What’s an Autocross?

_MG_0303_edited1-viAutocross — that’s something anyone can do with just about anything parked in your driveway. We have classes for all levels of preparation from nothing (almost) to full-race. This is very much a grassroots sport. While some aspire to its upper levels – Divisional and National Championship or Pro Solo competition – many are perfectly happy just running Regional (local) events.

An autocross is basically an obstacle race, run one car at a time, with rulebook-mandated safety levels that put it within reach of virtually anyone. Top speeds, that rulebook says, are to be around 60 mph for the fastest Street and Street Touring category cars (think Corvettes and Vipers). If you are out in some econobox Nissan or Volkswagen, your top end may be somewhat less. But the challenge is to get through the course as quickly as you can. A turn you might take at 15 on the street, you may try at 25 in an autocross, and 27 may be too fast! But you’re on the edge, and there’s the thrill. Once you learn the techniques of performance driving, you may find it possible to do that turn at 29, and there’s the skill.

I Would Love To See That!

Guests are always welcome. There is NO FEE to watch our events but insurance requirements mandate that everyone on site must check in at the registration table and sign the event waiver. At that time we will explain to you where it is safe to watch from and will be happy to answer any questions you have.

Everyone on site must sign our event waiver (the insurance geeks make us do that). If you are under 18, you must have a minor waiver signed by at least one parent/guardian even just to watch. If you are under the age of 18 and want to compete, the waiver MUST be signed by BOTH parents/legal guardians and be notarized or witnessed by an event official (exceptions only for single-parent situations).

Sounds Fun, I Want To Try It!

_MG_8573_edited1-vi_2What do you need to drive an autocross? Just show up. You must show a valid driver’s license. Your car must pass a basic safety inspection which include things like the battery firmly held down (no bungee cords!), no bald tires, steering and brakes function well, no major leaks, and no loose objects in the trunk or passenger compartment.

Entry fee for our basic events is $40 for non-members, $30 for SCCA members. All who pre-register online, via on the homepage, get a $5 discount.  At the event, just come to registration, sign in, and have fun. Our basic event is usually very laid back and casual, and we try hard to accommodate any special needs. We also hold a “Novice Walk” at 9:30 a.m. for newcomers, those with little experience, or people who are trying to learn how to go quicker. This walk is led by an experienced driver who will help answer any questions you may have.

If trying it for the first time, say so and we will put you with an experienced driver who will help you find your way.

Registration usually opens around 8 a.m. or so and remains open until 9:30 am.

*New* Here is a great beginners guide to Autocross pictures provided by SCCA Hawaii Region. Thanks!

The Disclaimer

“Motor racing is dangerous.” That notation shows up these days on everything from seat belts and helmets to the catalogues that sell parts to racers. Solo has an outstanding safety record, with a strong and active Safety Steward program to enforce it. The Safety Steward is the one worker specialty in Solo requiring classroom training and a license.

Solo course design and event operation rules are written to keep everyone safe. We must maintain a certain distance from fixed objects, for example the new dog park at ECRA. There is a maximum speed guideline. But we never say “never.” Accidents can happen. Someone can just get it wrong. Injury or death can occur. Statistically you are safer driving an autocross than driving to the supermarket but there are no guarantees.

The waiver you sign does not mean you sign away all your rights but it does say you are aware of what is going on. Primarily it kicks in the insurance coverage. If you are injured, you are covered – it is secondary to your own health/accident policy, but has a multi-million dollar upper limit. If you hurt your car the event insurance does not cover that, but does cover SCCA’s liability for any damage.

You participate at your own risk. The risk is very low but it is not nonexistent.