Autocross is fun! Here are some tips to help you get started.
Have you ever thought about taking your car out to an autocross race? Most people may not know, but just about any car on the street can be raced at an autocross event. For first time racers, knowing what to bring and how to get ready for that first event can be a bit intimidating. After years of racing myself, I came up with a little system of things I do and bring when going out to an event. The great thing about autocross is that it is very accessible. You do not need much of anything besides your car to race! In addition, it is inexpensive and just about the most fun you can have in your car. In my video below, I will get you familiar with some of the basic things to bring to your first autocross event.
I have spent a couple weekends of installing upgrades and modifications on my new 2017 BRZ. This weekend, I had the chance to get my BRZ first autocross event in! My 2017 Subaru BRZ has all of the suspension upgrades in place, as well as the various chassis upgrades. In addition to that, the BRZ has a fresh alignment and corner balancing from my race shop. I have been looking forward to how the new car compares to my old 2013 Scion FRS. Theoretically, the 2017 BRZ should outperform the older FRS. However, the cars are so close performance wise, it might be difficult to notice. Finally, check out how the event went and how the BRZ stacks up performance wise!
The 2016 Solo Nationals Championship drew a record number of participants.
With over 1300 total drivers in the event, the competition was sure to be high. However, the 2016 Solo Nationals out in Lincoln, Nebraska did not go as planned for me and my Scion FRS 🙁 We had serious issues with traction and grip on day 1, making the FRS very difficult to drive. As a result, we were way behind for day 2 of competition. Fortunately, we were able to make some positive setup changes for day 2. Once the car was working good, however, we were very competitive with some of the faster drivers. Sadly, the 2016 SCCA Solo National Championship came to an end with not much to brag about. We came away with a good learning experience and hope to come out stronger in 2017!
The first summer season autocross is in the bag for my 2013 Scion FRS. This event #1 of 2016 was with the local BMWCCA autocross club. The FRS worked good “out of the box” with the various upgrades and initial alignment. The autocross course was very fast in some sections, which made it a lot of fun. In addition to that, it had numerous technical sections that really made you think. I am looking forward to more seat time in my 2013 Scion FRS and getting quicker as the season moves along.
Taking my Scion FRS out for the last winter season autocross event.
The last winter season autocross event is upon us. This also happens to be just the second race for my Scion FRS. The Scion FRS is a natural in the autocross format and it performed really good. The suspension upgrades on my Scion FRS made a world of difference. As I continue to make adjustments, the car starts feeling better and better. There is a long ways to go to get the car working as good as I would like. However, I think we are off to a good start and our results in the last winter season race supported that.
Certainly not the last, but it is time for my FRS first autocross event. After getting some of the initial upgrades in place, I can finally race it! This first event was more of a shakedown race. I really just wanted to see how the car would behave. Also, I wanted to make sure nothing broke on the car 🙂 We had a bit of a scare sliding on some loose gravel, however the day ended up great overall. The autocross course left something to be desired for testing purposes. But, it was valuable seat seat time in the FRS.
Lexus ISF autocross racing on new Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires.
Tires are a key component when it comes to traction and grip in any kind of racing. I was able to test out my new Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires in my second Lexus ISF autocross race. The new tires really transformed how the ISF felt. With the old tires, the car was really loose and it was difficult to keep the 400 horsepower in check when accelerating out of corners. In addition, the lack of grip made the car very unstable and a bit scary to drive! The new Michelin PSS tires made the Lexus IS-F much more predictable and provided a lot more grip. As a result, the ISF was a whole lot more fun to drive.
A scary e36 autocross event ends up incident free.
Front Range airport is the site for this autocross event. This would turn out to be one of the last STX autocross events in my 1994 325is. I had a great day from a competition point of view and also a lot of fun as well! Some drama ensued as it turned into a slightly scary e36 autocross event. With cars sent close together and on a tight course, keeping things on schedule is tricky. As a result, we have a few instances of corner workers being in potentially dangerous situations. Thankfully, there were no incidents and everything went well. In addition, some valuable lessons were learned in how to better run a course when we encounter such conditions (a tight course and tight schedule).
Finally, I have my video released from the 2015 SCCA Solo National Championship! We had a great time at the 2015 Solo Nationals and also met some great people as well. The event was an overall success. Although I ended up placing mid-pack, it was still a ton of fun driving the big nationals courses. The e36 BMW is just not up to snuff to be competitive at a national level with all the great drivers. Comprising the large majority of the STX grid is the Subaru BRZ and the Scion FRS. These cars prove to be the most dominant in the class and are hard to beat!
After replacing all of the common cooling system parts, my e36 BMW is finally back on the road. As part of this e36 radiator repair work, I needed to replace the radiator and upper/lower radiator hoses. I also replaced the sensors and expansion tank for good measure, even though the existing ones were OK. The maintenance was pretty simple, except for draining of the coolant (which always gets messy). Everything is now running great and the result was good at the last SCCA autocross event. The location for autocross event was Front Range airport, a common site for us. A fun course and great weather made for an awesome day of racing!