Staying ALIVE at an Auto-x.........

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Staying ALIVE at an Auto-x.........

Postby PDM » Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:49 pm

Staying ALIVE at an Auto-x....... (or how to be a little more comfortable at our upcoming race school and race event.)

O.K...I know Fab has a great resource stickied for new racers covering format, and setup and more..... but after yesterday's VCMC event, it really surprised me as to how many racers, both newbs and seasoned racers were so ill-prepared for the wet and cold weather we encountered. So this is Uncle Don's wiley advice for those who are new to racing and or those that need some coaching advice from my years of racing preparation.

(those that know me, know I'm very well prepared when it comes to racing - be my cars, my rig, or my organization - but there's a reason for my madness - whether it's obsession compulsiveness (1,2,3,4,5........bang, bang, bang, bang, bang....stomp, stomp, stomp, stomp, stomp)....or just from my years of doing this darn sport and learning at an early age that being cold, wet and hungry suck at doing your best at our sport. I also work out on the pad as my day-job - so I FULLY understand comfort when it comes to the Pitt Meadow's Airport pad.

So.....here's a few tips to those coming out for Auto-x 101 and for the Sunday event.

1. It rains in Vancouver. (repeat after me....... it RAINS in Vancouver !!!) And for those that are in the know...it f*cking POURS at Pitt Meadows. We're not talking gentle spring showers, or misty, warm sprinkling....... IT F*CKING POURS sideways with massive wind gusts and bone chilling, soul-eating ferocity - so don't come dressed in your shorts...don't come in sandals, and don't wear t-shirts and jeans and expect to survive a day of auto-x in rainy Vancouver. Likewise, don't doll your girlfriend up in a short skirt and high heals and expect to parade her around and still be your significant other at the end of the day. (save that for the summer)

If you are coming to race at Pitt Meadows, dress appropriately. Bring lots of clothing, and proper rain gear. Standard race wear includes very water proof jackets and pants. Save yourself the grief and get a decent pair of rain pants from Mark's Work Wearhouse or from Walmart. The small investment you make in proper rain gear will pay divedends in your ability to focus and actually learn to become a better driver. If in doubt, bring various jackets to change into. And bring spare socks and shoes. Even if to drive home with dry socks and dry runners - it'll make the drive home less miserable regretting hitting all those cones..... :mrgreen:


2. Footwear. Our sport requires you to walk the course. Our sport requires you to work the course. Bring PROPER boots and or hiking boots. Pitt Meadows pad was terribly engineered and lakes form on course. Lakes that the race course goes through, so if you intend to walk the course in the morning - chances are you will be walking through Lake North West, or Lake South West. Those that have seen how deep these puddles get - KNOW they can easily eclipse 4-5 inches at their deepest, so one step into either lake and your running shoes are now soggy homes for rot-feet and "go-to-school/work-Monday-with-a-cold-itis"........ Nothing beats you up faster than having cold, wet feet, so bring boots, and bring spare running shoes and socks. I cannot emphasize enough how important proper boots are for fall/winter racing in Vancouver. Those that are taking the school on Saturday - there will be ZERO excuse if you show up with running shoes. I will FORCE you through the deepest puddle just to make an example of you for not having more common sense.

Buy a cheap pair of rubber boots from Walmart and you'll thank me the next rainy race day. Buy insulated ones and you'll thank me come February on a very cold rainy day.

People may laugh at some of us for looking like Frosty the Snowman with our winter boots and fisherman-rain clothes....but guess who's laughing as we change into our race shoes all warm and dry.....

3. Need to keep your stuff dry? Buy a large Rubbermaid container and use it during the week to hold all your race stuff, your school books, your dirty laundry to take home to get mom to wash your clothes, or your food to keep away from your pilfering room mates. Come Sunday, take excess crap out and keep spare shoes, socks, jackets, Go Pro's and phones, and other stuff you have scattered throughout your car and you can park near or in any of the free puddles that form on any rainy day and not worry about having soggy stuff. Want to be baller ? Buy a sharpie and have at it and show your artistic side. (impress friends, make conversation, score with girls...... ) Also if anyone bumps into your stuff, chances are the Rubbermaid container will just slide along and you won't have damage to your stuff.

4. Bring a hat. Baseball cap, touque, whatever...... Or better yet......also an umbrella. Your body loses heat the fastest out of your head. Face it people, it's not a fashion show out at the races, and being cool with your soaking wet t-shirt, soggy shoes and wet head is not likely to impress the few ladies that come out to the races. (if anything, it shows the LACK of mental capacity your brain has in it.......... simple survival of the species. Alpha male has greatest cranial capacity = mates with females of tribe = survival of tribe. Alpha male with warm head thinks best and will be faster than cold, wet juveniles who fail to think ahead.) Be an alpha male (or female) and stay warm and dry.

5. Never go hungry at the races. In said Rubbermaid container, shove some spare fruit, Granola bars or even a ziplock bag of nuts, and raisins or Cinnamon Toast Crunch. You never know what heat you will run in, and having something to munch on at 11:00 when there's still an hour to go until your lunch break really helps. That way you can always keep that box of Granola bars or jar of peanuts inside your race-box - so that you can use it for future events. Dry goods don't go bad, and stay dry in plastic.

6. If you do happen to get wet, bring a spare towel in your container to wipe down your head or feet before you change into your spare dry socks and shoes. You'll thank me later. Also keep a spare towel or micro fiber towel in your car to wipe your feet down so that you don't have wet, slippery pedals.

7. Protip from Don.......Check and change your wiper blades !!! Vision is THE key to being able to drive, let alone race. Why use the dried out, smeary wiper blades you've had on your car for several years. Face it, you only get 5-8 runs per day, so why penalize yourself with shitty vision ??? Clean the windshield properly with Bon Ami, or any good industrial non abrasive window cleaner ahead of time, and change your wiper blades. People laugh at me for running high end PIAA wiper blades on my race cars. Know what ?......guess who's laughing when the skies open up !!!! Can't drive if you can't see....so how the hell do you expect to drive at the limit if you can't see.


Capiche ?.. Test will be served on Saturday. Expect rain, fun, and marching through puddles !!!
PDM
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Re: Staying ALIVE at an Auto-x.........

Postby pistachoo » Mon Sep 23, 2013 9:47 pm

PDM wrote:Don't doll your girlfriend up in a short skirt and high heals and expect to parade her around and still be your significant other at the end of the day. (save that for the summer)

PDM wrote:Those that are taking the school on Saturday - there will be ZERO excuse if you show up with running shoes. I will FORCE you through the deepest puddle just to make an example of you for not having more common sense.


I now have both of these contrasting mental images dancing around in my mind's eye... to the tune of the Bee Gees hit. :lol:
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Re: Staying ALIVE at an Auto-x.........

Postby mle » Tue Sep 24, 2013 8:11 am

question from a first timer. in the faqs it says we can't have anything in the car, so is there a storage area we can leave our container full of goodies?
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Re: Staying ALIVE at an Auto-x.........

Postby gtirnick » Tue Sep 24, 2013 8:49 am

either the container is waterproof
or bring a tarp to cover your container
you leave it out in the open behind your car
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Re: Staying ALIVE at an Auto-x.........

Postby Behnam » Tue Sep 24, 2013 8:50 am

mle wrote:question from a first timer. in the faqs it says we can't have anything in the car, so is there a storage area we can leave our container full of goodies?


You can leave them in the pits, behind your car. It will serve to reserve your spot when you are off on the grid as well. Just make sure that your container has a tight lid that won't fly away in the wind.

I recommend having a box of big garbage bags in your car as well for items that won't fit well in the container, such as the driver side mat or your spare tire. Smaller zip-lock bags could also come in handy for cellphones and cash, while you are working the course.
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Re: Staying ALIVE at an Auto-x.........

Postby ginger » Tue Sep 24, 2013 6:13 pm

This is a great source for information thanks Don! Very good tips in here. New drivers look around at the next race and see the people who are going fast, they will be following pretty much all of these steps.

This has been stickied for future reference
Kevan Cote - black 1991 Civic si SMF
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Re: Staying ALIVE at an Auto-x.........

Postby Pretender » Wed Sep 25, 2013 8:00 pm

It took me a while, but I now do everything on Don's list. One thing I would add is to use a plastic report cover or something similar to put your course map in to keep it from getting wet. It doesn't take long for the map to get wet and start falling apart.
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Re: Staying ALIVE at an Auto-x.........

Postby 917rrb » Sat Mar 08, 2014 10:17 pm

Pretender wrote:It took me a while, but I now do everything on Don's list. One thing I would add is to use a plastic report cover or something similar to put your course map in to keep it from getting wet. It doesn't take long for the map to get wet and start falling apart.


lunch bag?
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Re: Staying ALIVE at an Auto-x.........

Postby pistachoo » Sun Mar 09, 2014 10:41 am

"It's just a little wet, it's still good, it's still good!"

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