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Old 04-24-2014, 05:03 PM   #1
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Smile Car control-auto cross-DE

I have a stock 03 Boxster. I am hoping to
Do all three types of events. I would like
You opinion on weather I should do these.
I am nervous to say the least. I know
I will have a instructor with me but
Still scared. I also don't want to
Damage my baby, my instructor or myself.
(Pls note not stated in order of concern).

Thank You,

Jinx
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Old 04-24-2014, 05:17 PM   #2
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Do it!

After about three weekends, you'll be so hooked that you'll buy another Boxster and start to build it just to run in these events.

Ask me how I know...
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Old 04-24-2014, 07:40 PM   #3
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Safe autox'ers make for safe track drivers.

I would do about a half dozen autox events before investing any duckets and time into drivers education. Once you've shaken off the dumb mistakes the lessons in the more targeted events will sink in. But the first thing I would do would be to go onto YouTube and search for autox venues near you. There are always on on board videos of Porsche or SCCA events.
Watch those videos repeatedly with an eye toward memorizing the course layouts. Look two cones ahead of where the car is. That will get you started on learning to see like a driver. Seat time at all these events is limited it's best to hone the one skill that you can do outside of the car. At the end of the day speed is about reducing errors fraction of a second at every corner or cone and eliminating hesitation or clumsiness when going from one move to the very next. The eyes dictate all of this. quick eyes lead to quick hands and feets. It will never be the other way around.
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Old 04-24-2014, 07:48 PM   #4
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Yes, you should definitely do it! There is really nothing to worry about although I completely understand your anxiety (been there and still do that). As soon as you get out there you'll be having so much fun that you won't have time to worry.

The track is the only place where you can not only drive as friggin' fast as you can BUT your instructor will be helping you to go FASTER! How is that for a change from having your significant other sitting in the passenger seat telling you to SLOW DOWN? The feeling of freedom is immense - let's floor this SOB of a car and see what it and I can do!

The biggest thing to worry about is where you're going to get the money to keep going to the track! Three years ago I did a driving school and 85+ track days later I have a full-time race car and a POC/PCA Cup racing license. Seriously, they don't call it the "track pipe" for nothing - its addicting.

Get out there and DO IT!
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Old 04-24-2014, 08:45 PM   #5
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The only danger at the auto-x is scuff from cones you hit, but they are minimal and ussually buff out.

Some folks use blue painters tape on the fenders and lower front bumper to avoid cone rash, so no problem there.

The car itself if in decent condition can take the driving no problem.

If you want to overcome that anxiety then take the Porsche Performance driving school.
You will learn how to drive to your and the cars limits, and spin out a few times so you will have no fear after that, and much confidence.

You will also learn the racing techniques and do a mini auto x.

You will not regret that investment and you will make a bunch of new Porsche friends.
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Old 04-25-2014, 02:38 AM   #6
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All the PCA AX's I have attended were well run and stress safety first ! You are not racing you are there to learn car control and to push as much or as little as you feel comfortable doing. There will be instructors there that will ride along with you and give you tips on what to do and what to look for. In my opinion AX courses should be part of drivers education to get a license ! As stated earlier AX's create safer drivers. Ferdinand Porsche designed cars to be driven and enjoyed so go do it !
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Old 04-25-2014, 05:06 AM   #7
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There's an Autocross this weekend in your area, do it! You'll find that autox'ers are some of the nicest people and if you let them know it's your first one I'm sure they'll ride with you and show you the ropes. Carefull though it's a slippery slope, next thin you know you'll be looking at sway bars and track tires


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Old 04-25-2014, 10:39 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jb92563 View Post
The only danger at the auto-x is scuff from cones you hit...
mmm....Depends on the club.

One in these parts, who will remain namless, was known for having more wide open layouts where speeds were significantly higher and lap times were very short (NFL stadium parking lot). This meant more runs for everyone and less waiting around. Too bad someone wrapped a car completely around a light pole after losing control... none other than the very experienced president of the club.

I've seen some very close calls at these types of venues by novices. And novice I mean like the very first event, first or second lap. Randy Pobst said that you should concentrate on going slow in the begning, a lesson he admittedly didn't figure out until he was well into Autox and on his way toward being a professional driver. But I wouldn't discount the danger in any form of motorsport be it karting or autocross.
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Old 04-25-2014, 11:27 AM   #9
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In my opinion if you don't have any kind of car racing experience and have not taken a Performance driving school of some kind, then you probably don't know the limits of the car or yourself and a good instructor will be essential to make your first experience a good one.
Since racing is about being smooth and driving to the edge of you and your cars limits, its extremely important to learn where those limits are early on to prevent accidents.

I think the 1 weekend driving school is an excellent way to launch yourself into car racing as you will learn all the basics and car control in a no pressure relaxed environment and is virtually guaranteed to make your experience fun and make you a better driver and prepared for your first real Auto-X.

Auto-X's although fun are rather short duration training lessons and it takes quite a few to start making good progress.
DE's are better for wheel time but higher speeds make that more intimidating for the newcomer.

Hats off to all those that instruct, as its the only way to make safe progress for new racers.
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Old 04-25-2014, 03:41 PM   #10
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Smile Car control

I have signed up for the Car Control Class that my local PCA region is
Hosting in a few weeks. Any advice before hand on how to try to relax.
Any advice on things that I need to get done to the car before the day
Of the class or the day of the class. The car is my daily driver and is in
Good shape. Purchased from a Porsche dealer 5 weeks ago. Brake fluid has
Been changed. 60,000 mile service performed. Tires are not new I can
Not tell by the service records when they were installed. I would say they
Have 3/4 tread left on them.
Thanks to all for your help.
Jinx
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Old 04-25-2014, 04:21 PM   #11
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Sounds like the car is prepared (tires, brakes, brake fluid, general service all in good shape). Good job there.

Try to get a good night's sleep beforehand and remember to drink and eat through the day. Yeah, you'd be surprised at how many drivers forget those things at their first driving event.

Just try to relax and have fun! I also sent you a PM.
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Old 04-25-2014, 06:26 PM   #12
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Take a camp chair or two and if you have a canopy take that, depending on the venue (for example I go to Roebling and there are no stands so seating is strictly bring your own if you want to watch). Will give you a shady place to sit and rest and watch the other cars in between your sessions. I always freeze a few gatorades and waters and put them in the cooler with the regular cold waters and gatorades, keeps them cold

See if you can ride with your instructor in between your sessions in his car; PCA lets you ride with instructors in one run group above yours. That can be very eye opening.

If it is your first time on a DE it might be scary the first time (it was for me) but by the end of it you will be ready to come back for more.

In my opinion chances for damage at car control and autocross is very low. When I go to a DE I get the lockton motorsports HPDE insurance, but I don't when I got to autocross (unsure if they even have it but I haven't looked)

Have fun!

Steve

Edit: my tips are for a DE, I missed the car control part.

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Old 04-25-2014, 06:47 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jinx View Post
Any advice before hand on how to try to relax.
Hydrate yourself before the event and get a good night's sleep the night before. Keep yourself hydrated during the day.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jinx View Post
Any advice on things that I need to get done to the car before the day of the class or the day of the class.
Re-torque your wheel nuts to factory specs, and inflate your tires to the specs listed in your Owner's Manual. You may adjust the tire pressures during the day based on your instructor's advice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jinx View Post
The car is my daily driver and is in good shape.
Trust me; no matter what you do, you are not going to exceed the limitations of your Boxster. Enjoy!

TO
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Old 04-27-2014, 06:26 AM   #14
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Smile Thanks to all

Thanks for all for the advice and support. I'll post a update after the car control clinic.
Jinx
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Old 04-27-2014, 01:06 PM   #15
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ARPCA has a very active schedule and they use a track in Pittsburgh so your in close traveling distance check them out. I've run events with them good instructor very easy going.
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