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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
UPDATE: Review of event, car, and pictures posted below

I noticed this forum has basicly no following or posts... seems most of the people here are too worried about their tints :p

Anyway, I am going to an autocross this Sunday in Detroit, MI (Belle Isle) and going to see how the new car does. I have been autocrossing since 2003 I believe (still couldnt even buy smokes). I have stopped though in the last couple years because my normal ride has turned into a track day car and honestly it's not set up for a tight course w/ bumps. (see my sig/avatar for car)

I will be running the car 110% stock and seeing how it fairs. I expect a couple things... understeer, and power induced understeer. My Integra had a LSD in it and it was the BEST upgrade for auto-x I could have ever made (put me right into classes with modified WRX's and Mini S's and I still got a victory and a number of trophies)... So I am worried about the wheel angle sensing power limiter... I noticed even with the DSC off I seemd to get a significant power reduction when the wheel was turned. We'll see. I may also try and do a fun-run with the DSC ON and just see what exactly it does. The stock tires seem great on the road but I'll be ramping up the tire pressure (to make sure teh sidewalls dont scrub) and this will be my only real way to tune the handling (F/R). Bell Isle is a pretty flat course so luckily no large bumps/dips will upset the car.

I will update with times, hopefully some pix, and maybe even a video if the camera is working (out of car.. no rollbar to mount to in this car).

Wish me luck!
 

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Most of the folks I've met from autocross/roadracing don't actually post on forums, regardless of what car they drive. They might read for ideas, but don't post. Too busy wrenching on the car, practicing or doing other things besides armchair racing. ;)

The MS3 has an LSD, but yes there is a boost cut at lower gears (1/2/3) with extreme wheel angle. I've seen a couple examples of the stock Dunlops caving under hard cornering, even with PSI as high as 50. The sidewalls might not be up to the task as well as the lack of front negative camber.

As for video mount, how about the passenger seat headrest holes?
 

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Good luck!!! I was actually going to start auto-x this year since I have a buddy of mine who is the solo chair of my regional SCCA. I got married and most/all of my time has been devoted to having a perfect wedding and not pissing my new wife off with being gone and spending money.

Let me know how a stock 3 fairs since I most likely won't be modding mine too much more! I'm planning on going out towards the end of the season this year or starting off next year!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks guys. I will watch out for the dunlops for sure. I'll be bringing the big air compressor and using some good ol' chalk to keep an eye on the sidewalls. I understand your wedding plans and I'm already hearing it from a couple people who think more clearly than I do about wanting to do some mods and take er to the track.

The hardest part is telling myself it's a daily driver and not a racecar... since my last car was a constant project until it basically became one... i wouldn't reccomend it.

I'm used to being aggressive to the big meaty 205/50/15 Falkens but I'm nervous with these big bling-bling 18's it came with lol. I just imagine running on rim... but I'm sure i'll make it work.

and lastly about the forums - i agree I never really post but since this site works at work i may post a lil more often.

zoom
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well I just ran my first autocross in the new 3 and my overall impression:

IMPRESSED! The car BONE stock faired extremely well and was a blast to drive.

The event was pretty packed this time partially due to last month's autocross being rained out and free passes given out. Although getting out on course did take a little bit of time (a lot of time for some), we still got 5 runs and had lots of competition.... good and bad since i'm rusty.

The track was a 'less is more' track with a quick 120degree right followed by a 6 cone optional slalom, and then a couple fast sections - which helpped the 3 quite a bit.

My car had STOCK dunlops, which were decent but FAR from a competition tire even a street competition tire (like star-specs, azenis, etc)

Here's how it faired:

My runs (from memory were as follows:)

47.8xx
47.54x
took a break to check tires, I had 45lbs in each but then brought the fronts to 48lbs, and the rears kept at 45 ..... ran out of air :-(
47.7xx
Damn.... At this point a Chevy Cobalt SS had a time of 46.5xx +1 cone, which means he prolly had a time just as good without a cone.... I CANNOT BE BEATEN BY A COBALT! :argh 1: .... I just can't let that happen. So I waited for a good while for my friend in his '08 bmw 135i (i want this car) with 225/255 sticky potenza's to go for his first ever auto-x runs (great job btw - drove very smooth and ended with a respectable time).

So far the car has experienced a noticeable amount of understeer. First gear was pretty much useless after the start (I tried going into 1st at a slow turn and i ended up just spinning the tires all the way until the next turn... which ISNT fast)... I decided to keep the car in 2nd gear and stay SMOOTH... slower into some of the tight corners so I'm not scrubbing speed just trying to stay between the cones... So I calmed down and my next run felt pretty good and I haerd:

"46.0xx for car 146"

I shaved off a SECOND AND A HALF! I was very happy because a) i knew I could do a lot better and b) i knew the car could do a little better and WAS better than a stock cobalt...

My last run I went right after my 46.0 run and went in a little hot into one corner and lost some speed and ended up with a

46.7xx - not BAD but didnt help me

When I left, there was a chrysler crossfire on extremely sticky tires that ran a 45.5xx and he said he saw another person in class run a 45.7xx (not sure what car yet)

So, I was extreeememeely happy with the car. It outperformed cars with more modifications, MUCH better tires, and drivers who at least are into autocross... I'm a track guy and havnt been to an autocross in a couple years. I was extremely happy with myself after this as well!

Since I know the car won't be going to many more autocrosses (none would be alright to save me some tire)... I got some 50 professional pictures taken and decided to buy a CD from the guy with all of his pictures. I'll post as many as I can on here in the next couple days... Here are a couple quick for a teaser.

So........ I'm hoping for a 3rd place with my bone stock, never been ran, 3700miles on the O.D. 2010 Mazdaspeed3

p.s. Yes I gave my car teeth and it looked a bit like a jack-o-lantern... Makes it faster for sure.
 

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^^ Great post! I was checking back to see how it turned out. Looks like things went really well and I love the pics.

I've always wanted to run an auto-x event and your post has just positively influenced that. Question for you...why do you run the event with the windows down? Mandatory, or would it be negligible any gains you would get from the windows being up? I understand it was probably warm out and obviously running AC would be ridiculous, but wouldn't you see some improvement with a bit of a sleeker car?

Thanks again for the post and great job to you!

Randy
 

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Yep, being smooth is the key to being consistently fast. At least that's what I garnered from track sessions in a gokart. Hard launches out of turns and heavy power slides usually made my laps 1-2 seconds slower.

Funny pictures with the teeth.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you for the compliments! As for the windows, I don't believe that it is manditory. There is a small disadvantage to having the windows down, but at such low speeds such as in an autocross they're close to negligable. I much prefer to have at least the front two windows down (never had a 4-door on course btw) so that you can hear the tires. This will help more than the 1/4 of a mph you might get in 2 spots on the course. I kept the rears down also tho so if there is air entering the inside of the car, the windows close to the rear are just going to let any turbulent air right back out if anything. On a roadcourse it may be better to only have the fronts down (for safety - no glass near your face in the event of hitting someone/something) and once again so you can hear what is happening around you and the car. Hope that makes senese...that's at least my reason for it. And the A/C while waiting in line is just fine :-D A 'racecar' with a/c FTW!

And yes the smoother the better but first times out I didnt know the car at all so I just wanted to see the limits as well. Forgot that I have ABS on all the time so i was trying to modulate braking :p Ooops... I started to just stand on the pedal and wait for the car to slow down... e-z-mode driving hooray.
 

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Excellent efforts! Love it when MS3 owners are proud and confident enough to take on auto-x events! Your pioneering spirit with a 2nd Gen has inspired us all!


BTW. Can't wait to get some more of those professional pics you mentioned :cheesy:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Proud and confident enough in a stock car to think I can be competitive! I have experience doing it so I knew I would be able to push the car to near it's full potential (lol....up to 2nd gear)... I do however have to say that I havn't seen more than 1 other 2010 MS3 on the road since i've gotten mine.. the only one is my twin that lives a couple streets over... and not even one at a track event or autocross yet. And I was the only MS3 there! cmon guys it's autocross it's a great learning experience and it's even a lil fun :cheesy:

-Teal... who wishes more people would race or track their fancy 3's and use those mods everyone is so very in need of hehe

::gets off soap box::
 

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Discussion Starter #11
More pix

note: second one... the LED brake lights are on but the bulbs arn't yet ;-)
 

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haha I have some more but they're a lot of ones from the same angle and such... waiting for the results to be posted now.... ahhh hurry up
 

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It's official. Got 3rd behind two former champions who go to every event every weekend with real wheel drive cars :p woot!
 

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Kickass job TT! Keep us updated with anymore runs you have in the future. I'm wondering how much difference the SRI/TIP might make?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I wouldn't expect it to make much of a difference in the autocross, the car has already more than enough power. My fastest run was when I took it easy on the throttle :) The biggest thing is that they are on competitive street/autocross tires and I was on showroom Dunlops (which are great but far from a street compound race tire). I think that if I had a better tire on at that event I could have gotten very close to 1st place time (.6xx seconds faster than me) and definatley beaten the bmw 330i (.240 sec ahead of me).

Unfortunately I'm going to sit the 3 out of autocrosses for a while (forever?) and just use the race car since that's kinda what it's there for. And tires are wayy too expensive for me to be burning them off when I drive as many miles as I do daily.
 

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i know this is an older post, and not sure why i didnt catch this earlier

but thanks - ive been wanting to get into auto-x myself - the scca "new member" meeting in my area is in two months, and im thinking ill probably go - it would be awesome if nothing else to learn to drive better

quick question though - you said you dont plan to use the MS3 on any more auto-x becuase its your daily car - its my only car, is that a bad idea? how hard on the car is doing auto-x events?

i take it the tires take a beating, but what about the rest of the car?
 

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i know this is an older post, and not sure why i didnt catch this earlier

but thanks - ive been wanting to get into auto-x myself - the scca "new member" meeting in my area is in two months, and im thinking ill probably go - it would be awesome if nothing else to learn to drive better

quick question though - you said you dont plan to use the MS3 on any more auto-x becuase its your daily car - its my only car, is that a bad idea? how hard on the car is doing auto-x events?

i take it the tires take a beating, but what about the rest of the car?
I'd pick up a 2nd set of wheels with stickier tires so you have better grip and don't wear out your daily tires too quickly.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Sorry havnt seen your response til now. I say that mostly because I have a car that is a dedicated track car. I put enough sweat into that car, I may as well use it. The biggest thing is your tires without quiestion. The runs are so short nothing else really takes much of a beating it can't handle. The brakes barely get hot lol. But 18" tires are much more expensive than my other car's 15's I used to buy for 72 bucks a corner... So to save some cash I'm sticking to the integra.

which now has race tires that wont warm up in an autocross and spring rates too stiff for autocross and street tires.... sooooo I dunno what i'm going to do this year - maybe use the 3 again!
 

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quick question though - you said you dont plan to use the MS3 on any more auto-x becuase its your daily car - its my only car, is that a bad idea? how hard on the car is doing auto-x events?
Nothing wrong at all with autocrossing your daily. I race my 2006 MZ3 in HS which I bought new. This past season I did nearly 40 events with the car and the season before that about 35 events. Car has been rock solid reliable except for a broken RH motor mount (common even on street driven 3's). Still has the original clutch even. Car has 123,000 miles on it and still drives like new.
 
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