We are once again joined by Elizabeth “Liz” (Sargent) White, who starts by telling us about her “wheelie good time.” It’s a punny episode with some great insights, just a little bit of off-roading and some excellent advice.
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’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.
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.
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.
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!
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:
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.
Episode 25 – It started with a car for a dollar
Jess, Audra and Kathy sit down with father and son team Don and Brian Kuehl (multiple time SCCA Solo National Champion) to talk about their love of building a project CRX together, discovering autocross, and the joys of tuning a daily driver.
Episode 23 – Ugly or Pretty – you decide
We tried something new, but that led to learning about how our brains do not like having a decision to make: it causes stress on the brain. We also decided that we are suffering from decision fatigue and talked about some car related stuff.
In this episode:
- We talk a bit about front ends and general car design. Do people just hate the new designs because they are new? So along those lines, we found something that hasn’t changed.
- We, yet again, contemplate what people are buying.
- How do you Tai Chi yourself into the back of a MINI? Does it count as a workout?
- Some cleaning tips, like spit and vacuum attachments. And while we were on that topic, we had some advice for car designers.
Short Shift 4 – Cars and Coffee Take 2
Shifting Points sponsors Southern New Hampshire Cars and Coffee. Audra and Kathy talk when to switch tires, and convertibles and New England winters.They also had a great conversation with Cecily and Nathan about all things cars and Jason Hopkins who moderates the Citrus Racer Lounge which is all about Lemons racing.
Episode 22 – A Mint-y Conversation with Melanie
In this episode, it’s a full house as guest Melanie Kwong sits down with the ladies to discuss her experiences both pre and post-COVID autocrossing her MINI and S2000.
In this episode:
- Spinny cars
- Front wheel drive vs. Rear wheel drive
- #Relationship goals
- Less cones = clean runs
- Why is there always a granola bar leftover
- Lots of talk about MINI-love
- Some Pro Solo and Novice tips