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Old March 19th, 2005, 07:43 PM   #1
Docdanracy
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Auburn, CA
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Exclamation Autocrossing Primer

So you think it is time to learn to drive your "P" car the proper way? Well then it is time to think about trying Auto Crossing (AXing).

What is AXing? It is a course set up in a large parking lot with orange traffic cones and or white chalk outlines marking the intended driving course. The object of the AX is to negotiate the course in the fastest possible time while staying on course and not knocking down any cones. Sounds simple, doesn't it.

Well.... The first thing you will need when you decide to try this fascinating sport is the desire to learn to drive like you have only dreamed about doing. This is a relatively safe and sane way to learn the basics of car handling and dynamics.

Terms such as understeer, oversteer. pushing, plowing, drop throttle oversteer, late apex, late braking, short shift and many others will need to become a common part of your vernacular if you want to really have fun. A good source for a lot of this comes in the form of a book written by a long time Porsche pilot and instructor Hank Watts. His book, "Secrets of Solo Racing" discusses all of these terms and many more. In his book he takes you from raw rookie to seasoned veteran.

The book is full of lots of helpful information about what to bring to the track, what to do to once you get there, what is going to occur during the day, etc. This is a great source of information, it is given to all new students at the Zone 7/Golden Gate Region AX school that is put on each year. In fact if you go to the GGR website www.pca-ggr.org, you can get information on the Zone school that will be happening on June 18 and 19. Check it out and see if you can get in on the fun.

As far as your car goes, it will need to be readied for battle just as the driver is. Make sure your tires have at least 3-4 32nds of tread left before going to the track, AXing does use rubber. Check your tire pressures, they should be set at the maximum pressure printed on the sidewalls, cold. The pressures can then be adjusted as the day progresses if need be. Make sure the oil is full, and any other fluids are checked and filled if needed. Make sure your brakes have plenty of pad life since brakes are used frequently in AXing.

Be sure that everything that is not needed to go fast is removed from any compartments in your car. Trunk/s, cockpit etc...only have in the car what you need, (you, helmet) period.

Your car will be inspected by a "Tech" person at the track to make sure you have prepared your car correctly and to the group's with which you are running rules. At every GGR AX there are instructors available to help anyone, rookies and veteran drivers alike, learn to drive their car in a more aggressive and controlled way.

That is right, you don't have to go to one of the schools put on to start your AXing career. Just show up at any GGR AX and you can begin the fun of AXing.

All of the folks at any given AX started out just like you at some point and they are all happy and ready to help you get hooked just like they are.

This is a very excited group of folks and they are always happy to see new folks come out and enjoy their cars.

Above all, be prepared to leave with a big grin on your face. Most folks that try this keep coming back for more...it is addictive.

There are many Boxster drivers at any given event and they are always happy to lend a helping hand to a new prospect such as yourself.

We have many Babblers members who frequent the AX events in the Bay Area. Besides myself there are probably at least 10-12 or more of us that frequent this board that love to drive our cars the way they were built to be driven.

Besides being big fun, learning to drive your car to it's fullest potential at AX, can lead you to other venues such as Time Trialling, and Drivers Education events on the big track. I have been an AX instructor for close to 15 years now and a Time Trial instructor for 9 or 10 years and I always tell folks the place to start to learn driving dynamics and car control is at the AX event...period. This is the safest place to learn performance driving.

If any of you want to learn more about this exciting driving experience just drop me a PM on this board and I will be happy to help you in any way I can. I will be adding more to this information in coming weeks.
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GGR AX and TT instructor for 20+ yrs.
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