Doing my first AutoX, what can I expect? - Mazda3 Forums : The #1 Mazda 3 Forum
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-26-2013, 11:55 PM Thread Starter
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Doing my first AutoX, what can I expect?

Totally stoked. I've always wanted to race, a definite dream of mine. I'm just anxious about the whole process. Any pointers for a very fresh rookie? What class would I fall in (exhaust w/factory cat, SRI and possible rear seat removal on street tires) thank you all.

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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-27-2013, 09:15 AM
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Watch your tire pressure and leave EVERYTHING you can out of the car. The rest will come with time.

O... and don't forget a helmet.

Paul
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-27-2013, 09:33 AM
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Good mechanical check; all fluids should be in good condition and at proper levels. Brake fluid is hugely important, and you should consider a flush. I'd also recommend a small battery powered air compressor (any auto parts store cheap) to increase your tire pressures at the track, and lower them back to stock for the drive home.


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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-27-2013, 09:50 AM
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Unless you've changed springs or done any ECU tweaking you will be in Stock class. For a start I would recommend running 38psi in the front tires and 32-34psi rear. This seems counter-intuitive due to understeer concerns but I found it gave me much more control since the tire wall stiffness in front will help with turn in.

Most of all have fun! A decent autocross club will welcome newbies and give you all the help you need.

Mark
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-27-2013, 02:05 PM
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If he removes the rear seats he won't be in stock class. In fact I think that would put him in street prepared. The intake puts him in street touring anyway.

Brake fluid doesn't matter too much for autocross. On a track it's critical, but for autocross you'll be fine as long as there are no maintenance problems with the brakes.

Those tire pressures sound good. I'd probably go even higher. I run 40 all around on Z2s, so less sporty tires will need at least that much.

The most important thing for a beginner is to take an instructor on every run, and listen to their advice. Nothing else is going to matter much compared to driver skill.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-27-2013, 02:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ckingsley View Post
Brake fluid doesn't matter too much for autocross. On a track it's critical, but for autocross you'll be fine as long as there are no maintenance problems with the brakes.
I hope the OP ignores that pearl of wisdom.




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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-27-2013, 03:55 PM
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I mean, you need to HAVE brake fluid. But if your brakes are in good shape they will be fine for autocross. You don't need fancy fluid, and you don't need to flush them for autocross if you don't need to flush them anyway. Nor do you need fancy brake pads.

I mean, yeah, I've got hawk hps pads and ATE super blue fluid, but I'm a serious competitor. For a beginner that stuff isn't going to make him faster. It's nice, but he doesn't NEED it.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-27-2013, 04:41 PM
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I'm gonna have to agree with not worrying to much about brake fluid type. In Autocross you shouldn't be using your brakes more than a quick stab going hot into a turn, etc. in track you would need a boil resistant fluid for trail braking, etc.

Mark
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-27-2013, 05:27 PM Thread Starter
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All I know is, I'm eating cones whether my brake fluid is good or not.

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-27-2013, 06:20 PM
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I'm not talking about a specific type of fluid or pads, I'm just talking about fluid in good condition and proper level.

Technically, for fastest times, any time you're not fully on the gas you SHOULD be fully on the brakes (except while turning.). This little pearl of wisdom cut seconds off my times after an instructor rode shotgun with me and pointed out I was guilty of coasting into a turn when I should have been accelerating then braking as hard and late as possible.


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