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I've done the See Spot Drive Mercedes events where you take there cars around various courses, but I have never officially autocross. I've watched several times, but that's it.

I currently have an S2000. I don't want to autocross it since I will be selling it to get the Elise. I guess my main concern is I don't want to put wear and tear on it, maybe damage it, and put unwanted rattles on the car. I'm going to take a huge loss as it is when I sell it, so I just don't want any added depreciation.

I really want to autocross the Elise. So, my question is, is the Elise a good first car for someone to autocross or should I risk driving the S2K in some events before I sell it?

What would you do? My car is in very pristine shape btw. Some might call it a garage queen (I haven't driven it in 3 weeks), but I've had it a year and put 12K miles on it, so I do drive it. It has a Xbrace, CAI, and aftermarket exhaust on it. Besides that, I have only cosmetic aftermarket parts on it.
 

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Go rent a car

Autocrossing (depending on the track surface) can be VERY hard on tires. You'll definitely want to inflate the tires to much higher pressure than you would use for the street. (e.g. 50 psi) You'll also want to adjust the tire's pressure to accommodate your driving style. Adjusting tire pressures allow you to effectively change your spring rates.

As for using your S2000... don't. If you're planning on trading it in, just leave it parked and rent a cheap econobox. (You don't want to be buying new tires for the S2000 before you trade it in.) Autocrosses typically are low-to-moderate speed events and the emphasis is placed upon handling, cornering force and driver skill. Any econobox you rent will have relatively low limits but will teach you to be much smoother to extract the most performance from what it can offer. Smooth is fast. Broadslides are impressively showy... but they're also impressively slow. (Not to mention that they're hard on the equipment also.)

Bob K.
 

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I guess the answer depends on how you rate yourself as a driver. You've done some driving events already, but are you still learning to master car control?

Last month on Fifth Gear, Tiff talked about the car he learned car control in, an old Morris 1000 sedan: thin tires, rear wheel drive, rack-and-pinion steering, and very cheap (1-2k pounds). The weak drum brakes force you to look further ahead to anticipate problems. Learn opposite-lock power slides and throttle control at just 15 mph on wet roundabouts, w/o worrying about crashing because you are going so slow and the car is disposable.

So if you are still learning, I agree that you might want to start w/a cheap, low-limit car. The various driving video games out there force you to master the low-limit cars before you can graduate to higher performace cars.

But if you don't mind killing a lot of cones with your Elise...
 

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Take your car out! You will kick yourself later for waiting. And it's much worse being a novice/newbie with a car that everyone is looking at. Trust me on this. Anyone remember the Lambo SPort Veloce on Brian's Riceboy page that he made fun of? I was that guy's instructor. He was not that bad, just brand new at the sport.

Learn now. Do every event you can. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO HIT CONES. Really, you can learn this sport by driving 9/10ths, not 10/10ths. Take it easy. But learn it. You are not going to be fast right away, trust me. So driving a little slower is not a big issue.

Cones should not be a problem, but if they worry you, put that blue tape on the leading edges. Not a big deal.

I instructed 3 new people today in this sport. You have to start somewhere. Most people regret not starting earlier.

P.S. If you get to know some people, they may be willing to let you autocross/co-drive THEIR CAR in return for some cash like paying their entry fee or helping with tires. That is good because you get someone with more experience and a better set up car.
 

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I hope that I'm wrong with this, but I expect the Elise to be difficult to drive. At least difficult to drive well, of course you can have fun in any car! My theory is that the more performance potential a car has, the harder it is to drive it consistently at the limit. I'm expecting a steep learning curve until I'm comfortable with the Elise.

The most comparable car I see running frequently is probably the S2000. Most people who aren't used to driving it, and try to be aggressive, spin all over the place. Very entertaining to watch, but it won't make you go fast...

Autocross isn't really that hard on the car. The tires will of course wear, but otherwise there's nothing that would hurt a well maintained car much. Some parts (like wheel bearings) might wear quicker than normal, but it's all worth it. :)
 

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I'd vote "yes". Get high without taking drugs.

One event will not destroy a set of S-02's (darn good OEM tires BTW), nor otherwise cause the car to become a creak-mobile.

Don't be frustrated if some seriously "lesser" cars run MUCH faster times too.

quick tip - the throttle is not a binary switch. If you treat it as such you'll spin like a top
 

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I suggest you read this introductory guide to autocross it is very informative: http://www.tirerack.com/features/solo2/handbook.htm
Then go out and have fun in the S2000, the only thing you can hurt is the tires and learn. Getting good at autocross requires seat time. Many local car clubs put on autocross schools BMW clubs seem to sponsor them frequently.
My advice get out and have some fun!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the responses. I think I'll give it a go in the S2K once or twice before I sell it.
 

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tidalwdave said:
Thanks for the responses. I think I'll give it a go in the S2K once or twice before I sell it.
I would love to join you.

Thanks for the link James A.

-Eric
 
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