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docwyte
docwyte UltimaDork
4/28/24 9:52 a.m.

In reply to Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) :

Wow.  Yeah, I'm totally not interested in driving any length of time to go to an auto-x.  I've got a 45 minute drive to the local auto-x and that already has a bad seat time vs time spent delta.  Adding hours and hours of drive time on top of it makes no sense to me at all.

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) UltimaDork
4/28/24 2:28 p.m.

I totally understand that the ratio of travel to seat time is not a rational choice for many people. For me, a big factor is getting frequent events at the lowest cost. Although I would love to do so, I can't afford to do a track day every month or two, not to mention the cost of consumables due to the increase in tire and brake wear. 
 

I like having fun with my friends, and after six years of competing with multiple clubs, I've made a bunch of friends. I like the competition too .
 

My first career was racing horses, and I like being competitive. My goal when I started autocross was to get as much seat time as possible so I could be competitive locally before my age really started to hold me back (62 at my first event).
 

Last year I was class champion with Martin, second in class with the SCCA (after holding the lead for most of the year), and despite being 68 now, I haven't hit my peak. 

Matt B (fs)
Matt B (fs) UltraDork
4/29/24 3:08 p.m.

I've never been a dedicated autocrosser, but I've been doing it for a long time at this point. Never built a car for a class. I wanted to when I was younger, but at this point I'm not sure I have the desire with so many other competing priorities. I just enjoy the seat time as well as introducing friends and relatives to the sport who have an interest.

I will say after spending a few years away to focus on endurance racing, autocrossing again last year was wonderfully refreshing in it's simplicity.

Matt B (fs)
Matt B (fs) UltraDork
4/29/24 4:09 p.m.
Duke said:

We go over this every time the topic of autocross comes up.

  • Do you enjoy the entire day as a mixed driving / social event?
    or
  • Do you only care about seat time?

There is no wrong answer to that question.

But it is not the question asked in the original post.

I missed this so forgive the double post.

This is a great question and I agree there isn't a wrong answer. That said, I certainly fall into the first category.

With that caveat, I've found the seat time per dollar argument for track work a little misleading. It seems like people typically focus on the cost of tires and brakes of track days, but that doesn't take into account the time spent working on a car in between every race or HPDE.  Sometimes it's minimal and sometimes it's significant, but the maintenance I've done for tracks is significantly higher than what's necessary for dodging cones.

Then there's the safety equipment. I'm just not having as much fun as I can on track unless I have at least a half-cage, harness, and HANS.  I understand there's plenty of people who track their street cars with 3-point belts, but after having kids I'm a little more careful with my skeleton. This limits what I'm willing to spend track day money on.

I understand everybody has their own risk-tolerance and available free time. Like I alluded to earlier, after spending the last few years focusing on the track all I can say is I have a newfound appreciation for the cost/time ratio of autocross.  The fact I like hanging out with other autocrossers doesn't hurt either.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
4/29/24 4:38 p.m.

In reply to Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) :

Yeah, for me, it’s more than just seat time. The way I see it, I spent a day hanging with friends–like Eric–working with novices and doing car stuff. 

dr_strangeland
dr_strangeland Reader
4/29/24 5:35 p.m.

We have a local club that does just this, no classes at all, just raw timed runs for everybody, no trophies, just as many runs as we can pack into a day. 

The last time I ran with them I had 25 runs on Saturday and 15 on Sunday, and I left at lunch. 

I love it, I find that I often pick up significant time right around the 7th run, something about memorizing the course completely or something. I'm not sure. 

Matt B (fs)
Matt B (fs) UltraDork
4/29/24 6:34 p.m.

In reply to dr_strangeland :

Holy crap that's a lot of runs for a normal event. I've only ever seen that many at a test-n-tune event or two.  How many participants were there? Does everybody shag cones?

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
5/13/24 9:56 a.m.

Florida Citrus Region PCA has added another autocross to the schedule: June 1 in Tavares, Florida. 

Sign-up info at ClubRegistration.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
5/13/24 9:58 a.m.

(And I’m already registered in the GTI.)

Strut404
Strut404 New Reader
5/14/24 2:31 p.m.

Events like this are precisely what I am attempting to build my van for... that, and I'm not 100% sure about its legality in the CAM class lol. Posts like these are the inspiration I need to go fight with yet another (and another, and another) rusted bolt.

Lof8 - Andy
Lof8 - Andy UltraDork
5/14/24 2:53 p.m.
David S. Wallens said:

Florida Citrus Region PCA has added another autocross to the schedule: June 1 in Tavares, Florida. 

Sign-up info at ClubRegistration.

Just posted this in the Corolla Cup group to see if I can get any interest.  If anyone's autocrossing just for fun, its guys in 20 year old Corollas!

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
5/14/24 4:25 p.m.

In reply to Lof8 - Andy :

Good way of putting it. Plus we’ll all be in the FUN class together. 

kb58
kb58 UltraDork
5/14/24 8:32 p.m.

"What about simply autocrossing for fun?"

When would it ever be anything other than fun. It's an entirely voluntary activity, competing with everything else you need/want to do on the weekend, and it costs money. Why on earth anyone would not want to go but does anyway is a mystery to me.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
5/15/24 1:45 p.m.

In reply to Noddaz :

It should be fun–and I go because I find it to be fun. But how many events totally remove the competition element?

You know, we have lots of non-competitive track days: Go out there and run some laps. What about something similar involving autocross? 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
5/15/24 1:53 p.m.

In reply to David S. Wallens :

The competition element is easy to remove if you ignore it.

I took part in the Rallye Glenwood Springs a few years ago. It's a long-running (74 years this year!) TSD that wanders around the mountains of Colorado. We were there to test out the rally computer in the Targa Newfoundland car and to generally do a shakedown. It got pretty dull maintaining a speed 2 mph under the posted speed limit on most of those roads, so I haven't been back. But there was a guy taking part in a...TR6, maybe?...who didn't have a navigator or even a working speedometer. He would find another competitor and follow them around until he got bored, then blast off into the distance until he found someone else. He was having a much better time than we were.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
5/15/24 2:13 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

Very true in that you can ignore it.

But what about an “autocross” that didn’t feature clocks at all? Would people be interested? 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
5/15/24 2:21 p.m.

In reply to David S. Wallens :

How many people run lap timers at HPDE days? I think you would lose a significant number of people if you didn't have timing, because everyone likes to compete against themselves and see some improvement or at least get feedback on what they're doing. You don't need classification or awards, but I do think you need timing.

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
5/15/24 2:58 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

In reply to David S. Wallens :

How many people run lap timers at HPDE days? I think you would lose a significant number of people if you didn't have timing, because everyone likes to compete against themselves and see some improvement or at least get feedback on what they're doing. You don't need classification or awards, but I do think you need timing.

Yep, I always ran a transponder at HPDE/HST so I could see my progress through the day. 

j_tso
j_tso Dork
5/15/24 3:34 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

Unless I'm mistaken, it's the drivers rather than the organizers timing laps with their own gear though. That way the event can be advertised as a driver education/experience and totally not racing. I bet quite a few instructors don't want novices chasing times and have a big off.

To me an untimed autocross is a stunt drive.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
5/16/24 9:49 a.m.

Sorta related, does anyone have local autocross test and tune days? 

dr_strangeland
dr_strangeland Reader
5/16/24 4:38 p.m.
Matt B (fs) said:

In reply to dr_strangeland :

Holy crap that's a lot of runs for a normal event. I've only ever seen that many at a test-n-tune event or two.  How many participants were there? Does everybody shag cones?

We usually get about 30-50 people for a typical NWAA event. Less than about 25 and it's very hard to run because there aren't enough people to work timing AND the course.

Everyone runs cones. Usually people are pretty clean, but there's always one or two cars that take out a bunch of the course, lol. There are no re-runs for downed cones or anything like that, which helps keep things moving. No stopping on course. Just get back to the lights and trip them and take another run.

https://nwautox.com

I don't know if you're local but that's the club I'm talking about.

aw614
aw614 HalfDork
5/16/24 5:27 p.m.
David S. Wallens said:

Sorta related, does anyone have local autocross test and tune days? 

Gulfcoast autocrossers events in Ft Myers their Sat seem to be test and tune events that they typically run the same course. 

dr_strangeland
dr_strangeland Reader
5/16/24 5:27 p.m.
David S. Wallens said:

Sorta related, does anyone have local autocross test and tune days? 

Yes, but they often aren't advertised on the club schedule, and are word of mouth only, since they are typically no cost, it seems like. At least that's my experience. WWSCC had a test and tune with multiple courses with individual timers for a slalom section and a figure eight that you could enter in either direction, which was great. But it's inconsistent and some years they have one, some years they don't. I wish there were more, just a course with a timer and no penalties, reset your own cones if you hit them, etc. There has to be a certain basic skill level for a self-organizing event like that, though.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
5/17/24 3:30 p.m.

And getting the GTI ready for tomorrow’s autocross with Central Florida Region SCCA at the FIRM.

This car isn’t high maintenance, so pretty much the basics: check oil, check lugs, check tire pressures; clean the glass*, wipe down the paint; and make sure numbers and everything are in the car. Gotta grab my helmet, too. 

* Someone remind me to pick up more glass cleaner, okay? 

(Also, love how the pollen is attracted to windshield washer hose–now it’s all clean.)

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
5/19/24 5:27 p.m.

Fun event and more to come soon. And thanks, JG, for cutting out the class designations.

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