Autocross Learning At Last

This past Sunday’s 2009 SPOKES AutoX #11 was a good test of Karlino‘s newly installed, “eBay” left, rear control arms.  Also, it was good to verify that my new alignment settings worked well enough to not have to change again.  At least for now…

Karlino, my 1999 Mazda Miata, in the San Antonio Raceway paddock

You see, I was able to start really learning to drive through an autocross course properly.  This was so as the car was much better set up than when I had bought it this summer.  It’s too bad I had to spend the time, dollars & effort to get it this way – but in the end it was worth it.

Another, sunnier Karlino shot at the SAR SPOKES autocross...

We were able to compete with 6 runs.  I totally screwed up my first run by overcooking a corner, almost wiping out a whole row of cones.  If people were carefully watching what I was doing, you’d think I was participating in a gymkhana event!  The second run was 10 (!) seconds quicker than the first.  That’s how bad I messed up on the that first run.

Row of cones - waiting to get hit!

Although I had walked the course 3 times prior to our runs, the course ALWAYS look completely different at speed than while walking.  That is surely a strange phenomena.

SPOKES 2009 Autocross #11 Panorama

By the third run, I learned (actually realized) that one needs to brake properly to go faster.  I started to see brake skid lines of prior competitors.  I thought, “That’s right, just brake here before this next turn to better set up the turn at the next cone.”  I later shared this with Jerry (my first autocross mentor) and that was one of his first autocross ah-hah learning moments, too.

Karlino forgot his "proper" class & number ID - therefore the painter's tape!

On runs 2 through 5, I was able to consistently improve & that was a good feeling.  But my last run, what we sometimes call the money run, I completely missed a gate & DNF’d.  I was pissed, but still satisfied with the consistent improvement on my middle runs.  Click below to see the results clearly:

Dan's SPOKES #11 AutoX run times...

Of no consequence was that I was 20th out of 30 Novice entries.  🙁  The next substantial improvement might be tires on 15″ rims?  We’ll see…

Racing Ready is looking forward to future continued autocross improvements!

Dan

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One thought on “Autocross Learning At Last”

  1. I checked my driving lights, it’s the drivers side that is broken on mine as well. I have a set of MSM sway bars for a very cheap upgrade if you are interested.

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