"You know your Kid can drive when" (Caution, proud Dad, long post)

Discussion in 'The BS Topic' started by G72Zed, Mar 11, 2020.

  1. G72Zed

    G72Zed Veteran Member

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    Other than bumping the starter to set the lash, I never let my 16 year old son drive my 72 Z28 on the road (not insured).

    I allowed him to move it 10ft back and forth only twice in the driveway to check for leaks, and let him feel the clutch, that's it. (Yes, I'm a strict Dad, lol)

    The first 2 years he was in the passenger seat most times I Autocrosse'd and I was always chatting about setups, changes needed to the car over the winter, and what I needed to do to improve my times (started late in life LOL). I did not think he was listening that closely, he was 16 - 18 years old.

    Fast forward a few years, I'm at a large Autocross event with my family, (wife & 2 sons). I time trial on Saturday, do OK, but the track surface is a killer on the tires, so I'm sliding and over-driving the corners trying to make up time, nice to have 530+ HP, but it's a detriment at this point.

    On Sunday, they reverse the track, we get 2 slow pace laps, my wife says, why don't you let him drive, OK it's big, safe and not on the road. He's just turned 19, so I let him drive the pace laps, he is pumped and just beaming with pride. Wife says, why don't we pay for another entry just to let him try it out. OK, cool, it's only a couple of bucks.

    I do my first 2 runs, and then we switch seats. I'm telling him all the pointers, not to fast, only for fun, don't overdrive the corners, bla bla bla.. I'm nervous as I got years in this build and it's my kid, I do not want anything bad to happen, like any parent would.

    He takes off, hit's the first gate at a good pace, stays on track and sets up for the next gate, he's doing good, nice and controlled, more speed, next gate then a fast section, he's on the right line, perfect shift, a little high in the rpm, hits the chip, then he flicks the wheel and kicks out the rear to set up for a fast S section, I poo my pants, what are you doing!!! he makes it OMG. He takes a different line, but real smooth on entry and real fast on exit.

    At the end of the run, he is very calm and says "how did I do Dad, I say "very good actually, a little to good, did you take Dad's car out for joy rides while I'm away at work??" Needless to say, he was only 1.5-2 seconds off my lap times, and at 90 second a lap, that's very close, it's his 1st lap and the first time he actually drove the car.

    My wife and younger son asked what I thought when I got out of the car. I was actually speechless, I did not know what to say, to the point my wife thought he broke the car or blew the engine!! I said that he did things that I did not know the car was capable of doing.

    And that's the exact moment I knew my kid could drive.

    Son's first drive & Autocross  .JPG

    Then he starts to beat my times in the Camaro, smooth and calm, just makes it look easy, but the kid is hard on tires and starts to critique stuff, boy this kid of mine is getting fussy.

    The next year we get a set of used rims and 50% worn tires for his stock/rusty 2005 4 cyl manual shift Honda Accord. He wants to compete in the local Autocross for fun, they put him in "E" class because the car is not classed, who enters a 2,500$ rusty 4 door grandpa car with 250 thousand K's on it anyway. He does well, very well in fact. We buy new tires, we put on a rear sway bar. Goes out and wins his class for the first time. I am there, cooling things down, and playing with tire pressures, I go for a ride, OK, this is fast, why is this fast. He wins the next round, then wins his class again. He gets protested because his tires are 10 millimeters to wide. OK, they bump him up to D class, he wins that.

    First Car Autocross E Class.png

    Then he sells the Accord to my younger son, and buys a used 2010 Civic SI with manual shift and k24 4 cyl. for 7k. Has winter rims and tires, good on gas, and is in great shape. Then he says it came with light weight racing rims and Hoosier slicks, and coil over shocks, good deal!! Car comes from a top Honda/Acura tech who wanted to try autocross, did not do so well, and sold it cheap. He tries the slicks out on his first outing, gets bumped to A class, and does great, but the slicks are old and have timed out. OK, lets get some RE71R's. Back to D class, wins the next 7 events, and the class above, and the next class. He is now in the top 10 out of 100 entries, then top 5, then 1st in the rain!!! he loves the rain.

    He goes to the next big points event, 140 cars, he wins class, and the class above, heck, he was faster than all the BRZ's, FRS's, and the C and B class cars. He beat a Z06 with slicks driven by a dude that won class at the SCCA event in Lincoln Nebraska only a few years ago. Needless to say, he won his class in the 2019 MCO competition, and also won the overall championship his first full year running it. He is now being asked to co-drive in Lincoln Nebraska this year.

    I knew my Kid could drive, now the "teacher becomes the student" go figure, I help set up his car, and I drive the Camaro to events to go watch and help him set things up now LOL

    2010 Civic in 2019 Autocross.png

    Sorry for the long post, but I need to have a record of this anyway.

    To the moderators, if this is in the wrong section, I'm sorry, please move it to the right section. If this type of bragging about your kid is not allowed, I'll delete it promptly.

    Thanks
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2020
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  2. Da-bigguy

    Da-bigguy Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    That's an awesome story and you have every right to brag about your son's achievement!
     
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  3. grzewnicki

    grzewnicki Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    Great story, sounds like he has found his calling. Are you or your son thinking, "hmmm could I make a living doing this?"
     
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  4. dave@ztech

    [email protected] Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    Great story, guess he was listening , and thinking , humm , I would do it just a little different, and was good at it, nice!
     
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  5. ol' grouch

    ol' grouch Veteran Member

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    A good teacher can feel pride and accomplishment when a student surpasses him. He did his job.
     
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  6. xten

    xten Veteran Member

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    Some have it, some don't. He Gets IT!!! Now that's a wheel man right there! Good job, both of you. I see the same thing in Kid's 12 year old son in motocross.
     
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  7. RS1979

    RS1979 Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    That is a great story. There's nothing like a dad being proud of his son. Good job Zed
     
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  8. 72'z'steve

    72'z'steve Veteran Member

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    Now that's something positive I can get my head around from the "younger generation" I'm so bummed with the guys I work with whose kids who are in jail,on meth,or 34 and in their basement with a couple baby mommas and its not their fault-its "the world we live in -get used to it"-HUHH? Really refreshing to hear a proud dad and a healthy pastime/results. You have all the rights to be proud and share!!KUDOS to you,your son and family-Later Steve!!
     
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  9. Zstar

    Zstar Veteran Member

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    Well Done Zed, Well Done!!!
     
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  10. JMcDonough

    JMcDonough Member

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    +1 to all the other comments and thanks for sharing!

    Great embodiment of what autocross is and should be all about. PM me if you need any tips or tricks for attending/competing at Solo Nationals in Lincoln.

    I had a similar path to getting hooked on auto-x. My dad let me co-drive his Austin-Healey kit car when I was 18. My learning curve was much, much slower but we've come full circle and are building an '81 Camaro together where I've been teaching him what I've learned driving HS and GS cars over the past several years.

    If you are trying to find ways to improve, the data and video options out there are dizzying but can help easily identify where the time deltas are. Executing is still the tough part, but knowing where the time is can really help.
     
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