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First AutoX... looking for tips & advice

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Old 03-17-2017, 07:35 PM   #1
ThePhanatic
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Default First AutoX... looking for tips & advice

Hello everyone.

Got my '13 991 C2 about a year ago, and I'm doing my first autocross (actually first event with PCA period) this Sunday. Just looking for any advice. I've reviewed a lot of content already online, but figured it would be worthwhile asking around here.
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Old 03-17-2017, 08:32 PM   #2
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Put masking tape on your front bumper just in case a cone jumps out in front of you. They can leave a scuff on your paint. Also, make sure to get there early so you don't miss the driver's meeting, and take your time walking the course. Have fun!
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Old 03-17-2017, 08:55 PM   #3
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Don't go crazy worrying about tire pressures your first time.

Walk the course twice if you have the time.

Remember - smooth inputs, slow in, fast out.

Let the instructor drive your car and take you for a ride and don't be afraid to ask an instructor to ride along to talk you through the course.
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Old 03-17-2017, 09:42 PM   #4
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I suggest take your time on the first lap so you follow the course 100%. If you try for speed and get off-course, that mistake may stick with you for following attempts--I have seen this happen to many novices.
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Old 03-17-2017, 09:45 PM   #5
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Don't let an instructor drive your car especially the first time. Sometimes crap happens.
Walk the course three times
If anywhere on the course is closer than 50 feet to any solid object.....leave the PSM on.
If nothing to hit for a considerable distance maybe turn it off.
Don't be discouraged and have fun.
People that drive around cones in parking lots are idiots, and I should know because I am one.

Have FUN !
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Old 03-17-2017, 09:51 PM   #6
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Usually the cone scuffs will easily rub off by the way... they mostly leave a little rubbery residue on the paint. The other place I tend to kiss the cone is with the rear wheel since it tends to stick out a bit past the front... right where the rock guards are. I recently replaced my rock guards and saw a couple of cone scuffs on the old ones... I hadn't considered putting some tape over top of them... I'll do that next time thanks to wisky's advice.

One of the things about autocross is how much camaraderie there is and how helpful most everyone else. Don't hesitate to ask questions. Be sure to take the novice walk... then also as advised... walk it again.... picturing the smoothest lines through the cones. Then be ready for a surprise on your first drive. When you walk the cones, you have plenty of time to contemplate them and what they mean. Once you are one course and driving it, the cones come by a rate of one every second or two, so you already need a good idea of what to expect... that's why you did the walk.

When driving look at least 2-3 cones ahead while keeping a mental tab on the next one... it isn't the current cone that's usually the problem its being set up right for the next ones. One thing I see a lot of people do at first is to always try to keep close to the inside cones no matter where they are. Remember that the inside cone's placement may not represent the best line through the course, it can often pay to go wide of them.

You will be humbled by less powerful cars driven by more experienced drivers. Don't let it bother you... other drivers really don't hold it over you. The one disadvantage of our cars, in my opinion, is that we have too much power and can get going faster than you want to be at times. If you have PDK, let it do the shifting for you so you can concentrate on your lines, at least in the beginning. You generally don't get past 2nd gear anyway. If you have Sport Chrono... go ahead and use Sport Plus.

Also FYI, at our local autocrosses it is typically a full day event with 130-170 cars run in heats. There is no food or drinks generally. So take some snacks and drinks and a folding chair for when you aren't either driving or working the course.

All in all it's really a blast. Don't worry about first-timer mistakes... just back off and gracefully recover if you make one. I'd really love to hear an after-action report once you are done!
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Old 03-17-2017, 09:56 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LehmanZ06 View Post
Don't let an instructor drive your car especially the first time. Sometimes crap happens.
Walk the course three times
If anywhere on the course is closer than 50 feet to any solid object.....leave the PSM on.
If nothing to hit for a considerable distance maybe turn it off.
Don't be discouraged and have fun.
People that drive around cones in parking lots are idiots, and I should know because I am one.

Have FUN !
Also agreeing with these suggestions. I've never let anyone else drive but I tend to get a lot of passengers including experienced ones offering advice and other folks who would just like the chance to ride in a Porsche. Feel free to say no to them if you want to concentrate though... they always understand. I made my best time on my last outing on the one run I did with no one else in the car.

And yes, I'd say just leave PSM on. If you have Sport Plus on, it is pretty lenient anyway but will likely save you from a total spin (and you'll see some other cars spin out!). I've pretty much drifted the car through a sweeper with PSM still on (not really the way to get the best time, but it was hoot in its own way).
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Old 03-17-2017, 10:16 PM   #8
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Well, I guess I disagree about letting someone else drive, either in your car or something similar. To have some idea of what it takes to drive through a typical auto-x course, it can be helpful to have a "go by", so you know what to aim for. Depending on the course (and car) an expert quick lap can feel rather violent.
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Old 03-17-2017, 10:22 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bkrantz View Post
Well, I guess I disagree about letting someone else drive, either in your car or something similar. To have some idea of what it takes to drive through a typical auto-x course, it can be helpful to have a "go by", so you know what to aim for. Depending on the course (and car) an expert quick lap can feel rather violent.
Understood.... that's certainly a personal decision. Your other option in my mind is a good one. At our local autocross events there are typically three heats. You drive one, you work the course on one, and you sit out on one. If OP's group does it this way, it would be ideal if you could get them to let you sit out the first one and ask some experienced drivers if you could ride with them. I just realized you said this is a PCA event though, so I don't known if it will be that big. Our local autocross events typically bring 120-170 cars.... so three heats are necessary. We generally only get 2-3 Porsches, although one of them is a crazy hyper-modified Boxster.
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Old 03-17-2017, 10:34 PM   #10
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Keep it shiny side up!

LOL, seriously, there is a lot of great advice already in this thread. It's a lot of fun. Get there early, walk the course with experienced people, take your first run easy (get to know the course), have an instructor ride with you on your first couple of runs but make sure to do the last few alone.

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Old 03-17-2017, 10:42 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hurricane View Post
Keep it shiny side up!

LOL, seriously, there is a lot of great advice already in this thread. It's a lot of fun. Get there early, walk the course with experienced people, take your first run easy (get to know the course), have an instructor ride with you on your first couple of runs but make sure to do the last few alone.

Nice pic! Lets see the video.
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Old 03-17-2017, 11:08 PM   #12
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Well... you didn't ask for mine... but here's a video of one of the shorter courses in my prior 997.2. It'll give you an idea of what to expect as to how the cones come up on you and how I took some of them wide for a better line.
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Old 03-17-2017, 11:25 PM   #13
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If you are a novice at a site you have never seen before then I don't think you can appreciate the dangers to your car with you driving fully. Don't get blinded by the red mist. Autocross is something normally you can drive 10/10ths.....at a safe where you know what's going on. As a novice I wouldn't advise going ***** to to the wall in a 2013 911. The reason I opine that I would be circumspect about letting someone drive your car is because stuff happens. I drove for awhile with some of the best autocrossers in the country at national SCCA events.......and sometimes stuff still happens.....car through fence etc. you sign a waiver, wear a helmet....etc.
Just be careful.......it's not risk free. Try not to be the guy that everyone feels sorry for that gets their car damaged at an event. It's rareish but remember it does happen.

Also if you let someone drive your car how do you know how good they are ?
And sometimes if they are really good.....how do you think they got that way ? By pushing the car that's how. Most stuff at the national level happens because people are very competitive....and cars sometimes don't do what you want them to do.

PS Most everyone at a autocross is there for fun and are all a great bunch of guys, and few girls, that can drive too.
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Old 03-18-2017, 02:06 AM   #14
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Thanks everyone for all of the suggestions! Keep 'em coming! Will report back on Sunday with how it goes.
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Old 03-18-2017, 02:41 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StormRune View Post
Well... you didn't ask for mine... but here's a video of one of the shorter courses in my prior 997.2. It'll give you an idea of what to expect as to how the cones come up on you and how I took some of them wide for a better line.
https://vimeo.com/126208581
Nice run
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