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26 July 2008

First Autocross

Today I ran in an autocross put on by the Delaware chapter of the PCA and a local Scion club. It was the first time I'd autocrossed in years, and so of course my first time in the A3.

I did four runs total. Each run was three laps, exiting the (relatively small) course at the end of the third lap. For the first three runs I left the traction/stability control (ESP) 'on'. I turned it off for the 4th run, which is the only one not captured on video. It makes a HUGE difference in how the car handles; whether I consider it better or not for autocrossing is yet to be determined.... I need to run a course a lot more both with it enabled and disabled before deciding. Out of 3 laps with and 1 lap without, I was definitely faster with it enabled than on the one without, but that's not enough data to draw any conclusions. The back end breaks loose pretty easily with ESP disabled.

In the videos below, when you see the camera vibrate rapidly along with a chattering noise, that's the ESP kicking it. It's a little more dramatic than what the video conveys.

What I can conclude:

  • I need more practice. I'd do this every weekend if possible.

  • Swaybars are now high on the list of things to do.

Here are the videos of the first three runs. My originals are really good quality, but of course YouTube compresses everything down to fuzzyness, so click the 'watch in high quality' link under the video on each YouTube page.

First run (in-car camera): (59.799 including 2 sec. penalty)

Second Run (in-car camera): (55.439)

Third Run (spectator view): (55.646)

Here are some photos from today:

If you're on an iPhone and can't see the slideshow above, click here.


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