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nocones GRM+ Memberand UberDork
3/24/21 12:53 a.m.

In reply to WonkoTheSane (FS) :

Yeah it was funny these people would do crazy informal comparisons to each other to try to determine if they were getting better over time relative to each other or to the fastest people and would constantly complain about car setup and not having all the mods for the class when someone else did and on and on.  And I'm like.. here is a way you can have fun with whatever car you bring..  and they just Noped on out because it was Serious Bushiness Autox time.  

bobzilla MegaDork
3/24/21 5:24 a.m.
WonkoTheSane (FS) said:
nocones said:

It seems that it appeals to the kind of people who understand how Bowling and Golf leagues work and can have fun being "competitive" with people of different skill level.  The kind of people who get upset because they were beat by a bowler who bowled 145 against their lifetime average of 135 when they rolled a 220 vs their average of 240 need not apply.  Of course you beat them heads up, your a better bowler, but their performance was more exceptional then yours and in the interest of making everyone have fun they "win".

Yeah, I don't think that's ever going to fly with autocrossers...  Autocrossing is SERIOUS BUSINESS!

Our local group added ZF that has a pax of 4. It's for us peeps that just come to have fun and not f up someone else's pax results. Raw time and whatever you want to run. It's very freeing to just go run improve your times and have fun not worrying about where you fall for pax and the year end points 

Apexcarver UltimaDork
3/24/21 5:39 a.m.

Our local club uses an index based on tire, weight, and HP, you can optionally add an SCCA class on the side to see PAX/etc in results.


I havent gotten a PAX read on my Fmod, but then it wouldnt have done really well yet (old old tires) despite raw times well within the top 10.. I just havent been to an event that predominately ran SCCA classing with it yet. 


My mustang, something like 13-14 years ago, I paid pretty close attention to PAX. I was underprepared running ESP in a shocks/springs/sway/camber in a pretty much otherwise stock mustang on used V710s. Raw was fairly worthless, we had a bunch of XP cobras, a few BM cars, etc. I had one event where I drove the hell out of the car and it was a longer course that really worked with my 3.27 gears. I got 5th in PAX out of over 100 entries and all the cars that beat me in PAX were arguably better prepared to their class than I was. Raw times had me down in something like 20th.  

Basically, when taken with a grain of salt and not as an absolute, its a good indicator and not an end-all. To get a real feel you would either need everyone running the same car in the same heat, or a absurdly complex calculation to take in the course attributes, car attributes, and a bunch more.  PAX is a decent middleground indicator.




One thing I know is that what heat you are in has a BIG impact too. Surface quality changes throughout the day and can mean a second or more, and that doesnt even begin to talk about rain rolling in midway through an event. There will always be more sources of error and a great many of them pretty much impossibly impractical to include calculating.

ZOO (Forum Supporter)
ZOO (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
3/24/21 10:05 a.m.
Robbie (Forum Supporter) said:

If you really want to see who is a better driver, ask them to drive your car. 

This.  I co-drove with a Nationals champion for many years.  I always counted it as a "win" if I could get within 2 seconds of his time.  Once (or once in a while) I beat him.  But that wasn't skill . . .

Find a fast driver who will tell you exactly what they do.  Most will still kick your butt -- I "know" what to do -- I just don't have the talent to execute it.

Tom1200 SuperDork
3/24/21 12:20 p.m.

I look at PAX maybe once a year, like I said earlier it's a good guide but I would never obsess about it that's for sure. 

I bought my F-mod/F500 car because I drove a friends' car and it was fun as hell.  Buying an early F500 was intentional, it's a super cheap autocross car and vintage race eligible.


rande New Reader
3/24/21 6:44 p.m.

In reply to Vajingo :

Volunteer to help them setup/teardown, etc.  Then they might have extra time to help you.

Even someone that is a better driver may never beat you in your own car on your own track.  My dad once beat an IMSA champ by over a second a lap because of car and track knowledge.  It also wasn't an IMSA prototype car.

I like going fast in a relative sense too, but mostly I race myself and try to have the most fun I can for cheap.  Trying to be 1st overall or win PAX will be a colossal chase of time and dollars.  

Two weeks ago I let a friend rallycross my Subie.  He ran his best time ever at the venue, but his car is a rear drive heavy domestic V8 car.  He was slower than I was but that is probably car familiarity.  

The craziest thing I've learned is the slower and less dramatic it feels, the faster I go.  

KyAllroad (Jeremy) (Forum Supporter)
KyAllroad (Jeremy) (Forum Supporter) UltimaDork
3/25/21 10:39 a.m.

In reply to AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) :

You should hang out with Spoolpigeon more.  He makes beating people in their own cars such a regular occurrence that it became a verb.  "You got Spoolpigeoned" across several states.


Apexcarver UltimaDork
3/25/21 10:53 a.m.

I have a good buddy that has a jacket that has driven either my car or the same car as me several times.  Its a great measuring stick.  


My mustang - about equal my times. I have been racing that car since 2005, so I should be pretty good in it.

My Miata (since sold) - he would beat me by a half second or a bit less.

Other cars that he has more time in than I do - more than a half second...   


He is a lot more adaptable than I am and he also gets a lot more seat time across the board. I think my miata was a lot more intuitive and my mustang took more of a specialized touch to make the chassis DO what you need it to. 


At some point I am going to have him try my F500. He hasnt ever driven open wheels, so it will be interesting to see how he adapts. I mean, he has an exocet and has a lot of time in a DP miata, so hes been in fast cars.  Will be interesting to see how it balances out. One factor is that the seating position in the F500 is very laid back, to the degree that when he sat in it he called it "nuts". Plus adapting to how the CVT puts down power...   


So, even that as a measuring stick has its flaws. Each of the ways will give you some of the picture, but nothing will give you the whole. Complex systems and all that. 

captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
captdownshift (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
3/25/21 10:58 a.m.

Be like Betty White, near 100 years old, coming in dead last in raw time and PAX but still out there doing it.


kazoospec UberDork
3/25/21 11:57 a.m.

I used to pay attention to PAX.  I'll still take a glance at it at the end of the day.  I figure if I'm in the top third, I've done OK.  The top 4 or 5 are pretty much always the same.  They tend to have cars that both "PAX well" and run towards the top of the raw time numbers.  I'd say they are about a 50/50 mix of people who could be fast in a three wheeled shopping cart and just happen to run well prepared cars and those who have spent a lot of time, effort and (often) money developing and racing one particular platform/class.   A very few of them seemed to be obsessed about PAX scoring and buy/build accordingly, sometimes changing classes based on annual PAX adjustments.   

Here's where it really gets fun as far as I'm concerned.  About 5 years ago, my son got his learners permit, which allowed him to start co-driving.  At first, there was a substantial gap between us time-wise.  That gap started closing over the years that followed.  The last year we raced together (2019), we were neck and neck.  He never beat me, but I needed a complete flyer lap to beat him by roughly .01 seconds our last time out.  To a lesser extent, before he started racing, I had a similar experience with a number of friends who were all racing Miatas in ES.  In short, a PAX result is never really going to do it for me.  I'll take close racing (win or lose), in similar car,s against good friends, any day over killing the field in PAX.  Or at least I think I would, since I never killed the field in PAX.  smiley

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