Rookie Mistakes When Autocrossing Your Car


(Tires screeching) (Gasps of offscreen audience) – Hey guys before we even get into it we want to let you know we’ve officially partnered with Konig Wheels to give away another free set of wheels
for the month of July. So you can actually get entered in to win by picking up one of these T-shirts. You can send in a postcard
too but that’s super lame T-shirt, the cool way!
There’s a description link below, it’s got a back that says Drift Mode it’s got a Supra which is pretty cool,
it’s blue and yellow. It’s very like retro-ish but it’s kind of updating now into the 90’s, and we’re also making
a donation to the ASPCA with every T-shirt that gets purchased. So if you’re looking to get entered in to win a free sit of wheels, check the description link below, and of course, good luck
to those that pick one up. Autocrossing is by far one of the easiest automotive
sports to get into, and right in like the top
five automotive activities that get you to truly enjoy your car and your connection to it. Autocross events happen
pretty much all over, mall parking lots, Walmart parking lots, college parking lots, new parking lots, old parking lots, and sometimes track. So can you just jump
into an autocross event with your Honda Fit? (car engine sounds) Heck yes, you can! But should you? Probably not. Because you’re gonna probably
make some silly mistakes, you goose, and that’s
why you’re watching this. I’m Alex from Fitment Industries, Alex.fi, today we’re going to be
talking about rookie mistakes people make when they start
autocrossing their car. Also don’t forget to check
out Fitmentindustries.com if you’re looking for any sort of wheels, tires, or suspensions. Kind of what we do, it’s a sales plug, but we love that, so you don’t have to deal with
a 90 second Squarespace ad. Okay, don’t judge me. Anyway, if you haven’t subscribed, look at all the great content. You’re also probably missing out on it. This guy sure (beep) doesn’t (beep) race. Dude’s got some (beep)
fake carbon fiber part. I know that he’s covering up a crack with all these stickers everywhere. Good thing I know it’s
on airlift performance. Autocross events happen every weekend, all over the country. You’d be hard pressed
not to have one going on, and if you can’t find any, we recommend trying to find
your regional sports car club. Which goes into rookie mistake number one. Not really understanding
how autocross events work. Autocross is a little different
than most automotive sports, because you actually
end up helping run them. Most, if not all, autocross
events will have you work the event due to its demanding staff and to get the cars moving. With most autocross occurring
on large asphalt parking lots, the need to create a track is essential for any fun autocross. And if you didn’t have the cones, you’re just, you’re running up, you’re pretty much doing
a very 1/8 drag strip run is what you’re doing. So as a result you end
up needing and having hundreds of cones spread
throughout the lot that need to stay where
they’re supposed to stay. This might come as a surprise to some, but not everyone avoids those
little orange triangles, and if you run the event, you’ll likely end up staffing the event on your off run, or team, or cycle, or whatever they may call it. This helps the organization run the event without charging up the wazoo, and keeps you busy while you’re not actually
running the track. Something you may not be
expecting if you don’t know, so probably bring some sunscreen, ’cause you’re gonna be standing
in an asphalt parking lot for about eight hours, which is not an extremely
exciting thing to do. So you’re gonna end up
chasing after traffic cones and people are gonna be yelling, it’s gonna be a fun time but you’re gonna get burnt. Sunscreen, numero uno. Biggest tip. Actually tip like number zero
would be bring sunscreen. Another common rookie
mistake with autocrossing is overthinking it. Now that’s not to say that
autocross shouldn’t require you to worry about your car’s integrity, because you should. A little bit. You should be double checking your tires and your brakes and your power steering and your lugs and your coolant and of course ensuring you
Tabasco sauce is tightly packed away in case it were to flip over. But above that, you’re
going to likely be okay. Many autocross tracks
aren’t massive in length because they are in, can you guess, they are in parking lots. You won’t often find yourself
banging through gears and breaking three digit numbers, instead you’ll find yourself
sweating through your DOT and Snell approved
helmet as you find yourself stuck in second gear going on average about 34 miles per hour round the slalom, because your front end hits the traffic cone, and you just can’t figure
out how the hell your car is over steering on the
second portion of the slalom. And it’s just kinda,
that’s just how it goes. Or maybe you just ate a traffic cone three turns back, and you just can’t figure out
how to get it out of there. Autocross is something you
just need to jump into. You don’t need anything fancy. You just need a safe car, a good helmet, and a positive attitude without expecting to really take home a trophy, especially as you go into your first runs. When you’re jumping into autocross, we find ourselves all
jacked up on Mountain Dew trying to impress everyone. I mean after all, you’re in your car, you’re going fast-ish. You’re finally driving your car instead of taking it to a car show, and all those autocross people that were talking smack about car show goers because they don’t use their car. So now you’re there to prove them wrong. You know, you can use it, too. And you’re gonna go out there, and you’re gonna get a little fancy. Don’t do that. Never overestimate your capabilities, especially if you’re new to autocross. A curvy road is not the
same driving experience as a tight autocross track. Enjoy the learning curve
while you get into it, but don’t try to beat it. Also, while you’re there, go walk the track when they allow you to, especially in the morning. Knowing the track actually eliminates a lot of those initial runs that you need to improve your time overall. Because once you know the track, you’ve already got it in your noggin. Focusing on a solid pre-race preparation is a great way to get out there right away and run how you want instead
of learning the track on the first couple runs. Although it’s not a competition, autocross can be a game of chess that you can win if you
prepare yourself correctly and have the right experience. For now though, just try to stay away from making yourself look silly
because you overdrove and ran off the course, so you’re gonna end up
like that one Corvette that kissed a curve, and the whole thing almost slipped over. Still, still a popular video. Another pro tip, get a
pro to ride with you. I know, no one wants
to show another person how bad they are at something, but if you wanna learn quick this is how you do it. In fact, I personally remember
someone by the name of Mike that rode with me when I took my B7 Avant to an event that was autocross. And he personally helped
me shave off three seconds on a average 30 second track. That’s 10%, just out of
tips that a dude gave me one time rolling around with me. Take the advice when you can get it. Getting others to ride with
you to help spot problem areas or teach you where you should be is monumental for expediting
that learning curve. Go bug someone, you know, get ’em in your car and just, and send it, and then listen to the
feedback that they have. Especially if they’re one
of the event organizers. Ready for a speed fire round? Good, come out of the block at full speed without breaking loose,
and that’s crucial. You never wanna break loose on your tires on an autocross event, because most people don’t like that, and it’s kinda just excessive. You need the initial
launch to get up to speed that you can carry throughout the track. Always drive to the limit but never over. Remember, it’s okay to push yourself but not be overconfident. Minimize your under steer, let the car work itself out if you need to get through
a turn, but keep control. Too sharp of a turn is usually the culprit when you start losing control, especially in under steer
scenarios in autocross. Let off the steering
wheel while keeping speed and use more of the track. That’s gonna allow your
car to recorrect itself more naturally than you
slamming on the brakes. Which goes into another quick tip, which is to never lock
your brakes in a turn. It kills, absolutely kills time. Let your car straight itself
out again with minimal changes. Never overreact, remember,
you’re in a parking lot, and really just maximize
your level of control with the car that you’re driving. The ultimate goal with autocross is to work on your
accuracy and consistency as much as possible. Find that drive route and
then keep hammering it while you learn your car. Have fun, get ride-alongs. Ride with other people
to see what they do. Grab photos, but most
importantly, just get out there. Autocross events are quite a bit of work, and they aren’t inherently
very profitable. Most of the time, they barely break even due to a lot of different costs, especially when it comes down
to the parking lot rental and the amount of damage that
autocross can do to asphalt, the insurance associated with it, and just the overall interest
in getting people to go. Going and supporting
these events helps a ton, and especially allows
those club and groups to continue hosting events like those, and they are in regard and by default extremely, extremely fun. If you’re looking for
wheels because you’re setup just met a parking lot curb
after watching this video, head on over to fitmentindustries.com
and check it out. We seriously have everything, wheels, tires, suspension. I know, it’s a sales plug, but it helps us keep making
awesome videos like this. And if you haven’t subscribed yet, you’re missing out on
some pretty good stuff. If you’re looking to get
a free set of wheels, check the description link below because we did just
partner with Konig wheels. If you pick up one of these
new shirts that we have for the month of July, it gets you a chance in to win, plus we’re making a donation to the ASPCA. So pick up one of the
shirts if you want to, it’d be pretty fun, pretty cool. Let us know in the comment section below any rookie mistakes you made on the track or off the track in a parking lot. We will heart eye and comment on them, and either laugh or cry with you, because we’ve all been there
at one time in our life. I’m Alex from Fitment Industries, we will see you later. Peace. (upbeat music)

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