1976 LeGrand and RR (Road Racing) vs. AX (Auto Cross)?

First published on 12/17/2011 4:51 am, after I re-read what I wrote earlier this am I have made numerous revisions close to noon time 12/17/2011 11:45 am.  Added “PS” all the way on the bottom… 12/18/2011 12:27 am.  Removed some active links and references as requested…  12/20/2011 7:15 pm.

I’ve only begun to really use wordpress within the last few weeks.  It has so many functions that I find extremely useful.  It is much better than when I used to code my web pages almost by hand which was time consuming when I had to cross link pages.  One of the best feature that is supremely useful to me is the proofreader.  That is true especially since lot of people have complained about my grammar, punctuation use, and general sentence structures.  Now you can send all those complains to wordpress proofreader.   🙂  Anyway, the site stats has a referrer function and it tells me exactly where my readers are coming from.  🙂

So about two weeks ago there was a huge spike one day, and I didn’t see it until several days later…  it was from rrax.com.  Ahh, my beloved fans from hater-tech.com LOL.  I saw that couple of guys really seem to hate me on a personal leve there.  It is so strange to me, because they don’t even know me!  They only know GhettoRacer my internet persona and they think that’s all I am about…  obviously some of those folks take the Internet way too seriously.  Yes you, dumb ass .rj, whom I called the worse web forum moderator ever.  Haha.  It you weren’t a moderator on HT, you wouldn’t be shit…

Anyhoo, I had some free time earlier today and I browsed on rrax.com for a bit and I came across Mr. Per Schroeder’s ad entertaining the idea to sell his old 1976 LeGrand race car.  He does it by saying, does anybody want to go stupid fast?  I know a little bit about AX as I did it for fun for few years in the mid 1990’s.  I know his car is in a pretty fast class.  But from the year built of 1976 and the name  “LeGrand” it just doesn’t sound like much.  Right?  …   I was dead WRONG.  Look at this thing go:

Holy mother of GhettoNess, that is freaking siiiick.  Can I see some datalogs of the LeGrand Mr. Per Schroeder?  I’m very interested in its graphs.

Anyway, back to the question of RR vs. AX.  I’ve done a little bit of AX with SCCA SFR as well as AAS (American Autocross Series) near Sacramento.  This was during 1998-2000.  I loved the AAS guys as they were all very friendly and nice and didn’t mind me bring the little gay del Slow car to play with the big boys.  Now, you AX guys all know the Evolution school taught by a group of AX National Champions.  It is the best AX School, period.  Well, are you around AX enough to know it was called the McKamey AutoX School for the first couple of years?  I attended Phase I, II and III early on.  As soon as the courses were offered.  I’m not a dedicated AX guy, but I do know exactly what it takes.  The reason I don’t do AX that much after finishing Phase III was this – in AX, after spending entire day there, driving, prepping, working the course… etc.  Your actual seat time is usually 10 minutes or less.  I’d much rather spent my day RR and have 2-2.5 hours of seat time each day.  Even more seat time, if you count instructing from the passenger seat.

One thing I learned about McKamey AutoX School was that, give enough times, I am usually as fast, and often times faster than the National Champions.  In my own car at the least.  I proved this against 3 top National Champions.  What is the difference you ask?  Well, for the school there are practice courses.  The bad ass National Champions can put down near perfect lap with in 3 tries.  That is the name of their game!  Since practice runs was unlimited, I’d run it until I drop.  And after 10, 15, or maybe even 20 runs, I was able to match or beat the time that they laid down in 3 tries.

Acquiring the ability to win at the National level usually take at least 3-5 years.  You check into any NC’s history and you will find that true.  It also involves tremendous amount of knowledge on car setup, prep, and ability to adapt to ever changing conditions.  AX NC’s are no doubt, in my mind, above average drivers with incredible dedication!  And I salute and take my hats off to any one of them with out reservations.

RR on the other hand, is relatively easy.  The course basically doesn’t change much, and is always there for you to practice.  Every moment of your seat time you do stays with you.  Forever useful, as long as the track is around.  This is different than AX where it’s much more challenge to stay sharp and on top of your game.

I will just say this, you can take any good AX’er and convert him/her into a super fast RR winner in matter of weeks.  One year tops.  A ARRC NC that have no AX experience that wishes to try AX at National level?  Will probably take 2-3 years minimum before he/she trophies.  This is my theory…  and what I firmly believe in.  🙂

Lot of people start with AX because the initial cost of getting into the sport appears to be cheaper.  However, if you add up your cost and divide that by operating $ per minute, I’d wager RR to be much cheaper per minute.  Randy Pobst, one of my favorite drivers, came up the grass roots way, and he cut his teeth at AX early on.  Peter Cunningham, one of the best driver in production car racing from USA also was an AX champ.  There are many others.  I don’t think I have heard one driver who first became a National champions at Road Racing, then went on to become a AutoX champion.  Lot of RR have this superiority complex, thinking that they are better than people who drive on little parking lots.

They could not be more wrong.  I declare that AA > RR in terms of skill required and challenges presented.  It is way more intense.  A bit more like drag racing.

What is your opinion about RR vs. AX?  Leave me some comments.  🙂

PS, so some people are are doubting if Randy even knows who I am.  Trust me, he knows.  We instructed together at least over 10 days at few events.  He was at Thunderhill with me when I did the three wheel in the air over turn 5.  He also loved my black EK Coupe at Buttonwillow.  In 2007 I was lucky and some how won Modified Magazine’s contest and went to Laguna Seca as guest of the magazine and attended the year end World Challenge banquet as well.  I congratulated him on winning World Challenge GT that year.  We even sat at the same table unless my memory is messed up…  I’m not sure if they are still together, but Randy was dating a cool girl name Robin for few years.  We greet each other all times whenever when ran into each other at different tracks.

Speaking of World Challenge racers, Paul Lambert – President of Stasis Engineering also knows me pretty well.  Paul also raced World Challenge Touring Car for couple of seasons.  I had instructed for Audi Club for several years and when Stasis was still based at Sears Point, I paid him visits there on several occasions.  I was trying to setup low cost coil over suspension production for him in Asia.  This was aimed at the lower cost VW chassis…  I was working with one of his staff engineer for over a year, but that guy was always overwhelmed with work load and he never gave me enough data to build them application specific prototypes to test.  They did test the shock I had left them originally and was impressed enough with its pricing/performance ratio to further investigate possible production.  I got busy with other projects and lost touch and soon they were moving out of Infineon anyway…

How about Christian Miller, GrandAm ST class 2009 champion.  Ask him about me.  He know who I am…  why??  Again, because of Audi Club.  We instructed together at many many events together.  This is before he started racing Pro Miata and eventually, World Challenge, and GrandAm Cup.

PS, now to answer some of the questions from a forum that were written few years ago:

 05-07-2007, 11:37 AM   #62
Thawley
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Default Re: GhettoRacer and Randy

Yet another socially self-desructive post from GR… When Will he learn?

As a student/observer of rhetoric, PR and media-spin, I got curious one day about the history of GR’s bad rep. I wanted to see exactly how his cred-snowball had gotten so big and ugly. I looked at a few archived threads from H-T and Rennlist. Mostly the same kind of stuff I had read before. But among all the BS, I found a gem: GH’s own web site where he attempts to exhaustively refute every accusation he claims to have been wronged by.

Brilliant.

Sparing the world another synopsis of his misadventures, I will say this: He does more to keep these stories alive than anyone. Continuing to google himself, post wherever he sees his name and maintain his own brand of on-line Apologetics is a case study for PR Suicide. His addiction to the attention seems to far outweigh what common sense or any good advice might suggest. Keeping his mouth shut is, evidently, not an option

Moral: 10,000 words about why people have the wrong opinion of you is a better way to nourish and spread those opinions than it is to change them.

Good luck with that.

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Hello John.  On one fine day afternoon I was testing the ex-BuddyClub EK @ California Speedway and Thawley kindly came up and we shook hands and briefly chit chatted a little bit.  I knew who he was, because of his photograph and journalistic work as well as his occasional Honda Challenge appearances.  To counter JT3, it wasn’t fame that I was seeking.  It was pure passion for road racing and I want to share it with the world.  I was also naive to believe if I fully explain my perspective, people would at least understand where I was coming from…  but since then, I’ve concluded that you can’t please everyone.  No need to explain shit.  🙂

 05-07-2007, 12:13 PM   #68
wreckerboy
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Default Re: GhettoRacer and Randy

I’ve been tangentally aware of GR and both his reputation and his antics for a few years now. He doesn’t seem to frequent the few forums I go to.

I can’t say I’m an expert on the guy, but based upon what little I’ve seen, I’d say he deserves the reputation. Or perhaps his character deserves the rep? Is it possible that this is all some sort of elaborate put on, much like Andy Kaufman? Is it possible that we just don’t “get it”?

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Hero To The Momentum ChallengedFor Sale: 2007 Mazda 3 / Mazdaspeed 3 Factory Workshop Manual – $150.00. New it costs $199.95 at Rosenthal. Shipping weight 5 lbs.

I wouldn’t say I put up a character front…  Generally, I tell it like how it really is.  At least I used to do that…  now days I’m learning to be much more diplomatic.  I finally accepted the fact that, people’s perception is their reality.  If they think you are crazy, or that you crashed peoples cars, it is true in their world even if none of it ever happened.

I’m a idealist, a dreamer, and not a quitter.  Despite all the hostilities I received I know I was doing it right because I continued to share my passion in the real world, every time I instructed.  It was all the hater who went out of their way to make it difficult for me.  For example, after instructing at Audi Club for some 4+ years with perfect records and tons of friends made, some of the “older” staff started gossiping about how they don’t Audi Club to be associated with my reputation.  So they kindly asked me not to instruct anymore.  It was purely based on the bad internet perception of me.

That’s okay though.  I still take care of fantastic students at Motorsports Club of Beverlly Hills.  Michael Lederman can see through people’s bullshit and he knows I absolutely make my students happy.  2012 is about to start and I know there will be lot of cool as cars to drive.  Haha…

05-29-2007, 02:18 PM   #98
Catch22
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Default Re: GhettoRacer and Randy

So did Frank actually get in another race or was this poster from his first foray into actually racing a car (and wrecking it).

I wonder if God’s Gift ever actually got beyond a novice permit.

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Actual quote from two top-tier Honda drivers.  Roger Foo: “Frank, you’re more than ready to race.  I don’t know why you waste time in HPDE.”.   (sometimes in 2002, not word for word, but pretty close).  I never thought about w2w actually.  It was Roger’s word above that made me aware maybe I am actually pretty good.  This was after Roger and I both took turns driving my del Sol at Thunderhill.  Roger attacked the corners with pure gusto, driving on the edge literally.  I took a more conservative approach.  I was about 1 second slower than he was.  At that time he strongly suggest I build the del Sol up for ITS.  But I was too much of a cheap ass to do it…

Marc Kirberg: Marc evaluated me for comp license and he said “Great control, excellent awareness.  I would feel safe racing around you.”  He signed me off immediately after 1.5 laps said he’s seen enough.  (again, not word for word, but very close)

Google for their accomplishments… if you don’t know who they are.

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About GhettoRacer

racer, driver coach, taoist, yogi, dreamweaver, bballer, rebel, philosopher, entrepreneur, kiva, lonewolf, vagabond, photo/video shooter, storyteller
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