efficient in local autocrossing events...hence first gear.

again, much thanks to those who are educating us.

Elizabeth
Which gear also appears to be a function of Coupe vs. ZO6. I'm RARELY ou tof first gear in my coupe. I can break 50MPH in first in the coupe, which is just fine on the SHORT striaghtaways we have here (small lots == 45-ish second courses ).

That said I tried out running second yesterday .. went back to first the next run. It felt smooth but was close to a third of a second slower.

Oh and when you find your times not changing ,much on a course, get an expert to ride with you. I did, and learned some good lessons.

Oh, and if you can't get someone to ride, get someone to video your runs especially the slaloms if any, and tell you from the outside. I found the video of my slaloms to be invaluable. I'm now so close to the cones in the slaloms that everyone comes up and compliments me on my slaloming. I *thought* I was close before; but seeing my video and saying "TWO FEET!?!?!" made me realize the car is not as wide as I seemed to think. :p:

[man I can't type this AM!]

[Modified by TheDarkKnight, 6:39 AM 5/24/2004]


[Modified by TheDarkKnight, 6:41 AM 5/24/2004]
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Old 06-03-2004, 04:13 PM
  #58  
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Default Re: NEW TO AUTO-X AND ROADRACING? look in here... (clutchdust)

C5 General had a recent thread asking about car numbers since he realized that "magnetic" numbers would not work Anyway, members of this racing forum may be interested in http://www.solotime.com which makes numbers of all types, decals (Goodyear, Borla, Bilsteins), helmets, harnesses, How to Books, etc. Check them out. As for numbers, I personally like the numbers mounted on "low tack" backing which can be applied and taken off many times and should not come off at high speed. As long as your paint surface is waxed/polished/Zaino'd you can apply and remove the numbers many times without damaging your paint. Just be sure the surface is dust/dirt free before application. I like the right slant "3D" numbers. Get numbers at least 8 inches high to get you enough sticky surface and proportional looks. Lots of other goodies available from solotime so be sure and look through all the features (or not if you're not prepared to spend $$$$$$).
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Old 06-08-2004, 12:18 AM
  #59  
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Default Re: NEW TO AUTO-X AND ROADRACING? look in here... (napacruzerc5)

Informative thread.

Seat time is a big one for this noob. The more seat time I get the "slower" it feels out there. I can actually think 2 or 3 turns ahead and what I plan on doing in them. That and think about what worked and didn't work last run.

When I ran my first event focusing on the turn I was in was hard enugh.


Water and sun screen. Biggies. That and go have fun.
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Old 06-08-2004, 12:09 PM
  #60  
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Default Re: NEW TO AUTO-X AND ROADRACING? look in here... (TheDarkKnight)

Here’s a tip for the slaloms, “Try and run over the cones with your rear wheels”. This tip was given to me by the safety director and one of the fastest drivers of our Corvette Club.

He said, “Go ahead and try it, you won’t be able to hit the cones with just your rear wheels”.

Tried it, it works. This tip dramatically decreased my times through the slalom.

Thanks Joey.




[Modified by Pipes, 9:11 AM 6/8/2004]
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