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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi,

I'm trying to get back into Autocross, and I've decided to go to a local chapter's event tomorrow. (Tennessee Region SCCA). I'm signing up for a membership now, and it asks me if I've been referred by a member. Apparently I get a discount, and you get a kickback....so in that case, anybody want to my referrer?

Also, I have a 2012 MINI Cooper S that I am racing in the D Stock class. Besides removing loose items from the car, is there anything else I can do to prepare? I've already washed the car, and my gas is at about half. MINI says the tire pressure should normally be around 38, but I run it at 40 usually. Should I increase/decrease my pressure more? The tires are Continental ContiProContact Run Flats. My last car ('08 Jetta 2.0T) had problems with the tire rolling over the sidewall and causing excessive wear and understeer.

Ah, and I should mention I have a RaceQuip open face helmet (SA2010) and some decent shoes.

Thanks!
Justin
 

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Hope your first time with the TRSCCA was fun. I would have been there today but it was my daughter's b-day. If you come to any other events this year, look around for a VW Rabbit and say hi. I can just about guarantee it will be the only other MK1 there.

Depending on what you've done to the Mini, we may even be in the same class.

Tony,
SMF 5
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hope your first time with the TRSCCA was fun. I would have been there today but it was my daughter's b-day. If you come to any other events this year, look around for a VW Rabbit and say hi. I can just about guarantee it will be the only other MK1 there.

Depending on what you've done to the Mini, we may even be in the same class.

Tony,
SMF 5
Thanks, I had a great time today. I ran in D Stock, Novice. Placed #4 in novice category. MK1 must be fun!
 

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Hi,

I'm trying to get back into Autocross, and I've decided to go to a local chapter's event tomorrow. (Tennessee Region SCCA). I'm signing up for a membership now, and it asks me if I've been referred by a member. Apparently I get a discount, and you get a kickback....so in that case, anybody want to my referrer?

Also, I have a 2012 MINI Cooper S that I am racing in the D Stock class. Besides removing loose items from the car, is there anything else I can do to prepare? I've already washed the car, and my gas is at about half. MINI says the tire pressure should normally be around 38, but I run it at 40 usually. Should I increase/decrease my pressure more? The tires are Continental ContiProContact Run Flats. My last car ('08 Jetta 2.0T) had problems with the tire rolling over the sidewall and causing excessive wear and understeer.

Ah, and I should mention I have a RaceQuip open face helmet (SA2010) and some decent shoes.

Thanks!
Justin
What I used to do was just use the member number signed on the weekend membership forms.

If you can't read that, feel free to use 402352.


As far as car prep goes, I got to codrive a mini-s (supercharged, not turbo) this weekend and it was a fun little car, it just didn't seem to want to rotate as much as I was used to in my mkv rabbit. So for tire pressure suggestions: get the fronts to the point where there's enough pressure to prevent rollover onto the sidewall, and leave em. For the rears, I like to start low, 28 or so, do a run, see how it felt, and if you didn't like it, go up a few pounds and run again.

Setting tire pressures is really important, but doing so in a normal autocross isn't always that easy. It's a lot easier to do it at a test n tune type event, and it's recommended to use a pyrometer to see the temps across the tire to really dial in the proper pressure.

You can go nice and low in the rear to induce lift/brake oversteer, or you can pump em up real high to do the same thing. And you want that, you don't want the rear to stay planted, you want to drag it around the course, because that rotation is crucial in getting you around the tighter spots and keeping up with the rwd folks.
 

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I usually pump them up at work on Friday before I go home with the high pressure, dried air to the rear, put them up to 50 and leave them til AutoX day(usually Sunday)...:D
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I had a pretty difficult time keeping the power down...trying to accelerate uphill or on an off-camber turn while accelerating led to massive wheelspin (DSC off). Maybe this was due to tire pressure? (there were near 40), but more than likely it was the general touring all season run flats, and me being a bit too liberal with the throttle.

Handling wise, the car was pretty neutral, which I expected. Certainly far less understeer than my Jetta. The only trouble I had was around a pin cone...I couldn't scrub enough speed off to prevent understeer around that.

This is the course I was on...taken from another participant's Mazda Miata:

 

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Tires would have a lot to do with it. But a modestly powerful FWD car would have trouble with that anyway.
Yep. Adjust your driving around it, to some extent. Brake later and continue braking as you begin turning (trail braking) - this will help keep weight on the front and off the rear and help the car rotate (understeer less). Then ease into the throttle gently upon corner exit / have the wheels straight before full throttle. Such is life in an FWD car with no LSD.
 

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For those of you who watched the video, there is actually a fairly steep slope to that entire lot. With few exceptions, you are either traveling up hill, down hill or off camber for much of the course. There are only a few "flat" corners. In addition, the lot's pavement is somewhat poor compared to many I've run on making grip unusually hard to find even with slicks.

Justin, if you are at the next event, definitely hit me up for a couple of rides. The Mini and Rabbit are somewhat similar (FWD, short wheel base, often times more power than grip, etc) so I bet we can shave a few seconds off those times.

Here are my times on that some lot from earlier in the year... 50 participants but only the carts and Geoff had faster raw times than the Rabbit.

Raw Time:


Pax Times:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yep. Adjust your driving around it, to some extent. Brake later and continue braking as you begin turning (trail braking) - this will help keep weight on the front and off the rear and help the car rotate (understeer less). Then ease into the throttle gently upon corner exit / have the wheels straight before full throttle. Such is life in an FWD car with no LSD.
This makes more sense. When doing the novice walkthrough I was the only FWD person (and I believe there was only one more in the whole event....a MS3) and they recommended the opposite techniques.

Justin, if you are at the next event, definitely hit me up for a couple of rides. The Mini and Rabbit are somewhat similar (FWD, short wheel base, often times more power than grip, etc) so I bet we can shave a few seconds off those times.
I'm planning on being down at the next event for at least that Saturday. Not sure about Sunday yet....but I definitely would like to ride with you & have somebody ride with me. I could use the advice. I'm currently reading "Smooth is Fast" on my Kindle...I'll see if I can apply some technique from there too.
:thumbup:
 
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