2G First Time AutoX, Any Tips?

Posted by 99OZDSM, Oct 11, 2017

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  1. 99OZDSM

    99OZDSM Proven Member

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    Virginia Beach, Virginia
    Taking my GSX out for an autox for the first time this Sunday. Any tips you guys recommend, especially for a stock handling 2G GSX? Thanks.
     

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  2. jakk220

    jakk220 Proven Member

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    Joined Nov 13, 2010
    Stow, Ohio
    • Slow is smooth, smooth is fast. Most guys go out there and think they need to be tire squealing, ballz to the wall, and hard on the brakes through every turn. They typically are not the fastest, unless they are very experienced. Your line is what will make you fast. Go slower at first and pick up the pace each run until you find your sweet spot. Don't go launching the crap out of your car to try to increase your time drastically. It was never really worth the strain on the car for me as you usually don't get over 40mph anyway. A low RPM small launch if anything will do you just fine

    • Be sure to check your tire pressure. Once you start racing, it is going to go up. Just be sure to lower the cold pressure a bit so its about normal when it goes up.

    • Not sure on the rules where you are racing, but I would bring a helmet as many require it.

    • Get there a little early so you can walk the course. It helps a lot.

    • If its sunny, you may want sunglasses or a tinted lens on your helmet. Not being able to see sucks.

    • Remember that the cones laying down are pointing in the direction you need to go. Helps a lot especially if you forget the course at all mid run.

    • Make sure everything in your car is secured or strapped down. The last thing you want is something flying under your brake and causing you issues.
    Autocross is a lot of fun and is a good entry into things such as road racing. If you have any interest in racing you will enjoy it a lot. Most importantly have fun and be safe.
     
    My DSM:
    1993 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX

    Street Build

    16g   manual
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  3. 99OZDSM

    99OZDSM Proven Member

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    • Good advice, I have been reading and everyone says the same thing. Smooth operation and go slow at first. Never launched my car before until recently. Right now I have my launch control set at 3000RPM, not trying to break anything...yet.
    • What tire pressures do you recommend? I'm at stock recommended pressures now.
    • Any helmet recommendations? Can I just grab one off of Amazon (I have prime)
    • Definitely planning on walking the course more than once if I can.
    Thanks for your advice! I'm pretty excited but also nervous at the same time. I don't normally beat on my car, but I guess autox isn't really in the realm of beating on a car.
     
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  4. jakk220

    jakk220 Proven Member

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    Stow, Ohio
    Depending on the tire you are running, assuming a street tire, I would start out with about 35 cold and then check it again after a good run or 2. You want to be about 40-45 hot give or take on a street tire. Get some chalk and mark the side wall of your tire up to the tread pattern. Lower / raise the PSI until you get the roll over on the chalk where you want it. The sweet spot varies on the tire. Some are marked by a triangle, which is where you want the roll over to stop. Here is a general idea.

    Tire-sidewall-triangle-mark.jpg




    As far as a starter helmet, you can just get any Snell approved helmet on amazon. I have seen them on there for as cheap as 50 dollars.

    No problem and good luck! You will have a lot of fun.
     
    My DSM:
    1993 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX

    Street Build

    16g   manual
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  5. Black95TSIawd

    Black95TSIawd Proven Member

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    Walk the course multiple times. You're not going to win your first time out and its ok. Learn to drive your car and control its weight transfer. Slow in, fast out is the only way our cars can not push or understeer. Let an instructor ride with you. Most of all, have fun. Its addicting. :)
     
    My DSM:
    1998 Eagle Talon TSi AWD

    184.4 whp   251.0 lb/ft
    1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX (sold)

    Drag Race Build

    20g   manual
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  6. Drop Top Road Trip

    Drop Top Road Trip Proven Member

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    St. Louis, Missouri
    When you get to the autocross, find a spot to park and place any extra stuff you might have brought. Pull out your spare tire/jack and at least the driver side floor mat along with ANYTHING floating loose in your car and leave it all at your spot.

    Try to get there early and try to sign up to work the first heat. This will give you a chance to watch some of the other drivers and see what the fast guys are doing...and what mistakes the new guys are making! Maybe pair up with an experienced driver to work a corner and get some free advice.

    Make SURE your battery is bolted down before going to the event. You'd be surprised how many guys show up with a loose battery and don't even realize it...or how dangerous it is.

    Check your lug nuts for proper torque and check your wheel bearings (give your wheels a good shake). Don't wanna lose a wheel. I've seen it happen.

    Not sure about your local rules but to be safe (unless you know otherwise), don't show up in shorts or flip flops.

    Stick around / sign up for some Fun Runs after the event for some more seat time.
     
    My DSM:
    1999 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder GST

    Street Build

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  7. Canadian_CD9A

    Canadian_CD9A Proven Member

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    Winnipeg, MB, Canada
    For your first event, just concentrate on staying on-course, it's probably all you will be able to manage when you are new. Fast doesn't mean anything if you go the wrong way and DNF. Have an experienced racer ride along with you to help you navigate, and don't be afraid to ask for advice.
     
  8. 2gmitsueclipse

    2gmitsueclipse DSM Wiseman

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    Auburn Hills, Michigan
    Some very good advice given thus far. I can add some to the above:

    Before event:

    • Along with wheel bearings, check for play on ball joints/tie rods/sway bar links.
    • Check all fluid levels.
    • With the battery, in addition to making sure it is secure, ensure something is covering the positive battery terminal. If the red cover is missing, then place electrical tape around exposed positive terminal components. If the battery were to become un-secure, or something metal move over it, you have the makings of a fire.
    • Ensure your exhaust exits past the driver seat.
    • Verify the the allowed modifications for your class. If a said modification is not stated in the rules, then it is not allowed in your class.
    • Check to see if loaner helmets are available. Most require at LEAST Snell 2005/2010 rating for a helmet.
    At the event:
    • Get there early. many events have a novice walk for new drivers that offer suggestions that won't be shared during the driver's meeting. You will also want to locate registration and where to tech your car.
    • I usually put an extra 1/2 quart of oil in the car.
    • Bring blue painter's tape to make numbers/class for the side of your car.
    • Dress for the weather. You will be outside ALL day.
    • Bring plenty of water to drink. If I don't have to pee before I head to my car before runs, I am not drinking enough water.
    • Don't plan to win. Start slow to navigate the course. It will all come so fast that it can be easy to get "lost". You will know what this means when you complete your first run.
    • Introduce yourself to other humans at the event. Ask questions, generally folks are happy to help out.
    • Don't over focus on getting video/pictures of yourself. Focus on driving and watching others.
    • HAVE FUN!!!!!!

    Be sure to report back here how it went.
     
    My DSM:
    1998 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX

    Autocross Build

    T25   manual
    1999 Mitsubishi Eclipse GST

    Street Build

    16g   manual
    1990 Plymouth Laser RS Turbo

    Autocross Build

    14b   manual
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  9. 99OZDSM

    99OZDSM Proven Member

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    Virginia Beach, Virginia
    Will definitely try to remember this while I'm out there :thumb:. I know our AWD cars naturally want to under steer in stock form. Been trying to find a rear RM Sway Bar forever, but no luck.

    What is the purpose of the extra 1/2 quart? For keeping the crankcase full of oil while sloshing around? Should I be worried about overfilling the crankcase?
    I will be sure to report back!

    Thank you everyone for your advice, it will definitely be helpful! I'm really looking forward to getting some seat time.
     
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  10. 2gmitsueclipse

    2gmitsueclipse DSM Wiseman

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    Auburn Hills, Michigan
    The biggest concern is ensuring there is oil for the oil pick-up. This method is THE cheapest way to combat a lack of oil during cornering. After 4 or so years of motorsport events, I have no ill effects of adding the extra 1/2 quart of oil. I also have to include that I still using 200 tread-wear tires.
     
    My DSM:
    1998 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX

    Autocross Build

    T25   manual
    1999 Mitsubishi Eclipse GST

    Street Build

    16g   manual
    1990 Plymouth Laser RS Turbo

    Autocross Build

    14b   manual
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  11. 99OZDSM

    99OZDSM Proven Member

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    Joined Jun 16, 2007
    Virginia Beach, Virginia
    Ok, good piece of advice. I will add some oil in tomorrow while I look over my car.
     
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  12. 99OZDSM

    99OZDSM Proven Member

    155
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    Joined Jun 16, 2007
    Virginia Beach, Virginia
    Well the event was a blast! Got in 5 official runs and stayed around for 3 more "fun runs." First 2 runs I was DNF. I dropped my time between every run, started at 55 seconds and ended the day on a 39.5 second run. So I achieved my goal of beating myself. I believe the fastest time was a 34 second run by a C6 Z06. Overall it was a success and I will most likely attend the next event in November.

    However, on my 8th and final run there was a thump sound coming from the rear of the car during launch (3000rpm with no antilag). Still ended up being my fastest time though. Upon initial research, I think it may be a carrier bearing or rear diff mounts. Haven't had the chance to get under the car yet but will definitely check it out.
     
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  13. Black95TSIawd

    Black95TSIawd Proven Member

    1,600
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    Joined Jan 28, 2003
    Dirty, New Jersey
    :) Glad you had fun.
     
    My DSM:
    1998 Eagle Talon TSi AWD

    184.4 whp   251.0 lb/ft
    1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX (sold)

    Drag Race Build

    20g   manual
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  14. 2gmitsueclipse

    2gmitsueclipse DSM Wiseman

    1,930
    538
    Joined Jul 13, 2005
    Auburn Hills, Michigan
    Congrats on popping your Autocross cherry!

    On the thud, if you find that the carrier bearing is the issue, reaplce both since the drive shaft will need removed. Jafromobile has a short series on YouTube about this job.

    If the rear diff is the cause, I reccomend replacing the rear subframe bushings in addition to the rear diff since it needs to be removed anyway.
     
    My DSM:
    1998 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX

    Autocross Build

    T25   manual
    1999 Mitsubishi Eclipse GST

    Street Build

    16g   manual
    1990 Plymouth Laser RS Turbo

    Autocross Build

    14b   manual
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