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Road Course/Autocross Tech Autocross, Road Race, and Open Track Event discussions. Preparation, technique, tips, and stories from the events. Tell us about your last event.

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Old 04-27-2007, 11:45 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
Registered: Mar 2007
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autox prep

well another SCCA autox this weekend. my harness didnt show up so ill be using the seat belt lock trick. i checked the seatbelt bolts to make sure they were tight and checked the seatbelts to make sure they werent fraying.
I cant run tomorrow as i have prom and got other shit to do but i prepped my car tonight seeing as ai dont have time tomorrow.

The car was up on a lift with the tires off changing the clutch this week so i check the brake pads then. they are nice and thick still so thats the first check off. also checked the suspension for leaks and tightness while it was up there.

today after school i came home and pulled all unnecessary stuff out of my car.
lose the radar detector, CD case, change, everything that could potentially fly around the cabin gets taken out. This is my favorite part becasue i usually end up about 5$ richer in change

I sprayed the car down so it looks good for the pictures and so the tape will stick for the numbers and not peel off.

Torqued up all the lugnuts and checked the suspension again and visually checked the pads again. better safe than sorry. Sometimes i will hit the rotors with some brake clean if they are greasy looking or have a bunch of brake dust on them but they werent so i skipped that step.

i take the spare with me to the track just to be safe but i remove it to save some weight and just leave it next to my grid spot. this really isnt necessary but it saves some weight and isnt that hard to take out.

Put all my crap in a bag to take out there. longsleeve tshirt, jeans, jacket, tire pressure gauge, mechanic gloves, metric socket set, couple screw drivers just a couple things just in case somethin breaks. i dont change tires for the event so i dont take a jack. if i need to jack up the car that bad ill use the stock jack :funstuff: if its something that requires a lot of work i just call it a weekend. its my daily driver its not worth pushing it to the point of breaking.

this sounds more like a standard maitence check but all of these little things will make you fail tech so its better to have them good to go when you get there.

prom and autox in the same weekend damn im excited.

wish me luck. im hoping for a win in the novice division this time around. i was 3rd last time behind a stg 2 sti and a impreza with a good driver and some other stuff.
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Old 08-26-2007, 12:03 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Took me awhile to learn the hat-and-long-sleeved-shirt trick
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Old 08-26-2007, 12:22 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
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Took me awhile to learn the hat-and-long-sleeved-shirt trick
?

Boostinpsi, I don't do half of that stuff before events even with my highly-prepped SM Evo. I'm guessing you just enjoy it as a true gearhead. I don't enjoy it at all and really only have time to pack the car, race, and come home. It's just autox anyway.





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Old 08-26-2007, 08:42 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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since i dont have to change my camber and what not on my not so prepped sm car i guess i have to fill the time somehow. :/
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Old 08-26-2007, 10:06 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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I don't even change the camber/toe unless events are far apart. The most time I spend is swapping rims/tires, but it's pretty quick with the portable impact gun.





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Old 08-27-2007, 10:09 AM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Took me awhile to learn the hat-and-long-sleeved-shirt trick
FWIW, I was referring to the many times I went autocrossing without proper sun protection and ended up getting cooked standing outside in the sun all day. We're talking HUGE sunburn! Worse, being in the heat affected my concentration, which isn't exactly what you want in a sport where accuracy and tenths or even hundredths of a second count.

No disrespect, I assure you...I now dress like somewhat like Dr. Moreau for autoX but feel much better after a long day at the track, was amused by the reference to long sleeves in boostinpsi's post
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Old 08-27-2007, 05:37 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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I don't wear long sleeves to avoid sunburn, but I learned my lesson nonetheless after moving to Colorado where the sun is MUCH closer and much more intense. My first event up here was in 40* weather with high winds. I went to a formal event that night and looked like a lobster. I also had ridiculous tan lines from my sunglasses - embarrassing.

I still don't wear extra clothing, but I use spray-on 50 sunproof and put on a 2nd coat halfway through the day, which works great...





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Old 08-28-2007, 11:47 AM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Ooooooo yes have had a bad moment or two with the 'sunglasses tan' effect!!! On one particularly bad occasion I had to do a very important pitch first thing in the morning on the day following the event and had to stand before a full board of the client's senior management looking like a friggin racoon...good icebreaker though as it turns out

Other than suitable clothing, my AutoX prep ritual is pretty simple - swap on the semislicks the night before (not picky about wearing them out so usually drive on them to the event itself - saves me carrying 4 spare wheels around). Then visit the local garage and check oil levels, coolant levels and get the tires topped up with nitrogen (I like to fiddle with the pressures a bit between events if I'm running on familiar ground too), empty out and wash the car (amazing how much stuff can accumulate plus I hate racing with dirty windows).

Quite often I'll stop by an out-of-the-way empty parking lot and give the car a little shakedown run the night before the event if I'm experimenting alot with my setup just to get a general feel for the handling (i.e. to make sure I haven't totally messed it up!). Call me crazy but I find it really helps when driving is the very last thing I do before a good pre-race sleep.

Other than that, a full tank of 93 octane (less annoying sloshing, keeps the back end weight consistent), lose the spare tire, jack and tools, pack up the helmet bag and fill the drinks cooler with lots of mineral water and cold diet cokes (and an extra pack o cigarettes) and I'm good to go.

Oh yeah, and sunscreen, lots of!

I enjoy the preparation rituals almost as much as the race itself sometimes...suppose I could argue that it helps me focus on driving since I'm always hitting the track confident in the condition and setup of the car - or heck, it could just as well be a gearhead thing
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