Ready to Autocross?
Great, here are the top ten things you need to know to get yourself “on course”:
- Learn what class your car is in. If you haven't made any performance modifications to it, download the SCCA Stock Category Classifications by Make guide (PDF) and look for your car. If you've made changes or upgrades, you should download Ben Clement’s Modification Guide and determine what class your car belongs in. Chances are, you're better off registering on the Forums and posting information about the car including the make, model, year, specs, and changes you've made, then ask someone where you belong. Write it down. Then check our classing page for information on the local competition categories to determine which novice group you fall into. Write that down too.
- Register. If registration for the next event isn't open, check the web site from time to time until it is. Once it is (typically one week prior), register for the event. There may be two opportunities to drive in the day - the first will be called "competition runs" and the second, if it's scheduled, will be called "time only" (TO). If you want to run in both, you need to register twice, once in your proper competition category, then again selecting TO.
- Check the web site before the event to find the course layout and the driver and worker schedules. Make sure you know the schedule. Print it. Print the course map too.
- Look at your schedule and note what time the drivers' meeting and course walk before your timed runs occur. Get to the site well in advance of the course walk.
- Make sure the battery in your car is strapped down nice and snug and that you don’t have any significant fluid leaks.
- Unless your first event is in January, and even if it is, bring plenty of sunscreen and water. If it's in the summer, bring an umbrella. In other words, prepare for a day outside in Phoenix.
- Bring cash (although checks will work) for the entry fees. There are fees for both timed and time only runs so make sure you bring enough.
- Park outside the coned area (grid), go to the registration table by the trailer, find your registration sheets (there will be two if you are in TOs), pay the man, show your driver’s license, take your registration sheets back to your car, and put them on the windshield.
- Take out all loose objects from your car including your floor mats, toys, whatever. Open the trunk and take out the spare tire and any loose objects there too including tools. Drive your car over to the "Tech Inspection" area. Stop where the man is, shut off your car, get out and open the hood and trunk. Once you get through inspection, drive back to your parking area.
- Now you should go out and walk the course (do the Novice course walkthrough), attend the drivers' meeting, and be prepared to either work, watch, or drive. If it's your turn to work, learn where your "station" is and then attend the brief "course worker" introduction. Note that if you’re scheduled to run immediately after the drivers’ meeting, get your car parked and ready in your grid spot prior to the meeting. Your grid spot will be the car number you were assigned for that heat.
Have a blast!
Need more info? Read the complete Novice Guide.