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Thread: To my auto-X pros...

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    Default To my auto-X pros...

    For the last three events I've been to, I've been consistently running around 2 -2.5 seconds slower than an 08 civic Si. From what I can tell, he has intake, cat back exhaust, lowered suspension, and decent rims/tires. This is all I could see from looking at it, but I wouldn't be surprised if he had some more mods. I'm running an 03 MTX with cold air intake, hacked muffler, 19mm RSB, LXQ1, and short shifter. If any of you have raced against any 08 Si's does 2 seconds slower seem right to you? Class is ST04

    Now I know the civic has at least 60 hp on me, but I believe they have like 3-400 extra lbs as well. The guy who drives the civic is pretty decent as he is consistently in 1st or 2nd of the class of 5-6 typically.

    I've only driven in three events to date, and I know that there is some room for improvement as far as my driving skill is concerned, however, I'm wondering what your opinions are to help get me closer, if not beating the civic in the next event. Here are my thoughts.

    One, I desperately need decent tires. The tires I'm currently running have great tread, however they are Cheap AZZ FUCK! Walmart special SONAR's. I think the tires are causing me to understeer in instances where I don't think I should be. So I'm wondering what is a good, fairly priced mid range performance tire. I don't need top of the line as any thing will be an improvement really.

    Two. Would getting an MX3 or any other strut tower brace make a difference?

    Three. I currently have a new ZXtuner UDP waiting to be installed and I'm wondering if this would be worth it?

    Any other tips, hints, tricks etc... ?

    My next event is in two weeks and I really wanna catch him.

    Thank you in advance
    2003 ZX2 aka "Blue Dragon": CAI, STB, Short Shifter, 19mm RSB, LXQ1

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    the first video is not my car but it is the same I race I had yesterday to see a layout of the track. It was a very busy track with multiple slaloms


    The second video is from a race I did not attend, but is taken from the civic I so desperately want to beat


  3. #3

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    it's all in the driving line. don't expect to win your class until you've had ample practice. it took a full season for me to start getting class wins, even when there were 2 or 3 people in the class. not sure what ST04 is...but if it's a variant of street touring, i'd say tires are your biggest part of the puzzle. UDP will help, but not noticeably. same with strut tower bar. you need to look further ahead, be smoother, get closer, and apex much later. also, you can stand to get on the brakes a LOT later. some decent pads will probably help a ton with this, but not with crappy tires.
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    also, don't bother shifting down to first, like in that turn around. let it bog. the turn around at Coles County Airport where we have a very very tight (some people end up using some of the grass, even) turn around at the end of a taxi-way is where i put other people to shame. i always have people compliment how quickly i come out of it. my secret, i leave it in 2nd. bogging a bit is faster than shifting twice...and it doesn't upset the balance of the car.

    and in the slaloms, don't stab at the throttle, take them nice and smooth with easy throttle inputs. you should never have to brake in a slalom, unless it's a sadistically spaced decreasing set. try to hit the cone with your back wheel. turn before you get to it, and try to straighten your line out. you should have moments between slalom cones where your wheel is straight, not a bunch of conjoined s-movements.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zxtwou2 View Post
    it's all in the driving line. don't expect to win your class until you've had ample practice. it took a full season for me to start getting class wins, even when there were 2 or 3 people in the class. not sure what ST04 is...but if it's a variant of street touring, i'd say tires are your biggest part of the puzzle. UDP will help, but not noticeably. same with strut tower bar. you need to look further ahead, be smoother, get closer, and apex much later. also, you can stand to get on the brakes a LOT later. some decent pads will probably help a ton with this, but not with crappy tires.
    I believe the ST04 is Street Tire 4 cyl. The group here has Street Tire and Street Touring classes so don't know what the differences if any. I'm not expecting to win my class. Would be nice but doubtful. I would like to close the gap maybe by a second or so my next race. I figured tires are my biggest flaw at the moment other than driver skill. What brand tire would you recommend that is not too expensive but decent enough in a street tire?

    I definitely know I have to work on my smoothness through transitioning different obstacles. I'm not sure if it's my stock springs, how I drive, or combo of both, but after comparing the first video I posted to what I remember my runs being like his looked like it just flowed really well. Where as mine felt like I was always playing catch up with myself is the guess way to put it. The odd thing is watching the first video he looks like he's going a lot slower than I remember feeling in my car, but he destroyed me by like 6 seconds. Not sure his mods but he's in SMF.

    What you said about slaloms makes a lot of sense. I know I was stabbing the crap out of the throttle on most of them. I'm fairly confident that my lines are somewhat close to ideal. I think my biggest set backs are tires, throttle control and brake control. I guess I'm going to have to completely focus on being smooth this weekend to get ready for my last race in kansas in two weeks.

    Thanks for the advice

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    street tire is most likely a bump class run on PAX index...no telling what you are being indexed as. i would run in STC if i were you. it's PAXed for street tires. if they know you have mods and PAX you in a street tire open class, chances are they have you down as FSP or SM instead of stock class. probably SM with the c/f hood.

    good tires for street tire classes would be the Bridgestone RE-11, Hankook RS-3, Dunlop Direzza D1 Star Spec, Kumho Ecsta XS, or Yokohama Avid AD08's. for a decent street tire that will last a while for daily driving, i'd go with the Falken Azenis RT-615 or the Khumo Ecsta AST. Fuzion tires aren't terrible, either...and are made by Bridgestone. hard "touring" compounds much above 300 will turn to dust in autoX. they will chunk away and shred themselves over time. yes, a 500 treadwear tire will last a long time on the highway....but it lasts much less in autoX than even a 140 treadwear sticky street tire.

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    by the way, if you can ever make it out for a St Louis event...let me know. i'll take the time off work to come out and give you pointers while on course at speed...and you can ride along with me if you like.

    edit: damn...just saw how far you are from STL. maybe meeting in the middle in KC would be best

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    i dont auto-x but the kuhmo ecsta ast is indeed a good all around tire, sticky, good treadware, good ride.

    the nexen N5000 is also just as good as the ecsta ast but a little cheeper.
    2000 ZX2 MTX "Plasti" the FIRST totally plasti-dipped ZX2!!! Now with crash damage and 5yo faded dip

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    Quote Originally Posted by zxtwou2 View Post
    by the way, if you can ever make it out for a St Louis event...let me know. i'll take the time off work to come out and give you pointers while on course at speed...and you can ride along with me if you like.

    edit: damn...just saw how far you are from STL. maybe meeting in the middle in KC would be best
    Ya STL is pretty far. I could do KC but not sure if my schedule would allow it. I work this weekend, the following weekend is an auto-x on Post here, then ten days after that I start clearing the army so i'll be pretty busy packing and running around getting signatures.

    I looked up the results from the race back in april since they didn't have sunday's up yet, and the PAX for the ST04 class is the same as STF .794

    With raw time of 62.703 paxed at 49.786 = .793997....

    So I think I'll just stay in ST04 for now since the STC is paxed .820.

    I'm going to try to talk to the senior members at the next event to see what the deal is with the ST04 class. Just posted it to give an idea of the typical track set up where I race at.

    p.s. The first video I posted is not my car. It is a late 90's civic dx running in SMF.

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    So did a little digging and I found that last season they were paxing ST04 all the way up to .869!!! Not sure if this was a mistake or what but seems to be across the board from the results I was looking at.

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    sounds to me they have you in H Stock. that's the only SCCA PAX that is under 0.8. basically, in the class you are in, everybody is PAXed different in order to allow multiple classes on street tires to compete. so i could come in FSP and run on street tires in your class, but we'd be able to compete fairly because i'd be PAXed as FSP and you'd be PAXed as HS.

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    that would make sense, but all the ST04 cars are paxed the same at .794. I'm going to ask them about it at the next event. I'm thinking they might have originally developed the class for a sort of catch all street tire 4cyl class or something. Going back in the result logs they have miata's in ST04.

    Another thing I was wondering about is alignment. What sort of adjustments does a stock setup allow for camber/toe etc... and what would be a good amount of each to start with?

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    you can get a slight amount of camber by loosening the strut to spindle mounts and pushing/pulling then tightening. also, turn the upper strut mounts so the nipples face inward for camber, toward the firewall for caster (which turns into camber when you are turning). for toe, a very slight toe up up front and 0 toe in rear will help turn in.

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    So i've been doing a little reading trying to learn more about racing techniques and discovered left foot braking. Any thoughts on its usefulness on autocross track? I'm thinking since I won't be getting any tires it could possibly help with my under steer issue.

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    It can be tricky and needs a lot of practice to train your left leg.
    it works for some and not others.
    I once rode with a top regional driver, no left foot.
    For me, I never found that it did anything for me.
    Try it and see.

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