Novice Autocross school

Discussions about legally sanctioned general motorsports events
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KITT222
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Joined: Sat Dec 04, 2010 1:45 pm
Location: Flint, Michigan

Novice Autocross school

Post by KITT222 » Mon Jul 16, 2012 7:01 pm

This past weekend I attended the local Novice Autocross school. And it was a TON of fun. I was one of 41 cars that ran, ranging from a Mazda Protege, to Mazdaspeed 3, to Subaru BRZ, Honda S2000, and so on. My Vibe was pretty good. As a driver I was good, but the heavy Vibe needs some heavy flogging to get any decent time. My final run was perfect, though I could have hit it harder, and I got my best time: 34.5 seconds. A GTI was running 31 seconds, and a cop who stopped by and ran the course twice (with lights and siren) only pulled a 35.8. But I love this. I may need a second set of tires for the track, since the understeer wreaks havoc on the front wheels (hardest corner was a U-turn going left... thus the passenger-side front wheel has more wear).

I got some people to take a few pics, plus I snapped some myself. Enjoy!

P.S.: Subaru BRZ and Scion FR-S rims WILL fit the Vibe


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Two instructors had Elises. they were running 28/29 second laps
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hotbug1776
Posts: 585
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 1:58 am
Location: Erie, Pa and Bellevue, Oh

Re: Novice Autocross school

Post by hotbug1776 » Wed Jul 18, 2012 4:39 am

I'm a road ralleye man myself. I do enjoy watching a good autox event though. To me there's nothing like the challenge of the open road and having to work as a team. That, and I get all flustered when trying to drive the cones. Looks like you had a blast. Keep up the vibe love.
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cieglo
Posts: 214
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2005 10:13 am

Re: Novice Autocross school

Post by cieglo » Wed Jul 18, 2012 2:10 pm

I've been autocrossing around cones since last fall.
I'm hooked, an addict and my wallet feels the pain.
I picked up a set of RS3s for cooking around the cones to save my street tires. Have zero low end torque (in my '03) always hurts. I'm steadily learning (trying to...) how to drive the momentum and brake BEFORE turning to save the tires.

In our club the events are won by guys at about 60sec. Some of these guys are competitive at the national level. I'm not. I typically finish 7-10sec behind the leaders, depending on how my day goes. This past sunday I raced with a Corvette club and managed to beat two of them. Previously, with the same club, I took down a Viper.

I don't have any driving secrets to share yet, but since starting I've done the following:
Lowered the car by adding Tein coil-over struts (AWESOME!)
Disconencted my front sway bar (to keep front wheels on the ground)
Energy suspension motor mount inserts
Plugs, wires, filters
Reconnected front sway bar (trying to get rid of excess outer-edge tire wear)
This week (maybetonight) adding EBC yellowstuff brake pads
Next week will be replacing intake manifold gasket

It takes time, seat time, to get better.
Vibe GT '03, Lava Red 2-tone, 16" wheels, Moon'n'Tunes, Injen CAI, ACT clutch, vented rotors, Tein coil- overs, Grafxwerks decals, lead foot on the gas and white-knuckled fist on the stick & Hankook RS-3 for AutoX http://noraracing.net/

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cptnsolo77
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Joined: Sun Jul 29, 2007 4:05 am

Re: Novice Autocross school

Post by cptnsolo77 » Wed Jul 18, 2012 2:43 pm

Sounds like fun....how much did it cost?
* 2003 Vibe Auto Satellite Silver w / Moons & Tunes
* Kenwood Excelon KDC-X597
* Polk DB651-Speakers
* Soundproofcow Roadblock R sound deadening in all doors
* Drop In K & N Filter
* NGK Iridium IX Plugs
* 27 MPG City/Highway with AC on

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cieglo
Posts: 214
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2005 10:13 am

Re: Novice Autocross school

Post by cieglo » Wed Jul 18, 2012 3:31 pm

Btw: cop car = Awesome!
Vibe GT '03, Lava Red 2-tone, 16" wheels, Moon'n'Tunes, Injen CAI, ACT clutch, vented rotors, Tein coil- overs, Grafxwerks decals, lead foot on the gas and white-knuckled fist on the stick & Hankook RS-3 for AutoX http://noraracing.net/

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KITT222
Posts: 2246
Joined: Sat Dec 04, 2010 1:45 pm
Location: Flint, Michigan

Re: Novice Autocross school

Post by KITT222 » Wed Jul 18, 2012 4:52 pm

cap't. solo: It was a $50 class held by the local autocross council.

cieg: Never before have I wanted a stick in my Vibe as badly as when I was tossing her through the cones. I ended up trying a few things, including turning overdrive off (it helped... better power) and keeping it in 2 instead of D. Kinda worked. I revved high, and tried to push into D to find third gear, only to slip into neutral. :? My bad.

Did you beat the 'vette and Viper outright, or was it indexed time? How does your GT fair against similar hot hatches (if you can call the Vibe GT a hot hatch) like GTIs, or Mazda 3s?

They say my technique is great, but the underlying truth is that the car isn't as capable. If there were a faster steering rack out there, I'd throw one in to help me out. Going from 1.5 turns right to almost two turns left, and back again is crazy. Better brakes could help. I already have Canuck lowering springs (which puts me into a highly-prepared class... which stinks), and I have energy motor mount inserts to put in. How much of a difference did they make just in how the car generally performs?

Just for reference, here's what over twenty runs did to my front tires:

Passenger side (from back)
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Driver side (from front)
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cieglo
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Re: Novice Autocross school

Post by cieglo » Thu Jul 19, 2012 3:30 am

Mini's kick a$$ in auto-X. They are simply and unexplainable awesome.

I run classed as a DSP because years back I put an ACT clutch in and changes to drivetrain pump you up into the -SP stratosphere. Therefore my pax (also referred to as cheater times, the more you cheat, the better your pax multiplier) times are abysmal. So yes, I think I beat those cars outright. It sounds impressive, but it's really not.

In the 'vette clubs the drivers are more likely just average drivers having some fun in their cars. So, pretty much anyone with ANY skill and driving anything with even a touch of low end power & handling can take me down. I've had good drivers get in my car and find 5sec on a course like nothing. It's all about seat time. I love the 6-speed though and I find as my cohones get bigger I'm pegging the rev limiter more and more often. Last night I put in some whiplash-inducing EBC yellowstuff pads, hoping to shorten my braking distance.

In the vibe you cannot brake through corners - you shouldn't do that anyway, but our CG is too high and will simply lead to total tire destruction. I can't see the tire pics you posted from this netwrok, but on my VGT the outer edges of both front tires get totally eaten alive. And this is after I had my front dialed to -2.7deg camber (with cam bolts...I forgot to add this to my mod list in previous post) and running 50psi in the front tires.

Alkl-in-all: it is a TON of fun. I don't ever see myself being competitive with the big boys, so my attitude is: "Take the setup & prep work seriously. Have fun racing."
Vibe GT '03, Lava Red 2-tone, 16" wheels, Moon'n'Tunes, Injen CAI, ACT clutch, vented rotors, Tein coil- overs, Grafxwerks decals, lead foot on the gas and white-knuckled fist on the stick & Hankook RS-3 for AutoX http://noraracing.net/

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mac99d
Posts: 544
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2004 8:41 am
Location: Colorado Springs

Re: Novice Autocross school

Post by mac99d » Thu Jul 19, 2012 7:41 pm

It is a blast I have been running SMF for about 3 years now. I have found that by running my tire presser 4lbs lower in the front than in the rear it helps rotate the car for better turning and slightly less under steer. I run the back at 37-38 psi when i run. Keep us posted and get some vid if you get the chance. I have one on the site somewhere, and a ton on my laptop.
Mac's Vibe.
My garage viewtopic.php?f=30&t=37677" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Canker
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Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2012 3:38 pm

Re: Novice Autocross school

Post by Canker » Thu Jul 19, 2012 8:23 pm

I run a STR miata and yes it is very addictive. I damaged something in the miata's engine at my last autox and am in the middle of swapping in my back up drivetrain. I've never ran my vibe and don't really plan too. If it were a manual I probably would while the miata is down but I don't trust my 200k mile automatic to take it.
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03 Pontiac Vibe95 Mazda Miata

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vibenvy
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Location: Sandwich, IL

Re: Novice Autocross school

Post by vibenvy » Sat Jul 21, 2012 4:02 pm

Awesome pictures Nick! Looks and sounds like you had a great time and ultimately that's all that matters ;)!
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2009 Liquid Platinum Metallic Vibe GT - 5-Speed Auto – Garage
2009 Steel Blue Metallic Vibe GT - 5-Speed Auto – Garage

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