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The golden rule of Autocross is sort of "run what you brung" until you get a proper feel for the car.

You can throw parts at it, but unless you have some experience behind the wheel they probably aren't going to help you much until you have ample seat time.



I would leave it stock and run it, until you have a few weekends under your belt. It'll save you money in the long run, since you'll have a better idea of how you should improve it.

*The one thing I will say, is that you probably need to inflate your tires slightly more to keep the sidewall from rolling over. The simplest way to get a decent gauge is to feel the temperature of the tires after a run.

-If the center is hot and the outer edges are cool, you have too much pressure. If the outer edges are hot but the center is cool, you have too little pressure. You want a nice even temperature across the tread of the tire.

-You can also use chalk/shoe polish to see if the sidewall is rolling over at all. Just make a mark on the tire going up the side and near the tread. If some is worn off where it shouldn't be, you have too little pressure.




I forget what I used to run, but IIRC it was like 10psi over the recommended driving pressure of the tire. This will fluctuate some on hot days after a long highway drive so keep that in mind.
 

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Yea man, no problem.

I would search Google some for basic autocross tips for beginners. Some SCCA forums have some great information.




Theres a lot of little stuff too that gets passed up. The biggest I see as well are:

1) Take all of the stuff out of your car, either before you leave or at the event: floormats (they have to come out), random crap in the car, basically anything not bolted on. The spare tire can stay but thats up to you.

2) They usually have a Novice class and/or a Novice course walk. You basically walk the course with a group and an experienced driver will tell you about everything. What line to take, how to grid for the start, what to do if you plow over 20 cones, etc etc etc. This information is usually really valuable. Even an experienced Autocrosser will walk the course by themselves to get a good feel for it. They will answer any and all questions as well.

3) Helmets. You'll need a helmet, but most local regions will have lenders you can use. When I started I just bought mine... but in hindsight I probably could have never bought one and been fine. Our local region has like 20 loaner helmets.

4) Just chat it up with people. Often times you can find a more experienced driver that will ride with you and give you tips and whatnot. From my experience, this is some of the best and most valuable information you can get. Sure, you'll be a little slower since you have an extra 100-200lbs in the car... but often times you can make vast improvements in your time. Chat it up and see if someone can offer some advice. They'll usually stay totally quiet during the run (although it varies) and then they'll sit and chat about what they thought and what they think you can improve.

Autocrossing is really valuable, and is fun as an event in itself. I found it gave me a lot of experience that I was able to translate into road racing too.
 

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The golden rule of Autocross is sort of "run what you brung" until you get a proper feel for the car.

You can throw parts at it, but unless you have some experience behind the wheel they probably aren't going to help you much until you have ample seat time.
Great advice!

As a MKV driver (very similar) I can tell you that the car is VERY capeable as it is... yes it's fun to modify it and there are gains to be had... but the mods aren't going to help you any unless you get lots of seat time.

Instead of spending $200 on a cold air intake... spend $150 on a AutoX class. It will blow your mind. :thumbup:
 

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I autocross my MKV GTI, which is going to be about the same thing as the MKVI. You really need seat times before mods. There are classes for stock cars. You would run G Stock if you are completely stock. The only thing I'd consider is good summer tires, and only then if you are sure you will keep up with the sport. I ran my first two events on all seasons until I was sure I was going to keep doing it. Then I bought Dunlop Star Specs which are (arguably) the best street tire for the money for autocross use.

You really need to get familiar with your car before you start modding it. Your driving style might make your best mod a sport suspension, while a different driver of the same car may benefit most from chipping the car.

I was modded before I discovered autocross, but here is the mod path I would take if I were starting from scratch if you just HAVE to mod the car without learning it first.

1. Sticky tires. I prefer star specs for street tires
2. Suspension. Coilovers allow adjustability, but that's really for more advanced racers. I use an H&R cup kit and think it's great to start with
3. Stage 1 ECU flash (more power!)
3.5 DSG reflash if your car is DSG. My GIAC flashed DSG shifts better that I could shift it myself after the flash was done!
4. Tie between swaybars (if you understeer badly), engine mounts (if you have bad wheel hop), camber kit (if you have poor grip in corners). I can't say what orde rI think yet because I haven't done those mods yet.
5. Intake/turboback exhaust, stage 2 ECU flash

In my experience the sport is very newbie friendly. Most everyone will help you out at events, and no one will say anything if you are really slow. We all started out that way too (and any still are! lol)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks guys. Yeah I have a friend that autocrosses his 300Z quite often and had modified it to be really fast so hopefully we can go out and have some fun. I went once before in a friends rx-7 and always wanted to do it again someday when I had a worthwhile car. Now that I have the GTI I can't wait to give it a shot. I think I'll take your advice and just run it stock for now to get a feel for it.
 

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Be careful with ECU software flashes for the GTI...they increase boost which in turn will bump you up to a Street Prepared (*SP) class. I'm not completely sure on this, but I don't believe a DSG flash is legal for Stock class cars.

I run DSP in my MK4 GTI, and have made the jump to slicks and extensive suspension and engine mods to be competitive. It might be more then you want to bite off when you are first getting going...

Agree with everyone else here...do some events...get some experience...ride with other drivers in different classes of cars and take a Auto-X school before you decide where you want to run. Then Mod your car to the limits of that class, starting with tires and suspension.

There is a BIG difference between a Fast Car and Fast Driver.
 

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I’ve been autocrossing for almost 10 years now in a wide verity of cars from Stock classes to Modified classes and a local instructor here in St. Louis. This year I'm running my Mk VI golf in stock class with absolutely no modifications done to the car and on decent 460 tread tires. I love the car and how its set up from the factory and as soon as I get money all I'm going to do is get a third set of wheels with r-comps

The best advice I can give and I'm repeating what many have said is bring what you have and really learn the car before you make any changes and get as much seat time as you can. If your region has a novice school take it if not ask some of the guys that are always on the top of the classes and on the Index results for help set goals for improvement and if you can go to an EVO school best leaning money can buy just be ready to buy a new set of tires after the school. The amount of runs you can get in a phase one and two class is almost the equivalent of one to two years of driving.
 

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I drove my friends MKV Gti at a few events over the years and i have to say that we run much faster using the stock ECU settings even though he is Stg. 2. But it is a blast and a lot of fun.

Cant help you on the set up though cause I have gone back to F125 shifter Karts.

Get out there and get some seat time and enjoy yourself. it is a blast.
 

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I drove my friends MKV Gti at a few events over the years and i have to say that we run much faster using the stock ECU settings even though he is Stg. 2. But it is a blast and a lot of fun.

Cant help you on the set up though cause I have gone back to F125 shifter Karts.

Get out there and get some seat time and enjoy yourself. it is a blast.

Have to agree here. From what ive seen it will probably be better to stick with stock ECU for autox. I know i will be running in stock mode this weekend.

As for setup, additional air in the rear tires helps a TON with rotation and makes the car feel much more nimble. I'm in a MKV Jetta, but its pretty damn similar.


Edit: Hey Matt, just noticed i replied to you :laugh::thumbup:
 

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Have to agree here. From what ive seen it will probably be better to stick with stock ECU for autox. I know i will be running in stock mode this weekend.

As for setup, additional air in the rear tires helps a TON with rotation and makes the car feel much more nimble. I'm in a MKV Jetta, but its pretty damn similar.


Edit: Hey Matt, just noticed i replied to you :laugh::thumbup:
I'm switching it up and running STX this weekend so I'll see what stock programming is like.

And to add to my post above, I have since gotten a beefy (27mm solid and shortened billet end links) and it is far and above the best mod for autocross I have done aside from proper tires
 

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I'm truly impressed with the capabilities of this car out of the box.

I've done autocrosses, HPDEs, and Time Trials in a few different cars so I'm an ok driver. I've taken my 2010 GTI out bone stock on stock all season tires twice now. Its so fun! Its handles really well, great rotation, yaw response to throttle, etc. Even the tires were surprisingly not terrible. My biggest complaint is the one-wheel-peel, but i'm hoping that gets better with proper tires next year. My last event i was only .7 off a fully GS prepped CRX with an experience driver!
 

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^i can't say its impossible, but i've been auto crossing and doing HPDEs, and Time Trials for over 5 years and have never heard of that happening. Not even on the internet.
 
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