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Old 07-04-2017, 12:43 AM   #1
-Dutch-
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School Me on Auto-Xing a DD

The Car:
2017 GTI SE with PP and 6MT.

The Driver:
Car enthusiast who wants to learn how to actually drive his car without going off the deep end. I might find my way to 2 or 3 events this year max.

The Details:
My GTI is my daily driver and I am not adding a second vehicle. I would like to take it to a few autocross events to better familiarize myself with its capabilities and have some fun. I'm not looking to compete with anyone, just the fun. Right now the only performance upgrade I have is a Cobb AP with the MAP stage 1 tune.

I don't want to swap wheels, pads, etc... before and after each event. I'd like to drive there, enjoy the day, and drive home without killing the car. As wear items meet their inevitable demise I would consider upgrades still suited to daily use but I'm pretty sure I'm the biggest liability to the car's performance at this point.

That being said, is there anything you would advise as a necessary upgrade to avoid certain death right of the bat?
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Old 07-04-2017, 01:09 AM   #2
rex n effect
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Nothing needed to upgrade. Talk to people about tire pressures for whatever tires you have. Show up with 1/4 tank. Shift to 2nd and leave it there. Have a blast. You've got the right attitude already. You have a very capable car for its class. Take off the Cobb tune if you have your accessport for best classing (street / stock).

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Old 07-04-2017, 01:38 AM   #3
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I'm in the same boat you are. I have done a bunch of upgrades to my R but the only one I regretted was the Hankook R-S3 tires. The road noise was unbearable. Swapped to Firestone Indy 500's and they are much quieter. Haven't autocrossed on them yet so not sure if the grip is up to par.
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Old 07-04-2017, 09:04 PM   #4
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What's up with the Snell only? I have an Icon Airmada that's ECE rated but I've got to buy a new helmet to participate? Why don't any of these organizations allow ECE helmets?
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Old 07-04-2017, 09:27 PM   #5
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You could also use a loaner helmet...

But the actual rules are here:
Quote:
4.3.1 Helmets
Helmets meeting the following standards must be worn while on course:
All helmets meeting the latest or two immediately preceding Snell Foundation
standards (SA2015, SA2010, SAH2010, SA2005, M2015, M2010, M2005,
K2015, K2010, K2005); SFI standards 31.1, 41.1, 31.1A, 31.2A, 41.1A, 41.2A;
ECE R22.05; FIA standards 8859-2015, 8860-2010, 8860-2004; or British
spec BS6658-85 type A are acceptable.
Full face or modular helmets shall be worn while competing in an openwheel
car, formula car, or kart. Face shield, goggles, or similar face protection
(conventional eyeglasses are not sufficient) shall be worn while competing in
any other vehicle with less than the standard-size windshield.
Formula Junior drivers must use helmets meeting the above, SFI 24.1 (Youth
Helmets), Snell CMR2007 (Children’s Motorsports Restricted), or Snell
CMS2007 (Children’s Motorsports Standard) specifications. Also, Formula
Junior helmets must be of closed face design incorporating full face shields
and chin bars.
For maximum protection, helmets must fit securely and should provide adequate
peripheral vision. The chin strap must be securely fastened. Loaner
helmets should be available to vehicle occupants not having their own.
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Old 07-04-2017, 10:12 PM   #6
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When going to Autocross I would flash the stock map on the GTI and learn how to drive it without aggressive boost, you'll have better traction that way. Most clubs have a beginners class on the first day of the event, where an instructor will ride with you for a few laps and give you tips on how to gain speed or traction and how to set up better lines.

Work on the "driver mod" and as you stated when brakes and tires need to be replaced, replace them with a more aggressive aftermarket product.
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Old 07-05-2017, 05:53 PM   #7
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Do plan on heavy wear on the front tires. Especially for a beginner, there will be an urge to enter corners too hot, experience under steer, and turn the wheel even harder. This leads to even more under steer and tire abuse. Try to get your speed down before turn-in. Although this is really hard to do when you want to go faster, it will actually make you faster.

Be sure to get an experienced driver to ride along with you for the first few runs. If at all possible, see if you can do some ride-alongs with some experienced drivers before your runs (preferably in a similar FWD car). This will help you learn the course, so you can concentrate on your driving (and not navigation) when you're up.

If you get frustrated with your times - don't. Honestly, only the guys really battling for their class or top times are paying attention to each others times. Work on smoothness and line, rather than getting overly aggressive in an attempt to go faster.

Edit: To actually answer your question. You don't "need" anything. Other than tire wear, the car will be just fine

Last edited by Chad1376; 07-05-2017 at 06:07 PM.
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Old 07-05-2017, 07:16 PM   #8
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front tire wears are excessive regardless of experience level...the lack of camber and lots of torque will do that....lol
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Old 07-05-2017, 07:29 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RacingManiac View Post
front tire wears are excessive regardless of experience level...the lack of camber and lots of torque will do that....lol
True

In that regard, it would be good to rotate tires so you are running the least trashed tires in the front to balance out the wear. With a separate set of race tires, it's natural to do, since they're always on and off the car anyway.
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Old 07-05-2017, 07:37 PM   #10
RacingManiac
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yeah I know my friend with a tire mounting machine real well...
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Old 07-05-2017, 07:56 PM   #11
Chad1376
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It sounds obvious, but be sure to bring:

- Water
- Comfortable Shoes
- Food and caffeine
- Sunscreen and a hat
- Tire pressure guage
- A chair (although you might not get a chance to sit in it)

And be sure to show up with plenty of time for sign-up, waivers and tech. Give yourself lots of time to walk the course (several times).
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Old 07-05-2017, 08:59 PM   #12
RacingManiac
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go do the novice walk
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Old 07-06-2017, 05:15 PM   #13
GTI Chris
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Try to look ahead (not right in front of the car). A lot of times I see novice drivers end up missing gates or going off course due to not looking ahead.

Just like riding a motorcycle, your car will go where your eyes go.
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Old 07-10-2017, 04:23 PM   #14
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Be prepared to go to more than "2 or 3 events this year max". I started off the same way. I planned on just doing it for fun a few times with my buddies. That lasted right up until my first run. After that I was hooked. I now go to as many events in my local region as possible, and when I am not there I am thinking about being there. Autocross is something I can't see not doing, now that I've tried it. It seems like you have the right attitude for it. I see guys at every event bragging about what their car "should" be a able to do, and when they get spanked they never show up again. Be prepared to be slow, but as long as you get better each time, you are doing it right.
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Old 07-22-2017, 06:08 PM   #15
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Enjoy your work assignment! Learn what you can, ask questions, stay focused.

Stick around at the end to help pack up - you will be appreciated and noticed for it.
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Old 07-24-2017, 10:03 PM   #16
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I'm in the same situation as Dutch and just signed up for my first event for this coming Saturday. I have some friends that have been doing it for a long time and will report back on tips they share.
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Old 07-25-2017, 06:00 PM   #17
Chad1376
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Quote:
Originally Posted by odessa.filez View Post
Enjoy your work assignment! Learn what you can, ask questions, stay focused.

Stick around at the end to help pack up - you will be appreciated and noticed for it.
This is important.

Everyone out there is a volunteer. There's the "required" work duties (working the course, etc.) but it takes a lot of effort to organize, set-up, and run one of these events. In our region (I'm sure others are the same), 20% of the people do 80% of the work.

Look for the people who appear tired, pissed off and stressed out - they're in that 20%. Then figure out how you can help them out.
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