Autocross Car Handling Quirks

Here’s more about my first autocross & discovering some handling quirks of my 2000 Nissan Maxima SE (at the 10-19-2008 SASCA autocross).  After this event, I call my car the ‘Big White Whale’.

One of my initial concerns was that my car is in the same class (G Stock) as cars such as VW Golf GTIs.  That didn’t seem fair to me.  But upon reviewing the video that Brian took of my runs, I found an amusing common autocross handling issue with both of our vehicles.

They will both lift their rear inside tire upon severe cornering input.  This is an action shot of Paalo at speed in his VW Golf GTI, at the SPOKES autocross on 10/5/2008.  Look closely (or click to enlarge), you can see that inside right rear tire lifting up.

Installing a front anti-roll bar would greatly reduce the major tendency for my car to plow (aka: understeer) through the corners.  For now, I think I’ll save my money.  Anyway. see for yourself how my car “danced” through this course with 97K miles plus on the clock.

The 3-legged corner stance - version B

These are screenshots of moving video – excuse the lack of detail, but you can see what I mean.  Here’s a better shot (with all 4 tires on the ground)!

For those of you who’ve been waiting, here’s my first run video on YouTube:

I will post more about the learning progress, how I made my way through my first autocross of this century.  Racing Ready was there to document this for you!


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