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Discussion Starter #1
Anybody ever tried autocrossing? I finally tried it yesterday. NO, not with my car, it was the Mazda Rev it up promotion. http://www.mazdarevitup.com/f_intro.asp
It was a lot of fun, and informative too. I would definately recommend the course which is a competition driving training course AND a chance for some track time behind the wheel of a track-prepped Mazda 6. They have a seperate track set up for doing test drives of all their cars (except the new RX-8) too. :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
 

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Have you ever autocrossed a FWD? It was the first time for me yesterday. Competition driving in a FWD that is. They are quite different from RWD cars, especially in a small tight course. I drive RWD cars pretty much the same way I used to drive a dirt bike but THAT is all wrong for FWD cars. It was interesting getting not only instruction from pros and actual track time, but then also getting constructive criticism from the pros after your runs. My lap times improved although I must admit I STILL don't drive quite like they told us to. I really need seat time and a track to get used to the car first, then I develope my own driving tactics. I guess I wasn't doing TOO bad since in my practice lap I was only 4 tenths off the female pro driver's time :) but I was still almost 3 seconds off the male pros :(
I had hoped to do better but for my first time I guess I did ok. At least it was fun and I learned a lot.
Question: What kind of car do you think is the best for an autocross?
Based on what I saw there, I'd guess a small, light RWD with good power and a manual trans so you can lock the trans in one gear. Just blasting around in 2nd seems to be the ticket but you need an engine with a nice wide powerband. Am I right?
 

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Katshot said:
Question: What kind of car do you think is the best for an autocross? Based on what I saw there, I'd guess a small, light RWD with good power and a manual trans so you can lock the trans in one gear. Just blasting around in 2nd seems to be the ticket but you need an engine with a nice wide powerband. Am I right?
From my limited experience with a Miata that I used to own, power isn't that important. There's not enough straights to really use it. Brakes and balanced handling seem much more important. That and a good tire budget.

I posted some times a few weeks back of the SCCA Autocross championships. A few tenths of second seperated a Miata from a Corvette, although they ran in seperate classes.

I'd be interested in pushing a FWD car hard on a coarse. My first car was a '76 VW Rabbit. While it was a piece of crap, it was fun to drive since it handled pretty well for a car of it's era.
 

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HotRodSaint said:
I used first and second only. I was to close to the next turn to think about third.
To be honest, IMO, the course is so tight, and times so close, that any shifting at all is only costing you time.
I drove a new Miata 6-speed and it was sweet.
It seems like having a car that can carve the turns easily, scrub off speed effortlessly, and accelerate as much as possible, whenever possible, would be the ideal car. Like a Miata with more rubber and more power?
 

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Katshot said:
To be honest, IMO, the course is so tight, and times so close, that any shifting at all is only costing you time.
I drove a new Miata 6-speed and it was sweet.
It seems like having a car that can carve the turns easily, scrub off speed effortlessly, and accelerate as much as possible, whenever possible, would be the ideal car. Like a Miata with more rubber and more power?
There is supposed to be a Mazdaspeed Miata out next year. All I've been able to learn is that it will turbocharged. That should address the power issue. It'd be cool if they offered a club sport version too. No power windows, ac delete, radio delete, power steering delete.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
BUILDINGCTSAMG said:
I learned on a fwd car the diff. that i learned was in a fwd car u need to lose more speed before u go into the turns but in rwd cars u can go in slightly faster and keep the pace.
The hardest thing for me to learn on the FWD car was to brake late and hard to increase the front contact patch as much as possible so you minimize the understeer that's so common on the FWD cars. Keeping the front end loaded while maintaining speed can be a full-time job.
 

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I have a buddy that runs his turbo miata at VIR once in a while. Says it hangs with some of the faster guys in his class. He took his previous N/A miata autocrossing a few times. I would figure it would be a pretty capable car in that atmosphere. They're kinda fun too. After driving that and my moms Z3 I'm starting to understand what the whole roadster thing is about.
 
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