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Old 08-08-2013, 11:38 AM   #1
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About to do first autocross, in the rain!

Going to PCA autocross in Nassau county NY this saturday -- 60% chance of rain all day. Any tips on racing in the rain? PSM on/off?

The 987S is wearing Michelin Pilot Super Sports, which are really good in wet street driving.

Anyone reading this that plans to be there this weekend?
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Old 08-08-2013, 11:51 AM   #2
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AX in the rain is fun! Bring some shelter so you have a place to go between runs.

Smooth is fast!
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Old 08-08-2013, 12:09 PM   #3
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Bring a towel for interior of car, you may need to drive with windows down. This is to make sure you can hear people outside car if they need to tell you to stop, etc.

Have fun!
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Old 08-08-2013, 12:29 PM   #4
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Probably best to leave your ego at home too.

A/X lap times have way more to do with the curb weight of the car and the skill of the driver than any performance figures...... I have had my rear end handed to me by an '89 suzuki swift before.

And, as was already mentioned, smooth=fast.
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Old 08-08-2013, 12:50 PM   #5
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If you're new to driving at the limit in the wet... there's more grip than you'll expect. Having said that, once you push too hard it will tend to take longer to stop sliding so it's better to go a little slower than you think you need too until you're dialed in. If you want to learn, PSM MUST be off! Take it easy and have fun.
My first racing school was in the wet. I had equipped my car with some worn out, ten year old, Dunlops from behind a friends tire shop. This was back in the days before Dunlop even made 'R' compound tires. They were oversized and into the wear bars- perfect for a DRY track day. Driving there, I was so afraid due to the heavy downpour, that I actually thought 'I might die today'! There was puddles all over the place including at the end of the longest straight! With my instructors help I was soon having a blast! I've never been afraid of wet since.
Ps. it'll be dry that day- trust me- I know.
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Old 08-08-2013, 01:33 PM   #6
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I did a full day of the EVO advanced school at that very lot in the a full on monsoon. Wow. Make sure your wipers work well. And get ready for some lock up/drifting/sliding/cone smashing.

1- Go to Sports Authority and get some Frogg Toggs. If you're on cone duty, you'll thank me.

2-bring some dry clothes.

3- drive with your arms not your wrists.

4- don't rock side to side like you're on a boat, keep your shoulder blades pinned.

5- stick a little piece of tape around the steering wheel at the 12'oclock so you'll notice when you're shuffling the wheel.

6-Let first gear gear come up all the way, don't dump it right away. I doubt they'll stick a hairpin right at first gate.

7-in the slalom, keep the revs/throttle consistent. Don't be afraid to knock them over, you're further away than you think.

8-Sketch the course as a map on note pad. Number each corner. Close your eyes and picture each section by number.

9- First couple of laps. Go slow. Slow enough to where you can start seeing the next section without being distracted by what's going inside the cockpit. Once your eyes know the course then your arms and feets can start driving. Don't do it the other way around.

10-Bring protein bars, cliff bars, candy bars, any kind of bar. And something to drink. You'll want to pass out by 1 PM if you don't.

if its cloudy, dig out your shooting glasses. Cuts the glare. I have a set from Dick's Sporting goods for like $10. Also, bring a pressure gauge and air compressor that plugs into the cig lighter. And bring some painter's tape from Home Depot. Tape around the wheel arches up front if there is a lot of loose pebbles around, those aren't good for paint. The tape is also handy for making a door number.
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Old 08-08-2013, 02:57 PM   #7
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Nothing like performance driving in the rain! Its a hoot! Basically just like a full day on the skidpad without tearing your tires up.

Smooth is fast. Keep the car balanced by using the steering, brake, and throttle linearly - no big "step" inputs! Michelin Pilot Sports are some of the best tires in the wet - they have almost as much grip wet as when dry but don't let the temptation get to you: start slow and build speed.

Please post up some pic's afterward.
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Old 08-08-2013, 03:02 PM   #8
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by the way, one good thing about rain is less turn out. That means more laps.

Nassau has by far the biggest turn out I've seen in the tri-state area. On a nice summer day...I've never seen so many cars. I was lucky to get in 5 runs one time and then got stuck in ridiculous NYC traffic on the way back. Waste-O-time.
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Old 08-08-2013, 06:49 PM   #9
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wow, thanks for the tips!

I am getting excited! My car has ventureshield film over the wheel arches and front clip so pebbles shouldn't be too big a deal. My tires are normally 34F/39R when warm -- should I deflate them a bit?
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Old 08-09-2013, 05:34 PM   #10
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The hardest thing about an autocross is that it is just a SEA of cones when you're out there. It's not like driving on a road, it's hard to remember where the course is. Walk the course (pretend you're a car), look at the map and work it out in your head. I usually tape the map on the passenger seat so that I have a quick reference when I need it.

In the rain? I would just pass on that, but I'm a sissy when it comes to slick roads.
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Old 08-09-2013, 07:38 PM   #11
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The weather will be beautiful in Nassau county tomorrow, sunny mid-80s. So where is this autocross?
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