5 Leslie Cohen multi-time National Champion and ProSolo National Champion

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.

LeslieCohenDesign.com
Leslie on houzz

Wins

  • 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

Leslie Quotes

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.

Episode 1 Brian Peters your SCCA 2015 Driver of Eminence winner and autocross champion many times over

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.

Brian’s thoughts:

  • 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

National Championships

  • 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