Jake’s First AutoX

Everyone meet Jake. He’s a young guy who we’ve been trying to convince to AutoX for years. Finally he started. Here’s Jake’s review of his first event, hopefully Jake will be helping us cover the Susq region SCCA events in the future. 🙂

My first autocross
The day began at 6 A.M. I woke up, got myself ready, and put everything I had prepared in my car. It wasn’t much, but enough to get me through the day

-Tire pressure gauge
-1/2” bar and 19mm socket

I left at 7 A.M. on half a tank and arrived roughly 35 minutes later. There was a small crowd gathered at that point and the registration table and tent was still being assembled. I unpacked the car and then made my way over. I registered, signed the waiver, grabbed my number, signed up for my work position, and made my way back over to my vehicle. After affixing my number I drove over and passed through tech inspection, everything a-ok.  To my surprise, my co-worker came over and offered to help me out seeing as it was my first time. I wasn’t aware he was coming and am quite thankful as he had some solid advice as we did a walk-through.

-jump down to read more about Jake’s First AutoX!-

Following I attended the novice walkthrough, which was packed full of great info. I even walked the course a third time before heat one started. Watching cars run through the course had me excited and nervous at the same time.  Heat one ended and it was time for me to grid. I attached the cameras and went for my fourth course walk. I really tried to picture myself coming through the course and establish a line.

When I arrived back in the grid I hopped in my car and put my helmet on, it was finally time to race! When it was my turn I pulled up to the light waiting for it to turn green. Adrenaline was starting to build and I took off. I didn’t push the car very hard because my main goal was to make it through the course without getting lost or hitting any cones. Run one was over. I ran a 53.xxx.

I was hooked, and questioned why I waited this long to start autocrossing! My next run came along, and I knew I had to improve my time. It started and ended so quickly. Another clean run that shaved 5 seconds off my initial time! A 48.xxx was nice, but nowhere close the 39’s leading SM.

I wasn’t trying to compete I reminded myself. Run three came along and I managed to run a 46.xxx with a cone penalty (which I don’t remember hitting haha). Another two seconds shaved off! I was having so much fun you couldn’t wipe the smile off my face. It was time for my final run and I wanted to improve my time again. Unfortunately I hit another cone but still managed a 45.xxx. My co-worker Jon managed a 39.598 on his last run and won street mod! Below is a video of my fourth run (Top corner is run 3)

Once racing was over I parked the car and headed over to my work position at corner one.  I even stuck around for the awards afterwards. Overall, I had a great first experience. If you haven’t autocrossed yet, all I can say is go for it; you will meet so many great locals that are there to help! If I could have done anything different it would probably be to actually bring sunscreen. Putting it on in the morning wasn’t enough for pale me. I have a nice sunglasses tan now too :/ haha. That and a cooler, my water didn’t stay cold but that’s no big deal. The one thing that would have been nice to know before hand is how easy it is to get involved with your local SCCA chapter. It’s so simple, just show up and they will guide you through your newly found addiction!

Photo Credit: John Rudy

I am so happy I am young, as I will have many more years to enjoy auto-x and many other motorsports! Here’s to many years to come.

Shout out to T3h_Clap, Jon Muffley, and SCCA-Susq for helping me get started!


Leave a Reply