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View Full Version : Huntsville, AL Autocross



AUscorp1
03-18-2012, 09:52 PM
Short Story:
I did my first Autocross event this weekend. My bone stock 2001 Firebird convertible (3.8L, 4-Auto, Y87 package) was classified G-Stock. I ran 41 PSI in all 4 tires (225/60-R16 Goodyear Integrity). The tires are not high performance tires by any means but they are good for my 40 mi commute and the tread held up well to this weekend's abuse. My best track time was about 4 seconds slower than an experienced buddy's 2002 Mustang GT and 5 seconds slower than a mildly modified 2000 Z-28. More importantly, the car was very responsive all around so I only hit 1 cone. With the top down the exhaust rumble and tire squeal sounded great.

My friend has GoPro video and when I get a copy I will post for others to view.

Long Story:
Through a guy at work I found out about Twickenham Auto Club in Huntsville, AL. They hosted an annual performance driving school this past weekend, which was very good. I don't know that I will be able to join the club, but they were a good group of car guys who don't really care what anyone drives, just that they learn to drive it well. Naturally I was the only V-6 F-body (2001 Firebird Convertible bone stock) in the event. There were countless Miatas, handful of S2000s and a few 350Z/370Z/G35/G37.

The event consisted of a 1.5 hour classroom session on Friday, high and low-speed maneuvering exercises at the municipal motorsports area (decommissioned city airport) on Saturday, and a 4-lap track session on Sunday.

This type of event was a great way to push myself and my car and I would recommend it to anyone. I don't know if clubs in other areas do the same. The price was $50, which is well under the cost of a ticket for trying the same elsewhere.

xpbr2000
03-19-2012, 10:01 AM
that sounds very fun. huntsville isnt all that far from me. I might have to do that.

AUscorp1
03-20-2012, 09:27 PM
It is a lot of fun. Here is the site for TAC http://teamtac.org/e107/news.php. They post the monthly slalom events on the calendar.
The next one is this Saturday, 24 March 2012. I'm going to try to participate but if I don't make it I will make a point to get out in April.

xpbr2000
03-20-2012, 11:19 PM
after g16 maybe i'll be in the mood for a trip to huntsville :D

AUscorp1
04-19-2012, 09:51 PM
If anyone is interested, here is a YouTube link to a windshield video from one of my better runs:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wkG_EOVg3Fo&context=C42c7847ADvjVQa1PpcFNa9lhcsYKzOvrQRY_Cl_Ho 7pmEC2SwKQc=

xpbr2000
04-19-2012, 10:56 PM
thats pretty fun looking.

AUscorp1
04-21-2012, 10:15 PM
Today I dropped my tire pressure to 38 all around. Not sure if it was in my head but I seemed to get a little better grip. The weather was relatively cool, maybe 60 degrees and pretty windy.

I am still trying out autocross so have made no modifications to my car and am running 225/60 R16 Goodyear Integrity tires. This is not optimal and I have started shopping for a second tire/wheel combo for the track.

Here is a YouTube link to my last and best run for the day. It felt a lot faster inside the car...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_AAznVFX60s

kdm212
04-22-2012, 08:27 AM
vey cool! looks like a lot of fun too!

SpeedingFirebird
05-01-2012, 07:49 AM
Chalk your tires to get a better sense of where you are for air pressure.

If you are just learning, you should be hitting more cones - otherwise you are not getting close enough.

That looked like a good course.

AUscorp1
05-01-2012, 10:56 PM
Thanks for the tip on the tires and cones. I won't make the May event but in June I will give that a try. If I get at least 1 respectable time in the AM session I will push harder in the afternoon.

SpeedingFirebird
05-01-2012, 11:25 PM
You will obviously get penalized by hitting the cones, but it is the best way to learn where the back right tire is. Especially in the slalom, you will want to be kissing those cones for max speed.

Cool vids btw. I wish I had a GoPro when I raced.

madforce10
05-29-2012, 11:38 PM
is good to see someone also running autox in the same area,well same state. here are some vids i took for an event two months ago. sticky tires will be on for the next event.http://s1102.photobucket.com/albums/g457/madforce10/auto%20x%20video/

AUscorp1
05-30-2012, 11:13 PM
madforce10 - Nice video and good job. That course is a lot tighter than the ones set up by my club. I'm guessing it is more typical of autox courses.

SpeedingFirebird - Thanks for the tip. I am still getting comfortable with my car but have convinced myself that next time I will get a clean run in the first or second for the day and then push hard for the rest to find my limits. The GoPro was not mine. I would like to have one too but may try to find a good windshield mount (inside) for my iPod.

Throwback Bird
05-30-2012, 11:36 PM
Man Id like to do that with mine.

madforce10
05-30-2012, 11:46 PM
that lot is very tight and we still manage 60 second runs and get up to 45-50 on that lot. also every thing is off camber so its just that much tougher.
the hardest thing about autox is knowing how hard to push the car and staying smooth. i would suggest trying to go all out on run 3-4 sit back analize how the car reacted to your inputs. these cars like nice smooth inputs and do not react well to harsh steering inputs to the wheel (im still working on this). the two runs with the s2k running before me were my first two runs. they were actually slower than my last two that look like i was going about half the speed. but still do not be afraid to push the car to its limits and see how it reacts.

madforce10
05-30-2012, 11:59 PM
Man Id like to do that with mine.
www.scca.com is where you need to go. click on find your region. and i think your region is running in the city to live in if your still in macon.

Throwback Bird
05-31-2012, 12:08 AM
www.scca.com is where you need to go. click on find your region. and i think your region is running in the city to live in if your still in macon.

Awesome thank you

madforce10
05-31-2012, 04:32 PM
Awesome thank you

no problem. just get out there and have some fun. also don't be afraid to ask to ride along with one of the faster guys. more than likely they will gladly let you ride with them and give you pointers.

AUscorp1
05-31-2012, 10:38 PM
Agree on the ride-alongs. Time in either seat is valuable and it is very helpful if you can get an instructor to ride with you to give pointers at the end of a run.

xpbr2000
05-31-2012, 11:27 PM
all this talk is getting me itching to do this

Throwback Bird
05-31-2012, 11:38 PM
all this talk is getting me itching to do this

you and me both, Ive always wanted to and now I have a car that could be decent at it now.

madforce10
06-01-2012, 12:18 PM
it really is a fun sport. and i have a blast with it each year. if you need help knowing what class you can run in your car's let me know i can help you out with that. all i need to know are your modifications.

3.8blackmaro
06-01-2012, 08:58 PM
it really is a fun sport. and i have a blast with it each year. if you need help knowing what class you can run in your car's let me know i can help you out with that. all i need to know are your modifications.

What class do you run in? Also what mods do they consider for each class? Its been quite some time since I looked into the class rules. I'm just not sure if I could run in Street prepared with the subframe connectors on.

madforce10
06-02-2012, 05:50 PM
i run STX. which means 265 wide 140 tread wear rating max. cold air intake and full exhause with cats are allowed. bolt in subframe connectors, lowering springs, almost anything to the rear end besides messing with the lower links and max of 9 inch wide wheels. thats the basics of my class. the big differerence between stx and esp is engine mods and a few more allowances in the suspension.

3.8blackmaro
06-02-2012, 08:27 PM
Seems I would fall into your same class then. Good to know. What kind of cars are you running against?

madforce10
06-03-2012, 11:23 PM
bmw 3 series and mazda rx8 are the top two competing cars in that class. also the 2.0 wrx and the 5.0 mustangs also fall into this class. displacement limits are at 5.0 liters for n/a cars and 2.0 for turbo cars. ive been following this build for a while. http://www.rhoadescamaro.com/build/ =D