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Autoslalom Course Experience

Discussion in 'Canada' started by Doug_G, Apr 29, 2012.

  1. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    #1 Doug_G, Apr 29, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2012
    I recently attended the Advanced Autoslalom School hosted by the ILR Car Control School in Toronto. Quite a learning experience!

    The day starts with classroom instruction, then alternates between driving and classroom sessions. Once you're out on the track there are a lot of challenges to overcome. It all starts with a run on the skid pad, followed by curves, slaloms, and hairpin turns... and the dreaded "figure eight of death" as they call it (actually an eye-opening demonstration of how fundamentally important it is to look way ahead). They even teach you how to do a course walk, including some great tips (for example, stop at each corner and look back, to see if you might want to modify your line in the previous curve).

    By the end of the day you're driving very fast around a challenging autocross course. What's great is you get to go around repeatedly - we managed 9-10 laps each in less than an hour. There was ample opportunity to refine your line and learn from your mistakes - with the previous run fresh in your mind each time you launch.

    The Roadster performed wonderfully. I recently got a second set of rims with A048's on them. They're rather noisy, but man do they ever have a lot of grip! They are a huge improvement from the street tires I've previously used for autocross, and the school really taught me how to use them. Wow!

    I gotta say the Roadster's incredible torque really came into its own, especially on the straight stretch. I would roll on the power as I was unwinding from the previous corner (setting up for that exit was critical), push it to the floor, hold for several seconds, then crank on the brakes as the ABS kicks in and the car bucks, then off the brakes and turn into the next corner. What a kick in the pants! My log parser says speeds peaked at 93.5 kph - just shy of 60 mph. Even the instructors were gushing about the car's amazing torque.

    They also supply you with some pictures of your day on the course. Here's my favourite - great action shot. Chief instructor Ian Law is in the passenger seat, and no, we're not chatting; I've got my head swiveled way around to look ahead of the curve. Can you say, "weight transfer?"

    IMG_4610.JPG

    As I headed off to get a top-up charge for the trip home, the "actual miles" display was reading way low. I think it may have been because I was using 800 Wh/km...

    I'd highly recommend any of their courses - very knowledgeable instructors, a great learning experience, and gobs of fun.
     
  2. efusco

    efusco Moderator - Model S & X forums

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    Would absolutely LOVE to do that someday. Can I ask what it cost you?
     
  3. 7racer

    7racer Member

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    I love autocross. I take my RX-7 and GT-R. Really want to take the Tesla out.

    How long and how many sessions did you have? What was the remaining miles left? Would like a feel on what kind of distances I can travel and race.

    Thanks!
     
  4. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Looks like you had the sticky sport tires on... Good thing for the track!
     
  5. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Autoslalom / autocross is the easiest and least expensive way to get into motorsports. If you have a local club that runs events, they will probably cost something like $30 each. When I started I just went out to one of the events and drove. One of the more experienced drivers rode along with me the first couple of times out, to show me the ropes. After that I learned by doing and by talking to people.

    Getting started is very easy; getting good at it takes time, and a school is a great way to accelerate things. The course I took $350. There are also less expensive schools put on by local clubs.
     
  6. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Although the power usage is fairly intense when you're actually driving, the individual runs are very brief.

    A regular day at autocross might use about 10% of the pack capacity. I use much more power getting to/from the event.

    The school had considerably more time driving, but even so I only used 27% of the pack capacity.
     
  7. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Yeah, this was my first time out with the sticky tires. The grip is quite amazing!
     

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