Tom Wilson
February 24, 2012

The Parts

The following parts were tested at the autocross. Note that Maximum Motorsports sells the Eibach sway bars, so they are available from either company. Also, most of these parts are available separately or as parts of kits. Because suspension parts have interlinking functions, we recommend buying kits—the more encompassing the better.

DescriptionManufacturerPart NumberRetail
Lower SpringsMaximum Motorsports422HO$247.00
Panhard BarMaximum MotorsportsMMPB99A$359.95
Rear Sway BarEibach3510.312$172.43
TiresNittoNTO1 275/35ZR18$281.00

'Cross Training!

We have to say it was tasty to get on an autocross course after years of road racing and open-track driving. Autocrossing is much less expensive than those other two corner-intensive disciplines and is the best way for an enthusiast to introduce himself to the corner-bending business. Like grudge-night drag racing, autocrossing is an affordable motorsport.

If nothing else, there is essentially no chance of either car-to-car and minimal chance of car-to-wall contact, plus brakes and tires last far longer because they just don't get worked as long as on a road course. On the plus side, the quick timing and technical nature of the course layouts is superb driver training. Ride-along passengers are a regular part of autocrossing, so the all-important coaching from an experienced driver is easy to get.

Our autocrossing test session was sanctioned by Speed Ventures, a Southern California-based organizer of autocross, open-track, and training events. We've driven in Speed Venture open-tracks before and found them well-organized, and held at a variety of interesting tracks. Typical of autocrosses, the only gear required was a daily driver Mustang and a helmet, and we drove 31 laps between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. using about half a tank of gas. We can't imagine not giving it a try.