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What is Autocrossing?


AUTOCROSSING is a type of automotive competition that emphasize driver skills and vehicle handling and agility rather than speed and power. A typical autocross is held on a short paved course that uses tight curves, short straights, slaloms, simulated lane changes and similar obstacles to test both driver and car. Cars are grouped in classes of similar vehicles and each competitor makes three or more timed runs with the best time counting for competition.

SPEED is moderate, with most cars not exceeding 60 mph at any point of the course. The course is outlined with traffic cones, each of which is placed within a square marked on the pavement. A time penalty is assessed if a cone is knocked down or out of its square. Penalties are incurred in accordance with the "Down and Out Rule". A certain amount of time (typically 1 or 2 seconds) will be added to the measured time for each penalty assessed during that times run. Penalties are recorded on the results sheet by the notation +1, +2, etc. A run may be scored as a DNF (Did Not Finish) if the driver fails to properly negotiate the course.

COMPETITION is generally open to licensed drivers, 18 years of age or older. At the discretion of the Club conducting a particular event, competition may be open to licensed drivers between 16 and 18 years of age with written parental permission. Spectators and drivers are required to sign the insurance waiver at the registration desk.

VEHICLES will be inspected to insure that brakes, steering, wheels, and tires are in good working order. The engine compartment will be inspected for fluid leaks and to insure that items such as the battery are properly anchored. Any loose items must be removed from the interior and luggage compartments, including the spare tire and jack. Tires should be inflated above normal street pressures to prevent tire tuck-under and to insure that the tire will not separate from its wheel. Hubcaps and trip rings must be removed. Cars are assigned competition classes during Tech Inspection according to the current rulebook. Drivers MUST wear a seat belt and/or shoulder harness, and a DOT approved helmet. Loaner helmets are usually available at the timing trailer.

SAFETY is of prime importance during an autocross. There are a number of cars moving between parking and staging areas and entering and exiting the course itself. There may also be a number of spectator/drivers at various points around the course boundary. Drivers must be extremely cautious at all times, and must follow all instructions of the Solo Safety Steward(s). Any driver who operates a vehicle in a reckless or unsafe manner will be disqualified and asked to leave the event site