Anyone take SCCA driving classes? (paging Andy)
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  1. #1
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    Anyone take SCCA driving classes? (paging Andy)

    Has anyone taken a performance driving class? How was your experience and what sort of stuff did you learn?

    My friend signed up for one (Phase 1 The Evolution Performance Driving School - Driving Schools) and I'm considering doing the same. However, my friend has the money and desire to pursue racing as a hobby whereas this class would likely be all the fun I'm willing to invest in.

    Also, I would be running my daily driver Suby Crosstrek at the class. The car is scheduled for a front bumper repair a couple weeks prior. How good of an idea would it be to postpone that repair until after I've crushed a few cones during the class?

  2. #2
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    My performance driving class came in the form of the streets and highways of Boston.

  3. #3
    Russian Troll Farmer
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    I think you'd find that a Crosstrek is a poor choice for autocrossing. Take a rally course.....

    FWIW, I used to have an SCCA racing license. I wasn't aware that they were giving non-racing courses these days.
    "L'enfer, c'est les autres"

  4. #4
    Ricardo Cabeza
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    Anyone take SCCA driving classes? (paging Andy)

    I took the Starting Line school 5 years ago. It was $485 and worth every penny. We had 2 instructors and 8 students, so I had a lot of seat time with an instructor.

    I drive a first gen Honda CRX. I was assigned to an instructor who had won a national championship in a first gen Honda CRX. We took one lap and he said “your hand position is atrocious” and we spent the next half hour working on that.

    I managed to improve my time over the course of the day by about 5 seconds on a 45 second course. There is something to be said about having one of the best drivers in the country sitting in your passenger seat yelling “DON’T LIFT DO NOT LIFT!!!” “BRAKE!!! COME ON I SAID BRAKE!! MY MOTHER BRAKES HARDER THAN THAT AND SHE’S DEAD!!”

    Just kidding, he didn’t really say that last thing but you get the idea. Then I let him take a couple laps in my car and he beat my best time by two seconds while chatting the whole time.

    One on one instruction from a professional (or a really good amateur since SCCA drivers don’t get paid) cannot be beat.

    I don’t know anything about the Evo performance class but I think it’s a series that starts with the assumption you’re a base level novice.


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    Last edited by Andy69; 04-01-2019 at 05:34 PM.
    Whenever the legislators endeavour to take away and destroy the property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselves into a state of war with the people who are thereupon absolved from any further obedience, and are left to the common refuge which God hath provided for all men against force and violence - John Locke

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  5. #5
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    I've been out with instructors a bunch of time as a "automotive journalist"--everything from rally-prepped Subarus with Dirtfish to Hellcats at PIR. You will definitely learn a lot from an instructor, though I'm not sure I'd want to do it in my daily driver. It's pretty hard on tires and brakes!

  6. #6
    Ricardo Cabeza
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    Quote Originally Posted by Henry Chinaski View Post
    I've been out with instructors a bunch of time as a "automotive journalist"--everything from rally-prepped Subarus with Dirtfish to Hellcats at PIR. You will definitely learn a lot from an instructor, though I'm not sure I'd want to do it in my daily driver. It's pretty hard on tires and brakes!
    A set of aggressive street pads are a must.

    I had some Hawk street pads I’d gotten on a contingency. I found that they took forever to get up to operating temp and started to fade almost immediately. I mentioned to my aunt (who raced the car I have now for 25 years) that id gotten some Hawk pads on contingency and she said hey free stuff is always great but I found that Hawk pads take forever to heat up and start to fade almost immediately. Lol.

    She used Porterfield, but those are $200/set and you’ll go through 2 sets in a race weekend easily. Yikes.


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    Whenever the legislators endeavour to take away and destroy the property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselves into a state of war with the people who are thereupon absolved from any further obedience, and are left to the common refuge which God hath provided for all men against force and violence - John Locke

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  7. #7
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    Autocross vs rally = beggars can't be choosers. This is the first class like this that has come to my area AFAIK.

    Using the Crosstrek = yeah, I know but you dance with who you brung and we're only talking one day. My wife's VW Alltrack would be more fun but I don't want to risk scratching it. The Suby is our "beater" and the Westfalia wouldn't be appropriate. And this is a beginner's class so there's no need for anything too purpose built.

    Brake/tire wear = I hadn't considered that. We're guaranteed 24 runs with 2 different instructors. Not sure how much I want to beat on the car seeing it's only got 6k miles on it. Or, maybe now IS the time.

    I guess I need to think more about this. It would be fun but I'm about to spend money on a refrigerator and some new stuff for the van.

  8. #8
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    I had a 05 Sti. I tried some scca events at a local airport.all it does it tear up the car.

  9. #9
    Russian Troll Farmer
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    Quote Originally Posted by dir-t View Post
    ...
    Using the Crosstrek = yeah, I know but you dance with who you brung and we're only talking one day. My wife's VW Alltrack would be more fun but I don't want to risk scratching it. The Suby is our "beater" and the Westfalia wouldn't be appropriate. And this is a beginner's class so there's no need for anything too purpose built.
    ...
    Between the three choices you've mentioned, it looks you'll end up being the boatanchor of H-stock class. Go for it, but don't expect any trophies...

    FWIW, I used to autocross my rally-prepped Omni GLH turbo (albeit with Yoko A008's on a dedicated set of aluminum rims), which I believe put me in C-modified. I never placed very high, what with 8" of ground clearance and all, but had a lot of fun doing it. They didn't like it when I came to an event with the mud from the last rally still on the car....
    "L'enfer, c'est les autres"

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by dir-t View Post
    I guess I need to think more about this. It would be fun but I'm about to spend money on a refrigerator and some new stuff for the van.
    Get some beefy sticky rubber an put it on the All-Trac enjoy.
    Last edited by Eretz; 04-04-2019 at 08:01 AM.

  11. #11
    Ricardo Cabeza
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    I'm thinking about building a Solo Spec Coupe. It's a BRZ/FRS with upgrades specified by the class rules - basically suspension and tires that would put it in Street Touring. Tire Rack sells everything as a kit.

    I really like driving hte CRX, but it's tired. Very tired. It has a drivability problem, and in the course of giving it a basic tune up, I broke the header panel. Replacements are unobtainium. Sigh.

    Anyway, it's best to have a car that's "good" for autocross, but you can drive anything, and if you can't go fast in an unsuitable car, a suitable one isn't going to help you.
    Whenever the legislators endeavour to take away and destroy the property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselves into a state of war with the people who are thereupon absolved from any further obedience, and are left to the common refuge which God hath provided for all men against force and violence - John Locke

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  12. #12
    Sweet Potato Kugel
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    Back on topic
    Last edited by Eretz; 04-05-2019 at 01:15 PM.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by dir-t View Post
    Autocross vs rally = beggars can't be choosers. This is the first class like this that has come to my area AFAIK.

    Using the Crosstrek = yeah, I know but you dance with who you brung and we're only talking one day. My wife's VW Alltrack would be more fun but I don't want to risk scratching it. The Suby is our "beater" and the Westfalia wouldn't be appropriate. And this is a beginner's class so there's no need for anything too purpose built.

    Brake/tire wear = I hadn't considered that. We're guaranteed 24 runs with 2 different instructors. Not sure how much I want to beat on the car seeing it's only got 6k miles on it. Or, maybe now IS the time.

    I guess I need to think more about this. It would be fun but I'm about to spend money on a refrigerator and some new stuff for the van.
    You're talking about a nearly new Crosstrek with 6k miles on it? I wouldn't. Can you just rent a car and get the full insurance?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Henry Chinaski View Post
    Can you just rent a car and get the full insurance?
    Like I mentioned, the $300 for the one day class was all I wanted to spend. I decided against it though.

    Between the car issue, either spending a night in a hotel or leaving my house at 0'dark thirty, etc. Too much hassle for a day of fun. I'm going to dump that money into stereo upgrades for my camper van.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by dir-t View Post
    Like I mentioned, the $300 for the one day class was all I wanted to spend. I decided against it though.
    Too bad, it's a very cool experience. Try not to be disenchanted though. Enlist to a Subaru forum and inquire to members on Meet & Greets. AWDfreak has done a lot of reserach on brake pads and rotors over the years and suspention up grades.

    There is more to driving then cones and swirving around a course. I've dumped a considerable amount of time learning about inexpensive fixes with our Crosstrek from these forums.

    Rubber side down.

  16. #16
    Russian Troll Farmer
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    Quote Originally Posted by dir-t View Post
    Like I mentioned, the $300 for the one day class was all I wanted to spend. I decided against it though.

    Between the car issue, either spending a night in a hotel or leaving my house at 0'dark thirty, etc. Too much hassle for a day of fun. I'm going to dump that money into stereo upgrades for my camper van.
    Well, if $300/day is too much to spend, then trust me, you don't want to do ANY sort of racing. Damn, I spent more than that for an entry fee for a national rally some 25-30 years ago. A set of tires for a weekend alone will cost you that much! Alas, the cost was one of the reasons I stopped racing; that and the fact I'd raced my way into bankruptcy....
    "L'enfer, c'est les autres"

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by No Time Toulouse View Post
    Well, if $300/day is too much to spend, then trust me, you don't want to do ANY sort of racing.
    I thought my lack of interest in anything beyond the class was clearly stated in my original post but I guess not. The class would have been the end in itself. That's why I was curious to hear from others about what they learned exactly.

    My dad is a certified Kansas City BBQ judge. He's judged exactly 0 contests but had a great time learning what was needed and being tested to get that certification. It would have been a similar thing for me, nothing more.
    Last edited by dir-t; 04-09-2019 at 02:02 PM.

  18. #18
    Ricardo Cabeza
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    Quote Originally Posted by dir-t View Post
    I thought my lack of interest in anything beyond the class was clearly stated in my original post but I guess not. The class would have been the end in itself. That's why I was curious to hear from others about what they learned exactly.

    My dad is a certified Kansas City BBQ judge. He's judged exactly 0 contests but had a great time learning what was needed and being tested to get that certification. It would have been a similar thing for me, nothing more.
    It's not really a certification, more like working with an instructor to learn skills like proper hand position, looking ahead, etc. It you aren't planning on racing in the future - and practicing those skills - you'd be better off just showing up for a local regional meet, asking for a few ride-alongs or for a good driver to ride with you. You'd probably get as much out of it for a lot less money.
    Whenever the legislators endeavour to take away and destroy the property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselves into a state of war with the people who are thereupon absolved from any further obedience, and are left to the common refuge which God hath provided for all men against force and violence - John Locke

    SuperAndy's Garage

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy69 View Post
    It's not really a certification, more like working with an instructor to learn skills like proper hand position, looking ahead, etc. It you aren't planning on racing in the future - and practicing those skills - you'd be better off just showing up for a local regional meet, asking for a few ride-alongs or for a good driver to ride with you. You'd probably get as much out of it for a lot less money.
    I plan to get my daughters some track time after they get their licenses. I think it really helps you become a safer driver.

  20. #20
    Ricardo Cabeza
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    Quote Originally Posted by Henry Chinaski View Post
    I plan to get my daughters some track time after they get their licenses. I think it really helps you become a safer driver.
    It definitely does, especially learning the limits of a particular car and how those limits change under various conditions. Some cars are very predictable, some not so much. I've already had the kids at the local indoor kart track.

    SCCA, NASA, BMW CCA, and PCA all have teen driver courses, too.

    Welcome to Tire Rack Street Survival. Real world. Hands-on.
    Whenever the legislators endeavour to take away and destroy the property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselves into a state of war with the people who are thereupon absolved from any further obedience, and are left to the common refuge which God hath provided for all men against force and violence - John Locke

    SuperAndy's Garage

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