Night autocross, anyone? | Garage Rescue Miata

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David S.
Update by David S. Wallens to the Mazda Miata project car
Feb 18, 2022

Remember how we were just looking back at our 2021 season? Well, our Miata’s first autocross of 2022 takes place this weekend.

And this autocross is a little different, too: a night event at Orlando’s Orange County Convention Center, with this one hosted by the Martin Sport Car Club. Competitors will get runs both at dusk and after nightfall.

We used to run night events in Jacksonville a zillion years ago, so looking forward to the format.

The Miata recently spent some time on the lift, and we’ll detail that work shortly.

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Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
2/17/22 12:36 p.m.

The first thing that comes to mind when I hear "night autocross":

 

Tom1200
Tom1200 UltraDork
2/17/22 12:47 p.m.

I vaguely recall doing some slight modifications to the Datsun for night autocross circa 1989.

 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
2/17/22 12:55 p.m.

In reply to Colin Wood :

Nice. Now that will be stuck in my head. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
2/17/22 12:55 p.m.

In reply to Tom1200 :

Nice. The Miata has Hella H4s and the lot is lit. Will the lot lights be on? Good question. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
2/17/22 12:58 p.m.

In reply to Colin Wood :

And now to replace SpongeBob with this. smiley

 

Tom1200
Tom1200 UltraDork
2/17/22 1:01 p.m.

In reply to David S. Wallens :

I once autocrossed the F500 in a lot with inconsistent lighting...............it was an interesting test of muscle memory.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
2/17/22 1:04 p.m.

In reply to Tom1200 :

We used to run night events in Jax. I never added lights to the car, and I can't remember having any issues seeing. Of course, that was 25 years ago. Being at the computer all day can now wreck my eyes. Hopefully I won't be at the computer on Saturday. Hopefully. 

Sparkie
Sparkie New Reader
2/17/22 1:38 p.m.

Highlands Sports Car Club, https://hscc.club/ runs a whole series of night autocrosses every year in Asheville, NC.

trucke
trucke SuperDork
2/17/22 1:49 p.m.
Sparkie said:

Highlands Sports Car Club, https://hscc.club/ runs a whole series of night autocrosses every year in Asheville, NC.

Started in 1991!  Been running on the same lot ever since.  It's a great venue!

 

 

Toyman!
Toyman! GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/17/22 1:57 p.m.

IIRC, CCR-SCCA use to have a night-time series at Z-Max. I won't swear to that though. I've never run one, but with my eyes, I'd bet on destroying some cones. 

 

 

trucke
trucke SuperDork
2/17/22 2:00 p.m.
Toyman! said:

IIRC, CCR-SCCA use to have a night-time series at Z-Max. I won't swear to that though.

 

CCRSCCA did hold 24 hour events as part of the North Carolina Autocross Championship.  I remember being the only corner worker around 3:00AM.  This was back in the 90's.  Don't recall it being a zMax.  I would need to dig out my NCAC history tote to determine where.  I was NCAC Series Director back in '91 and '92.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
2/17/22 2:02 p.m.

Way rad. Love to hear about more night autocrosses. And even some dusk events would rock. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/17/22 2:28 p.m.

Now I want to set up a night track day at our local track. It's more like a permanent autox anyhow. There are no track lights, this could be fun :)

Toyman!
Toyman! GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/17/22 2:49 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

Our last Lemons race was a 24 hour at CMP with no track lights. Even with 4 Hella 500s and two 6" bar lights for the track edges, it was darker than 10' up a well digger's ass. Without any kind of lines other than the blend line at the pits and the curbing, the asphalt just disappeared. 

20190331_193434.jpg

The LEDs in the Dirtson weren't any better. 

20190331_193253.jpg

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/17/22 2:57 p.m.

I've set up car lights for the T25, it was pretty dark there too. But I was the crew chief, not a driver, so I never got to try it.

Tom1200
Tom1200 UltraDork
2/17/22 3:00 p.m.

Our night autocrosses were born out of necessity...................it's to blazing hot to run in the daytime.

APEowner
APEowner GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
2/17/22 3:27 p.m.

I used to race dirt track cars so I've run in poor lighting conditions in cars with no headlights.  It's fun.  Now however, I don't really want to stay up that late.  I'm apparently old and cranky.  Get off my lawn.

RadBarchetta
RadBarchetta New Reader
2/17/22 8:03 p.m.

We used to run night autocross under the lights at Kil-Kare Speedway outside Dayton, Ohio. Tons of fun. Hopefully we'll get to do it again someday...

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
2/17/22 9:09 p.m.
Tom1200 said:

Our night autocrosses were born out of necessity...................it's to blazing hot to run in the daytime.

That's a way valid reason, too. 

Toyman!
Toyman! GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/17/22 9:25 p.m.
David S. Wallens said:
Tom1200 said:

Our night autocrosses were born out of necessity...................it's to blazing hot to run in the daytime.

That's a way valid reason, too. 

Down here, that's the best reason. 

Tom1200
Tom1200 UltraDork
2/17/22 11:27 p.m.

In reply to David S. Wallens :

It can often be 107 degrees at 8 PM here.

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
2/17/22 11:45 p.m.

I took the ralliart wagon to Jacksonville last year for the night event. No moon, unlighted runway. This was actually a clean and relatively quick run.

I'd be there Saturday if I was off work.

 

Jerry
Jerry PowerDork
2/18/22 9:14 a.m.

I did a night rallycross once in the WRX.  In the rain.  I did not do well.

But everyone said the WRX looked good with LED headlights, Hella 500 replacements in the fogs, two LED pods and an LED light bar.  So that made me happy.

trucke
trucke SuperDork
2/18/22 9:45 a.m.

Looks like a 24 hour event hosted by CCRSCCA was in Hickory back in 1993 (Sept 4/5).  Not sure of the event site.  Most likely it was Hickory Speedway, a small circle track with an infield course included.

 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
2/18/22 9:56 a.m.

In reply to trucke :

Wow, Car Guys. I ran with them at Roebling in like 1994.

Sparkie
Sparkie New Reader
2/18/22 10:34 a.m.
trucke said:
Sparkie said:

Highlands Sports Car Club, https://hscc.club/ runs a whole series of night autocrosses every year in Asheville, NC.

Started in 1991!  Been running on the same lot ever since.  It's a great venue!

 

 

Yeah, I've run it before, a long time ago, but I plan to run a lot more this year. :) 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
2/18/22 5:15 p.m.

You know, I planned to get some illuminated valve caps for the event. That would be fun, right? But all of the reviews made them sound like crap. Then I forget about them until this morning. 

te72
te72 Reader
2/18/22 9:51 p.m.

You know, I wish we did our events in the late afternoon. Start once the majority of the heat dies down, call it around 10pm so as to be good neighbors.

 

I'd claim the "it's hot out" because we're at 6500' elevation, but it's really more that I'm a night person. I don't even realize that I'm awake until half my morning runs are done haha.

DrMikeCSI
DrMikeCSI New Reader
2/18/22 10:02 p.m.

Wow, I hope you could see better then the camera. 

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
2/19/22 12:00 a.m.
DrMikeCSI said:

Wow, I hope you could see better then the camera. 

I'm assuming you were referring to my video.
 

I couldn't see much better than what the camera recorded.
 

We started with three runs before sundown, and I walked the course multiple times, had my first three runs, plus had worked a corner during that first session.

I was pretty familiar with the course for the night runs. 

I had to try to point the car in the right direction until the next element became visible. 

hobiercr
hobiercr GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
2/19/22 12:42 p.m.

In reply to trucke :

I went to college just North of Charlotte in the late 80's. The local AutoX group hosted a "24 Hours of leMall" at a large mall parking lot. It ran from noon to noon with a course change at midnight. To trophy, you had to run both courses. Fun event but long course worker stints.

Claff
Claff HalfDork
2/20/22 1:45 p.m.

We've run a handful of night autocrosses in DC region. They were non-points, with limited entry, no novices. They were usually held on a Saturday night after a school so some of the staff were there from 7AM, maybe earlier, and probably didn't get done till darn near midnight (and with another school the next day).

For those not at the school, we'd show up around 5PM. I think we'd start running around 7, maybe 7:30, so our first runs were in dusk. Drivers were separated into two halves, and one would work while the other ran. After everyone got four or five dusk runs, we'd take a break and hang for a while. By 9PM things were properly dark and we'd line back up and do another four runs. It wasn't completely dark as the parking lot lights were on, but it was dark enough.

I just realized the last one we did was back in 2016, so it's long overdue to do this again. But it would have to take some sweet-talking of the school staff to be willing to spend an 18 hour day at FedEx Field.

 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
2/23/22 12:59 p.m.

In reply to hobiercr :

Yeah, 24 hours sounds fun until you're shagging cones at 4 a.m.

I really like the dusk/evening/night thing, so hopefully we see more on the calendar. 

Peabody
Peabody MegaDork
2/23/22 1:03 p.m.

In reply to hobiercr :

I like riding woods at night and asked at a club meeting if we could run a night time hare scramble, and possibly a 24hr hare scramble if that worked out.

Everybody looked at me like I was nuts.

fatallightning
fatallightning Reader
2/23/22 3:54 p.m.

We had a local drive an exotic at a local mall. A buddy talked to the organizers during the day and somehow convinced them to let us check out the course afterhours. We ended running for like 2 hours non stop, and security was just like, yep fine. We called a couple buddies and had a ball. Some other guys showed up and it started to get a little crowded. I got pics somewhere, I gotta dig. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=loQa7jQr8dY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DoXqQNealrE

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