The All-purpose track-day, autocross, and performance driving thread

I have seen several posts mentioning other QT3 folks doing track days, autocrossing, etc over the years. Motorsports is one of my big hobbies. Recently in the Racing Game thread TimJames shared some of his first experiences on a trackday. Racing games - GTR, Race07, Rfactor, etc

So lets hear it: Who are the QT3 racers, drifters, and F1 wannabes?

Paging Roger Wong, come in, @Roger_Wong. Do you still have your Lotus?

My story starts with the PC game Sports Car GT. I did like sports cars, but did not know anything about racing. I got the game frankly based on the chance to drive the M3 and 911 cars. This also lead me to start following sports car racing such as the ALMS series. I played and modded SCGT for a couple of years, which lead me to GTR2 and rFactor. I was still only racing single player. Eventually I joined a league ( and started racing online.

Through the league, I met a great guy names Russ. Russ and I and others would practice together a few times a week in prep for online races, and of course we’d talk about lives and families and cars. Russ was very involved in the PCA and did trackdays. One day he says I should fly up and co-drive his 911 on the track. How could I turn that offer down! This was in 2009, and here was my write-up

From there I traded my non-track capable car for a nicely track capable 07 MINI Cooper S. My schedule basically since then is to do 1-2 trackdays per year and 8-10 autocrosses per year. I eventually moved from the MINI to a 2001 Miata. I joined the SCCA and have competed at the SCCA Solo Nationals. I’ve also competed in SCCA Time Trials.

If any lurkers are curious about any of this, post your questions! It’s super easy to get involved.

I autocrossed for most of a decade and then took a decade off because we lost the local site. I didn’t want to drive my old car 2 hours for 5 minutes of seat time!

I’ve since bought a newer WRX and made the drive once. I’ll probably do it a couple times a year — listening to podcasts is nice — but it’s still too far to make it a regular thing.

I would LOVE to get into RallyCross. The car is under warranty but I’m not too worried about breaking things. What does worry me is whether my car will ever be clean again. It feels like it’s in way too good of a condition to roll around in the dirt.

That’s the angel on my shoulder. The devil wants to beat the hell out of the car!

I had experimented with my ABS before on the street. It was a coarse and loud engagement at very low speed. This was a different type of chatter in the pedals even at 100+ mph.

I’ll get the rotors checked and report back.

@Guap You rang?

Lookit that sexy man in his real man fire resistant racing suit. Like Steve McQueen all up in here!

Rallycross sounds great, but I want to get a beater to do it in myself.

Might also talk to some other WRX owners as well (local or via forum) or a race shop that works on WRX. Good luck, glad you enjoyed it!

Former autocrosser here. Haven’t done it in about a decade though.

Any paticular reason you stopped @nKoan ?

Nothing huge, but mostly time and money (or lack thereof). And more time than money, as I theoretically know how to do autox cheaply. My club did 10 weekends a year (20 events) and I started to get involved in running them. That plus the monthly meetings started to feel like too much of a time suck. I decided to take a step back and that’s turned into a 10 year break.

Looking good, @Roger_Wong, but we car fans wanted pics of the Lotus, not you. ;)

Hold on, isn’t it a faux pas to wear a fire suit to a high performance driving event? I’ve actually done research on this, because if I get really into this and I’m pushing 130+ mph in a car I’ve personally modified, I’d like to make sure I’m safe. Most of the groups say that’s more appropriate for race-prepped cars only.

So what’s the scoop?

Fully understood. I know people who autox or track nearly every weekend. I certainly do not have that kinda time. I did get roped into some local leadership.


My personal opinion is you should run what makes you feel safe based on the circumstances.

That said, it is an interesting topic. In HPDE events you can see very very fast cars (think Z06 Vettes hitting 160+), but often the only required safety equipment is the helmet. In racing events you might be running 100hp in a Miata but need firesuit, racing seat, racing harness, HANS, etc.

I currently run a Miata in DEs and timetrials. The tracks around here are pretty wide open with little to hit. That said I need to get a HANS. I have no plans to run a firesuit as the car is basically stock. However with a homebuilt, I’d definitely consider it.

BTW here is a source for good, used suits that are often a bargain relative to new:

Anyone who gives you grief for wearing fire safety gear is a tool. You cannot have enough fire safety gear. It’s amazing how quickly things can be bad when there is an engine compartment fire.

Let’s say my supercharger blows up. The rear window will blow out covering me with glass and a fireball would engulf me from behind.

Fires happen to daily drivers too. Power steering hose could pop off spraying the exhaust header with steering fluid. Congrats, you’re on fire. That happened to a friend who was instructing a student in the student’s BMW.

That said, if I’m running a street car in Texas in July where it’s 104F ambient and 130F on track, I’m going to take it easy on both me and the car. I’ll probably be in bermuda shorts and a cotton t-shirt. I might even turn on the A/C.

It’s so hot that you’re going to get awful track times anyway. Power will be down, tires will be mushy. I’m going to take it easy. The primary risk to my safety becomes heat exhaustion and losing concentration instead of catastrophic equipment failure.

But when the temps drop down to the 80s, I wear my suit and gloves.

Last night I went to an autocross on a karting track and chunked a tire for the first time ever. Just over driving it while the track and tires were relatively cold. Good reminder to let things warm up. I’m going to rotate it to the back, drive a couple more events, then replace all 4.

Also a good reminder that I need more negative camber. Just add it to the list of things I didn’t think I’d have to upgrade for a daily driver occasional track toy.

How cool was it, and what kinda tire? I ask because on good performance tires I have not worried about chunking unless it was getting lower than say 40F.

Do note for any group following SCCA type rules, adding camber plates to a WRX will push you out of the street/stock class any into a higher prep class. Depending on your goals, that may not be a good choice. Most cars in street/stock classes in autox are very hard on the tire shoulders, so you end up needing to flip the tire on the rims. However the tires should not chunk.