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Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
11/15/21 8:25 a.m.

Legendary driver Mario Andretti is credited for saying “If everything seems under control, you’re just not fast enough.”

That might be true, but do you have a moment when you realized that everything was certainly not under control–that maybe, just maybe, you sent it a…

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¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
11/15/21 8:29 a.m.

no it was fine

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/15/21 8:40 a.m.

When I'm in a bad position for the next corner.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
11/15/21 8:43 a.m.

Many years, at a local autocross, I figured that if I took this one particular turn a bit wider than everyone else, I could maintain a lot more momentum.

When I heard all the gravel, marbles and debris bouncing off the bottom of my car as it started to spin off the course, I realized that it was no longer the hot setup.

Matt B (fs)
Matt B (fs) UltraDork
11/15/21 8:46 a.m.

Regarding what Pete said...

It was pretty quickly after I successfully passed that guy I-was-totally-convinced-I-could-pass going into the kink at CMP.  On one hand, I was correct in my assumption. I did pass him.  On the other, I was quickly reminded that not a place you want to be at pace and off the line. 

dculberson MegaDork
11/15/21 9:09 a.m.

In reply to Matt B (fs) :

Oof. I made a pass going into the kink at CMP and as I settled into the line realized that a BMW had passed the same car on the right and we were headed for the same line out of the kink. He locked it up for a bit and I adjusted my line and we were fine but it was a brown shorts moment. I'm not sure how fast I was going then, but a prior GPS lap showed 110mph so it was not slow.

JoeTR6 Dork
11/15/21 9:23 a.m.

There was that autocross where I ended up pointing backwards in the stop garage and could still see people running away in the rear view mirror.  This was the result of a 90 degree turn at the end of the course and a "both feet in" situation.  Amazingly it was a clean run.

rslifkin UberDork
11/15/21 9:32 a.m.

In this video, right about 17:45, and then again, not quite as badly at about 18:45.  


Stayed in the throttle a bit too long in a slalom.  Glanced down as I lifted towards the end and saw something in the ballpark of 60.  I was sideways before I even touched the brakes with no hope of making the turnaround without something getting messy.  That was always my downfall of driving the Jeep in a rallycross.  Any tight, low speed course feature slow and often messy.  But the more open, faster sections of course were really fast, as it was one of the only cars in the field that had both enough power to get up and fly through those sections and enough tire to use that power (and would take a slalom well at speed). 

DeadSkunk  (Warren)
DeadSkunk (Warren) UltimaDork
11/15/21 9:40 a.m.

Started outside on the front row, left lane. Decided I had to stay even with the pole sitter all the way to turn 3 to have a chance to lead. At turn 2 ( right hander) the GTI lost the rear, spun 180*, and struck the inside curb with the left front wheel and began to go up on two wheels. At some point ( 2nd pic ) I looked out the side window at grass and realized it wasn't coming back down, at least not on its wheels. Two and a half rolls later it stopped on its roof.

vNo photo description available.

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
11/15/21 9:55 a.m.

I used to say that I had done every rookie mistake in autocross except hit timing.

Then we had a torrential rain at DeLand. I spun off coming through the finish and just caught  the box with the back of the car, but late enough to still get a clean run with a recorded time. 

gearheadE30 Dork
11/15/21 10:16 a.m.

One moment in particular when I suddenly realized I wasn't as good a driver as I thought at age 16 in my E30: ran out of opposite lock trying to save a slide on a highway off ramp and proceeded to beach the car in the pile of drainage stone at the bottom of the cloverleaf. That car taught me a lot about lift throttle oversteer, and about showing off...

Duke MegaDork
11/15/21 10:26 a.m.

In reply to Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) :

Hitting the timing gear = automatic DNF in our club.  And maybe a "you're done for today" chat.

SJR SCCA autocrosses at Bader Field in Atlantic City, an old 3-runway civil airport.  Basically course length is limited only by the number of people registered to provide enough corner workers.  They get some pretty wide-open courses.

Last time I played there, the course finish was a large, 90-degree left into a little wiggle before the exit lights.  I came through the left way too hot and trying to keep the back end in line, but the wiggle killed me.  I did a big loopy 540, narrowly missing the timing gear to the outside.  Luckily I did not go into the grass (and so avoided earning a seagull sticker)  but I wound up backwards right on the edge of the paving, next to the stop box.  I dumped the clutch and  drove back onto the course outside the timing lights, snapped it around, and ended the run normally.

All told it was entirely an exercise in overdriving and adrenaline, and I'm surprised I didn't get yelled at.  I would have yelled at myself if I was the safety steward.  Luckily nothing bad came of it; either they red flagged the car behind me or else there was enough gap that I didn't create a problem.


AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/15/21 10:35 a.m.

On the 13th attempt at this:

I learned that the diff will only survive 12 such attempts.

NOTE:  that's not me and that's not my Greenbrier.  mine was same color but in much worse condition.

bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter)
bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
11/15/21 10:41 a.m.

When I was about fifteen and I had the circular imprint of my Honda XR speedometer embossed into my chest for over a week. 

Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
11/15/21 10:46 a.m.

Does it count if I was in the passenger seat when the driver sent it too hard?

The short version is that the driver was test driving a C6 Corvette ZR1. He didn't realize that traction control was turned off. At the first straight bit of road, he put his foot into it and–you guessed it–the back end stepped out pretty hard.

Thankfully, nobody was injured–unless you count the fire hydrant that got knocked over (but somehow didn't start spewing water everywhere).

revvhappy New Reader
11/15/21 11:16 a.m.


At 18 years-old on a Yamaha RD400 I learned the difference between on-camber and off-camber pavement. I was exiting a large traffic circle with far too much speed for the 90 degree right-hander and crossed the double-yellow line - that's the moment I understood off-camber as I continued right through the opposite lane. Thank god there was nobody there.

GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/15/21 11:30 a.m.

Just after all 4 wheels left the ground. Only took a little too much speed coming off of the funbox:

kazoospec PowerDork
11/15/21 11:43 a.m.

First year autocrossing, I signed up for a higher speed event at Grattan.  We started out on a dry track, and got some pretty heavy rain just before my last run.  Like any good rookie/idiot, I tried to match the dry pace in the wet.  Doubling down on my idiocy, when the back end started stepping out (on a front heavy, FWD car), I stabbed the brakes, which was the absolute wrong thing to do.  The car spun so fast I couldn't rotate my helmeted head fast enough to keep up.  My lingering mental picture is watching most of the spin out the side window as a result.  I went into the grass/dirt/mud backwards and re-arranged a fair amount of the trackside landscaping.  Fortunately, no damage was done to the vehicle or any persons, just my pride and sense of competency as a driver. 

fidelity101 (Forum Supporter)
fidelity101 (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
11/15/21 12:04 p.m.


the only people to jump it further than us was the factory subaru drivers. We went as far as ken block more or less. 



we won the internet that day at service park. Definitley had thoughts mid air that I was going to end up like Pitor Fetela:


same corner, a few years earlier:


Matt B (fs)
Matt B (fs) UltraDork
11/15/21 1:08 p.m.
dculberson said:

In reply to Matt B (fs) :

Oof. I made a pass going into the kink at CMP and as I settled into the line realized that a BMW had passed the same car on the right and we were headed for the same line out of the kink. He locked it up for a bit and I adjusted my line and we were fine but it was a brown shorts moment. I'm not sure how fast I was going then, but a prior GPS lap showed 110mph so it was not slow.

That does sound like a scooby-doo "ruh-roh" moment.  Events like that are why I affectionately refer to the kink as the pucker zone.  I've had quite the relationship with that particular corner. It went from cautious comfort to mind-games after my incident, then to finally conquering my own BS.  I now use it for passing opportunities again.  However, those often happen after the kink as I am usually able to carry more momentum than most into turn 11.  Probably my favorite part of the track.

Matt B (fs)
Matt B (fs) UltraDork
11/15/21 1:15 p.m.

In reply to fidelity101 (Forum Supporter) :

AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/15/21 1:23 p.m.

i'm with MattB on this one.  pretty sure fidelity101's post could have a /thread behind it.

Junkers New Reader
11/15/21 1:27 p.m.

In reply to David S. Wallens :

Congrats, you found the unfair advantage!  But was it really a 10/10ths edge or more of an 8 or 9 tenths edge?  Sounds like you repeated it many times where others were afraid.  If lack of fear put you at an advantage, should you relinquish your fearlessness to "play fair" with the feeble competition?  I've found people play too conservative and leave a lot on the table to be had.

Mr_Asa PowerDork
11/15/21 1:32 p.m.

My second or third autocross ever, guy had his brand new Z06 out, 471-miles-on-it-new.

Goes out once to learn the course.  Talks to a buddy, goes out one more time and returns, talks strategy one more time then goes out and turns his traction control off for his third run.

Midway through the track was a slalom that ended in a hairpin and you came back parallel to the slalom. There was a little concrete median/island thingie out there that normally wasn't a concern cause it was at least 50-60 feet from the track.  Roughly 6" tall, about three or four feet wide, dozen feet long

Well this guy sent it, spun out at the end of the slalom and somehow in his slide he perfectly hit the median in such a way that both driver's side wheels got sent airborne and he sailed over the entire damn thing.  Slid an extra 10 feet or so once he landed.  Both driver's wheels had a 6" chunk taken out of the lip 

Junkers New Reader
11/15/21 1:35 p.m.

In reply to Matt B (fs) :

Interesting!  Sounds like you got a little bit of PTSD from the mishandled stress of it.  Also sounds like you found a way back through it.

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