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Home » Bay Area Autocross Forum » New to Autocross/New to the Forum » Advice Request (Looking to try autocross...)
Advice Request [message #121952] Wed, 30 May 2018 13:07 Go to next message
Martinb is currently offline  Martinb   
Messages: 10
Registered: March 2012
Location: Silicon Valley
First Gear

From: *lightspeed.sntcca.sbcglobal.net
I looked up my user name and password, logged on, and found I haven't inquired about autocross in more than 6 years. I never did make it to an event in that time, though I did a few track days with the Northern California Shelby Club. Track days may be out for me going forward due to family issues at home, but I'm thinking I can still get a one day "track fix" with some auto crossing. I saw some events many decades ago and it looked like a blast. Never did autocross my Porsche powered VW bus, though. So, some questions.....

1. I live in San Jose near Campbell and would like as local an event as possible. I'm flexible on time and date. How do I go about finding the best event to attend? Keep in mind I've never autocrossed but I do have track experience.

2. I'm hoping my car is suitable. It's a 2006 first generation convertible Mini. It has the factory installed roll bars behind the rear seat. (Which hardly qualifies as a seat as there's no leg room.) It's also a full JCW car with the following equipment and modifications:

6 speed Getrag box.
An actual limited slip differential, not electronic.
Front strut tower brace.
Aftermarket SS coolant tank.
Tires are Michelin Super Sports slightly oversize. (215/40-18 vs 205's)
Factory big brakes with Stoptech slotted rotors, SS lines, Hawk HP+ pads all around, and the rear caliper rubber bushings have been replaced with aftermarket bronze ones.
NM Engineering adjustable lower rear control arms.
And a few other things I've likely forgotten.

I also have installed a Schroth four point harness and my helmet is a current Shoei RF1200 motorcycle helmet with a Snell 2015 rating. I also have gloves and driving shoes.

Finally, the car has been recently serviced by BR Racing in Los Gatos and is in tip top shape all fresh fluids including high performance brake fluid.

Any and all advice on where/when to run is appreciated as well as any other advice or suggestions.

Thanks!

Martin

[Updated on: Wed, 30 May 2018 13:08]

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Re: Advice Request [message #121953 is a reply to message #121952] Wed, 30 May 2018 15:40 Go to previous messageGo to next message
skarillo   United States
Messages: 72
Registered: June 2015
Second Gear

From: 198.245.241*
You have a car available and Snell 2010+ helmet which meets the minimum requirements to participate in autocross.

A few different clubs operate in this area such as SFR SCCA, American Autocross (AAS), BMW and Golden Gate Lotus. Porsche clubs also exist but often have more strict entry rules for attending events. Additional information on AAS and SFR SCCA can be found on their websites or Facebook groups http://www.sfrautox.com/ and http://www.americanautox.com/.

The locations these clubs will typically operate will be Marina Municipal Airport, Crows Landing, and Stockton Fairgrounds. There is a list of all events http:// www.baautox.com/forum/index.php?t=msg&th=12861&start =0&rid=3168 but some clubs listed have special rules in order to participate.

Find a date and location that works best and ask for additional information on that given club. Autocross cars are often grouped together based off of their modifications and general performance. For a first timer, I wouldn't be concerned with where yours would specifically fit in, just let the event organizers you are new so they can help guide you through the event.


Ryan - 93 Economy Street
Re: Advice Request [message #121954 is a reply to message #121953] Wed, 30 May 2018 18:58 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Martinb is currently offline  Martinb   
Messages: 10
Registered: March 2012
Location: Silicon Valley
First Gear

From: *lightspeed.sntcca.sbcglobal.net
Thanks for the info!
Re: Advice Request [message #121982 is a reply to message #121952] Tue, 12 June 2018 14:52 Go to previous message
pault1 is currently offline  pault1   United States
Messages: 919
Registered: October 2005
Location: San Remote
Top PAX
CONTRIBUTOR

From: *hsd1.ca.comcast.net
Martinb wrote on Wed, 30 May 2018 13:07
I looked up my user name and password, logged on, and found I haven't inquired about autocross in more than 6 years. I never did make it to an event in that time, though I did a few track days with the Northern California Shelby Club. Track days may be out for me going forward due to family issues at home, but I'm thinking I can still get a one day "track fix" with some auto crossing. I saw some events many decades ago and it looked like a blast. Never did autocross my Porsche powered VW bus, though. So, some questions.....

1. I live in San Jose near Campbell and would like as local an event as possible. I'm flexible on time and date. How do I go about finding the best event to attend? Keep in mind I've never autocrossed but I do have track experience.

2. I'm hoping my car is suitable. It's a 2006 first generation convertible Mini. It has the factory installed roll bars behind the rear seat. (Which hardly qualifies as a seat as there's no leg room.) It's also a full JCW car with the following equipment and modifications:

6 speed Getrag box.
An actual limited slip differential, not electronic.
Front strut tower brace.
Aftermarket SS coolant tank.
Tires are Michelin Super Sports slightly oversize. (215/40-18 vs 205's)
Factory big brakes with Stoptech slotted rotors, SS lines, Hawk HP+ pads all around, and the rear caliper rubber bushings have been replaced with aftermarket bronze ones.
NM Engineering adjustable lower rear control arms.
And a few other things I've likely forgotten.

I also have installed a Schroth four point harness and my helmet is a current Shoei RF1200 motorcycle helmet with a Snell 2015 rating. I also have gloves and driving shoes.

Finally, the car has been recently serviced by BR Racing in Los Gatos and is in tip top shape all fresh fluids including high performance brake fluid.

Any and all advice on where/when to run is appreciated as well as any other advice or suggestions.

Thanks!

Martin


Martin, it sounds like you've got everything but your butt in the seat, heading to an event! Making that step can be a big one, granted. Based on your car you will be running in a non-Street class since you have a few mods such as the LCA's. (Street means "everything but filters, brake pads, and one sway bar must be stock", which is only a slight simplification. 2018 SCCA Solo Rules is what you should search for, but avoid the ProSolo rules, that's a different event.) Driver-wise you count as a Novice for the first year, and we have classes where you are running against similar.

June 23 at Crows Landing, or July 21 at Marina, those are SCCA's next choices. Or look at the others such as AAS (see links at top of page here!) or smaller groups in our calendar. But making your decision based on an extra 30-60 minutes of travel driving may be unrealistic. Let's say you choose Marina, and that you choose to run a group in the morning. You must be there by 7:30 a.m. or so to empty your car, sign in, and walk the course a couple of times before the driver's meeting at 8:30 - 8:45 ish. Then after 9:00 start you will run in one group, work one group, and possibly have to wait an hour between run and work. Either way, you aren't getting out of there before noon or 1 p.m., then you get lunch and drive home, it's probably 3 p.m. So you've been doing this task from leaving at 6:30 to home at 3. Just get the idea that It's Only Half A Day out of your head! For afternoon groups, start at 10, get there by 11 or so, and be done ready to drive home at 5 ish. Really it's most of a day either way. But one of the most fun days!

There are tons of posts here and other places about "what to expect at your first event", read those. Expect that on your first day, you will get lost on course at least once, and that you will have a time that is near the bottom of the list. And I'm taking into account your track day experience - both of those happened to a Viper driver fresh from his Streets of Willow event, and his expectations were so not meant that he quit on the spot! He would have been happier not wearing his Nomex suit boots and gloves, and trying to join in the event rather than trying to impress us all, which was a major FAIL.

I encourage you to ask questions here or on the clubs' FB pages, but mostly I encourage you to DO IT!


Paul T. Ford body, Yamaha power - describes my car pretty well, too! Smile Returned to racing the STi-STU but still that #35 you love
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