Your First Autocross

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Your First Autocross

Postby Checkers on May Tue 15, 2007 4:26 pm

Ok, so you want to go to your first Autcross?
Well let's hope this helps you out!

1. Try to locate an event that you would like to participate in. For Montana a good start is http://www.swmtscca.org for the Bozeman events as well as http://www.bigskyregion.org for the Missoula/Kalispell/Helena events. Also download the SCCA rule book here.
http://www.scca.com/documents/Solo%20Ru ... oRules.pdf
Use the rule book to determine what class your car is going to be in before the event. Classifying the car is YOUR responsibility but feel free to ask anyone if you can't figure it out.

2. Try to get to the event an hour or so before they are schedueled to start so you can get everything sorted out. The events typically start around 9:00 so that would be around 8am. Try to bring $50 in cash just in case. Most events are typically $35 for Non-SCCA members and $25 for SCCA members. To become a member check out http://www.scca.org

3. The absolute first thing you need to do upon entering the event is sign the liabilty waiver and register if you haven't already done so online. Signing the waiver should be your number one priority before anything else. Anyone who is going to be with you, whether they be riding, driving, or spectating must sign the waiver. Everyone. When you register you will most likely have to fill out a registration form which you take with you and place under your windshield wiper so it is highly visible. Be sure when you are registering to let them know you are a first timer and ask to be directed to an experienced driver.

4. Park your car in the pits and remove everything that is not tied down and anything that is loose. Including hubcaps, removable air vents, everything out of your dash, under the seats, in the ashtray, spare tire, everything. Leave your rear hatch open as well as your glove box, visors, and doors. Leave anything that can be opened, open. This makes your tech go as fast as possible so you can get in some track time!

5. Lift your hood and make sure everything is tight and cannot move around easily. For example: battery, radiator, fuel lines nothing near the fan shroud. Leave your hood up. Almost all failed techs are from loose batteries so make sure it's tight!

6. Have a Snell approved helmet and make sure to have it placed on your drivers seat before the tech inspection. Your helmet must pass inspection as well.
Official SCCA position on helmet requirements. For SOLO, an M rated helmet (or SA) of 1995 or newer is suitable. This would include M1995/SA1995 up to M2005/SA2005. Alternate specifications can include SFI 31.1A, 31.2A, 41.1A and 41.2A
Your helmet should have a label sewn inside somewhere. The label MUST be there for your helmet to be approved.

7. After you're done getting the car ready it's time to prepare yourself! Find that experienced driver to walk through the course with if at all possible. Everyone is usually friendly and happy to assist and explain things. You will start to walk through the course at the start, and continue the whole way through until then finish. DO NOT skip any part of the course. Pay close attention to the path your will be driving. If you have any questions just ask the people around you. Try to spend as much time as you can on your walk through. Pay attention and ask questions about such things as "leaners" or "trick cones."

8. Ride along with said experienced driver for the 1st run he or she makes and pay close attention to everything that is going on. Braking, shifting, speeds. Chances are, you can learn a lot from being in the passenger seat. Ride with as many people as you can and pay attention to everything you can.

9. It's time for your first run! Start your car when you are about 3rd in line, and make sure everything is working right.
Put your helmet on and make sure it is tight. Secure yourself into your harness or seatbelt. And slowly pull up to the line as directed by the "starter" which is the person who directs you when and where to go. Slowly creep up until he/she signals you to stop. When they give you the signal to go, bring your RPM's up and take off! On your first run don't push yourself. Just try to get a basic feel for the course. Remember, in autocross Slow Is Fast! It's not about being ballsy, it's about having fun and driving within your limits. Remember to use your brakes, don't hit the cones, and if something happens don't worry about it! Everyone has their first day on the track.

10. Cruise through the finish and hit the brakes, try not to lock up but be at less then 20 mph before you hit the end of the signal cones! There should be a certain formation of cones that signal you to be a speed of less than 20mph by the end of them so please, slow down as much as possible for everyones safety including your own.

Congratulations! You've just succesfully completed your first autocross lap!
Slowly drive back to the staging area and park. Remove your helmet, release your restraint, and celebrate!

11. After you finish all of your runs you will be asked to go "work the course" this means you will be placed at intervals around the track to watch over things. Your job is to stand and watch for wrecks, knocked over cones, anything that goes wrong at all. Watch every cone the driver drives by and if it is knocked over you should call it in.
You are normally equipped with a radio and you should call in any cones that are knocked over. For example. "Car #33, one cone." If car number 33 hits a cone and knocks it over or the cone walks out of the box. If the car hits two cones you say, "Car #33, two cones." And so on and so forth.

If a cone wobbles/falls over when the driver goes past it, wait until it is safe and run to the cone, check to see whether is walked out of the box or if any part of the cone other then the base is in contact with the chalked square.
Image
Everyone that is driving MUST work the course. If you don't you work will most likely not be allowed to drive. Very rarely are exceptions made.
DO NOT sit down while you are working. You will not be able to see if a car or object is hurtling at you and the results could be terrible.

Hopefully this article helped you out! I know having something like this sure would have helped me on my first day!
Be safe, have fun, and drive fast!

Any additions, corrections, or questions please PM me.
Last edited by Checkers on Oct Sat 20, 2007 4:04 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby kompressorgolf on May Tue 15, 2007 4:55 pm

nice!
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Postby Rennwagen1 on Jun Wed 13, 2007 11:07 pm

You can also look for events at www.bigskyregion.org for the Missoula/Kalispell/Helena events!

Also, I highly suggest downloading the 2007 SCCA SOLO rulebook from
http://www.scca.com/Solo/Index.asp?IdS= ... 050|070&~=

It is much easier for the event coordinators if you are able to class your car by yourself. It is not their job, or the inspection techs job too class your car. That way if you class your car in a incorrect class and you have a fellow driver in the same class that has a problem with your
car, he can bring it up to the organisers and it falls back on you, not them. Classing your car is not a big deal, you just want to make sure that you are in one that you are eligible for.

ALso, log onto www.myscca.com to create your own autocrossing profilen and meet fellow drivers from across the country. We need to get a Montana group up there! I have already signed up, will you guys be my friends? :unibrow:

Also remember in autocrossing: SLOW IS FAST!
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Postby Ramrod on Jun Thu 14, 2007 8:49 am

Sweet, finally learned what class I'm in (STU). Thanks buddy.
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Postby Roadhog on Jun Thu 14, 2007 12:11 pm

Ramrod wrote:Sweet, finally learned what class I'm in (STU). Thanks buddy.


ooh, so you are in the get raped class.. poor you. :(
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Postby Ramrod on Jun Thu 14, 2007 1:04 pm

Roadhog wrote:
Ramrod wrote:Sweet, finally learned what class I'm in (STU). Thanks buddy.


ooh, so you are in the get raped class.. poor you. :(


I guess my dream of winning the golden stearing wheel at the end of the year have been shattered. That's life. There's always a faster car, hotter girl, better job, bigger house, etc.
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Postby ValveFloat on Jun Thu 14, 2007 1:09 pm

:thumbsup:

Check this out, it is very informative:
http://www.wtfstables.com/rmsoloschool/

sciroccNroll wrote:6. Have a DOT approved helmet


Helmets must be Snell approved, M95 or newer, SA95 or newer! DOT only is :thumbsdown:

Roadhog wrote:ooh, so you are in the get raped class.. poor you. :(

At the moment in Bozo there is only one other STU car that I am aware of, and it is pretty stock, so I think you will be just fine.
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Postby Rennwagen1 on Jun Thu 14, 2007 1:19 pm

I think with twin turbos and AWD he should be okay.....now, about that increased boost pressure..........
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Postby Roadhog on Jun Thu 14, 2007 5:14 pm

i was just giving him crap.. jeeze guys :P
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Postby Checkers on Oct Sat 20, 2007 4:08 pm

BUMP
I added more and will be adding more here when I get time.
It's a lot of information and I want it to be all correct.
I just threw the rough draft together but now I'm refining everything.

Thanks for the advice guys!
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