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Just some ramblings....

Autocross Tips
by Randy Chase

I have heard and learned many important tips over the years. Sometimes I
wonder if you have to be ready for if maybe I heard them
before, but I was not ready. What follows are various tips that made a
signifigant difference in my driving at the time I heard it.

1. As soon as you pass the start line, you are only losing time.
Minimize how much time you lose. It's not just going faster, it's
spending less time on the course.

2. The trick is to drive 10/10ths. A novice will drive 7/10ths and then
not realize that they went to 13/10ths. Learn the edge and drive it.
That may mean some cones get hit and you spin. It's what teaches you
where 10/10ths is.

3. There are fast parts and there are slow parts. Learn the difference.

4. Don't square off the corners and point and shoot drive. A lot of
corners are parts of smooth arcs you can make. It's faster to drive a
smooth arc than a short straight and two jerky turns.

5. Be aggressive in chicanes. Attack them, stay in front of the turns
and as straight as you can. Getting "behind" in a chicane is a bad

6. Doing this well means being smooth. Being smooth DOES NOT mean you
are slow. To drive the car smoothly may require controlled chaos in the
car. Fast hand and foot movements do not mean you are not smooth.

7. Know your line you intend on driving. Understand it. Look for it. If
you drive such that you are forcing yourself off that line, you made a
mistake and need to slow down. The line is everything, unless you are
wrong about where the line is...then you need to change your mind.

8. Look ahead to where you want to exit the turn. Adjust your speed into
the corner to make sure your car will be on the right spot when your
exit the corner.

9. It's better to corner under acceleration than braking. Brake earlier
and then get on the throttle as quick as you can.

10. The earlier throttle points will be faster. Give up the end of the
straight to make your corner exit faster. That speed coming out of the
corner will carry thru the whole straight following the corner.

11. Do not try to save runs. If you get screwed up, go off course or mow
down cones. This saves tires.

12. Understeer is often caused by going in to a corner too hot. To
reduce understeer, straighten out the steering and/or reduce throttle

13. A lift or quick stab at the brakes can cause the front of the car to
weight and allow better turn in.

14. Alignments are important.

15. If you start going slower or are less succesful than you should be,
check the car. Sometimes things change and it's hard to notice.

16. Seat time is important.

17. Autocross deliberately. Try to drive deliberately. Not just
reacting...but control the steering and drive the line. Then do it

18. Don't worry about long lists of tips. Work on one or two things at
a time. Don't try to adjust everything, put in a new swaybar and struts,
try out Hoosiers, and decide to use left foot braking all in one
weekend. Make changes one at a time and see how they feel.

19. There are many ways to setup your car and your driving can
accomodate them. Spend more time on your driving than your car setup.
Human nature is that it's easier to point to your car, or the classing,
or maybe someone else is cheating, or they spent more. But the biggest
variable in autocrossing is still always the driver.

262 Posts

I feel bad nobody ever responded to this thoughtful, useful thread written two years, three months and two weeks ago.

I've yet to participate in an autocross, but will use this advice when I do...sometime in 2005 in an Elise! :)


94 Posts
When I introduce friends to autocrossing for the 1st time I always tell them to look farher down the course then they think they shlould. Look at the following gate you want to go through.

The other think is not to move there hands around. Keep them at 9 and 3 and leave them there.

Just 2 real basic things.
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