Originally posted by Murray Peterson
When the speeds get up higher or other cars get beside you, I find that almost everyone backs off a bit -- for darn good reasons. Not many people are really willing to take the risks of living at the edge with their own vehicle (and body).
Then you are not actually "racing". When people ask these questions, I make the assumption that if they are going to drop $50k in one year on a "hobby", good isn't good enough, they want "best". My advice delivers that. I race to compete, and it is "fun" to push as hard as I can. The chances of bodily harm in racing (or damage to your car) is significantly lower than your trip to the office in the morning, so in fact those are HORRIBLE reasons based in irrationality. I auto-x'd for years (non-competitively due to car selection) and it is nothing like being on track. It does help familiarize yourself with a cold car, and gets you comfortable racing on pavement. As I said, if you have a car that you can throw r-compounds on and hit auto-x's, EVERY BIT HELPS. But I would not go out of my way to be competitive/buy a car for it.
Also, 10 runs in a day at an auto-x might equal one session out of the two or three you'd get doing time attack, and things do change in how you deal with a car at two times the speed.
I didn't get a mention? I used to be the biggest auto-x and lapping whore. At one point, I was competing or lapping 4x a week and blowing through 2 sets of tires a month haha.
But no competitive racing beyond auto-x, which we agree isn't where he should focus his efforts.