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David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
3/23/22 12:47 p.m.
feature_image

It’s fun.

It’s social.

It’s challenging.

And, even at the local level, it offers an opportunity to interact with legends in the sport.

We ran our Garage Rescue Miata this past weekend with our local Central Florida Region SCCA–an unusual yet welcome Saturday event&ndash…

Read the rest of the story

aw614
aw614 Reader
3/23/22 1:49 p.m.

Fun event on Sat, I had some initial concerns about the course at first, but found it fun and challenging during the course of my 5 runs.

Looks like you caught me talking to Gene in his new BMW M240i lol

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
3/23/22 2:06 p.m.

In reply to aw614 :

I really dug the course as well. It was like Nationals but smaller. And closer to home. And with real bathrooms. smiley

Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
3/23/22 2:16 p.m.

In reply to David S. Wallens :

I'd be willing to bet that real bathrooms can have quite the effect on autocross times.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
3/23/22 2:20 p.m.

In reply to Colin Wood :

Nothing like having to use a porta-potty in August.

VolvoHeretic
VolvoHeretic Reader
3/23/22 2:53 p.m.

It's the most fun you can have locally without getting an exhibition ticket.

Nader
Nader New Reader
3/23/22 3:57 p.m.

I've had tremendous fun the 2 or 3 times I've autocrossed, but, like Disney Land, I grew tired of standing around for 6 hours just to get a few minutes of run time.  That's why I switched to WTW road racing.  The best of both worlds could be had by driving our sports cars on kart tracks.

gunner (Forum Supporter)
gunner (Forum Supporter) HalfDork
3/23/22 8:40 p.m.

I raced autocross from 2005 to 2008 and ended up not coming back the next year because the chairman, whom I was friends with stepped down and the guy that accepted the spot I wasn't a fan of. Extremely petty. More than that though the racing had become less fun because a guy in my class that started in 2006 was a super stickler with the rules, which wasn't a problem for me since my feeling is if I can't follow the rules and be competitive I need to move to a class where my car fits the rules, one day he got into it with another guy in our class over some little thing and there was yelling and all the bad stuff. What was our class? H- stock. There was bad blood between them for the next couple years and I really got tired of it. Over plastic trophies?? Truth be told, Me and the guy that this guy had problems with(the nice guy) swapped cars at the end of the day for a fun run. I had set ftd in class that day and he beat my time by 2 seconds in my car. Me? I was 4 seconds slower in his car because as I found out he had blown shocks and when I asked him about it he admitted he had been driving on them like that for over a year. He was legitimately a better driver than anyone else in the class. I haven't' been back since 2008.

Claff
Claff HalfDork
3/23/22 8:54 p.m.

I thought I was turning into track day bro guy and weaning myself from autocross. But I still ran with local SCCA since I was on the committee. I ran in my semi-retired STR NC just for ha-has.

When I was going through videos at the end of the year, I saw that I was still having very excited reactions when I crossed the finish and saw a good time come up on the display. That never gets old. I still cut back from running with all the other clubs in the area (they all switched to running at a meh site two hours from home), but I don't see myself giving up the sport completely anytime soon.

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
3/23/22 9:01 p.m.

I'm sorry I missed it. Hate working weekends. 

parker
parker Reader
3/23/22 9:11 p.m.

One of the biggest turnoffs about autocross was the feeling that calling out someone for cheating was bad form.  

Duke
Duke MegaDork
3/23/22 9:16 p.m.

Everybody complains about the 6 hours for 3 minutes thing, and I get that, but it's kinda not the point, really.

 

Automobilist
Automobilist New Reader
3/23/22 9:30 p.m.

Autocrossed a few times, but once I tried real racing, wheel to wheel...   "Parking lot cone-chasing" (Auto-X) never interested me again.

BEJAY1
BEJAY1 New Reader
3/23/22 11:12 p.m.

Tried a time attack last year for the first time and the adrenaline just wasn't the same for me.  Sure you had to hit your your braking points and turn ins but I always felt I could only drive at like 90% unless I wanted to be towed home or worse.  Keep coming back to autocross for that full experience, whether it's 8-10 runs a day or just 3.

p.s. anybody know when the CFR site will be back up, really want to connect with that #42 car driver!

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
3/23/22 11:57 p.m.

In reply to BEJAY1 :

Huh, the site was working earlier today. Hopefully it's back up soon.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
3/24/22 10:59 a.m.
Duke said:

Everybody complains about the 6 hours for 3 minutes thing, and I get that, but it's kinda not the point, really.

 

Pave The Planet - One World, One People, One Slab Of Asphalt

It's kind of like a day/morning of hanging out with other car people. 

Duke
Duke MegaDork
3/24/22 1:29 p.m.
Automobilist said:

Autocrossed a few times, but once I tried real racing, wheel to wheel...   "Parking lot cone-chasing" (Auto-X) never interested me again.

Annnnd there it is.

Autocross isn't racing.  So there's that.

David S. Wallens said:

It's kind of like a day/morning of hanging out with other car people. 

Et, voilá.

 

SupraFiend
SupraFiend New Reader
3/24/22 4:12 p.m.
BEJAY1 said:

Tried a time attack last year for the first time and the adrenaline just wasn't the same for me.  Sure you had to hit your your braking points and turn ins but I always felt I could only drive at like 90% unless I wanted to be towed home or worse.  Keep coming back to autocross for that full experience, whether it's 8-10 runs a day or just 3.

p.s. anybody know when the CFR site will be back up, really want to connect with that #42 car driver!

Exactly! I like doing lapping days, they're a nice change now and then and a good way to experience different race tracks, but without laptimes and having to deal with traffic, they are about as exciting/satisfying as a nice canyon drive for me.

Time Attack solves part of that problem, but then you step into race car land. Might as well get into wheel to wheel racing at that point. Which is all fine and dandy, but it's a completely different world money and time commitment wise. Plus if I have to buy a HD tow vehicle and trailer to get my car to and from the track, and the car I put all my money and energy into can't even make it to a Cars and Coffee or other meet, what is the point really.

Like BEJAY, the real appeal for me to Autox, is it's the only sport where you can attempt to drive at 10/10ths the whole time. The adrenaline rush of pushing your car that hard and clicking off the fastest time possible, without having to fear putting it into a wall or rolling it by dipping a tire into the dirt, is an experience unique to autox. That fact that its the most competitive (sometimes you win on 100s of a second!), approachable and affordable racing as well is just icing on the cake. It's more than enough "real racing" for me.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
3/25/22 10:17 a.m.

And the idea here isn't to crap on anyone's idea of fun. 

I have road raced. It's way fun, but there's also a lot of commitment.

I really love track events, but the risk goes up. 

Autocross, again, feels like home. Plus I'm doing this minimal prep thing where I don't bring the entire garage. I'll bring a helmet, cooler with water, and that's about it. I check oil, torque lugs and clean the windshield before leaving home. (Tip: I'll apply sun block before leaving, too.) Again, just a simple day doing car stuff. 

frenchyd
frenchyd MegaDork
3/25/22 2:02 p.m.

In reply to David S. Wallens :

You aren't wrong but for me the preparation, towing to the event,  and  velocity I get to is the attraction. 
  There is no risk in a parking lot.  No Mano un Mano.  Taking the Carousel at Elkhart Lake side by side inches apart   right at the absolute edge of traction  then diving into the kink on the charge down to Canada Corner.  Life doesn't get much more intense or rewarding. 
     To me "winning" at an autocross is about as exciting as passing a Math test. Because you don't know until the times are posted. Long past the point of excellence, where you hit the perfect line almost dusting the pylons.  
      I'm not minimizing the thrill some must feel autocrossing.  Nor is success there any less valid.  
But wheel to wheel sports car racing is my real love.  

SupraFiend
SupraFiend New Reader
3/25/22 2:32 p.m.

In reply to frenchyd :

You can put as much prep and as you want into autox, many tow their vehicles and there are classes for dedicated race cars.

At most well run autoxes, the announcers are keeping track of who's on top and announcing it as people cross the line, and there's usually a screen showing your time after you cross the line. Our club also broadcasts all of the times in real-time over WiFi and you can look it up on your phone anytime you want.

I've been to tons of events with awesome "Mano un Mano", with the top racers trading the top spots on almost every run and fantastic energy everywhere.

Don Fip
Don Fip New Reader
3/25/22 5:21 p.m.

I'm going to my first autocross tomorrow morning and while I've had similar thoughts/biases why I havent gone before, I will be going in with an open mind and having fun safely is still the number one goal to me.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
3/25/22 7:04 p.m.

In reply to Don Fip :

Have fun tomorrow: wear a hat, bring water, make friends, be safe and look ahead. 

frenchyd
frenchyd MegaDork
3/27/22 4:17 p.m.
SupraFiend said:

In reply to frenchyd :

You can put as much prep and as you want into autox, many tow their vehicles and there are classes for dedicated race cars.

At most well run autoxes, the announcers are keeping track of who's on top and announcing it as people cross the line, and there's usually a screen showing your time after you cross the line. Our club also broadcasts all of the times in real-time over WiFi and you can look it up on your phone anytime you want.

I've been to tons of events with awesome "Mano un Mano", with the top racers trading the top spots on almost every run and fantastic energy everywhere.

I apologize if I made autocross seem inferior. Not my goal at all. Just trying to explain why wheel to wheel racing means more to me.  
        I'm sure those who appreciate Autocross do, race others and that can be intense.  
        Autocross and drag racing  are both races against the clock.  I'm sure there is dedication and skill involved in both.  Plus they both can be done with your commuter car  which is not the case with wheel to wheel. So both are more accessible to newbies and entry level. 
      When I mentioned Mano Un Mano.  My thinking was those times when you and your buddy, friend, or competitor are side by side diving into a corner.  Since there is no contact allowed in Vintage racing. We aren't quite as brutal as SCCA or professional racing.   So I'm a step or two back from "real racing" 

     That does not make me better or anything.  It's just the limit of risk I have.    Financial risk that is. At least when you are racing the clock you can't get caught in some other persons accident.  
   That's probably what I should do. I'm well past retirement age but in order to race I need to have additional income.  If I'm caught in that other persons accident there is nothing I can do. I'm done racing for the rest of my life. It's rocking chair time until they start digging the grave.  Yuk!!!!  
       Maybe the thrill of landing an airplane on a bouncing,  squirming, deck at sea,  in a storm.   Or dodging missiles  shot at me  in combat gave me an unrealistic sense of excitement.   
   But I've wanted to race since I was a young boy. 

frenchyd
frenchyd MegaDork
3/27/22 4:31 p.m.
SupraFiend said:
BEJAY1 said:

Tried a time attack last year for the first time and the adrenaline just wasn't the same for me.  Sure you had to hit your your braking points and turn ins but I always felt I could only drive at like 90% unless I wanted to be towed home or worse.  Keep coming back to autocross for that full experience, whether it's 8-10 runs a day or just 3.

p.s. anybody know when the CFR site will be back up, really want to connect with that #42 car driver!

Exactly! I like doing lapping days, they're a nice change now and then and a good way to experience different race tracks, but without laptimes and having to deal with traffic, they are about as exciting/satisfying as a nice canyon drive for me.

Time Attack solves part of that problem, but then you step into race car land. Might as well get into wheel to wheel racing at that point. Which is all fine and dandy, but it's a completely different world money and time commitment wise. Plus if I have to buy a HD tow vehicle and trailer to get my car to and from the track, and the car I put all my money and energy into can't even make it to a Cars and Coffee or other meet, what is the point really.

Like BEJAY, the real appeal for me to Autox, is it's the only sport where you can attempt to drive at 10/10ths the whole time. The adrenaline rush of pushing your car that hard and clicking off the fastest time possible, without having to fear putting it into a wall or rolling it by dipping a tire into the dirt, is an experience unique to autox. That fact that its the most competitive (sometimes you win on 100s of a second!), approachable and affordable racing as well is just icing on the cake. It's more than enough "real racing" for me.

 Maybe you get us registered or organize events.   Tech or membership chairperson  

We all have different levels of competition.  You may polish your car to a high shine and pick grass out of the tread of your tires with a twizers  at the Concourse. 
   Rally, sweating the tenths or hundredths of a second at the check point.    Maybe you register is for events, organize those events. 
   Work corners and tech?  
      We are all members of the same group.  

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