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.