The Autocross Tips and Tech Thread

Warhorse Racing

Active Member
Feb 10, 2019
91
54
28
United States
Autocross is the safest and most-accessible form of motorsport. Autocross clubs set up courses made up of cones in parking lots, on airport runways and even on race tracks. Many states have a mix of local autocross clubs and SCCA clubs. In some areas, the number of clubs allows for autocross events every weekend during the season.

I’ve been autocrossing my Mustangs for years. Since day one, I’ve tried to get as many Mustang owners as possible to attend events. I’ve found that most Mustang owners are misinformed about autocross. I’m starting this thread (hopefully it will become a Sticky) to create a resource for Mustang owners interested in autocross.

Who am I? I’m NOT a mechanic, but I’ve worked on Mustangs for 28 years. I’m NOT a professional driver, but I’ve been fortunate enough to win multiple local autocross championships and two state championships. I’ve autocrossed SRA and IRS Mustangs. I’m a Novice Coordinator for two local clubs, which means I instruct Novices at events and help design and run Novice Schools. Although my focus has been on 79-04 Mustangs, I’ve driven many newer Mustangs for my students. In 2018, I created my Warhorse Racing YouTube channel to offer information and inspiration to people interested in autocrossing their Mustangs.

I show my wins, I show my losses, I show my setups and every secret I’ve learned about autocrossing 79-04 Mustangs.

Why do I do that? Because I know that anyone with the right amount of information, instruction and experience can become an accomplished autocrosser.

I’m going to start this thread with some basic information, a few instructional videos, and a promise to share my experience with anyone who has questions about autocross.

I also want to invite people who’ve autocrossed their Mustangs to share their experience. With so many different classes and so many mods available for our Mustangs, advice should never come from just one voice. All I ask is that this thread stays POLITE and POSITIVE.

HERE ARE SOME BASIC FACTS ABOUT AUTOCROSS:

There are classes for EVERY Mustang. Some clubs use SCCA classes, other clubs use their own classes. Check your local club for classing information.

You will have to PASS A TECH INSPECTION. Cars that are well-maintained, with tires that aren’t overly worn/showing cords will usually pass tech. Make sure your ball joints and tie rods aren’t worn out, your lug nuts are tight, and your battery isn’t loose. Take all loose items out of the trunk/passenger compartment. Check with your local club for all the tech requirements BEFORE you show up at your first event. If you don’t pass tech, you can’t participate.

Stock Mustangs can autocross. Heavily-modified Mustangs can autocross. Mildly-modified Mustangs can autocross. Your class will depend on your mods. You are only competing with the other cars in your class.

An autocross is an all-volunteer event. You will have to work in addition to driving. Novices are usually tasked with resetting the knocked-over cones on course.

The autocross community is very friendly. The Mustang autocross community is especially friendly. We all want to see as many Mustangs as possible at events, so we’re always willing to help Novices.

Autocross is NOT about SPEEDING OR DRIFTING; it’s about CAR-CONTROL. If you consistently drive beyond your limits, or if you intentionally drift, you will be asked to leave.

Damage to your car is EXTREMELY RARE, but it can happen. Hitting cones can leave marks that usually rub or wash off. You will experience greater than average tire wear.

Autocross is FUN, SAFE and AFFORDABLE. It’s a great way to get into performance driving.

HERE ARE SOME NOVICE TIPS:

This video covers 79-04 Mustang Autocross Mod Myths. Improving our cars can make them more capable out on course. But, some common mods actually make 79-04 Mustangs WORSE for autocross.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hHK5vd7sRx0&t


This video discusses the most common elements you’ll have to navigate on an autocross course and how to get through them as fast as possible.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uMLnwJLvWcs&t


These three videos deal with the THREE MOST IMPORTANT ASPECTS OF AUTOCROSS: Looking ahead when attacking the course, using your brakes as little as possible, and using the gas as much as possible.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-ynX1X4uUw&t


View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d4Dy4PAYCdQ&t


View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XE4ip4i0Ggc&t


If you have questions, please ask. If you have autocross experience, please share it. Let’s get more horses on autocross courses!
 
  • Sponsors(?)


revhead347

I have face herpes.
15 Year Member
Jun 14, 2004
8,054
1,004
214
40
Acworth, GA
I tried that a couple of times. It is a lot of fun, and very low threat. They do tend to make the courses really tight where a Mustang just doesn't work well. A Mustang is a "big" car for autocross.

Kurt
 

Warhorse Racing

Active Member
Feb 10, 2019
91
54
28
United States
I tried that a couple of times. It is a lot of fun, and very low threat. They do tend to make the courses really tight where a Mustang just doesn't work well. A Mustang is a "big" car for autocross.

Kurt
They should be following guidelines for course design that generally allow for modern Corvettes and s550 Mustangs (which are much wider than 79-04 Mustangs) to fit through elements. Your angle of attack is really important. If you "backside" the cones, you will be able to fit any Mustang through every element on course.

When I drive s197 and s550 Mustangs for students, I have to increase my angle of attack significantly to get through the elements. But, that's the fun part!
 

revhead347

I have face herpes.
15 Year Member
Jun 14, 2004
8,054
1,004
214
40
Acworth, GA
They should be following guidelines for course design that generally allow for modern Corvettes and s550 Mustangs (which are much wider than 79-04 Mustangs) to fit through elements. Your angle of attack is really important. If you "backside" the cones, you will be able to fit any Mustang through every element on course.

When I drive s197 and s550 Mustangs for students, I have to increase my angle of attack significantly to get through the elements. But, that's the fun part!
Is that the angle between the mean chord line and the relative wind? I don't think I went to events that well prepared. The guys who set up the track brought carts; and made sure we knew it.

Kurt
 

Warhorse Racing

Active Member
Feb 10, 2019
91
54
28
United States
Is that the angle between the mean chord line and the relative wind? I don't think I went to events that well prepared. The guys who set up the track brought carts; and made sure we knew it.

Kurt
It's basically changing your angle of attack relative to the cones so that you create a line with the most distance between elements. I go over it thoroughly in the "Common Autocross Elements" video.
 
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
W Fox Body Autocross Project 1979 - 1995 (Fox, SN95.0, & 2.3L) -General/Talk- 40
G New Wisconsin Fox Owner The Welcome Wagon 5
J For Sale 1994 Mustang GT Autocross/HPDE setup, very clean, California. SN95 Mustangs For Sale (1994-04) 1
J Need help with a steering rack choice! 1996 - 2004 SN95 Mustang -General/Talk- 0
W New Member, Multiple Mustang Owner, Autocross Ambassador The Welcome Wagon 0
8 New Member Starting Autocross Build The Welcome Wagon 16
shakn68 Event Information! All Ford Swap Meet at Sacaramento Raceway Sunday May 20, 2018 Regional Forums and Event Information 0
D 1996 Gt - Race Able With Prior Frame Rail Damage. 1996 - 2004 SN95 Mustang -General/Talk- 2
alcino Interview About My Autocrossing And Cobra Ii 1974 - 1978 Mustang II Talk & Tech 4
15GTrob Fast Autocross 1-16-2016 2015+ (S550) Mustang -General/Talk 13
15GTrob Autocross Sep 13th Brooksville Fl 2015+ (S550) Mustang -General/Talk 7
C SOLD 1984 Mercury Capri. Autocross Cp Build Turned Daily. Seattle Fox Body Mustangs For Sale (1979-93) 2
TeamCaffeineGT Scca Autocross And Weight Reduction 1996 - 2004 SN95 Mustang -General/Talk- 6
H SOLD 1991 Mustang Fox Body, Autocross Racer Fox Body Mustangs For Sale (1979-93) 11
Clair Smith Autocross And Trackdays In The Future. 2010 - 2014 Specific Tech 12
MrBone Autocross setup questions... 2005 - 2014 S-197 Mustang -General/Talk- 9
brtnstrns Autocross Experts: Advice getting started? 1996 - 2004 SN95 Mustang -General/Talk- 15
DavidPR Autocross class progression - 12 GT 2005 - 2014 S-197 Mustang -General/Talk- 0
aussiesmg Road Racing/autocross gurus Fox 5.0 Mustang Tech 3
ct07gt Autocross Videos 2005 - 2014 S-197 Mustang -General/Talk- 8
shawdow10 Autocross in Knoxville Sunday Regional Forums and Event Information 0
C Set of Hoosier A3S03 Autocross slicks Wheels Tires Brakes 3
D Bullitt at SCCA Autocross... 2005 - 2014 S-197 Mustang -General/Talk- 5
E NCC Autocross Event #4 7-9 in Waldorf Regional Forums and Event Information 0
E NCC Autocross Event #3 5-14 in Manassas, VA Regional Forums and Event Information 3
E NCC Autocross Event #2 4-23 in Manassas, VA Regional Forums and Event Information 0
E NCC Autocross Event #1 3-19 in Waldorf Regional Forums and Event Information 0
SkyRender Anybody here autocross or road race? 2005 - 2014 S-197 Mustang -General/Talk- 12
1987LXragtop Autocross in a tree filled parking lot? 1979 - 1995 (Fox, SN95.0, & 2.3L) -General/Talk- 9
2 Charlotte, NC - Any local autocross clubs? Regional Forums and Event Information 0
D Bullitt boat at autocross/regatta 2005 - 2014 S-197 Mustang -General/Talk- 1
yeldarbvr4gt Autocross - Grattan Raceway, Sep. 6th 2010 - Belding, Mi Regional Forums and Event Information 0
yeldarbvr4gt Autocross - Grattan Raceway, Sep. 6th 2010 - Belding, Mi Regional Forums and Event Information 1
Madguitarist78 Driving courses vs. autocross 2005 - 2014 S-197 Mustang -General/Talk- 10
E vortec overheats when on the gas (autocross or highway high rpm) 1979 - 1995 (Fox, SN95.0, & 2.3L) -General/Talk- 2
71mopar383 Solo or Autocross 2005 - 2014 S-197 Mustang -General/Talk- 5
71mopar383 Autocross or Solo 2005 - 2009 Specific Tech 1
D Anyone autocross in South Bend, IN (Tire Rack)? 1996 - 2004 SN95 Mustang -General/Talk- 0
sdz Steering Rack & Brakes for Autocross Fox 5.0 Mustang Tech 2
Killercanary Took my '94 Cobra autocross car to the drag strip 1979 - 1995 (Fox, SN95.0, & 2.3L) -General/Talk- 16
Killercanary In-car video of this weekend's autocross in my '94 Cobra 1979 - 1995 (Fox, SN95.0, & 2.3L) -General/Talk- 11
Killercanary Finally autocrossed my '94 Cobra... DUW! 1979 - 1995 (Fox, SN95.0, & 2.3L) -General/Talk- 31
C Autocross 2005 - 2009 Specific Tech 33
Adams91LX tonight's autocross fun... 1979 - 1995 (Fox, SN95.0, & 2.3L) -General/Talk- 3
L autocross questions Fox 5.0 Mustang Tech 3
stangage Autocross anyone? Regional Forums and Event Information 4
G Stock oil pan for autocross SN95 4.6L Mustang Tech 5
MyStangGT SCCA hosts 21st Annual Allies vs. Axis Solo Autocross at SGMP - Dec 7, 2008 Regional Forums and Event Information 0
brad2002GT Autocrossing Regional Forums and Event Information 9
joedokes28 Question for those that road race / autocross Classic Mustang Specific Tech 6
Similar threads