This was my first season autocrossing. I had a BLAST and I’m already super excited for next year. I’m a nerd, so naturally, I had to break down my season with some stats (so I can compare them next year!).
My car: 2016 MINI Cooper Convertible, completely stock (except those sweet aesthetic mods), with stock runflat all season (more like no-season, amirite?) tires
Where: I raced only with Boston BMW CCA (there are other clubs/organizations that host autocross) at Moore Air Field in Ayer, MA
What: in case you’re thinking WTF is autocross, a great post explaining it all by Jess Stratton
I completed five out of eight events, starting in April and ending in October.
- My worst time on my first event: 97.480
- My worst time at my last event: 85.446
- My best time on my first event: 87.181
- My best time at my last event: 81.580
- My average on my first event: 90.496
- My average on my last event: 82.879
So my worst times improved by 12 seconds. My bests improved by 5.6 seconds. My average improved by 7.6 seconds. As expected, my times also had a smaller range, aka my worsts were closer to my bests, and more consistent over an event.
Some of the best times on these courses are in the mid-60s, but because we are classed by car, I ended the season in second place for my class (out of five people, shut up, it still counts).
In the last two events, I took some solo runs (aka without an instructor) and those went surprisingly well.
I took a ride with another driver of a MINI. His MINI is modded for autocross and he’s a way more experienced autocrosser than I am. That ride gave me the realization that I need to drive faster. Driving faster may seem obvious, but when you’re starting out it seems natural to drive a little slower and brake a little less, like you would do in the real world. Seeing Jack drive a MINI showed me I could definitely push my MINI more and that you can brake a lot and still go faster.
In my last event, I “got” a lot of things. I could feel the difference of the CAR on my first run versus laters runs. It was a cold morning, course is cold, car is cold, tires are cold, etc. I wasn’t tricked by the course and was able to see it better than in the beginning of the season. I knew ON THE COURSE when a run was going to be slower and exactly where and why it happened.
Next spring, I’ll get some non-runflat summer tires and possibly a sway bar. I’d like to attend Boston BMW CCA’s novice school and/or an Evolution Performance School session. I’ll definitely attend as many BMW CCA autocross events as I can, and next year I’m allowed to have passengers, so come on down and ride with me!