What the heck is Autocross anyway?

Autocross (aka Solo is the SCCA brand name for autocross competition) is a timed competition where drivers navigate through course made up of cones. Each driver gets the course to themselves and is racing to get a better time then their competitor. The race usually takes place on a parking lot or airport tarmac, normally speeds don't exceed 60 mph. Now to some 60 mph doesn't seem fast or fun but add alot of twists and turns and it feels like you are on the Indian Jones ride in Disney World going 100 mph.

Autocross racing is all about the drivers skill then horsepower and speed. There are alot of turns that require late apex, early apex, braking early, trail braking, etc. It all depends on the course. To make the course fair to everyone with different types of cars everyone is put into different classes. You can find more info about what car belongs in what class here http://www.scca.com/solo/content.cfm?cid=44517. The purpose of this is that someone with Honda Civic is not competing with someone with a Chevy Corvette. They would be competing with a similar car for example a Mini Cooper. This is just the high level overview of what autocross is. There are rules in place of what cones count as a plenty and how the cone lays after it has been hit. For more detail I invite you to take a look at the rules and regulation here http://www.scca.com/assets/2014%20Solo%20Rules%20Book%201%20draft%20a%20reduced.pdf

Tips for First Timers

  • Find your region: http://www.scca.com/about/index.cfm?cid=44433. Feel free to email your region rep and ask any questions you may have.
  • Need to be a member to participate but first time is usually free.
  • Races usually cost about $30-$35 per race.
  • You need a valid driver license to race.
  • Note that this is a volunteer based organization, everyone has to work. The race is usually split between 2 groups sometimes 3. While one group races another will work. Then switch when the first group is done racing.
  • How the race is usually scheduled out: 
          7:30-8:30 Registration and Check In
          8:30-9:30 Tech Inspection and Course Walk
          9:30 Drivers meeting
          10:00 First Car Out

  • Tech Inspection requires the following:
    • Remove all loose objects, trash, car seats, etc
    • Remove spare tire and equipment
    • Battery should be securely tied down
    • SNELL rated helmet that is current
    • Fluids are not leaking
    • Wheels are attached to car nice and tight
    • Tires have good thread and no cords are showing
    • Car is in generally good mechanical condition
    • Class and Numbers need to placed on car like so on each side
                                                            "SCCA." The Sports Car Club of America. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 July 2014
  • Check your tire air pressure, make sure they at least have the minimum air pressure recommend by manufacturer. But, you might want to add 5-10 psi to keep the tires firm, however every car is different.
  • You can have spectators and/or passengers but they have to sign a waiver
  • Bring lots of water and sun screen
  • Bring your own lunch or snacks
  • Most importantly HAVE FUN!!!