Thomas Thompson is on Autocross Talk he runs the site National Autocross News NAXN.org and you can find them on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/autoxnews/ They are always looking for contributors who would like to write about autocross!
He shares his stories and insights ranging from XP to STH.
He would live to hear what you would like more of on his site NAXN.org - and would you like to contribute some stories??
Marchell Fletcher joins us for this podcast. A 5 time Solo National Champion.
And if her name sounds familiar its because the "Fletcher Cup" is named in her honor.
We cover topic from ice racing, mental blocks, Bio feedback devices and differences in coaching women vs. men.
And like Jeremy Foley her question is should we have more runs at nationals?
Here is some background:
- Five time SCCA Solo National Champion
- Porsche Club of America National Champion
- SCCA Spec Miata Class: 1999-2006, Regional Road Races. 2nd and 3rd place ﬁnishes.
- Professional Driving Instructor
- 2002- 2006 SCCA Club Racing, Colorado Region Top 10 - Spec Miata
- 1989 - 2000 Five SCCA Solo II National Championships: ‘89, ‘94, ‘95, ‘99, ‘00
- 1998 Porsche Club National Champion
- 1989 SCCA Rocky Mountain “Driver of the Year”
- 1982 - Present SCCA Solo II Competitor
Driving Occupation & Teaching Experience:
- 2005 - 2013 Toyota Driving Expectations, Teen Driving Program Instructor- Danny McKeever's Fast Lane Driving School, Willow Springs, CA
- 2006 CART Hot Lap Pace Car Driver at Denver Grand Prix and Mustang VIP autocross
- 2002 - 2004 Drivers Edge, Bridgestone Teen Driving Program Instructor
- 2000 - 2001 Driving instructor, Audi Quattro Challenge client appreciation program
- 1998 - 2008 Driving Instructor, Skip Barber Racing School, Corporate Programs
- 1998- present Porsche Club of America Driving Instructor
- 1988 - 2016 Instructor for the SCCA, local and regional schools
Jeremy Foley is your SCCA Autocross B Street National Champion.
This was an entertaining and enlightening podcast with Jeremy.
After listening to this I bet you will be working on your plan for yourself as well finding a way to test, test and test some more...... I know I am!
He covers a lot from autocross coaching, video and data analysis to codriving, and thanks his codriver Kerry Emmert. Kerry owns the beautiful 1M "unicorn".
His question for the audience, shows how he thinks outside, he asks if you think we should get more than 3 runs at SCCA Solo Nationals.
If we added two extra days I could see that being possible (that would also help us get all our runs in the daylight or more racers).
This is part 1of Jeff Kiesel's interview.
With the final question for you - Star Wars or Star Trek??
I actually used his advice of make a change if you feel like it at Nationals here in 2018 on day one when after the first run I needed some rear grip so I added toe in between runs two and three.
Jeff has won a lot as evidence he has the longest Streak of SCCA Solo National Championships for Men with 12 autocross wins.
What stand out to me is how much family matters to him and how much of a family sport autocross is for him. (And as of 2018 his family has the most SCCA Solo National Championships.)
1st - Longest Personal Event Win Streak, Men - 12 years (2006-16)
1st - Most Family Championships - 25 (Jeff 12, Shawn 11, Zak 2)
5th - Most Championships, Men - 12
5th - Widest Margin of Victory, open class 21-30 cars - 4.726-sec, EM 2010 6th - Widest Margin of Victory, open class 11-20 cars - 6.048-sec, EM 2013
I had no clue how custom Kiesel Guitars can be. See them at .com/
1st - Longest Personal Event Win Streak, Men - 12 years (2006-16)
1st - Most Family Championships - 25 (Jeff 12, Shawn 11, Zak 2)
5th - Most Championships, Men - 12
5th - Widest Margin of Victory, open class 21-30 cars - 4.726-sec, EM 2010 6th - Widest Margin of Victory, open class 11-20 cars - 6.048-sec, EM 2013
I had no clue how custom Kiesel Guitars can be. See them at .com/
Most of you know Randy Pobst the World Champion Pro Racer with over 60 wins but did you know he started autocrossing at the age of 19.
He has Solo National and Pro Solo championships.
And you see his article every month in Sports Car Magazine.
This interview is before his return to solo nationals (a 30 year break to give us some time to practice) where he will be driving a 1977 VW Rabbit yet again this time in FSP.
Listen in and hear great stories -he remembers it all- as well as great insights and tips. I really think I know a lot more about shocks and weight transfer after his explanation.
And can you answer his question(s) - Visit our Facebook page to interact.
I forgot to ask him if he has raced in the Rolex 24....If not I hear he would like to so please connect him
www.RandyPobst.com and Follow him on Instagram, Watch him on YouTube.
Cindy Duncan is a SCCA Solo National Autocross Champion and Driver of the Year winner.
She describes Autocross people as her people.
Listen in to hear her story. I am still thinking about Sam's tip to run more gas for her Mustang (A good experiment although a heavy one 😉
She is very involved with her club.
Visit our Facebook Page to share your comments!
Rachel Baker is this weeks guest.
Suggestions or comments? Please message me from this site or visit our Facebook page: AutocrossTalk on facebook
Kevin Dietz is this weeks guest and he just won the Super Challenge in Arkansas (after we recorded this podcast).
Learn about how Autocross has become more than just competition for Kevin, its become part of his family!
Kevin's award include
Roger Johnson Spirit of the Sport Award, 2007
2006 CS Autocross National Championship in a Pontiac Solstice
He has won 16 trophies at Solo Nationals.
Kevin shares his journey of autocross and shares about his business Jim's Detail Shop.
Larry MacLeod is this shows guest.
He is your 2017 KM ProSolo National Champion in Autocross.
This was a fun call with Larry MacLeod also known as Lefty (catch that funny story toward the end).
He has been autocrossing a Kart for a long time and driving them fast (Lots of National Trophies). He did start in a car like most of us.
He covers at lot of tips for karts including:
Practice shifting at a track
If it's quiet down shift, lout upshift
Logging events (temp, altitude...)
As well as his metal game, prosolo thoughts, course walks etc
Connect with us on Facebook and on the website www.AutocrossTalk.com
Let me know who you would like to hear from and what questions you would ask.
This was an in person interview with Annie Gill and Jamie Yost here in Colorado.
They both have been driving for quite a while and are friend so we did the combo interview.
I've gotten to know Annie over the years of seeing her at many pro solo's and she even stored a Type R for me once to keep it safe.
I've raced with Jamie and her husband Jay off and on over the past 10 years.
Annie had a streak of 14 ladies class trophies in a row.
She was STXL champion 2014,2015 and 2016.
She was the ladies challenge winner in Packwood in 2014.
This is the second show for 2017 Autocross SCCA Solo National Rookies Series. It was fun to hear their insights and experiences. The may be rookie racers but most of them have autocrossed for quite some time. So their insights and racing tips are that much more helpful.
This show features four guests. If you've listened to the previous show and this one you will notice some similar advice and comments like: The grip level is quite high in Lincoln so make practice runs on the test course.
- Terrance Pearson - ES Mazda Mazdaspeed Miata (Alaska)
- Gordon Kuhnley - STR - 2000 Honda S2000
- Eric Less - Kart Modified - 2018 Briel Kart
- Dan Simms - AS - 2009 Corvette Z06 - 1:11
Who else will catch my reference to Lincoln Airport instead of Forbes Field where we had Nationals back in the early 2000's.
This is the first show for 2017 SCCA Solo National Rookies Series. It was fun to hear their insights and experiences as well as to get to know some of the newer autocrossers.
This show features four guests.
- D.J. David Alessandrini - C Street 2017 Mazda Miata
- Greg Tarantino - F Modified 1937 Chevrolet Legend
- Haley Nicole Oosterhof - D Street Ladies 2014 Subaru BRZ
- Brad Herley - B Street 2008 Honda S2000
Who else will catch my reference to Lincoln Airport instead of Forbes Field where we had Nationals back in the early 2000's.
PJ Corrales is this weeks Autocross Talk Guest.
He has many trophies in ESP, SM and SSM (and he owns cars in SP and SM and they are both competitive).
His Solo National Autocross Trophies:
- 2015 3rd in ESP
- 2013 2nd in SM
- 2012 5th in SM
- 2011 3rd in SM
- 2010 4th in SM
It was fun to hear from PJ. He has been competing and competitive nationally for many years.
He works in Aerospace which explains how he can have a car in both SP and SM that are competitive.
You will hear what he thinks makes a "Car work well".
You are not going to make the car faster if it is hard to drive.
Read as much as you can.
He posts videos online and compares with co-drivers.
He uses race render and solo storm.
He thinks to many people think only about clean run and therefore forget all the keys to a fast run.
He did as many autcross runs as possible but PJ has never attended a school or class.
You will also hear about his thoughts on Course Walks and much much more!
David Fauth is this weeks autocross interview on the podcast.
His SCCA Solo National Championships:
2005 DSP BMW 325is
2003 DSP BMW 325is
2000 G Stock Type R Integra
2001 G Stock Type R Integra
2009 FSP BMW 2002
SCCA Autocross ProSolo Championships
2006 DSP BMW 325is
2005 DSP BMW 325is
2004 DSP BMW 325is
2002 DSP BMW 325is
2001 G Stock Type R Integra
Rocky Mountain Over all Champion 2001
David is the first second time guest since the last podcast was him presenting at a local test and tune before nationals.
David is fresh off of his 6th Solo Nationals Championship (this one in CM). He mentions how this car har ruined him for normal cars.
He covers when he got into autocross as well as many of the cars he raced.
David then talks about what clicked for him. It's how he thinks about the friction circle.
A rule of his - He likes a tight line but no matter what line he wants to be maxing out the friction circle.
His dream was to win a national championship (I'm sure it's now his dream to keep winning them).
When he was single he drove every moment he could.
We relive some advice he gave me about ProSolo's which he forgot about.
And he talks a bit about going from FWD to RWD.
We chat about a bit more of the mental side more of which he covered in the previous podcast and then some about why he is constantly moving the steering wheel and throttle.
He also covers what he sees when looking at data as well as his favorite moments.
He ends with a question for a survey being "How important do you think driving a tight line its?"
This is a great talk by David Fauth on how to approach Solo Nationals from which course to walk first to how aggressive to be. He picked up autocross tips from his experience as well as from other champions like Bob Tunnell.
David has 5 Solo Nationals Class Championships to go along with 5 Pro Solo Class Championships.
He has autocrossed Dodge Neons, Acura Integra Type R's, BMW 3 series in DSP and FSP and is currently in CM.
I learned a lot from him since he lived and raced here in Denver when I began (even bought my first Integra after talking to him about is - and seeing how fast they could be).
Let us know what you learned and any Solo Nationals Autocross tips you have to share.
John Hunter is your 2013 CSP National Champion and has 9 trophies at Nationals in all.
Although his first daily driver car was a CRX SI he started autocrossing in a mild...super mildly prepped CSP Miata.
He has stepped it up and is racing with Ron Ver Mulm (www.RSRacing.com) is his beautiful Camaro. Talk about a fast car.
John started racing in 2001. He has raced Miatas, CRX, an STI, and now the Camaro.
He is a coach at the starting line schools and evo schools.
He also played "a ton of Grand Turismo".
John had a great way to think of weight transfer and we talk about Roll over vs. Lean over.
He limits his course walks to three.
He was surprised how good the late 80s 300 zx was on an autocross course (so keep your eye out for one ;).
Hope you enjoy it!
Jinx Jordan is this weeks guest. He has won a lot in his hobby of autocross including:
(2016) Driver of Eminence award
2016 Solo Nationals Driver of the Year
2010 Inducted into The Silver Circle (25 events)
2005 1st - Most Years Between First/Last Championships, Men - 29 (1987-2016)
9th - Most Trophy Finishes, Men - 26
He has SCCA Autocross Solo Championships in DSP 1987 and 1988
FSP in 2010
SMF in 2016
as well as a 1990 Solo II Championship in CSP
He is also a long time evo instructor so he has that under his belt as well so he knows how to autocross as well as teach it.
He worked for Hoosier and started in Pro Solo in the 1980's.
He advises not to touch your car at a school rather focus on you the driver.
He noted you can make 20 mental runs in the time it takes to do one real course walk.
We cover a lot including going from FWD to RWDl
He dedicated the whole year of 1983 to learning to left foot brake.
I love his advice to newbie autcrossers which is "Bring whatever you have race it and have fun".
"Good autocrossers find speed coming off of corners"
"In a slalom the first cone is your only chance to be early.:
He mentioned the book "Secrets to Aucocrossing Fast" by Dick Turner.
He also like the C5 corvette and would really like to drive an A Mod car.
Vivek Goel is this weeks guest. He has a blog to share Autocross Tips to help you with autocross racing which is www.BeyondSeatTime.com
I really tried to get great audio having Vivek record with a recorder on his end but even after hours of editing I had to revert back to the skype file. I did use a new software program (Thanks again Brian) which I think really helped cut the hiss down on his track. Still trying for better audio quality.
He has made 9 trips to solo nationals collecting 6 trophies, 1 podium and 1 top time in the class on one day.
And he autocrossed an Acura NSX for a couple of years! (I remember suggesting he get Eric Strelniecks to drive the car, he replied that Eric was to tall, so I sat in the car and realized I was also to tall and thus removed the NSX from my wanted car list.
He has designed courses in Texas as well as some for Solo Nationals. He said he struggled to become a fast driver and thinks that helps him help other people.
He is currently driving a CR2000 in STR and has driven many other cars including a Corvette.
He mentioned that it took him a long time to figure out how to driver rear wheel drive cars. He said he kept spinning them (That might be because he has a theory that the fastest way around a turn is with a slight slip angle 😉
This show features Dave Ogburn who is a multi time SCCA National Champion.
7 trips to Solo Nats, 6 trophies.
2 National Championships
A-Stock in 2011 (C5 Corvette)
C-Street in 2015 (Scion FR-S).
Triad winner in 2015 (C-Street).
3 seasons of ProSolo - 2013 - 3rd in ESP class points, 2014 - 2nd in ESP class points, 2015 - 2nd in C-Street class points
Here are some links and videos from things we discussed:
He mentioned the book "Driving on the Edge" by Michael Krumm. It's a book I really liked - Driving On The Edge: The Art and Science of Race Driving - Revised and Updated Second Edition
His website: http://www.yawmomentracing.com/
Drifting practice after a test day: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YHf4qjMbbSY
Shifter kart racing onboard from 2011: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RyZldOwR1Xs
Street race in the TAG Kart in Ohio in 2009: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4D_HZzhXWrQHe also road races but still comes back and autocrosses.
He shares a lot of insights, tips and thoughts for racing from the mental side to setup.
He worked at Honda R&D as a design engineer on suspension and had the MDX front suspension as a project. Interesting hearing how bushings on cars can impact your suspension and thus handling.
He now drives cars on a pad we should be using for auto cross in San Angelo Texas. He says he has learned a ton driving on all season tires. Don't challenge he or Lane Borg his coworker and codriver this year since they get a lot of practice!
He mentions that if you are slow in a certain type of car it might point to a weakness you can improve.
He has been autocrossing with his dad for many years and continues to do so at Nationals.
Biggest improvement has been on the mental side. He also reads a previous guests books...Ross Bentley Inner Speed Secrets: Mental Strategies to Maximize Your Racing Performance
He watches the other competitors and likes to stay calm and relaxed rather than feeling any stress.
He did quite a bit of TAG Kart Racing...who else wants a kart for the track?
Biggest key he learned in karts was getting to the limit and learning to feel it.
He has autocrosses a D Street Nissan Sentra as well as a 350Z Convertible.
He also did Baja FSAE and got to autocross them (He isn't sure what the colleges were thinking).
He bought a formula ford and ran it in CMod in 2008 and learned a lot.
He looks for areas he should be best at as a place that can separate him.
Mentally he focuses less on other people and more on good technique. He likes to rotate on entry.
Uses the DL1 for data and it is more useful with data port data.
He likes to make a car as loose in the slalom as he can handle which makes it better in sweepers.
When it comes to practicing he focuses on car setup or driver but not both at the same time.
***When at nationals he ends the practices with three runs he treats just like nationals as in they count so being clean is key. (I really like this approach as compared to mine which is probably over driving for the fun of it).
Get feedback from people and have them drive your car for you.
His dad asks him after wards about three things he did well and three he can improve on.
1:54 Walking course: 1st walk pick out key cones (circle them on map)
Mark technical areas he thinks he can use as an advantage.
Example: Fast exit slalom vs. slow exit.
He will stop after a section and rerun it in his mind and any previous sections.
He visualizes as the front view of the car like he is a GoPro on the front.
He does not preplan inputs.
He has his codriver walk them through the course - what are they seeing and planning to do.
At nationals he thinks about being as fast as possible.
He only looks at video of someone he trusts.
He thinks about the position of the car relative to cones as well as direction it is pointing.
He thinks about weight transfer and likes the book I often reference but forget the name of which is "Driving on the Edge"
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Paul Russell an 8 time Autocross National Champion in karts is also a multi time ProSolo National Champion shares his racing tips.
Share your follow up questions and thoughts on our Facebook Page.
Paul also has won 2 Pro Solo over all end of year Challenge Championships.
He has 8 Solo Autocross Championships and 7 of those in a row. He was on the cover of Sports Car magazine as Superman.
He is super when he is in his kart. He shares a lot on this podcast and one thing that stands out is how he plans/memorizes a course as separate parts "chunks".
He also has won two ProSolo Overall Challenge Championships.
He started in cars at Texas A&M and would like to get back into F Street "maybe". He is living in San Diego so if you have a F Street car for him to drive and setup let him know!
He started in karts in SCCA in the late 90's when the class was new and everyone was trying to figure it out.
He really advanced when he partnered with Eric Nelson of SeventhGear.com.
After racing on the track they really figured out how to set the kart up (more time in setup than in the engine).
Tip** Put the seat where the designer intended it to be.
Make big changes to the kart and use the time on the clock to gauge how the changes are working.
He compares autocross courses with kart tracks (tighter turns on tracks).
He talks about Super Nats in Vegas.
27:00? He covers advice for Kids Karting including buying a newer kart.
31:? 43%/57% weight balance - he advises to put the drivers seat where the manufacture planned for it to be.
36: How to buy a used kart - roll it to see if it is bent. eKartingNews.com
39: Sports Car Photo Shoot
42: How he handles the lights for ProSolo including needing to add cardboard to keep from a red-light from the staging light from flickering when launching.
45: Line choice and car vs. Kart, how tight should the seat be? (It should have some slop)
54 Walking Courses - he breaks his plans down into chunks and forgets the previous chunk when entering/loading the plan for the next one.
56: **** He looks for cheats which is like finding places where people are setting up when they don't need to because their entry speed isn't high enough to warrant it.
Recommends walking the real line.
Everyone late apexes so where can you cheat and not do it?
1:06 Know you enemy - Mental side of racing. The course is your challenge not people.
1:08 Course walks - Real vs. Social
1:14 Nationals walking - walks both courses before running either one.
1:21 He ignores his class (Well how they are doing time wise).
Only concentrate on the thing you have to do.
Focus on the first thing - Example at a pro get a good light so focus on the lights only.
Get your car sorted by June and don't touch it.
How much does it cost to have a competitive autocross shifter kart?
Always get a time - never actually DNF incase you get a rerun.
1:51 How to attack all three runs - Make the first one a bit conservative (Although he has flown off the course the first run the past two years).
Kids motor L0206
Visit his sponsor at www.Seventh-Gear.com for your karting goodies as well as Karts.
What did you learn? What questions do you have (Please let me know)?
Mike Junior Johnson is this weeks guest. He is not only a decorated Autocross champion but also owner and instructor at EvoSchool.com - Evolution Performance Driving School.
He has 10 SCCA Championships over all - 4 for Solo Nationals and 6 for ProSolo Class Championships.
2011 Driver of Eminence award, 2003 Roger Johnson Spirit of the Sport Award, and Over all ProSolo Challenge Winner 2007
He won Solo Nationals ASP class in 2006, 2007 and 2010 (2nd place in ASP 3 times)
He won FS in 2003 (2nd place in FS 2 times)
2007 ES in 99 Civic si
2003 FS Chevrolet Z-28
ASP 2006,2007,2008,2011 Corvette Z06
When I asked him what he thinks he is best at his answer was Teaching so listen in for some great tips and insights for autocross racing.
He covers a lot including his love for racing the Baja 1000 (He would consider moving there!).
We start with his early beginning in Autocrossing. He was a Honda Fan boy and Andy Hollis noted on facebook. He really liked CRX's and owned a 1988 si. Later on he won in a 1999 civic si.
6:30 - He talks about winning his first Pro Solo (He also has been the over all challenge winner for the year).
14:00 FWD vs. RWD
16:00 He was over aggressive when he began and talks about instructing people on both ends of the aggression scale.
24:00 Watched and learned from watching Mark Daddio be really aggressive after hitting a cone. (Oh and course workers are called course WORKERS for a reason.)
21:50 Don't be aggressive on corner entry
26:40 Question he most often gets is "Where do I brake" - Answer he can't tell you that, your butt should
Apexes and Trail braking are talked about to much.
28:20 Have FUN - Autocross is Hard
31:30 2 Important things: 1. Self Critique 2. Be honest with your self - could you do it better?
33:00 Phase 2 of Evo School teaches you to be our own instructor.
34:40 Look to the middle of the corner and ask how will I get there?
40:00 Anticipation is a huge part of Autocross Racing
Working Course is a great learning tool
46:20 When you get faster nothing is sneaking up on you
47:00 Course Walks Take 1 concentrated walk, walk 3 or 4 times and at the end do mental drive thru
48:50 Get your car on key cones and be on exit of a corner.
Back edge of slalom cones - Enter first couple of slalom cones at a bigger angle rather than a straight/flat angle.
1:03:00 Look through a slalom to the last cone - you will see the cones closer to you as you focus on the last one
1:11:00 Left Foot vs. Right Foot Braking -
In a kart you can get away with more than you can in a car. Karters are more likely to spin on entry. Cars need to use the brakes more.
How much weight transfer do you need?
1:21 Left foot braking takes years to learn
1:23:30 Z06 Corvette vs. Lotus Elise
1:27:40 Rival S vs. Rival S 1.5 - Shock changes rather than spring changes. Turn in is so great he doesn't know if he would want to have a Corvette turn in like that.
1:36 Mental Game
He looks at video more that data
1:38 In life think things through
1:45:30 He is best at teaching and Larry Fine is his favorite instructor
1:51 Baja 1000 - Super Fun (He would move there and race every race if he could).
2:08 He does some Teen instruction and thinks kids should practice in their cars.
2:14 Favorite car - Corvettes - 71 Stingray
Contact him at EvoSchool.com and find his classes and get seat time along with instruction!
This episode is all about course walks for autocross racing.
You will hear from 7 past guest how they approach course walking. Looking ahead or the lack thereof also comes up with many of these drivers. Listen up for autocross tips and please share yours on the Facebook page.
Brian Peters, March Scrogs, Mark Madarash, Tom Reynolds, Kim WHitner, David Whitner, Max Hater and James Yom all share their thoughts and insights.
I'd like you to post on the Facebook page for AutocrossTalk what you do, is it the same as some of these guests and where are you different? https://www.facebook.com/AutocrossTalk/
Is there anything you are now going to try after listening to their suggestions?
I find it interesting how some of us don't like to walk to much while others like to walk a lot. For some of us walking a lot has us get lazy when it comes to looking ahead. And others walks so much and memorize that they don't need to look ahead....very interesting!
I really like David's ration of 15 feet ahead for 1 foot to the side for a cars turning radius at speed. And I look forward to seeing David and Andrew Hahn debating on course walks! And he shared suggestions from Andy Hollis for considering your line if a cone wasn't there as well as his other suggestion of looking back at an element to see if your line would change.
Nicole and Jeff Wong are featured on this podcast they are multi time SCCA Autocross Champions.
Nicole has 6 SCCA Solo Nationals Championships
Jeff has 4 SCCA Solo Nationals Championships
2010 ST Honda Civic Si, 2011 STX Honda Civic Si, 2012 STC Honda Civic Si, 2016 STS
They both have won trophies all 8 trips to Nationals.
SCCA Autocross Pro Solo Championships
Jeff was the calls winner in 2011 STX and 2016 STS
They started in STX and are currently back in STX after many years in the Civic Si, Civic Del Sol Si and CRX Si.
We cover a lot of autocross tips and thoughts in this 2 hour podcast including some thoughts on setup as well as what ProPartsUSA.com sells and services suspension wise.
We cover course walks and the mental practices of each of them as well as car setup.
Jeff's goal to set the car up for feel really stands out to me.
Jeff also recommends to get dyno graphs with shocks!
Several people have asked about more specifics on shocks and setup and Matt Davis is on the show to share his insights.
He worked at Bilstein for years in Design Engineering and got his start with the FSAE group in college.
He spent almost an entire 2 years running a shock dyno at Bilstein. I don't think I asked what that shock dyno would cost if we wanted to buy it.
We start by getting his background in racing and then I get to ask noob questions (hopefully you have some of the same questions).
Here is the car swing they used for the FSAE car: Car inertia swing (was hoping it was a crazy swing like the ones people can do a 360 on yes you need to see those on YouTube).
Should you do shocks first or springs and sway bars?
Let us know what you learned and what questions you have!
Autocross Talk on YouTube (Would you like to see more of these there?)
Some of my Autocross Coaching videos here.
And if you are on SnapChat I am as well: KinchReindl
Nick is the guest on this podcast. He was just awarded the 2016 Solo Rookie of the Year for Autocross.
He was 2nd place in the STR class which had 64 drivers - driving a S2000. And he wasn't even driving his own car (which helps since he no longer owns an autocross car).
I think you will get some good autocross tips and things to try after listening to this podcast. ***He started autocrossing in 2013*** so he caught on quickly. And you will hear how he learns while not actually racing.
Yes he has video game racing experience and talks about the setup he uses which makes the braking feel real.
He has driven in STS in a Civic and a CRX, as well as an ES Miata.
He talks about how he looks at data and videos and we will share a link below to some of his data.
He talks about over driving on purpose for practice as well as not being able to duplicate being fast with applying throttle later. (It worked for a codriver but he had to find another way to drive faster.)
And a tip I'm looking forward to implementing - watching videos at 1/2 or quarter speed. (I tried this and had to mute the volume on my coaching video to keep watching it.)
I thought we were going to wrap up the interview when he mentioned owning a kart so we had to hear about that. He has a 4 stroke kart which sounds much more up my alley for lower maintenance!
Let us know what stands out to you!
Nick's local Shop: http://ariaauto.ca/
His local club: http://www.vcmc.ca/
His runs at Solo Nationals 2016 that earned him Rookie of the Year honors: Nick's autocross runs
Side by side runs: Autocross Side by Side runs
And Nick reviewing data of a run: Nick's Data Video Autocross
This was a fun interview with Chris Shenefield who is SCCA Solo Nationals Champion and owner of RedShift Motorsports.
He is your 2002 STS National Champion in a Civic Si (9 trophies over all).
He has been 2nd four times in ES, STS, STS and STF
Third 2 times in STS and STF
We cover a lot of topics including something a little different which is talking about running his business including the ups and downs of business. And he shares his autocross tips and suggestions.
Chris is a Washington DC native who used to be into BMX bikes (think half pipe).
He first raced at Pen State in a 1985 VW GTI. He then moved to a BMW 328 agains Jason Tipple who had an 89 Civic si, which he bought from him later on and ended up and winning Solo Nationals with.
Chris has a lot of knowledge when it comes to shocks since he has worked on and sold them for many years. And he has a cool shock dyno that he actually uses to learn. We covers lots of thoughts on shocks.
He also covers his setup thoughts including having the front wheel drive cars being higher in the front. As well as lowering tire pressure when you want less grip rather than adding tire pressure.
He credits Sam Strano and Ron Bauer for their advice at an EVO School.
This podcast features Ross Bentley of SpeedSecrets.com and SpeedSecretsWeekly.com.
He is the author of 7 Speed Secrets books.
We cover a lot of topics to help you become a better racer. He is know for his mental tips and exercises.
What makes super stars super? How they practice!
You can practice Sensory Input Sessions to help focus on learning: auditory, sight or kinetic. Why? Because better quality input makes a better driver.
Seats are really important (I really really am going to get one I fit in and even add some weight in seat belts to help with feeling the car through the seat).
And we cover left foot braking and how important braking in general is.
Great thoughts on the brake zone. Like how you come off of the brake pedal is more important than how you press it. And there are 3 ways you can come off of the pedal and you can vary that depending on the turn.
How many of you look at brake pressure traces?
He covers weight transfer in detail (Hearing it several times now I think it is sinking in).
Change of speed is huge to watch since slowing to much can make you think you have more grip than you really do.
Taking notes is important which has me wondering how many of us could benefit from notes on our course maps after each run?
We also cover mental imagery but at a much higher level like John Vitamvas talked about where you add movement as well.
Lets us know what you learned!
AutocrosHouston Autocross Roundtable with Zack Barnes, Roger H. Johnson, Daniel McCelvey, Jackie Mutschler and Doug Wille
The First in person Autocross Talk Podcast the Houston Roundtable featuring:
(Who coordinated and came up with the idea) SEB board member and has run Classes DP, CS, CP, FP, STX
Roger H Johnson Mr Course Designer extraordinaire winner of:
Roger Johnson Spirit of the Sport Award 1998
Solo Nationals Event Chair, 2005, 2006
SCCA Hall of Fame 2015
Solo Cup, the Sport's Highest Award 2003
2016 National Champion C Street Mazda MX5 Miata
2013 National Champion C Stock Nissan 370Z
2016 Won the largest class ever, overall - 86 cars in C Street
Jackie Mutschler 2 Time National Champion
1997 FSL National Champion Camaro
2014 FSL National Champion Camaro
Previous SEB Member
Autocross Topics covered
Autocross Car setup, rotation mid corner using brakes versus lifting, Course walks (for some over doing causes second guessing the game plan), driving in the rain, metal side of racing, using data and video to improve, watching and riding to learn, Instructing thoughts, running local events as a morning and afternoon event and much much more.
Daniel reviews his thoughts of the 2nd days runs at Nationals where he wins the largest class ever in drying conditions.
Knowing where the apex is of each turn so you can look there, so as you can drive there. Watch the following to see how long Nico looks at the apex.
F1 Video Eye Tracking - Nico Hulkenberg
This is the 2nd half of Sam Strano's autocross interview.
Among Sam's many accomplishments are the SCCA Autocross 2008 Driver of the Year 2012 Driver of Eminence.
Sam covers some autocross tips and setup suggestions.
Sam talks about the history of his family's automotive businesses.
Sam talks about his favorite memories of he and then Shelly wining the driver of eminence awards.
He talks about the setup for the corvette and Focus ST.
He reminisces about Kevin Youngers 2011 Nationals Course.
He points out that he can sell any parts that Summit Racing sells so make sure you contact him www.StranoParts.com
He talks about his favorite cars and ones he is interested in. Who knew he was interested in an Audi R8?
This is part one of two episodes of Sam Strano's interview.
Sam covers a lot of autocross lessons in this first 3 hours from his history, to course design, mental attitude and autocross schools (taking and teaching autocross skills).
He mentions how he and Tim Aero would talk for hours about autocrossing. (Much like we do on this podcast)
He fits in a Mark Daddio story from way back.
Also covers his setup for his cars.
You can call him Mr. Pony car he has been really successful driving them. (Although he also drove a MR2 back in the day)
He suggests to change things as experiments.
He covers giving instructional advice.
He reviews a light bulb moment from Jim McKamey in a Phase 1 school.
He covers how he and you can learn from co-drivers as well as watching others.
He thinks looking ahead is over rated. (We've heard this from other National Champions). He expands on this to explain how he looks through turns.
Connect with Sam and find your OEM and go fast parts at www.StranoParts.com
Sam Strano SCCA Autocross Awards and Championships
Driver of year: 2008
Driver of Eminence 2012
ProSolo Overall Challenge Winner 2009
7 SCCA Solo National Championships
--5 consecutive championships
ESP 2006, 2004, 2002
F Stock 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007
SCCA ProSolo Championships
SSR 2015, 2014
FS 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2002
ESP 2006, 2004
Green Light Award 2016
4 Prosolo Challenge Wins
Triad Winner 2010
This episode features John Vitamvas.
He has 5 Solo Nationals trophies including a 2nd and 3rd in DSP.
I really like his insights and opinions on topics such as looking ahead. Maybe you can relate because he doesn't actually think of it as looking ahead.
He talks about practicing on the street for brake pedal feel as well as other common autocross techniques.
He also covers feeling weight transfer and how the boxter was good for learning that.
He has the opinion that the Elise is and evil car (we don't all bond with all cars - I remember Andy Hollis saying how he didn't bond with the Porsche GT3 on the autocross track).
He thinks he has made all of the Street Prepared mistakes and reviews those.
He covers his thoughts on LSD limited slips for autocross versus limited slip LSD for track applications. For autocross you want a more open diff on deceleration (I believe since autocross courses have many more and much tighter turns we don't want the limited slip differential keeping both drive wheels locked together like a kart which needs to lift a wheel to turn).
He also covers a visualization technique from previous guest Neal Tovsen of ConeCoach.com which has him sitting in his car at home visualizing and feeling positive.
He mentions how Sam Strano taught him to look for little details like bumps on the course which can upset the car if your line choice includes them. (The prosolo courses at nationals usually include a few lips).
He covers his mental strategy for prosolo as well as treating course walks everywhere like it is Solo Nationals.
He mentions how helpful it can be to have a spotter watching your runs to give you extra feed back.
Like other guests he talks about the benefits of using video and data from your autocross runs in combination with reviews from others.
He relates how he applies a ski lesson from his dad of looking between the gates to autocross courses.
John Vitamvas started his autocrossing in a late 80's black RX7 turbo in highschool in the late 90s. He then took years off being that he was in college and he had a limited budget.
His next car was a Ford Taurus SHO, he then stepped up to a E36 BMW M3.
His first trophy at nationals was in a RX8 (Which he thinks is the car for DSP and would make a great SM car.)
He also drove a Boxter S in AS with no limited slip. He loved the C5 Corvette Z06 that he autocrossed (I think we all would).
His favorite car is his DSP BMW.
He would like to drive Beth's SSM RX7 with the 3 rotor.
He thanks Peter Florance of http://pftuning.com/ for all of his help and patience.
He also thanks Sam Strano for his knowledge to go along with the parts he sells both OEM and performance. http://www.stranoparts.com/
Teddie Alexandrova shares her insights on her autocross and racing life including working SCCA's Track Night in America and SCCA's Starting Line school.
She is your 2015 F Street Ladies National Champion in a BMW M3 and your 2013 RTR Ladies National Champion in a Honda S2000 CR.
Teddie started racing in 2007 in "her baby" E46 BMW M3.
She actually did a few track events before trying autocross.
She made friend's with fast people. Reminds me of the saying you are the average of the 5 people you hang out with the most.
She was tempted to give up on autocross because she wasn't fast. She made it to an Evo School for Autocross Coaching before giving up and turned the corner after the school and started improving.
I really like how she said driving with a purpose and intent is how she improved. Every event/run are you focused on improving something?
We discuss her knowledge of NC Miata's as well as RX8's (bigger miata).
She discusses thoughts of braking early and how stock cars handle with their softer suspension.
It was interesting hearing how she had not seen national style sweepers because her local lot was skinny so there were only offsets. (I just saw a video linked on Reddit under autocross where an event in Florida was held on a regular road with ditches and power poles ahh, they also wouldn't know what a sweeper looks like.)
She brings up being seamless when transferring weight in the car so as not to notice the nose of the car diving.
She has listened to enough podcasts to know I was going to bring up the left foot or right foot braking question.
She talks about the STU cars they have and how they moved all their suspension form the older car to the newer car right before nationals. Why the move, MORE POWER and a higher speed 2nd gear.
She mentions how to setup a 99 miata sport with the sway bar and racing beat sway bar.
Ever thought of running on crappy tires? Well it can teach you to anticipate. (Don't setup your car for the wrong tires though!)
She and Brian use a headrest mount for their video camera because seeing hand inputs is sooo important.
She covers the SCCA Starting Line Schools (Autocross Coaching). Sounds like a lot of seat time and comes with a free local entry and a Track Night in America entry as well. Sign me up!
I liked her saying "be hungry for what's next on the autocross course".
And "unwind the wheel until it affects you line".
She has a list/plan of what to work on this autocross event.
It was fun and insightful!
Andy Hollis a multi time Solo and ProSolo national Champion and 3 time overall ProSolo Championships
This podcast has a lot of great tips including:
- mental preparation
- tire testing vs. testing your setup with the tires
- attacking and releasing the brake pedal
- benefits of coaching
- car setup
- and a few more things...
Andy Hollis over dub run of Nationals Course: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEa4sHQ1weY
5 SCCA Solo National Championships:
1995 HS Mazda MX-6
2010 STX Honda Civic SI
2011 ST Honda Civic SI
2012 STF Mazda 2
2014 SMF Honda CRX
3 Overall Pro Solo JCJ Cup Championships 2012, 2010, 2006
5 ProSolo Class championships:
1990 DS Honda CRX Si
1994 D Stock Honda CRX Si
1995 H Stock Mazda MX-6
2006 STS Mazda Miata
2012 STF Mazda 2
14 Pro Solo Super Challenge event wins
Served full terms on Solo Events Board, STAC, and SAC (twice)…20 years total.
30 years autocross instructor for Dick Turner, Autocrosser’s Inc, Pro Solo Novice Schools, Yokohama Tour Schools, Cone Clinic, Evolution
One Lap of America: Six-time Top Ten Overall
Regular Contributor: Grassroots Motorsports Magazine
Jason Tipple is a two time SCCA national champion with a 2001 STS Championship and a 2007 FSP Championship both in a Civic Si.
We cover a lot of topics in this episode which makes sense for someone who started autocrossing in 1993. (I'm a bit jealous I didn't start back then!)
He like to tinker from the beginning and has been in classes street tire and street prepared classes most of the time.
He's driven cars including: Ford Probe GT, NX2000, Mitsubishi Evolution, BSP S2000 and of course a Civic Si or two.
He talks about setting up the cars as well as his thoughts on limited slips and their autocross applications.
Andrew Pallotta - Solo Nationals Driver of the Year
- Solo Nationals Driver of the Year
- 2014 Solo Nationals Rookie of the Year
- 2015 Super Challenge win in ES MR2
Solo National Championships
- 2016 G Street National Champion Ford Focus ST
- 2015 ES National Champion in MR2
- 2014 STX National Champion in Scion FR-S
- 2010 STU National Champion in Mitsubishi Evo VIII
ProSolo National Championships
- 2016 G Street National Champion Ford Focus ST
- 2013 STX National Champion in Scion FR-S
I'm noticing something with these super fast drivers...they have spent a lot of time playing car racing games and are quick in real cars as well.
(Andrew met Tom O'Gorman playing R Factor) He said playing race simulators was huge in his development.
The Toledo Pro Solo hooked him.
He switches cars because he gets bored easily.
He thought he was a setup guy.
He suggests watching Sam Strano's videos (and I recommend watching Andrew's as well).
- Run 1 throw caution to the wind (nothing to win or lose - finds out what the car has in it)
- Safe if run 1 was coned
- Run 3 put together what he learned.
Early adopter of Solo Storm for data acquisition.
He likes to keep his hands at 9 and 3 (I'm trying to practice this on the street, I'm sooo hooked on shuffle steering).
He tries to walk a lot at Nationals (but then clarifies a lot is not 10 times each) and notes that you should walk by yourself to focus.
He hasn't done much road racing (so we will have to do our best to compete with him).
There is much much more in this episode, enjoy!
George has a national championship and Dee has three.
James Yom is this weeks guest. You can call him Mr. S2000 and a self proclaimed Honda Fan boy who transitioned from a Prelude to S2000s. (I want to drive a S2000 after this interview!)
He has 3 Solo National Championships and 3 Prosolo National Championships.
He thanks Henry Bjoin, Brian Karwan of Karcepts, Gernby E-tune, West End Alignment as well as Doug Rowse and Brian Peters (check out episode number one to hear from Brian).
He has lots of great insight from a personal favorite to drive faster cars fast in the fast sections not the transitions.
He talks about setting up his car for Re71Rs vs BFG Rival S. He is working on looking ahead and swears he doesn't look ahead. That seems crazy to me that he has won so much without looking ahead. So if you don't look ahead take note to what he says about his approach.
He is a pilot who can often make events around the country so if you can offer him a codrive he might just show up. - Make sure you offer him a codrive in FWD 😉
It was a fun chat. I hope you get a lot out of it, I know I did.
Max Hayter is this weeks guest he is a multi time ProSolo National Champion as well as National Champion.
SCCA Solo National Champion in DS in 2015
SCCA ProSolo National Championships in STU in 2008 and 2006
He was into triathlons before getting hooked on car racing. His first WRX came with a SCCA membership.
In 2004 he made every single practice and event (Yes Southern Cali has a Saturday practice before every Sunday event - I want to make some of these!!!).
He talks about he WRX he piloted to the National Championship in 2015. He has been running the Bridgestone tires (not as much time to test other tires since he now has a wife and young baby).
He talks about the changes from driving AWD to RWD. (adding gas when loose = spinning in RWD).
He uses video over data to check his proximity to cones and lines.
Being an instructor he learned as much as the people he was instructing.
He prefers a drift over a push.
He also won the Super Challenge in 2009 in Wendover (I was a witness to his march to the win since he took me out or better yet helped me take myself out - he gave me a two cone gift and I gave him three cone gifts on the second side).
Kim and David have racked up a lot of wins and awards in a relatively short time competing in the national SCCA events.
Kim's Wins and Awards
National Championships: 2013 STSL, 2012 STSL, 2011 STSL
ProSolo Class Championships: 2015 L3, 2014 L3, 2013 L3
Overall ProSolo Ladies Champion: 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012 (That is a lot of winning and lots of practice in challenges!
Triad Winner 2013
National Championships: 2016 STF, 2015 STF, 2013 STS, 2012 STS
ProSolo: 2016 STF, 2015 STF, 2013 STS, 2012 STS
Triad Winner 2013
They have great stories and great insights. From saying they were not good for a long time to how they got coaching and seat time to improve.
He even explains his beef with me when I mentioned driving lots of cars in a previous podcast He said it is funny he said this since they have been changing cars each year.
Their team concept is great. Do you check your alignment at each race? How about after the race if your car won?
David makes shocks "Whitener Racing Shocks" for Honda Civic's, CRX's and Mazda Miata's. Having just drove his car at the Pro Solo Finale I can tell you it handled great!
Tom Reynolds a multi time SCCA national trophy winner.
He is currently racing a new ND Miata in STR and talks a bit about the power and weight compared to the class. He is always looking for a daily driver he can compete in. (and in general always looking which helps him compete with Annie and Danny for the Lazlo's dinner)
He has a lot of great advice about how he learned. He has trophied in a variety of classes including STR, FS, STX, RTA, RT4 and F125.
He took his first car and built it for SM (something he says he will not do again).
He credits buying a competitive car with becoming competitive which I totally agree with. At first be a lemming and copy what works!
He has taken EVO schools and credits Brian Peters, Sam Strano and Andrew Pallotta for helping him improve.
His first autocross car was a Mitsubishi Eclipse GST (I so wanted one of those back when they were new).
His favorite car was his 1st C5 Z06. He is a right foot braker who would build a CM or BM car with an unlimited budget - those of you with one to sell should entice him by letting him know. 😉
This episode features Howard and Linda Duncan who have lived, breathed and worked in the autocross arena for decades. Howard has worked for the SCCA for over 20 years.
This episode covers many topics from their beginning in the sport to street survival, to the size of lots in case you are planning to build one :).
- Howard's favorite car a 63 MGB
- How courses used to be longer yet skinnier gates 12' and 35' minimum slalom
- Beginning of ProSolo
- SEB feedback - if you support something let the SEB know
- Should clubs look to build sites to keep the support alive
- Future of Solo and ProSolo
- Linda's favorite car Jeff Jacobs Mini Cooper and a FRS
- Percent of women in the sport has dropped
- Sponsorship opportunities with the SCCA
- Woolf Barnato Trophy, SCCA’s highest honor, 2015
- Solo Cup, the sport's highest award, 1993
- Roger Johnson Spirit of the Sport Award, 2005
- 1999 STL Champion - Honda Prelude
- 2001 STSL Champion - Subaru Impreza
Howard Duncan's Awards
Linda Duncan's Awards - 6th - Most Trophy Finishes, Women - 18
This episode features Neal Tovsen of ConeCoach.com where he has posts with autocross tips and thoughts.
Neal has 10 National Trophy's half of which were 2nd place.
At nationals he has competed in: CSP, STX, DP, BS, GS and SM.
He started in 1998 and started instructing at schools a few years later which he found helped his driving as well. The concept of teaching what you have learned is something good todo in all aspects of your life.
Best advice is to go to SCCA Solo Nationals and drive (don't expect to win rather take it all in).
He has lots of great thoughts. Lets us know what you think at our Facebook page. Please leave us a review on iTunes and signup with your email at AutocrossTalk.com
He mentioned the PocketCast app for Android devices so I've added AutocrossTalk to their list of available podcasts.
Today's episode features Mark Scroggs who is a multi time national champion in E Street. He started in 1992 so he laughs a bit at being the 2014 SCCA rookie of the year. He practiced a lot before coming to nationals
He won G Street in 2014 and 2015 at Solo Nationals and was the Pro Solo Champion in 2015 in G Street.
This interview starts off without the usual open because he got right into good content before I had a chance to have an intro. I call that "good tape". So you will hear about people he is appreciative of from his wife to Sam Strano and about the setup of his Focus ST.
He started autocrossing in 1992 (wish I did as well), 1st car was AWD Talon (zero to 60 in under 7 seconds if I recall).
He is fast with only his right foot working both pedals.
He has driven a lot of cars and gets opportunities to do so when coaching/teaching others.
He would do course walks with fast people when he began.
- He walks by himself (to focus)
- Walks early when he is fresh
- Pictures the game plan
- Visualizes how the car suspension is moving
For newbies he suggests the above along with getting ride alongs.
In this episode I talk about tips and thoughts to become a faster driver. Including riding with people, having people drive your car and recording other drivers (video and or data).
This episode was inspired by events after I finished the worst I might have ever finished at a ProSolo class competition. After that I worked the challenge since I wasn't in it so as I could watch the faster drivers to see what they were doing. (and maybe as a bit of punishment) Tight triumphed over wider with David Whitner winning the challenge and being the tightest and most consistent.
I also talk about my bone head decision to drive a wider line on the second day in the larger sweeper to carry more speed through it. (note to self I’ve never ever ever ever seen a wide line be faster in data analysis). I ran solo storm to verify my wide line in the sweeper was .6 slower. I found a positive that I had a game plan and followed it but the part about driving faster on a wider line was silly.
Working the challenge lead me to the practice course where the real fun and learning began for the weekend. (The test course is a great benefit of coming to spring nationals)
Riding with the likes of Sam Strano and Matthew Braun was enlightening and lead to many more conversations and thoughts about driving styles. I drove more cars and rode in more cars than I think I have ever before.
Witnessing the differences in the lines and techniques of Sam Strano and Matthew Braun ,both multi time national champions, was more than interesting. Also riding with slower people showed the importance of staying on a tighter line.
I and loved Matthew quote of “I don’t believe in setting up”. I’d describe his line choice as point and shoot. He even sets up his cars to accommodate his style of braking hard to get the car to rotate so as he can mash the gas.
What are your thoughts on driving style?
Share here on AutocrossTalk.com and the Facebook page (AutocrossTalk).
First competitive car C4 Corvette
- AS 2009 Chevrolet Corvette
- AS 2004 Chevrolet Corvette
- 2002 Chevrolet Corvette
- BS 2011 Chevrolet Corvette
- AS 2005 Chevrolet Corvette
- AS 2002 Chevrolet Corvette
- FS 1996 Pontiac Firebird
This show features Ron Williams who is a multi time SCCA National Champion. He covers many topics from when he began with is dad to his thoughts on making shock changes after a first run (hint are your tires warmed up on your first run?)
Ron has won in 4 different classes and really enjoys the front wheel drive cars and has been very successful with them.
Ron owns and operates South West Auto Service
2010 SW Ashworth Pl, Topeka Kansas (785) 272-3232
I recommend him and trust his expertise so much so that I had him setup and do maintenance on my civic.
Solo Nationals Championships
2014 STC pg 292 Civic si
2013 RTA DS Audi TT
2012 FSP Civic
2008 HS Mini Cooper
2007 GS pg Mini Cooper S
2009 HS Mini Cooper
2007 GS Mini Cooper S
This show is all about Autocross Slaloms where you can hear the tips and techniques from some of the fastest people in autocross.
Bob and Patty Tunnell Slalom Tips
- Turn Early (turn out of phase aka turn early)
- Pay attention to the 1st cone
- Don't late apex the last cone, just avoid it
- Late apex less and less toward the end if fast toward the end
- Bonus: Universal Truth - turns over 120 degrees the shortest line is the fastest 99.9% of the time
Brian Peters Slalom Tips
- Best quote "If I'm hitting the brake in a slalom something bad is happening typically"
- Set the speed for the slalom when tucking in the first cone.
- Slaloms are a place you can find 80 feet of acceleration by staying ahead in them
- Look 3 or 4 cones into the slalom
Julian Garfield Slalom Technique
- Come into the Slalom under control keeping the acceleration and braking at a minimum.
- First cone is very important
- That fourth cone gets hit when you are lazy on the first cone.
Leslie Cohen Slalom Tips
- Slow down a slalom cone ahead of the slalom
- You want to drive the slalom
- See the whole slalom
- Come out of the slalom accelerating
- Who you listen to is important
- Draw arcs to see where you car will be
Tom Berry Slalom Tips
- Learned a ton from Data Acquisition
- Settle the car before entering any turn
- Present the car to the slalom
- Have moderate acceleration going into the slalom
- Come off the brake really smoothly
Ron Williams Slalom Tips
- Have an attack mentality - Be on your toes
- Attack the back side of the cones
- Aggressive on steering inputs - turn the wheel as fast as you can.
Jason Frank Slalom Tips
- Start at the beginning of the slalom
- Late Apex, Late Apex, Late Apex
- Keep a steady state (you've heard this a few times already)
- Accelerate out the backside
- Every once in a while his plan to slow before entering doesn't work
Multi-Time National Champion Jason Frank is this weeks guest on the Autocross Talk Podcast.
His Solo National Championships: 2007 STS, 2013 STC, 2015 STS
His ProSolo Championships: 2011 STC, 2012 STC, 2014 STS
Triad Award 2013, And he has also won a ProSolo Challenge
Jason Frank is MR. STS/C having won many championships and competed in the class since 2002. I met him several years ago when I entered the class in a civic myself.
He is one of the experts for the civic and crx ST platform, if you are planning to win in the class you have to somehow get past him.
He shares his thoughts on codrivers , data acquisition and much more.
- Look ahead first before doing anything next
- The early apex cone is very very rare.
- You should focus on the second cone, the exit cone
- It's not a horsepower contest, hang onto the corners
- People should drive more cars (other people’s cars) to improve their driving, he said jumping onto these cars made him a much better driver
This show features Scott Fraser
- Solo Nationals Driver of the Year 2012
- National Champion CSP 2012, 2010
- Cam Sport 2014 and 2015
- 12 National Solo Trophies
- 4 ProSolo Championships including 2008 CSP and 2012 CSP
He has raced front wheel drive to rear wheel drive including VW Rabbit, CSP Miata and a Cobra 427 and look for him in a Porsche 911.
2009 Driver of Eminence award
7 Solo National Championships
2015 ASP National Champion
2003, 2007, 2008, 2009 BSP National Champion
1995, 1996 DSP National Champion
One over all Challenge Championship, Runner up to over all and 15 Class Championships and 10 Challenge Wins
TOM BERRY NOTES
- Started in 1976 when he was a freshman at University of California Riverside and saw a flyer for UC Riverside Auto Club
- He described the experience as very archaic compared to what we do now
- They were racing in parking lots
- He continued doing it from '76 to '79
Were you always around cars?
- Not very much, very little exposure but I was always interested in cars
- "It's still a passion for me, it's not just something I do for a living."
- Honda Civic 79/80 that my then girlfriend (now wife) Theresa had and we repaired and started racing.
- Life happened - marriage, kids and work so Tom didn't race for a decade and came back on the circuit in '91
How does that help driving different cars?
- It helps you adapt easily in different conditions
Left or Right foot braking?
- Left, most cars respond to left foot braking
"We have our weekend events to practice and I just show up with a helmet at times."
It is eye opening for people to ride with others for progression of their driving skills.
TOP TIPS on Slaloms
- I was doing it wrong for years.
- We didn't have data acquisition or a feedback system so you mainly learned from watching and riding with people.
- SETTLE THE CAR BEFORE YOU ENTER, changing the speed before entry - presents the car on the slalom much smoother, as opposed to standing on its nose.
- Braking a bit later, it's not about how he is applying the brake, it's how he's letting go of it (in reference to Brian)
- When I started in '76the parking lot we practiced in was like a long line, very archaic
- DL One
- I'm not a techie but Marshall and Christine set it up.
Coming off the brakes and release it much easier
Learning by watching - you should try getting in somebody's car because you can always learn a little something from everybody
Challenges and experiments - change the car and try a different set up
If you are stagnant and you haven't changed anything - if you're not tying different stuff you're getting passed up.
It's like business - if you're business plan hasn't moved in the last 5 years, then you're not successful.
- It's easy to do too little or too much
- I walk it once and analyze it - and then I walk the second time
- I vocalize the course and it helps me solidify in my head
- Half a dozen KEY CONES
- A mistake I made was walking the course too much - you're no longer forcing the brain to look ahead
- Looking ahead - I'm not sure I do that well. I think it's more important for the beginners than intermediate people.
- Don't concentrate too much on looking ahead, focus on THINKING ahead
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.
- 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.
This show features Danny Kao who was your 2012 Johnson Spirit of the Sport Award Winner.
It was a lot of fun to learn more about Danny who is another of the great people in our autocross community!
Danny started autocrossing at the end of 2006 and I bet he has autocrossed as much as anyone since then. He thinks he 450 runs per year (59 autocrosses). He makes every test and tune in the DC area.
I totally forgot to ask him about his theory that relates the PSI it takes to seat a tire to how fast it will be compared to other tires. Danny has a tire mounting machine in his house.
Danny did lots of tire testing last year and shared all of his findings and experiences to help the rest of us who use street tires the time and expense of testing. He is very active on forums and Facebook.
If you think you have a car addiction maybe not once you compare your purchases to his before starting autocross in 2006 he thinks he owned 55 or 60 cars.
He started in CSP kind of by accident and he is once again in CSP for 2016 and has been building a Miata from the ground up – he shared lots of photos on Facebook. Danny shares a lot, a lot of fun which explains him winning the Spirit of the Sport Award Winner.
Classes Danny Kao has run: CSP, GS, STX, STU, SS, F125 (KM)
Started autocrossing at the end of 2006 – before that he was a hobby guy – basketball, golf, motorcyles then he started fixing cars.
His first autocross car was a Miata he found for $1300 thought he would road race it but was told he should try autocross.
After the Miata, he showed up with a new Evo in STU.
Fun first more than anything else – it’s not about competing or doing well, fun is the number one priority. “If I get there, I want everyone to have fun or have a good time. I don’t want to go to an event where everyone is miserable.”
Jokes around and let people loosen up. Keep everybody happy.
At least 450 runs a year on average.
Played too much golf between 1996-98, at least 500 rounds a year.
“I don’t focus on the bad. I can remember the good part, the fun part. The first 5-6 years, I didn’t really learn a lot.”
Majority, on the places I thought I did good, I did poorly. Now, I can go back to the data and evaluate and say, confirm that I didn’t do well.
When I first started, I tried to conserve distance by making everything into a triangle.
Right or left foot braker? Initially a left. Every time I get nervous, my left foot just constantly hovers the brake.
Modulating the throttle – that’s when I started driving the car the way it should be driven. That’s how I got faster.
Knowing what your limitations.
The last three years he can actually feel what the car is doing.
Episode 3 features Bob and Patty Tunnell Driver of Eminence award winners and multi time autocross champions. It was great to hear their history in the sport.
Their business is BimmerHaus.com and it was interesting hearing how apprehensive Patty was to buy that first BMW and now that is just about all they will drive.
Towards the end we get to hear about one of their passions of helping people in Afghanistan you can learn more and support the cause at http://www.barekaub.com/
I was surprised to learn that Patty does NOT like to ride along with Bob and don't invite her to a roller coaster.
We still don't know who was in the halfway house. But we do know that Bob uses his left foot for braking and Patty her right.
- Solo Cup, the sport's highest award 2007
- Driver of Eminence award, 2002
- Inducted into The Silver Circle (25 events), 2010
- Keeper of the Old Fartz list
- 2nd - Most Family Championships - 2nd - 19 (Bob 6, Patty 13)
- 7 ProSolo Class National Championships (92, 95, 97, 98, 00, 03, 06)
- ProSolo Street Tuner Challenge Championship (07)
- Solo Nationals Sportsmanship Award (05)
- Rocky Mtn. Division Ricky Peña Award (03)
- Rocky Mtn. Division Driver Of The Year (04)
- Driver of Eminence award, 2002
- Roger Johnson Spirit of the Sport Award, 2002
- Inducted into The Silver Circle (25 events), 2010
- Won the largest Street Prepared Ladies class ever (1 of 2) - 13 cars in BSPL in 2001
- No. 1 Among Women in Who’s Who In Solo - 464 points (2nd overall)
- 1st - Most Trophy Finishes, Women - 24
- 1st - Trophy Streak, Ladies - trophied in 17 consecutive events
- 2nd - Most Family Championships - 19 (Bob 6, Patty 13)
- 3rd - Most Championships, Women - 13
- 6th - Most Events Competed In, Women - 30
- 2 ProSolo Class National Championships (00, 02)
- 2 ProSolo Overall Ladies Championships (00, 02)
This episode is with Julian Garfield who has won 5 junior kart championships in autocross and has a 2nd in CSP and 3rd place finish in DSP at nationals. And the third place was with his mom riding shot gun since he only had his drivers permit.
Julian has great insight on kart setup and driving which was all new to me. If you are a parent of a junior kart driver take notes.
He talks about adding distance to keep the junior kart in the torque band rather than taking a tight line which would bog the kart. Sounds like physics supports a wider line at times.
Julian was written up in my My SCCA Life - Click Here for the Julian Garfield article.
www.thestudentdriver.blogspot.com - "Student Driver" Julian Garfield brings a fresh perspective to the automotive world.
This was a fun and insightful interview with Brian Peters who is a multi SCCA national champion and pro solo champion. He is fast and shares his thoughts with us.
Brian was the 2015 Driver of Eminence award winner and multi time national champion in SOLO and Pro Solo in many different classes.
Brian started out in 1999 when he got invited to an event – had a great time and realized he was good at it, been doing it since.
His first car: Toyota Cressida AT ‘80 - Check out a photo here.
In the beginning Brian hit some local events and traveled a bit. The first few years was just really about having fun for him.
- One of his tips: It’s really just a matter of coming with a baseline and testing – maximizing car strength.
- There’s no one way to drive – each driver is different.
- Brian likes a stable car but he’s more about responsive car.
- He thinks: How quickly can you get the car through the element?
- There’s complications that won’t allow the driver to focus in front of the car like they should.
- How far ahead do you scan? It’s a matter of really knowing what’s coming up – it’s too late to make changes. It’s really a matter of being one feature ahead. Timing is vital.
- It’s more of a challenge on the front-wheel drive to keep the balance.
- The first walk is important – you have to put together a good mental plan on what to do. Timing is really important too.
- On walking the course: One or two casual walks at bigger events – then one for myself to focus.
- Are you picking all the elements? I walk through my exits. I make sure I have visuals on every exit. You don’t look at single cones – I draw mental lines off the corners.
- I don’t think about car placements on entries, I don’t look at entrances.
If Brian could drive anybody’s car right now? Kiesel’s will be high on the list.
If Brian could build any car? A Mustang - I kinda pick the underdogs. (I forgot to ask him then why a corvette...oh this was a question with unlimited budget
Awards - 2015 Driver of Eminence
- 2008 CSP Mazda MX5
- 2010 DSP BMW 330i
- 2012 FS Mustang
- 2013 STR Nissan 350Z
- 2014 STU Nissan 350Z
- 2015 ESP Mustang
Pro Solo National Championships
- 2010 DSP Class Championship
- 2015 ESP Class Championship
Hello Racers and welcome to Autocross Talk where you can learn from some of the best as well as learn a bit more about them.
Please share your questions and thoughts!
Kinch Reindl Autocross Addict