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Leslie Cohen began autocrossing in 1996, she started in an automatic Mazda MX-6. She has 4 national championships in STL (2009, 2010) and SSL (2001, 2004). She has raced Mazda MX-6, 1989 Corvette, 2001 Z06 Corvette, 2003 Z06 Corvette, 1989 Civic SI, 2002 Camaro to name a few. She also trophies in open class in STS and SS Super Stock in the Z06.
It was fun to hear her thoughts on everything from focus to ProSolo starts.
Leslie on houzz
- 2012 1st ProSolo Finale - L3
- 2012 1st ProSolo Finale Challenge - L3
- 2012 ProSolo Series - L3
- 2010 ProSolo finale - L1
- 2010 ProSolo Serices - L1
- 2009 ProSolo Finale - L1
- 2009 ProSolo Series- L1
- 2009 ProSolo Challenge Series- L1
- 2009 National Championships- L1
- 2008 Trophy in SS open
- 2005 STS Open 4th out of 45
- 2004 National Champion SSL
- 2001 San Diego Region Solo2 Driver of the Year
- 2001 National Champion SSL
- 2000 National Champion SSL
- 1997 Rookie award winner San Bernardino Prosolo
Driving Instructor experience:
- NCCC Corvette Driving School
- Corvette Big Bear Bash Autocross School (Spring Mountain Motorsports Park)
- SCCA Cal Club Ladies Schools
- SCCA San Diego Region Novice Schools
- Porsche Club of America
- Lotus Club
- BMW Club
- Kumho "America’s Tire" days
It began back in 1996 – I have always loved driving cars. One of our friends was an autocrosser and I was driving a Mazda MX-6 at that time.
I have to say that my first year, I had fun a lot. I pushed the car – aggressive right away.
All my pent up aggressiveness and competitiveness reflect to my driving.
My first year I drove an automatic – won the class in the region and that was based on aggression because my driving skills weren’t phenomenal at that drive. I just drove hard.
The next year, I got rid of the car and bought the same car but a manual transmission all because of autocross.
My first year I didn’t do any practices, I just went to events.
I bought a 1989 Corvette, only owned the car for less than a year because I hated it. I had trophies because of the car but I didn’t like it. The torque was gradual, it felt heavy.
2001, won my Championship on a Z06 Corvette.
I love Pro-solo because of the drag start – you’re there before you’ve taken off whereas at the regular solo, you’re just waiting for the flag person.
The format of the Pro-solo makes me focused.
The majority of my best run, I did something wrong very early and I get mad at myself – all the processing, worrying and all my instincts just set in and I’ll just drive.
I used to have “shakes” but it got lesser in time.
I would use the power for the deficiencies of my driving.
I right-foot brake – I don’t use both feet.
Learning to brake early, just looking ahead.
Picking out what is important to learn and who it is important to learn from. I didn’t listen to everybody.
Number of walks? 6 to 8 in Nationals. If I were serious in a competition, I’d walk a few more times.
I went through a phase and think about the potential screw-ups I’m going to wait. I was working about the variations – contingency plans.
I’d be driving 2-3 weekends a month.
I won everything maybe because I just wanted to have fun, to hang out with my friends – my body was already trained.
I have learned about set ups – as long as you have a reasonable set up and tires, it’s about the driver.
I want to have a set up that I don’t have to touch anymore so I can focus on my driving.
I can diagnose by sound and by feel.
When I am driving well, I am seeing a lot.
My most amazing driving experience ever, it was unbelievable because I could see everything. Totally peaceful. I was one with the car, the landscape, the track. I tried to recapture that in my career but I couldn’t make it happen.
My favorite car ever was the Camaro – it was Z06 on steroids.