All you need for a life-changing afternoon? $30 and a Mk7 GTI.

Update by Colin Wood to the Volkswagen Golf GTI project car
Jun 10, 2024 | Autocross, GTI, Volkswagen GTI

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What can $30 get you these days? A quick internet search says a basic coffeemaker, an extra-large specialty pizza or even a Barbie Getaway House playset (for my daughter, of course.)

None of those things, however, are what I spent $30 on. Instead, I took that money and registered for an afternoon of autocrossing with a local chapter of the Porsche Club of America.

In my nearly 30 years of being alive, it was the best $30 I’ve ever spent. Why? Because that afternoon was my very first autocross–and yes, the irony is not lost on me because of where I work.

Almost like a cartoon, a lightbulb went off after I finished my first session: I get it nowThe buildup on the start line, the thrill as the cones rush towards you, those few quiet seconds in your head after you finish a run. I need more.

All that for only $30. Talk about money well spent.

Granted, I had access to a pretty-dang-quick Mk7 GTI, but I am willing to bet I would have had just as much fun in any car–even my daily-driven Honda Fit. (Which I’d like to run just to see how its CVT handles an autocross course.)

Although the times didn’t matter–we were in the aptly-named “FUN” group–I ended up improving some four seconds over my six runs. And, perhaps more importantly, I didn’t break the car or hit anything besides a cone or two.

So, when’s the next autocross?

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Chris Tropea
Chris Tropea Associate Editor
6/10/24 3:54 p.m.

Glad you were able to get out and catch the autocross bug! The GTI is a ton of fun on track but you should definitely take the Fit out to an event! 

Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
6/10/24 3:57 p.m.

In reply to Chris Tropea :

I haven't ruled it out. If a CVT is good enough for Formula 500, why not a Fit?

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
6/10/24 4:38 p.m.

Yay and that was fun. 

Plus we got to also visit Beefy King and the camera store. :)

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
6/10/24 4:40 p.m.

And two take-homes, kinda:

If you’re not motorsporting and would like to, hopefully we can find someone to help hold your hand.

And if you’ve been motorsporting for years, hopefully you have a few to welcome the new people. I’ve autocrossed the past two weekends and worked with a few newcomers at both events. I find it to be very rewarding. My personal goals: make them feel welcome, keep them safe, and make them want to come back–ideally with a friend in tow. 

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
6/10/24 8:36 p.m.

Colin, I had a great time watching you from the timing trailer. I loved seeing how rapidly you figured it out.

And David, I'm definitely adding "bring a friend" to my pitch.

Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
6/11/24 3:50 p.m.

In reply to Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) :

Thank you for the kind words. I'm really glad I at least looked like I knew what I was doing.

I really can't wait until the next outing.

Noddaz GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
6/12/24 8:10 a.m.

You guys are killing me.  Reading about the fun that you have had with your car is good.  This has been for sale at one of the stores in the group I work for.  (Cheap shout out for my employer's group) It is a 2018 with a manual.

So much want even if it is white.  wink (It's not white, it is a blank canvas.)

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
6/12/24 2:09 p.m.

They do look good. 

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