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
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.
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.
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).
Audra, Kathy and Jess are at the bar for the first time since COVID. They meet a couple of new friends, Alex Schmidt and Nick Facciolo, and are joined by Matt Cwieka. They discuss Kathy and Jess’ first event in 18 long months, a Test and Tune. Matt managed to drive an amazing array of cars. And we debate/discuss, and are highly impressed by, a Tesla.
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!
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!
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.