Went well. I did not hit any cones. I don't think anybody launched all day. To answer my own question, I think it does have something to do with how quickly the first turn shows up.
I thought I would have trouble memorizing and/or reading the course, and I did. There was one quadrant that had two distinct jogs to the right (course run clockwise - that is fundamentally a map of the course, but shows nothing in the way of critical detail). That's where I made all my errors. 3 DNF's out of 6 runs.
Missed one of the jogs to the right. On the second run, I managed to over-correct, and went through a previous gate backwards (car still pointed forward, to be clear, but going back in the wrong direction). I got an instructor in the car for the third run, and posted a 73.
Fourth run was a low 69, and the instructor came up to tell me, at below 70, I was now "doing well". Playing with house money, I missed the right hand jog again on the fifth run. Craving another result, I got a high 69 on the last run.
In my morning group, The Fast Guys were doing low 60's. The guy I met and hung with, who had done 10 or 12 autocrosses, had a best time of a mid 67. The Really Fast Guys intentionally waited for the warmer afternoon group, and I think the best time of the day was a 59.
All my runs mechanically identical - full PSM, PASM hard, Sport+ mode. Car slid around a fair amount - no tire squealing; no warning. And I guess the full PSM slowed me down to a crawl on at least one sweeper. I wish I had tried soft PASM - I think that might have improved some contact and traction, and maybe saved some time lost to PSM control.
I am pleased. I righted the ship and significantly dealt with my problems of course reading and memorization. I think I put up decent numbers for a 60 year old novice. I think I'm ready to start recovering lost time through modifications of my inputs, and of the car set up. I'll bet The Fast Guys and up start working on these things during the walk through; I don't know if I could ever get to that point.
300 is plenty, 350's too many, and 365 is not enough.