Jamesc2123
Jamesc2123 New Reader
5/27/08 9:33 p.m.

My SCCA region is putting on its first rallycross ever and this will also be a first for me. What I am looking for is tips how to drive my stock '92 Civic si effectively around the dirt. One guy who runs with us was telling me to learn to left foot brake, something i have never experimented with.

Just from playing with it in my head, the point of left foot braking would seem to be to (at least for a split second) press both pedals somewhat while entering a turn, allowing the rear brakes to lock while keeping the fronts moving, thus rotating the car better.

Is this the correct approach to rallycross (and even autocross) with a stock front wheel drive car? When/how much left foot braking should i apply? I'm sure to a large degree I am just going to have to feel it out for myself when I get out there, but I was just looking for general tips to this technique, or to rallycross in general.

stumpmj
stumpmj HalfDork
5/28/08 8:59 a.m.

What I found while autocrossing my old front wheel drive DD (a VW Fox) was that it needed to be drivin smoothly to get anything approching a decent time. There was no power to recover from slow corners so the fancy left foot braking and hand brake tricks didn't really work for me.

Hook up in the ruts coming out of the corners and when in doubt, add throttle.

Armitage
Armitage New Reader
5/28/08 9:13 a.m.

Left foot braking is instrumental in rallyx because it lets you do a number of things in different situations. The first of which is to allow you to shift the weight of the car from the back to the front. This effectively helps you maintain the balance of the car in a corner and rotate the rear around the turn. Another use and benefit of this is because you're still applying throttle, you are able to keep your turbo spooled up (if applicable) even under braking. It's something you'll have to practice a lot to become smooth at, but it really does work.

As far as other rallycross tips... Here's a few:

  • Drive smoothly. Smooth inputs and transitions yield faster times. Slow in, fast out applies.

  • Sliding is spectacular but not usually the fastest way around a turn. Especially if there's ruts or berms on the outside of the turn that will cause you to lose all your momentum and waste valuable time downshifting or digging for traction to get out of.

  • There's no substitute for seat time.

ProDarwin
ProDarwin Dork
5/28/08 9:35 a.m.

I did my first rallyx this past weekend at summit.

Drive like you are autocrossing... but don't push it. Times are cumulative, so one off course can screw you for the day.

Armitage
Armitage New Reader
5/28/08 11:50 a.m.
ProDarwin wrote: I did my first rallyx this past weekend at summit. Drive like you are autocrossing... but don't push it. Times are cumulative, so one off course can screw you for the day.

Awesome. Did you have fun? I have only made it out to one DC Rally event so far this year as I've been a lot more focused on HPDEs lately. I may try to get out to at least one more this season, schedule (and car - overhaul/motor swap imminent) allowing.

ProDarwin
ProDarwin Dork
5/28/08 12:09 p.m.

Yeah, it was a blast! I was driving with a friend in his '96 Outback. I would go to more rally events if there were enough of them to justify building a car for that purpose. 7 events/year is pretty weak :evil:

Jamesc2123
Jamesc2123 New Reader
5/29/08 7:46 a.m.

Update: I may be codriving in my friend's pretty wildly modified Impreza (280 hp turbo'd base Impreza with totally stripped interior). We're going to put back on the stock suspension and some snow tires for the event. This just got a lot more interesting...:nice: Hopefully someone will be there taking pictures.

ProDarwin
ProDarwin Dork
5/29/08 8:04 a.m.
Jamesc2123 wrote: Update: I may be codriving in my friend's pretty wildly modified Impreza (280 hp turbo'd base Impreza with totally stripped interior). We're going to put back on the stock suspension and some snow tires for the event. This just got a lot more interesting...:nice: Hopefully someone will be there taking pictures.

Put a LOT of air in those tires. Snow tires have terribly soft sidewalls (usually). Rally tires on the other hand have rock-solid sidewalls.

Good luck!

Armitage
Armitage New Reader
5/29/08 9:18 a.m.

I can only assume that by friend with a '96 outback you are talking about Mr. Cooper. I should have guessed since you live in Sterling :P Small world we live in ;P

ProDarwin
ProDarwin Dork
5/29/08 9:20 a.m.

Yup, that would be him :nice:

maroon92
maroon92 Dork
5/31/08 1:56 p.m.

Rally-x is easily the most fun you can have with your pants on! glad we hooked another one.

Jamesc2123
Jamesc2123 New Reader
6/2/08 11:13 a.m.

So, for (Watkins) Glen region's FIRST SCCA rallyX, we had a total of 14 drivers for the day :grin: . We had a number teething problems including non functioning timing equipment (we ended up using stopwatches) and an out of region safety steward who ended up a couple hours late.

All told we got 9 runs in between 11AM and 3PM. By that time we and our cars were all pretty much pooped, but if things had gone right in the morning who knows how many runs we could have got...

Pics: The Morning as we set up. I wonder what class he runs in...?

This is our event chair running his 60's or 70's Alfa Berlina....

And here's me in my friend's subie!

We're going to try to put on another RallyX if we can this season, as everyone had a blast and the rest of our autoxers are now jealous. The crew of the circle track we ran at was AMAZING and, in terms of fuel and labor spent grading a course for us in their track and infield, probably spent about 10 times what they had us pay them. Not to mention they were very friendly and interested in what we were doing.

So yeah, long post, big pictures, but it was an awesome day so i had to share.

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