Episode 37 – Holding hands while driving fast

Audra, Jess and special Co-Host Mark Joyce sit down with autocrossing couple Doug DeFonzo and Laura Rosen. What you will miss on this episode is the delicious homemade maple ice cream that Laura brought. What you will get is a great conversation about how this couple started autocross, how they help and encourage each other and a whole bunch of other random conversations with good stuff about improving at Autocross and how supportive motorsports people really are.

Some bits from our discussion:

  • You don’t make it up all in one piece of the course
  • Seat time really is the key to getting faster
  • It’s hard to drive fast when you are holding hands and looking into each other’s eyes
  • Just because you are in first place, doesn’t mean that you can’t complain
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Mark Joyce using GPS/feedback apps while autocrossing

Off Road 1 – Liz-isms on motorsports and life

This is our first Off Road episode and off roading is just as it sounds. We are deviating from our normal path and driving into uncharted territory. For this episode we interviewed Liz Sargent. We thought we were just going to be  grilling her about her experience as a novice at rally cross and Autocross, but, what we got was so much more than that. Liz’s story and her outlook on life is truly inspiring. We hope that you will listen on for our conversation with Liz and that you enjoy it as much as we did.

Episode 35 – Audra has a screw loose

In this episode Jess and Kathy interview Audra about her recent experience as a driver at a 24 Hour of LeMONS event. She describes her first impressions as a novice driver and Jess and Kathy help her along with their view of the event as spectators. Audra and Jess are still trying to get Kathy comfortable with doing a track day soon.

Tune and post your comments on our Facebook and Instagram and let’s help Kathy out with her anxiety as she faces her first track event.

SAMSUNG CSC

Episode 34 – Jess Needs A New Car

In their first post-COVID in-person session, Kathy and Audra help Jess finalize her decision on her next new vehicle and impart some other sage wisdom in the process. We tossed in a couple of other random topics and some gin, the resultant mixture brings us back to pre-COVID when smiles and laughter could be seen and not just heard (well you know by us, this is a podcast after all).

Photo by Daniel Quaroni
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Episode 30 – Brandelanie – Chicken Wings and Competitive Mancala

Kathy, Jess and Audra talk to husband and wife team Brandon Dryer and Melanie Kwong about cars, autocross and:

Brandon Dryer and Melanie Kwong
  • Brandon’s history and the saga of how they got started in autocross.
  • Drifting on on-ramps is a bad idea.
  • Transitioning from front wheel drive to rear wheel drive and automatic to manual.
  • Communication challenges with couples.
  • Driving from the passenger seat.
  • Turning it up to 11 – going harder is really hard.
  • Brandon’s role in the EV evolution and the future of EVs in motorsports.
  • Don’t throw parts at it – nothing is better than seat time.
  • We all miss after autocross food.
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Episode 29 – Driving Forward Together

Audra and Jess had a great conversation with Rachel Baker and Heidi Ellison from Driving Forward Together. Their mission is “To encourage, connect, and support women in Autocross, as drivers in their own right, and to embolden them to exercise their power to vie in open competition, embracing ideals of strength and inclusion to radiate through all forms of Motorsport.” They actively promote inclusivity and are working hard to normalize women in motorsports.

Heidi Ellison and Rachel Baker

We talked about:

  • Levelling the playing field. This includes ensuring that women are represented without being treated as an anomaly. 
  • Their origins, their cars and how they got into autocross.
  • How to recruit women.
  • It is actually less stressful to run in open class.
  • Autocross is a cult.
  • DFT is partnering with Autocross Evolution School and Beyond Seat Time.

We also debated whether or not Rachel actually likes people and she tells us how much she really likes Porsches. Check out DFT on Facebook and Instagram as Driving Forward Together and on their website  https://drivingforwardseries.wixsite.com/drivingforwardseries where you can find information about their contingency program, data and trends on women in autocross and their fabulous Showcase series. You may even see some very familiar faces for their March showcase!

Episode 28 – Garage Heroes in Training

Audra and Jess sit down with Bill and Vicki Fischer who are endurance drivers with a podcast called Garage Heroes in Training. They discussed the differences between autocross and endurance racing, and the similarities with advice about how to get started. Their podcast focuses on new racers and they aim to help people learn from what they did and they augment their knowledge and experience with guests.

The Garage Heroes In Training crew!

We also heard about:

  • how Vicki’s sister, and co-host, learned how to drive a stick 5 days before her first race.
  • that Bill is a “the more the merrier” kind of guy and this definitely shows in how they built their team and in his immediate generosity with the Shifting Points crew.
  • that the goal for them is to learn, have fun and get better every time they race. 
  • it is a huge accomplishment to finish an endurance (and they frequently do!).
  • $500 is not really the cap; it’s just the beginning.

And, if it’s worth doing, it is worth over-doing and that’s something we can really get behind! 

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Episode 27 – Citrus Racer Lounge and Hot Mess Race Group

Audra and Kathy have a conversation with Jason Hopkins, from Citrus Racer Lounge, and Roland Hahn, from Citrus Racer Lounge and Hot Mess Race Group. Jason is the admin and the creator of Citrus Racer Lounge in 2015 and it has grown to almost 5000 members. It is a hub for endurance racers to connect and share information. Roland has been racing competitively since 1984. He assists with Citrus Racer Lounge and is the co-owner and head mechanic for Hot Mess Race Group.

In this episode, we talked about:

  • Different types of endurance racing, with Lemons being the clear favorite as the entry-level event. They tell us that Lemons is safe and cheap with very friendly people and great camaraderie amongst the competitors.
  • The best way to start Lemons is to find a team. Alternatively, if you start with a car the base price has to be $500, prior to all the work to make it safe (rollcage, brakes and other safety equipment).
  • Most Lemons races are about 14.5 hours. They usually only have 1 or 2 24-hour endurance races per year.
  • A good endurance driver needs to be very consistent. Roland recommends that drivers drive at 75% and leave room to make mistakes.
  • Driver comfort is key, even if that results in a wet seat. 

You can find both on Facebook:

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Episode 26 – The Jack EN-sight

Audra, Jess and Kathy talk with Jack Nguyen about a variety of autocross topics including:

  • Looking ahead to plan your attack. 
  • How with Icecross everything moves a lot slower, you have to slow down your inputs to balance the car and how this can make you better at autocross.
  • How an alignment can help handling, depending on your drive train.
  • What an exhaust mod can do for you.
  • Scary clanking noises.
  • All the best highlights of National events, especially the food.
  • Don’t waste time spinning your tires when robbing a bank.
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