Newbie

Started By: David Lusteg on 2006-01-04 13:22:08

OK Folks, I'm looking for some input. I'm a fairly new member and '02 XK8 owner. I'd really like to try out slalom. How and when do I get started?

Dave Lusteg, Westfield, MA

Comments

Art Dickenson.
1983 XJS GT "Silver"
Pacific Jaguar.ca

Hi Dave, it appears to me that you are a Jane member, you are a lucky guy indeed. You have some very fast advisors in your area and therefore stand a good chance of getting good really fast.
Gary Hagopian has one of the fastest Jags in the area, and he knows how to drive it also.It will probably be spring before Jane has their 1st sanctioned JCNA event, but this will give you lots of time to get all the info you need for a good assault on the National Course.
The course is a three lap of a track which due to its tight turns makes it very safe, of course only one car at a time is on the course, so no worries about having a collision with another fabulous car while you are on track.
The first lap of the track is an hour glass shape, the next lap is a figure eight and the final lap is a full oval of the entire track .
You can get some free visuals by going to the web slalom page and go to the 2005 Challenge area, you will see various cars running round the track, Some of these video clips have been edited to include two cars apparently going round, this does not happen in reality, just a novel idea of Pascal Gadamers ( web masster )
This event is very fun, and that is the purest way of putting it. In fact it is a technical track and needs a fair amount of " seat time" to get it right. But you have a good handling car to start with, so you should have a ton of fun. The most important thing however is the FRONT TYRE PRESSURE, most cars need about 50 psi, and about 5 or 10 psi above normal stock for the rear. A car with a lot of torque also needs at least half a tank of gas or 3/4 to keep the tyres planted coming out of the corners.
I have probably told you too much allready and you will be catching up to the local hot shots in no time, have fun out there, and if you cannot wait till spriing go and check out the local scca group . Unfortunately they usually have tons of cars out there and wait time is usually long.
Finally keep cool, at the start line mentally run the course in your mind, hour glass, figure eight, full oval, the timer starts when you break the beam of the timing lights, there are lots of tricks that you will learn along the way so I had better let you learn some of this on your own as I did, you will enjoy it more when you really get fast,
Get out there,
Art

David,

Welcome. Always glad to have a new enthusiast join the ranks. As Art said, the club in your area that runs JCNA slaloms is Jaguar Association of New England (JANE). If you are not already a member, you should join. They announce upcoming events in their newsletter, Coventry Cat. Dates, locations, etc. will appear there. There is also an "on-line" calendar on this website that lists all sanctioned events, and some others as well. Keep an eye out for slaloms that JCSNE will be holding in Connecticut as well. As Art said, the more you do the slaloms, the better you will get.

In addition to Art's advise, there are several articles in the archives on this site that you can read for advise. You can get to them either off the main page or the slalom page. You can also find the slalom rules, which you should read, on the slalom page as well.

In addition to the slalom, JANE and other JCNA affiliates run track and rally events that you might find fun. I know that once I started doing JCNA slaloms, I quickly developed the need for speed, and got caught up in doing the annual Jagaur event at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut and have since moved on to other track events as well.

As again, welcome, and look forward to seeing you at some of the events. BTW, the guy in the middle of that picture holding the trophy is Art. The good looking guy in the white shirt standing next to him is ME. :-) And the guy all the way to the right in the picture with the beard is Ken Haas who runs the slaloms for JCSNE in Connecticut.

Regards,
Steve Weinstein
JCNA National Slalom Chairman

Hi, Dave,

Welcome to the wonderful world of slaloming your Jag with other enthusiasts! You are fortunate, indeed, to be in JANE because there are a lot of knowledgable and experienced slalomists at your doorstep. I suggest you read up on the rules and then plan to attend the first one that you can, ready to compete. Watch a few others, and get a ride with someone more experienced (Gary Hagopian will usually let newbies ride), and then go for it. You won't regret it, and you'll get better every time! Just make sure you go for accuracy first, and then speed.

Check out those clips like Art said (but I gotta take credit away from Pascal as Mike Baker & I created them). We combiled those runs to show different cars competing, but don't actually run with any other cars while on the course.

Safe driving and good luck!!

My clip is the link below, and here are a few others:
http://www.jcna.com/library/jcc/2005/images/pascalslalom.wmv
http://www.jcna.com/library/jcc/2005/images/slalommix1.wmv
http://www.jcna.com/library/jcc/2005/images/slalommix2.wmv
http://www.jcna.com/library/jcc/2005/images/hammernrocket.wmv

Ginger Corda
1971 E-Type FHC
1966 E-Type OTS

Dave,

We're in luck! Eric Hagopian has secured the parking lot of Kaman Aircraft for the slaloms of both JANE and JCSNE! That means that there'll be at least two, and possibly as many as four sanctioned JCNA slaloms at that site in 2006, starting on May 14th.
Slaloms give one the opportunity to exercise your "cat" without running afoul of the law. All that fun with no special training nor equipment! We'll expect to see you at these events where we guarantee you'll have the most fun possible, while fully clothed! You can expect help, advice, and a chance to ride along with the more experienced slalomers.

Gary

Thanks for the advice everybody! Especially enjoyed the videos. Looking forward to May 14th. Do I need to but a helmut? If so, what should I be looking for and where's a good place to get it? Dave, Westfield, MA

Dave,
JANE has loaner helmets for first timers.
If you like slaloming (autocross) and intend to continue, you can go on www.summitracing.com and see a dazzling array of helmets and racing gear at varying prices. Also, the jaguar clubs go to Lime Rock Park, a race track, June 2 & 3 for two exciting days in a wonderful environment of old and new classic Jaguars and others, for a driver's school. You should sign up for that. The particulars are in the calendar of jcna.com.
Best,
Gary Hagopian

Art Dickenson.
1983 XJS GT "Silver"
Pacific Jaguar.ca

Dave, you are on the way for a lot of pain if you "but a helmut" , also gotta have a sense of humour because there is usually plenty of laughter out there as newcomers spin out whilst trying to beat a time set by someone such as Gary Hagopian.
But back to the serious side of things, if you intend to get serious about slalom you should buy a good fitting helmet, a CAR ROAD RACE helmet is specified currently in the rules, although most clubs conducting these events have a supply of participant helmets, these units are of various sizes and qualities. I would suggest you buy one you are comfortable with. An open face helmet gives more visibility but fast times come with either type of helmet.
I must congratulate Ginger for her video clip productions on the web page, unknown to me she has had one of my run in Dick's car also @ Atlanta, which may even get on the page also if Pascal has the time/space to do that.
Make sure your heart is in good shape before all events, this event really can make your adrenalin rush and your heart pound,
Seat belts tight, hands at ten to two,arms almost straight,rev it up to two grand, drop the clutch or foot off brake and you are approaching the first turn in two seconds.
One important note, all JCNA clubs are allowed to conduct a slalom school in the morning before the event proper. Unfortunately at the big events there is no time before the main event as it takes most of the day to run all of the cars ,

Art