Nick's 2012 Autocross Thread.

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Re: Nick's 2012 Autocross Thread.

Postby Nsquared97 » Thu Sep 27, 2012 2:42 pm

When we ran at Grattan this year I did, but other than that I usually don't see any more than 60. And when I did that little test there were 3 others on the car that didn't move so I'm not too worried. And I little trick I learned, if you are at higher speeds, a little tape of the leading edge of the numbers will keep air from getting underneath them.
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Re: Nick's 2012 Autocross Thread.

Postby Nsquared97 » Tue Oct 02, 2012 6:25 am

So yesterday ended up being an awesome day of cone-dodging for many reasons. First off, the event was at Barstow airport, a place I have been to many, many times when I was younger watching my dad race. I haven't been there in years, and this was my first time running there myself. Big surprise for the day was my dad showing up to run a friend's car, was not expecting that at all. Pretty cool for multiple reasons, first off the car owner is a guy I met a year and a half ago, and I got the chance to run his car then (Formula 500, small open wheeled race car.) And secondly because this is the first time my dad and I have run the same event in at least 3 or 4 years. Best part of the event was having a rather cute codriver... but that's a different story ;)

So the day started off rather cold, and never really warmed up much. We worked first/ran second, so we were able to watch other people run and learn a bit. Definitely looked slick, as many people were having troubles staying on course, and in some cases on the concrete. Being a runway we were on, it is rather narrow and if you lose it bad enough, you will go off. I had 2 cars do just that right in front of me, one almost taking out a landing light... :S Seeing that and talking to a few people definitely made me a bit apprehensive.

After a break for lunch, it was our turn. I was the first car out after a gaggle of shifter karts. Definitely wasn't as much grip as I have gotten used to, mainly because, even with a codriver, the tires never got much heat into them. As a result, the rear end was a bit more antsy than normal, mainly on lift-off in higher speed sweepers. But of course the one place I needed oversteer the car refused to rotate, a tight 180 that my car just wanted to push in. There was a hard braking zone into that 180, and the brakes never felt as strong as they should, a bit un-nerving to be honest. Austin, we definitely need to flush the lines and put the ATE in stat. Other issue I ran into was picking up the rear tire again, but this time it seemed to be when I let off in the faster cutbacks, and it unsettled the car a bit when it set back down. Oh, and despite them falling off while sitting in grid and once when I shut the door, my numbers never fell off while we were running, score!

Course was a lot of fun though, with a long, fast, flowing section that was a great excersize in maintaining momentum. Dropped time each run, especially for my last. My codriver did great too, lots of fun watching her get more comfortable/faster with every run. She had some pretty impressive saves to, and definitely enjoyed herself, so that was awesome.

Was able to get some constructive feedback from my dad as well since he was working while I ran. And being a multi-time national champ, his is input is pretty valuable to me ;) His biggest suggestion was a big front sway to combat the massive amount of body-roll. Definitely something I have been planning anyway, and thinking about it, it should help get rid of the lifting rear tires issue, right?

Ended up winning my class, and 15th overall on index out of 67. Not quite as good as I have been doing lately, but this was a much more competitive group of drivers, some of which are nationally competitive, so I'm still pretty pleased. Results by class here:
http://www.svr-scca.com/e107/e107_files ... esults.pdf
Index:
http://www.svr-scca.com/e107/e107_files ... 12_pax.pdf

And video of my last run:

Should have some pics soon to post up as well. Season is winding down now, not too sure how many more events I will be doing.
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Re: Nick's 2012 Autocross Thread.

Postby Yoshi » Tue Oct 02, 2012 11:49 am

something sounds like a vibration coming from the rear. doesn't sound good at all. My only feedback would be to be smoother. Some of your inputs seemed very harsh. That first U turn coulda been faster I think. Hard to tell from the video.
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Re: Nick's 2012 Autocross Thread.

Postby M20_fever » Tue Oct 02, 2012 1:06 pm

any time I get a parking lot autox driver at the track as a student it's always a battle to get them to use smoother inputs, lol. They all just throw the car around like that. At the lower speeds of most parking lot events the cars are much more forgiving to that style of driving, and in some cases might be the faster way through the course. With higher speeds property weight transfer becomes critical to keeping the car under control, so nice fluid transitions and weight transfers are a must.

Nick, I think it looked pretty good man. Bigger front sway should help keep the back wheel planted, but it's going to increase under steer as well. A set of camber plates will help offset that. I get to run with my Dad all the time, it's pretty darn cool, isn't it?
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Re: Nick's 2012 Autocross Thread.

Postby Nsquared97 » Tue Oct 02, 2012 3:44 pm

Yoshi wrote:something sounds like a vibration coming from the rear. doesn't sound good at all. My only feedback would be to be smoother. Some of your inputs seemed very harsh. That first U turn coulda been faster I think. Hard to tell from the video.

Vibration is the rear wheel bearing that does need to be changed, but for whatever reason having the camera mounted there really exagerated how much noise it actually makes.

As far as smoothness goes, trust me I know the importance of it haha. That's something I constantly practice on the street just to make it second nature. I think what your seeing in the video may partially be from me correcting the car, like I said the rear wasn't very planted, and the rear tire lifting/setting back down was unsettling the chassis too. Also keep in mind it's completely stock suspension, weight transfer takes some long for the car to 'set' so you just have to be a bit more agressive with it.

I was fighting with that U-turn all day, most of the time I just kept coming into it too hot, but there really wasn't much I could do to get around it faster, the car just wanted to understeer. Maybe had I pitched it in and got it to rotate a bit it would have helped... but I doubt it.

M20_fever wrote:any time I get a parking lot autox driver at the track as a student it's always a battle to get them to use smoother inputs, lol. They all just throw the car around like that. At the lower speeds of most parking lot events the cars are much more forgiving to that style of driving, and in some cases might be the faster way through the course. With higher speeds property weight transfer becomes critical to keeping the car under control, so nice fluid transitions and weight transfers are a must.

Nick, I think it looked pretty good man. Bigger front sway should help keep the back wheel planted, but it's going to increase under steer as well. A set of camber plates will help offset that. I get to run with my Dad all the time, it's pretty darn cool, isn't it?

I will say this, I heard a quote once that said "good autocrossers will make good road racers, but good road racers don't always make good autocrossers." :P Haha I know what your saying though, every event I go to there are plenty of hacks out there just throwing the car around, poor tires are screaming for mercy. An agressive driving style works for some cars, espicially FWD as it get's the car to rotate, but I completely agree it isn't the fast way around a road course. I think if you watch the videos from Grattan though I was pretty damn smooth through there.

And with the sway, the added understeer is something I have been worried about, and partially why I haven't done it yet. It is most likely something I can drive around, and I think the reduced body motion will be a bigger benefit than whatever I would lose from increased understeer. Unfortunately I can't do camber plates in my class, but when I jump up a class they are definitely on the list.

And yes, being able to race with your dad is great. We haven't talked a whole lot recently, but racing is such a common interest it was a great time.
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Re: Nick's 2012 Autocross Thread.

Postby Yoshi » Tue Oct 02, 2012 3:46 pm

ironically, you saying you couldn't go faster around a corner means you most certainly can.
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Re: Nick's 2012 Autocross Thread.

Postby Nsquared97 » Tue Oct 02, 2012 3:49 pm

Ehhhh... it's a pretty simple corner, and not a whole lot of grip. I don't see what more you can do with that.
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Re: Nick's 2012 Autocross Thread.

Postby Yoshi » Tue Oct 02, 2012 4:10 pm

The moment you stop trying, you stop learning. The slowest corners are the ones you can gain the most speed from. for instance, on the standard U turns, the best way around it (assuming no successive turns) is to apex extremely late. You actually pass the turn before turning in. That way, you get more speed prior to corner exit for any straight aways.
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Re: Nick's 2012 Autocross Thread.

Postby Nsquared97 » Tue Oct 02, 2012 4:21 pm

Yoshi wrote:The moment you stop trying, you stop learning.

True dat wise sage.
Yoshi wrote:for instance, on the standard U turns, the best way around it (assuming no successive turns) is to apex extremely late. You actually pass the turn before turning in. That way, you get more speed prior to corner exit for any straight aways.

Lol that's just it, there's no such thing as "no successive turns," when your autoXing, you never really have any straights. For this instance, having yourself setup correctly for the slalom immediately following the U-turn was more important.
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Re: Nick's 2012 Autocross Thread.

Postby Yoshi » Tue Oct 02, 2012 4:35 pm

just saiyan.
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Re: Nick's 2012 Autocross Thread.

Postby M20_fever » Tue Oct 02, 2012 4:46 pm

The most productive advice I give my students is don't try to be fast, try to be smooth. Smooth = fast, trying to be fast = slow. Once I got my last student to focus on being smooth he immediately cut 2 seconds off his best lap, and that was in a drift car with no ABS and a welded diff.

oh, and BTW, I'm hella fast on a cone course too. ;-)
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Re: Nick's 2012 Autocross Thread.

Postby Nsquared97 » Tue Oct 02, 2012 5:45 pm

M20_fever wrote:The most productive advice I give my students is don't try to be fast, try to be smooth. Smooth = fast, trying to be fast = slow. Once I got my last student to focus on being smooth he immediately cut 2 seconds off his best lap, and that was in a drift car with no ABS and a welded diff.

That's exactly why my last 2 runs I put the car in 3rd for the last half of the course. It would have been right around 5.5-6k in 2nd, but I felt I just couldn't be percise enough with the throttle to stay smooth. Definitely didn't have the power in 3rd I could have had in 2nd, but I am pretty sure I was much faster that way.
M20_fever wrote:oh, and BTW, I'm hella fast on a cone course too. ;-)

Oh yeah? Miller Park, 2 weeks, you and me, one on one, let's do this hahahaha. Seriously though, are you planning on doing that event? Would be pretty interesting to see the comparison IMO. And I would really love to see what the J-stock suspension is like.
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Re: Nick's 2012 Autocross Thread.

Postby M20_fever » Tue Oct 02, 2012 8:05 pm

yep, I'll be there. I have a hard time really going 10/10ths there though since there is zero room for error. You spin out, or go too hot into a corner and your going home on a flatbed. Hopefully it doesn't rain again like last year. Sucks Matt isn't going to make it too.
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Re: Nick's 2012 Autocross Thread.

Postby blasphemy101 » Tue Oct 02, 2012 8:22 pm

So jealous you guys live close enough to hit the same events! Oh well. It lets me lie about my "awesome" auto-x performance.
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Re: Nick's 2012 Autocross Thread.

Postby Nsquared97 » Wed Oct 03, 2012 7:53 am

As long as the weather looks decent, and I'm not forced to work that weekend, I am definitely going to try and make it over, I know Austin want's to go too.
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