AUTOCROSSAll information posted on http://www.7thgencivic.com/for...33268
thanks to user "robbclark1"
1) What is Autocross?2) How do I become involved in autocross?3) What do I have to do to my car to compete?4) What happens the day of the race?
1) What is Autocross?Autocross, also known as SOLO 2, is a timed motor sport within the SCCA (Sport Car Club of America), usually held in big open lots. Drivers navigate a safe course, outlined by cones, one at a time. Rather than retype all this useful information, the San Francisco and Washington DC SCCA’s along with tirerack have set up FAQs that they use. It is a general outline of Autocross, Autocross Classes, and the SCCA.
Usefull Linkshttp://www.tirerack.com/featur...k.htmhttp://w ... novice.htm
2) How do I become involved in autocross?
The first thing you want to do is go to the SCCA website http://www.scca.org
and find your local region’s website. That will have all the info you need on local races. Most places can register you for a race online in a few weeks to a month in advance. Register early because they usually fill up quickly. Fees vary but are generally around $25-35 for the day.
3) What do I have to do to my car to compete?Nothing. You can race STOCK! There is nothing that says you have to modify your car to compete in Autocross. A car need only be road worthy, and free of lose contents. Although autocrossing is generally very safe, and conducted in an open area at relatively low speed, helmets are required. Most modern motorcycle helmets meet the required standard, and free loaners are often available. You do not need to spend a dime on the car to autocross it. Modifying it is simply a choice to improve the car as you improve with it.
Some people suggest getting to know how your car handles in its stock form then if you choose to modify it, add a single part at a time so that you can learn how the car responds each time. As far as the suspension goes, the stock setup can take the punishment. There is absolutely no need to alter anything to go out and run. Later on, you can upgrade things, provided you keep a close eye on compliance to the rules. They can get tricky and nit-picky if you're not careful with what you buy. Your modifying should be gradual...no need to drop $2000 all at once. I've slowly added things over the year and will continue to add through next year. It helps to slowly get used to the car getting stiffer, rather than all of a sudden.
Before you start modifying your car, pick a class you would want to race in, where you would feel comfortable. If you want to race stock, the rules are set up to separate you into classes so that you can be competitive. They would not put a corvette against a civic, now would they?
Civics, non-Si, are in H Stock (HS), if not modified, against cars like base Sentras, Focuses, and Protégés.
Beyond stock classes, most people with common modifications will end up in Street Touring S or X (STS/STX). STS is probably the biggest classification for tuners. It allows mostly bolt-ons, suspension work, and bodywork. This is a highly competive class, where the weapon of choice is usually the Falken Azenis or Kumho MX tire, however most common street tires are acceptable in this class. If you are planning on buying tires, and have autocrossing in mind, research should be conducted before making any major tire purchase. Generally small, light wheels (15/16” etc.) are preferable.
If your car is ridiculously modified you will find yourself in street modified (SM). This is basically a street legal free-for-all. Internal engine work, turbos, swaps, big brake upgrades, CF hoods/trunks, gutting the interior/weight reduction, etc, you will be bumped to Street Modified (SM). SM is where a lot of “big boys” race so be careful what you do to your car. You don’t want to be moved to SM just because of a CF hood.
If you find yourself on the bubble between classes, go for the lower one. If the only mod you have is an intake, take it out and use the stock one, run HS. You'll be better off until you can get the car a little more modified and you get better at finding the car's limit. If you're seriously setting the car up for autocross, then the rules to keep yourself out of SM should be in your mind. Keep the car in STS unless you've got big plans for a K20 or turbo setup. You will find that STS usually draws the largest crowd and is mostly the compact/tuner crowd. So bragging rights are up for grabs. And it doesn't matter who can put their foot through the floor and shift gears. It really is who is the better driver.
If you have modifications to your car, you must place yourself in the correct class. Be sure to read the rules very carefully before doing anything. There are lots of ways to trip over them. If you are in doubt of a modification complying with the rules check with the local SCCA and ask them if you don't understand what the rulebook says. General rule is that if it doesn't specify it in the book, you CANNOT do it.
Rules and Classifications
While no modifications are necessary, many people enjoy modding their cars. Lists of important modifications vary. Most people agree that a good set of lightweight rims and sticky tires are the best mods you can do. After that a full set of coilovers or adjustable shocks with springs are good. As a general rule of all tuning, struts should always be upgraded before, or at the same time as springs. Spring changes alone are generally a poor choice. Other suspension modifications include sway bars, strut bars, poly bushings, roll cages, floor bars, among many others. Engine modifications are also allowed and can be varied. Parts include cold air intakes, full exhaust systems, swaps, turbos, superchargers, headwork, block work, etc.It is up to YOU to decide what you want your car to do and research the parts you think will get you to that point! You should consider the impact a mod will have on your class rating as simple mods may move you into highly competitivee classes THERE IS NO PERFECT SETUP!!
4) What happens the day of the race?Well you show up, ON TIME, or early! Find out when check in for your heat is on your local website. The first thing you want to do is go to the registration booth so they know you are there. They will give you a worker assignment (fixing cones etc for 1 race) and explain to you what to do. Next, prepare your car to pass tech. If you are changing anything before the race, you must arrive extra early, and do it before tech. To pass tech your wheels must on tight, there can’t be anything loose in your car, you must take out your floor mat, every aftermarket part is secure, your front windows must be down and you must have your run number somewhere on your car. Your battery should also be tight, and your numbers should be highly legible, and 10-12 inches in size. Printouts generally work, as does shoe polish. There might be more or less depending on the race officials. There is more information in the links above.
Most races will have a novice coordinator who will make the whole experience much less intimidating for you. Often the novice coordinator can pair you up with an experienced driver who can ride along with you and give you some tips on a volunteer basis.
ANDY'S TOP TEN AUTOX DRIVING TIPSBy 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