What is Autocross?
If this is you first autocross event we have a few suggestions for you to make things run smoothly.
Before you leave for the event…
Take a look at your vehicle, It will be subject to a tech inspection at the event, this is where we will insure it is safe for competition. Some things to look for are…
Outside the car.
1. Visually inspect your wheels and tires, Check your lugnuts for tightness, Make sure your tires are properly inflated, make sure your tires arent bald or showing chord.
2. Make sure the vehicle isn’t leaving puddles of fluid, you don’t want that on a racetrack.
Under your hood.
1. Check your brake fluid and other fluids as well.
2. Try to move your battery around with your hand, It should stay in place. If you don’t have a battery hold down, most autopart retailers should have something that will work. The battery needs to be secure, a battery banging around the engine compartment is not a good thing.
Inside the passenger compartment.
1. Press the brake pedal firmly. It should hold pressure and not travel all the way to the floor.
2. Fully depress the throttle pedal and release. It should spring back without binding.
3. Now may be a good time to clean out the interior of the vehicle of debris or anything you won’t need. You’ll have to remove all loose items for the race anyway.
4. You need a functional seatbelt. In most cases the standard three point belt is sufficient.
1. If you don’t have one there will be some loaners available.
2. If you do have your own, insure it is in good condition and meets the latest or two immediately preceding Snell Foundation standards, SFI standards, or British spec BS6658-85 type A/FR.
When you leave for the event make sure you have shoes (no sandles, flip flops, etc.), A drivers license, your registration fee, and if you are a minor you will need a parent/legal guardian with you to sign a waiver. Plan on arriving early, You want to have plenty of time to register, prepare your car and yourself for competion, to learn the course and to have any questions you may have answered (anyone will be happy to answer them.)
When you arrive, park your car alongside all the other vehicles and out of the way (If we are at henderson stadium and the gates are unlocked you should park inside the fence this should be the pitting area).
Register for the Event
1. Sign the waiver that should be on a clipboard laying on the table. If you are a minor you will need a parent or legal guardian to sign with you. This waiver is for driver, passengers or any spectators.
2. Pick up a wristband and put it on.
3. Register with the person sitting infront of the laptop.
Prepare your Car
1. Remove ALL loose Items in the passenger compatrment. Floormats, cellphones, cameras, sunglasses, GPS units all must be removed from the car. Many people remove the spare tire and tool kit.
2. Remove ALL items on the exterior of the car that may become loose during competition (hubcaps for example)
3. Open your hood, trunk and leave your doors unlocked for tech inspection (since you’ve already inspected your vehicle before leaving you should pass).
If the course has already been set up you should walk it a few times, Familiarize yourself with the layout of the course, try to memorize it if you can. Ask questions.
Before the racing begins there will be a drivers meeting over by the trailer, We will discuss rules and general safety, please pay attention. You will be told what run-group you will be racing in. and while your group is not racing, what your work assignment will be. After the drivers meeting you should be a novice walk through (I still try to go on the novice walk through). After the walk through If you are in the first run group go to your car and get in line (in no particular order) with everybody else. If you are in the second run group head to your assigned work station. Typically we will have 2 run-groups, and have 2 heats, the first heat starts around 11 am with the first run group. Typically everyone in the first run-group will make 3-4 runs, then they trade places with the people in the second run-group and they make 3-4 runs. Then we go for a short lunch, then do it over again.
During Your Runs
1. On your first run Take it slow, make sure you know the course.
2. If you get lost (don’t worry, it happens.) slow down and look to the corner workers, they will either direct you back on course, or safely off course.
3. If you do lose control, “both feet in” Push both the brake and the clutch pedal until you make a complete stop.
4. You may want to ask someone who is more experienced to ride along with you.
5. DO NOT hit the timing lights (this goes for any run, not just the first), they are expensive, you will pay for them, and you will ruin the day for everyone else.
After Your Run
1. Safely slow down to a safe walking speed and get back in line (typically you will go through the open gate, around the stadium, back through the pits, and back in line).
2. DO NOT run over the cables that may be on the ground, these are for the timing and scoring lights, these are expensive also, you will pay for them, and you will ruin the day for everyone else, these cables are usually yellow, white, or blue.
3. Drive no faster than a walking speed.
4. If that was your last run, park in the pitting area and wait for your turn to work the track.