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Autocross

Discussion in 'Canada' started by Doug_G, Sep 2, 2013.

  1. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    #1 Doug_G, Sep 2, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2016
    Just thought I'd post an autocross run I did yesterday in the Roadster. Mega fun. I hadn't driven the Tesla in autocross for a year (because the MCO series had been using another location all summer, which was so rough it tore off all my mud flaps when I first tried it last year... and we can blame Cirque du Soleil who was occupying our parking lot!).

    After all this time it took me the whole day to figure out how to drive the car again. You can hear a sigh of relief at the end because I finally got what I considered a good run.



    Autocross is a great way to really learn how to control your car, and is loads of fun. Highly recommended.
     
  2. zax123

    zax123 CDN Model S P308

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    Wow, that was cool. How did you remember what to do on the track? It wasn't totally obvious. How many runs did it take to get to this point?
     
  3. wycolo

    wycolo Active Member

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    Excellent! Even got a bit of tread squeal going on. I'm sure I would wander off & flame out as it's really hard to follow the course (camera is above eye level).
    --
     
  4. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    #4 Doug_G, Sep 2, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2013
    I had far more tire squeal on my first run, which was much slower. Due to running in the alternate location all summer I've been using an old S2000, because it didn't lose parts to the terribly rough pavement. I learned a lot about driving from the S2000, but it's a very different animal. I had to re-learn how to drive the Tesla! Points of interest:


    • The Roadster won't turn in very well unless you load up the front wheels by braking (fairly hard)
    • I find I do even more of my steering with the throttle on the Roadster, probably because of its tendency towards understeer. I like to give the throttle little taps to see just how close to the limit I am; if I'm not too close I accelerate a little.
    • You really have to figure out where to apply the throttle and by how much, since there's so much torque.
    • I found in the offset slalom I was actually braking into every cone and accelerating out of every cone. Make for a lot of foot work! I should learn how to left-foot brake.
    • Fiddling with the tire pressures helped the understeer. The chalk technique doesn't really work on the A048's because the sidewalls are so stiff. By trial-and-error I ended up with front 37 rear 40. Interesting result.

    Seven runs; that was the last one.

    It's just a matter of practice. The first time you ever autocross you get lost and/or massacre cones.

    You do at least a couple of course walks before you even drive, so the route is already in your head before you start. This seem gets a LOT easier with practice. I was clean all day - never hit a cone. In fact I've somehow managed to avoid even a single cone penalty all season. Experienced autocrossers would probably say I'm not pushing hard enough, but I'm slowly getting closer to a "podium" finish so I must be doing something right.

    This is my third season and I think I'm just starting to really "get it". Practice really does make perfect.
     
  5. lolachampcar

    lolachampcar Active Member

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    By chance have any Roadster owners also driven/owned an Elise? Being an old Sport190 owner, I'd be curious to hear a comparison.
     
  6. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Active Member

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    I noticed the massacred cones in the video.
     
  7. markb1

    markb1 Active Member

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    #7 markb1, Sep 2, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2013
    If you're talking about the cones that are laying on their sides in the video, those are set that way intentionally to point the driver in the right direction.

    BTW, everyone should try autocross once. You can do it in just about any car, and it's a hell of a lot of fun.
     
  8. StephenM

    StephenM Active Member

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    #8 StephenM, Sep 2, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2013
    That looks like a LOT of fun!! It's weird not being able to hear throttle inputs like with an ICE car. I used to auto-x an S2000 back in the day and the roadster would be a hoot! No way I'm taking my MS out though.
     
  9. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    The "leaners" are cues for the driver. We do get a lot of cone attrition though. Some end up stuck to the bottom of cars snd get dragged all the way to the stop box. The last cone in the "bus stop" element about 3/4 of the way through the course yesterday got hit so often it had to be replaced with a new one. It fell apart!
     
  10. mnx

    mnx 2013 P85

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    I only tired auto-x once. I found it pretty hard, I kept getting "lost", only got 1/6 legit runs in that day (and that was with a co-pilot telling me where to go. :)

    I might try it again at some point. I imagine it is a lot more fun when you don't get lost all the time.
     
  11. zax123

    zax123 CDN Model S P308

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    Why don't they draw lines with chalk to show the route? I guess without the lines being really thick, they would be all but invisible?
     
  12. Zextraterrestrial

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    #12 Zextraterrestrial, Oct 2, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2013
    It is soooo much fun though!! and our autox track location is a way messed up asphalt/concrete patches/sandy holes etc. parking lot for drag races

    I wonder how does the S do compared to a Roadster in autocross if anyone has run both?

    - - - Updated - - -


    I have been running 36F 39R psi in my S on 19" 245/40 fronts 19" 275/30 rears, much stickier than the stock psi

    pointer cones show which way to go and you walk the course first for 1/2 hr~hr to see how it goes. not too hard once you've done 1
     
  13. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    I speculated about that aloud and my wife shut it down immediately! Apparently the Roadster has already hit enough cones...

    My suspicion is that it might actually be better in some respects, but it's much larger and that's going to work against it.
     
  14. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    Can you elaborate on where you think the S might be better suited than the Roadster for such activity? Thanks.
     
  15. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    "In some respects" - mainly the car's better front/rear balance. The Roadster is 60:40 back heavy, and really tends to understeer. On the other hand the Model S is significantly larger and heavier.
     
  16. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    Yup I caught the "in some respects", no confusion there. :)

    Weight distribution and understeer. Got it.

    So, from an autocross perspective, the ("OMG tires are wearing faster and unevenly") camber decision for the S is a positive change?
     
  17. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    It's the rear tires that have the wear problem. I suspect it was done to help prevent power oversteer and snap oversteer. Wouldn't help with understeer; in fact might make it worse.
     
  18. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    Mea culpa. Got my words mixed up. Thanks.
     
  19. Zextraterrestrial

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    The S reaaly needs wider stickier rears (and fronts too) The balance of the car is perfect IMO but it is heavy and wide. I am pretty impressed with how small it feels compared to how big it really is. Some of the autox setups we have barely leave enough space between cones for me to get the car into the course. Everyone else has Miata/Sti's or smaller cars for the most part. I have hit a few cones, mostly due to the staggeredness of the S and no marks have stayed, they all wash off. when my paint gets messed up I'll just sand blast the car and clear coat it :tongue:
    just 2 more weeks until the last Autox of this year! weee, can't wait - best time for test rides!
     
  20. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Just FYI, my Ranger confirmed to me today that the high rear camber is required for stability; without it the rear end would be too squirrely. Pretty much what I figured... but not great for tire wear.
     

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