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i am new to the whole racing thing and am interested in auto-crossing this summer. i was wondering what i might need to do it and what i should do to get prepared. i am in New Hampshire and would like someone to tag along with to get the hang of things. i just got a membership to SCCA and dont know what to do next.
 

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overdeveloped beater
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Sorry so long....

First, I would check out the www.scca.org and then find the region locator for the region you fall under. Most likely NER (new england region).

From there you can find a schedule and more than likely a FAQ link for new members.

There are alot of Scoobs running up there, KC (Keith Casey)being one of the most prevelant that I can think of. His site is http://www.rallydecals.com/rallydecals/ and he can give you all sorts of advice on starting out.

My advice would be to pack a lunch, air your tires up about 10psi over max, and bring clothes for any weather. Bring a lawnchair too as you'll be doing alot of sitting around. Oh and a couple sheets of paper, tape and marker for your numbers.

When you show up, inform the registration folks that this is your first event so they might pair you up with a more experienced person to show you the ropes of how an event is run.

Once you get registered, go take everything out of the car that is not fastened down, including the trunk area. Once that is done, you should have a number and class to run in (from registration) so put that on the car somewhere. Use the paper and marker for this and tape it to your rear 1/4 window. Shoe polish works in a pinch, but is often illegible or ineffective during rain.

Once you have your numbers on, go get your car teched, where they'll check it for basic safety. Wheel bearings, lugs, tires not showing cord, working brakes, throttle return springs, tight battery, no major leaks, positive battery terminal covered, empty trunk and cabin, helmet certification if you have one. Loaner helmets are usually available, but they are usually short in supply and you share with others who may not smell as good as you.:eek:

Once you're teched, you go walk the course. This is an extremely important task and one that will seperate the winners and losers. Walk the course as many times as you can, focus on where it goes, where you might want to be at a given point, where you may want to brake for a turn, etc.... Walking with someone who knows is very helpful. Most clubs have a "NOVICE WALK" where an experience racer will explain different portions of the course, what you may want to think about applying to your run and why. By all means, don't miss this. Everyone has embarrassing runs at some point, but this will minimize the chances of you going off course and getting frustrated early on. If you can strive to walk the course enough to learn it to the point of replaying it in your mind, then you're lightyears ahead of the game. It'll make your runs unfold much more smoothly since you'll know what to expect once you're moving about the course. Note that after walking a few times, some folks will be very quiet and extremely focused on the course as they walk. This wouldn't be the time to ask questions or interrupt their train of thought. Afterwords would be easier to approach them. Just a thought.

Try to take a ride with someone before you go run. This is generally allowed and most folks will gladly take you around to show you where to be (or not to be) for a smooth run. Simply asking if you can is enough. Leave them a run or two by themselves so they won't have any excuses for not finishing better. Not that they would blame you, it would be a personal and silent "but if I wouldn't have..." type thing.

When it's time for you to run, relax and focus first on negotiating the course cleanly. Speed will come later. Once you finish your run, return to the grid as you did before you ran and wait for your next run. In this time you can pop the hood to help cool off the motor, you can check and adjust your tire pressures, or you can run up to the timing board and see your progress. If you hit some cones, you might be able to ask someone to watch you run so they can tell you where you may improve. Dont forget to return your helmet so someone else can use it unless you have permission to keep it in your car throughout your runs.

After your last run you should have had a blast! You should have improved your time from your first run and you should be happy with your times considering your experience. Now rest for awhile before you go to work (depending on your run/work order).

The club should definately pair you with an experienced person for your work assignment since safety is paramount. They will show you how to safely shag a cone, check for penalties, and respond to situations. Your judgement of a cone penalty is as important as another's judgement of your penalty. If a cone is replaced wrongly or not replaced at all, the next driver can stop and get a re-run, stretching the day out longer. Knowing your area and the most likely targeted cones will make your work assignment easier and maybe more enjoyable. Working before you run can help you get an idea of how to make your own runs or what will work better time-wise. Working last sucks, but someone has to do it. Take it in stride and enjoy the moments of seeing examples of great driving along with outright maddening off-course runs by those who may not have prepared enough.

Stay for the trophies even if you don't earn one. Applauding your peers is directly recipricated. It also allows you to meet and talk with those who did earn trophy and gain insight on their performance, preparation, etc....

Sorry so long, I hope it helps!
 

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overdeveloped beater
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Thanks! I think I'd trade residences with you for awhile!!!
I'm sure there's some kind of event near you. Check around for local car clubs, even BMWCCA, PCA, etc....
RallyImprezive said:
Very nice job. Thank you. I can't wait until I live closer to these events.

-Andy
Glad I could help....don't ask me for advice on how to limit your spending or travelling to events....I can't tell you!
 

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Glad I could help....don't ask me for advice on how to limit your spending or travelling to events....I can't tell you!
no no, you limit your spending on everything else. mmm, ramon noodles :drool: ;)

right, i'm not even going to try and top Storm, he covered pretty much everything. the best advice i can give you is go out, even if its just to watch, and never be afraid to ask questions, no matter how inane or boorish ;) i think you'll find people at these events are very friendly and open and will gladly help you out with anything you need. they certainly were for me when i started, and even now that i'm faster.

i will, however, plug a friend of mine's website: solo2.org he has alot of good info and resources there plus some message forums. they have a distinctly st louis region slant to them, but any general questions you have will be answered by very knowledgeable folks.
 

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overdeveloped beater
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I go 6'1" and a bit (too much) over 200. Ramen noodles ain't gonna cut it......I gotta quit buying parts and start buying seat time.

I'm certain that seat time and professional critique is the key to me breaking through the glass ceiling I have hit locally and making a bigger splash in the National events.

Check this out for a little background, though it's more geared to my partner, the results speak for themselves.
www.sourcemotorsports.com

we need a sponsor!:checkit:
 

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Storm said:
I go 6'1" and a bit (too much) over 200. Ramen noodles ain't gonna cut it......I gotta quit buying parts and start buying seat time.
Hahahaaa... You sound just like me. I've got advice. Stock class. That's right. Stock class. You don't buy as many parts. ;)
 

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Copy>Paste>Save As....

That was just beautiful! :)

Just glancing around like I do every month and I see this. Brings a tear to my eyes. ;) Good job Storm!

So you're in NH, eh?
Ok... 1st point your browser to:
http://www.ner.org (New England SCCA)

Has quite a bit of info and schedule and locations.

Next: http://wwww.clutchdrop.com
This is for the New England Subaru Impreza Club (NESIC)

The Calendar shows events like Track Days, Auto-x Days, meets, Rally-x, Rally, and a host of other events in and around New England that NESIC members participate in.

Right now is Ice Racing season at newfound lake also in NH with the BMW Club. The 1st 2 were cancelled, but hopefully, we'll have one this Sunday. :)

The largest concentration of NESIC members is in New Hampshire, so there's plenty of people that you can meet. :)

Hope to see you at an event some day.

--kC
 

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overdeveloped beater
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Thanks for all the props! I guess I was having a "good night" at the keyboard when I wrote that!:)

Man, I wish NH wasn't so far of a haul.....I really want to give ice racing a try, and one of my biggest competitors usually hits at least one of those events in his BMW......

I've been making every snow-covered space I see my personal drift-zone lately! I wonder how much abuse the center diff on an "L" can take?
 
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