Author Topic: Pitt Race SnowCross  (Read 11030 times)

Offline lprmesia

  • Prepared
  • ****
  • Posts: 465
Re: Pitt Race SnowCross
« Reply #60 on: February 13, 2017, 10:16:32 AM »
Dan,

I can definitely see the impact of the before and after - I think we're guilty of some of the same things. Figured I'd share notes from my experience with him over the weekend (since he kind of asked us to, haha).

I have 2 major issues.

1. I treat this like indoor karting too much. What this means, is that I typically start off slow and smooth on my inputs, then once I'm comfortable with the course I start over-analyzing where I can start shaving tenths here and there. By trying to get faster, I end up becoming more aggressive on my steering inputs without realizing it. Trying to rigidly and aggressively follow a driving line in a controlled environment like indoor karting is possible as we're doing lap after lap seeing our times and making adjustments on the fly. Doesn't quite work the same on an autocross course. Indoor karting is walking on a curb, where autocross is walking on a roof - going over the edge is much easier to recover from in one than the other. This might be why I get stuck having my first lap be my fastest (though it's still probably the batteries not getting a full charge, haha - though this hasn't been an issue up there lately). I could definitely see changes in your steering inputs between your 2 videos. I'll bet if I go back and look at more of my videos throughout any given day, I guarantee I'm doing the same thing, but inverse.

2. Looking ahead - or too much of it. Everyone screams look ahead, look ahead. Which I do. A lot of it. I preach it to newbies too. When you start driving, you're used to staring 5 feet in front of the car, and eventually as you become more experienced, your sight lines grow and you start looking at the cars ahead of you. Much is the same here as well and is a good rule to follow. My issue, is that I do the Shawn Bauman (I call him out because I've blatantly used what he's done at Wyotech events when course working to explain to newcomers how it's done). This is where you look really far ahead - basically pinpointing where you want your car to be and where to position your apex on the upcoming turn, but then you start looking in front of you to actually start driving the line. Sounds great in theory - I'm avoiding "reacting to the course" and then setting up to shave hundredths and thousandths by getting closer to the cones, but what I'm actually doing to accomplish this is looking 250 feet ahead, then 25 feet ahead, then 150 feet ahead, then 30 feet ahead, then 75 feet ahead, etc. as I keep getting closer and closer to that original target.  What's happening here (and I never realized it) is that I'm making small, minor adjustments to my line each time I shift my eyes trying to measure where I go instead of relying on my peripheral vision to carry me. Those small, minor adjustments are sometimes upsetting the car. In other instances, I'm getting so fixated on that original 250 foot ahead marker that when I'm only 100 feet away from it, I haven't yet scanned what's now 250 feet ahead. I should be consistently looking 2-3 seconds ahead and worrying less about how close to the cones I get by trusting my peripheral vision and driving instincts. Shawn might be able to pull this off - I still need refinement.

In addition to my being extremely impressed with his ability to quickly diagnose these challenges, his trail braking game is on point. Holy moly.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2017, 11:31:42 AM by lprmesia »
2014 Subaru WRX - 27 STH
2016 Ford Fiesta ST - 5 HS

Offline Jakebonz

  • Modified
  • *****
  • Posts: 818
Re: Pitt Race SnowCross
« Reply #61 on: February 13, 2017, 10:54:09 AM »
It's a shame that my camera battery was dead on my best run in which I matched Sam's time in my car.

The thing he told me about looking ahead is to not try to seek out the key cones.  When you do that, you tend to stare at them until your  past it.  We've been doing this long enough to know what the key cones are on the course.  Instead, he just told me to look two seconds ahead of where I want to go.  That means looking closer to the car in the slow parts, further away in the fast parts.  By simply looking at the line you want to take, your natural tendency will be to to follow it.  And when you're not constantly trying to look and scan for the next key cone, things inside the car slow down...

...which leads to solving my next problem: Just simply being more relaxed in the car.  With things slowing down, I didn't feel the need to use such drastic inputs to get around the course.  And by being more relaxed, that might eventually help me understand what the car is doing under me a bit sooner.

There was one run in which Sam was telling me to fix a slide that for for all the world felt like understeer.  I didn't correct the slide the first time he said it because I thought he was nuts.  Then I finally felt it the second time he said it.  You can clearly see how I lag behind in that department in that .gif I shared.  We both start sliding at the exact same point of of the sandbox turn, but he starts to correct it a second before I do.  Because of that, my input had to be faster and more drastic.  Fortunately, we both recovered at the exact same point (which is sort of hilarious).

TL;DR

Don't look for key cones, look 2 seconds ahead of your driving line
Relax
If you feel the car doing something you don't want it to do, fix it IMMEDIATELY
"He who shall be last, shall be sideways and smiling."
- Jezza 19:3

2014 Ford Mustang GT #10 FS
1999 Mazda Miata #10 ES
Event Photos

Offline c08

  • Stock
  • *
  • Posts: 19
Re: Pitt Race SnowCross
« Reply #62 on: February 13, 2017, 03:17:44 PM »
Did you guys get any runs in with snow or was it pretty much gone before you started?  Did it just end up being like a regular (albeit cold) low key autox?

Offline lprmesia

  • Prepared
  • ****
  • Posts: 465
Re: Pitt Race SnowCross
« Reply #63 on: February 13, 2017, 03:56:07 PM »
When we got there they were already in the process of moving the course to the VDA. I guess because it had mostly melted, the original area we were going to run in included the sand patch and was all sorta of muck.

When we started there were some sizable patches of frozen stuff that was fun to splash through - you can see it above in Josh's 2nd run of the day, but after a few runs most of the people cleared a consistent path and it was a mix of wet, standing water, frozen obstacles, and just dry cold pavement. Not your standard autocross by any means, but I ran quicker on my snow tires than most everyone else ran on their summer or all-season tires - they probably helped more than harmed if that's any indication of the conditions. It wasn't a full blown snowcross, but it was far from a standard autocross too.
2014 Subaru WRX - 27 STH
2016 Ford Fiesta ST - 5 HS

Offline 93Rubie

  • Prepared
  • ****
  • Posts: 326
Re: Pitt Race SnowCross
« Reply #64 on: February 13, 2017, 06:43:42 PM »
Dan,

I can definitely see the impact of the before and after - I think we're guilty of some of the same things. Figured I'd share notes from my experience with him over the weekend (since he kind of asked us to, haha).

I have 2 major issues.

1. I treat this like indoor karting too much. What this means, is that I typically start off slow and smooth on my inputs, then once I'm comfortable with the course I start over-analyzing where I can start shaving tenths here and there. By trying to get faster, I end up becoming more aggressive on my steering inputs without realizing it. Trying to rigidly and aggressively follow a driving line in a controlled environment like indoor karting is possible as we're doing lap after lap seeing our times and making adjustments on the fly. Doesn't quite work the same on an autocross course. Indoor karting is walking on a curb, where autocross is walking on a roof - going over the edge is much easier to recover from in one than the other. This might be why I get stuck having my first lap be my fastest (though it's still probably the batteries not getting a full charge, haha - though this hasn't been an issue up there lately). I could definitely see changes in your steering inputs between your 2 videos. I'll bet if I go back and look at more of my videos throughout any given day, I guarantee I'm doing the same thing, but inverse.

2. Looking ahead - or too much of it. Everyone screams look ahead, look ahead. Which I do. A lot of it. I preach it to newbies too. When you start driving, you're used to staring 5 feet in front of the car, and eventually as you become more experienced, your sight lines grow and you start looking at the cars ahead of you. Much is the same here as well and is a good rule to follow. My issue, is that I do the Shawn Bauman (I call him out because I've blatantly used what he's done at Wyotech events when course working to explain to newcomers how it's done). This is where you look really far ahead - basically pinpointing where you want your car to be and where to position your apex on the upcoming turn, but then you start looking in front of you to actually start driving the line. Sounds great in theory - I'm avoiding "reacting to the course" and then setting up to shave hundredths and thousandths by getting closer to the cones, but what I'm actually doing to accomplish this is looking 250 feet ahead, then 25 feet ahead, then 150 feet ahead, then 30 feet ahead, then 75 feet ahead, etc. as I keep getting closer and closer to that original target.  What's happening here (and I never realized it) is that I'm making small, minor adjustments to my line each time I shift my eyes trying to measure where I go instead of relying on my peripheral vision to carry me. Those small, minor adjustments are sometimes upsetting the car. In other instances, I'm getting so fixated on that original 250 foot ahead marker that when I'm only 100 feet away from it, I haven't yet scanned what's now 250 feet ahead. I should be consistently looking 2-3 seconds ahead and worrying less about how close to the cones I get by trusting my peripheral vision and driving instincts. Shawn might be able to pull this off - I still need refinement.

In addition to my being extremely impressed with his ability to quickly diagnose these challenges, his trail braking game is on point. Holy moly.

I appreciate the kind words but honestly IDK WTF I'm doing. Whatever that Sam Strano guy is doing, do that.

That being said I hear you on looking TOO far ahead. I did that at Cumberland and got lost because of SEA OF CONES!!! I drove off the nose the next run and closer to the front of the car and I was fine.

Wish I could have made it out to Pitt Race last saturday but I had to work.
Best 1/4 Mile Pass: [email protected]
Best 60' 1.99

Offline 99_ws6

  • Stock
  • *
  • Posts: 13
Re: Pitt Race SnowCross
« Reply #65 on: February 14, 2017, 08:43:29 AM »
Not sure if Alex meant my video or Dan's since I didn't post my video here yet
Here it is:

https://youtu.be/27zL8Vz3XPM

Skip to 1:36 to see the 2nd run of the day (my second ever in this car or any awd car) that Alex referenced.

Offline ugufru

  • Street Prepared
  • ***
  • Posts: 141
Re: Pitt Race SnowCross
« Reply #66 on: February 14, 2017, 05:58:55 PM »
Had a great time on Saturday attending a February Autocross in weather that was honestly nicer than many in-season events I've attended. Let's do this more! :)

Snowcross was sort of a feeler for the G35x. Unless the "right" car happens to come along (and I've got the cash ready) it looks like that will be what I'm racing this year. Despite it's weight, it does handle quite well on 18s and will get me better times than the Max. -pc

Paul Cunningham
2009 Infiniti G37S 6MT Coupe
1995 Nissan Maxima SE

Offline lprmesia

  • Prepared
  • ****
  • Posts: 465
Re: Pitt Race SnowCross
« Reply #67 on: February 14, 2017, 10:53:21 PM »
You were killing it Paul - I think you had the 3rd fastest time, and that was against some pretty solid drivers/cars too.

You going to run DS or STX next year?
2014 Subaru WRX - 27 STH
2016 Ford Fiesta ST - 5 HS

Offline Josh R.

  • Modified
  • *****
  • Posts: 964
Re: Pitt Race SnowCross
« Reply #68 on: February 15, 2017, 08:48:45 AM »
You were killing it Paul - I think you had the 3rd fastest time, and that was against some pretty solid drivers/cars too.

You going to run DS or STX next year?

Alex, don't sell yourself short. If you applied the Winter street tire PAX I'm sure you would've been 1st. Good thing you can drop the points for this one.
'97 Integra GS-R - ITS/DSP

'16 Frontier - Tow/Family Duty

Offline lprmesia

  • Prepared
  • ****
  • Posts: 465
Re: Pitt Race SnowCross
« Reply #69 on: February 15, 2017, 09:33:12 AM »
You were killing it Paul - I think you had the 3rd fastest time, and that was against some pretty solid drivers/cars too.

You going to run DS or STX next year?

Alex, don't sell yourself short. If you applied the Winter street tire PAX I'm sure you would've been 1st. Good thing you can drop the points for this one.

Yeah, definitely should try to come up with a Tire Index for Snow Tires. ;)

Joking aside, my compliment to Paul wasn't intended as backhanded at all. I think for someone putting out a feeler on a different car than usual, trying to quantify/measure performance is a normal process. I think since out of around 30 cars there, many of whom run DS and STX, performing well up against two possible classes his car would be in is a pretty fair question to ask, no?
2014 Subaru WRX - 27 STH
2016 Ford Fiesta ST - 5 HS

Offline ugufru

  • Street Prepared
  • ***
  • Posts: 141
Re: Pitt Race SnowCross
« Reply #70 on: March 03, 2017, 02:41:25 PM »
You were killing it Paul - I think you had the 3rd fastest time, and that was against some pretty solid drivers/cars too.

You going to run DS or STX next year?

Alex, don't sell yourself short. If you applied the Winter street tire PAX I'm sure you would've been 1st. Good thing you can drop the points for this one.

Yeah, definitely should try to come up with a Tire Index for Snow Tires. ;)

Joking aside, my compliment to Paul wasn't intended as backhanded at all. I think for someone putting out a feeler on a different car than usual, trying to quantify/measure performance is a normal process. I think since out of around 30 cars there, many of whom run DS and STX, performing well up against two possible classes his car would be in is a pretty fair question to ask, no?

Thanks for the compliment! I appreciate any mention at all, lol. :)

The plan is to drive the G35x in DS and see who shows up. However, I'm also thinking about wheels and coil-overs, which will put me back in STX. I can always bring the Maxima back in STX and I already have magnetic letters...

But now there's a twist. Our Forester died, and we're just about to buy a relatively new Mazda5. I might be using the G35x as a trade-in.

Can you auto-cross a Mazda5? :)

I think this means I'm going to step up my search for a G37 6MT, but don't be surprised when you see the Maxima back up there this year. I still have some tread left on my RE71s... -pc

P.S. Anyone interested in purchasing a R-titled 2001 Forester S (2.5, clean, silver with 106K miles but engine "issues") send me a PM. It's down at Moore's if you want to look.
Paul Cunningham
2009 Infiniti G37S 6MT Coupe
1995 Nissan Maxima SE

Offline c08

  • Stock
  • *
  • Posts: 19
Re: Pitt Race SnowCross
« Reply #71 on: December 21, 2017, 11:59:18 AM »
Someone mentioned this on FB so I figured I'd ask, any plans to try and do any of these this winter?

Offline lprmesia

  • Prepared
  • ****
  • Posts: 465
Re: Pitt Race SnowCross
« Reply #72 on: December 21, 2017, 01:11:28 PM »
I'd be down. Even though most of the snow melted for last year's, it was still fun.
2014 Subaru WRX - 27 STH
2016 Ford Fiesta ST - 5 HS

Offline Bill

  • Global Moderator
  • Modified
  • *****
  • Posts: 3441
    • Primal Palate
Re: Pitt Race SnowCross
« Reply #73 on: December 21, 2017, 03:19:58 PM »
I'm in. s2000 is on snows for the season. Yes I drive an s2000 in the winter. I'm an asshole like that.
Bill Staley

90 Civic R - SMF
02 s2000 - STR
14 RDX

Offline lprmesia

  • Prepared
  • ****
  • Posts: 465
Re: Pitt Race SnowCross
« Reply #74 on: January 03, 2018, 02:42:59 PM »
Game on.

Need 20 pre-registered by 4pm Friday though. You will be refunded if the event is cancelled (for 20 people not pre-registering). So please register!

https://www.motorsportreg.com/events/pitt-race-low-key-snowcross-pittsburgh-international-compl-579818
2014 Subaru WRX - 27 STH
2016 Ford Fiesta ST - 5 HS