View Full Version : Newbie Questions on Autocross

02-28-2009, 01:26 PM
I see there is an Autocross in April in Shirley, MA. I'd love to participate, but I have never been to one of these and there is not a lot of info on what an Autocross involves. Can anyone who has experience driving in these events fill me in on how it works and if there are any requirements for participation? Thanks so much!

03-01-2009, 12:55 PM
Here's the bottom line you should know about autocrossing:

Hammer, corner and brake as hard as you can and don't knock down any cones 'cause each is a 2 second penalty. :D

While safety rules vary slightly from club to club, the essence is:

a Snell rated helmet is required (some allow motrorcycle rated helmets, others require SA ratings), there may be loaners or one you can borrow
a tech inspection must be passed where they'll check the battery is secure and shake your wheels to check for play and worn suspension
no obvious fluid leaks
tires with minimum legal tread
all loose items must be removed from the car

A vehicle in a regular state of repair should pass without any trouble, just air up the tires to 40 psi the night before and bring your pressure gauge. You can always let a few pounds out after consulting with other participants as to what pressures they're running.

Drivers are broken up into two run groups. While one group is driving, the other group mans the corners with walkie-talkies ready to re-set knocked over cones or wave the red flag should an unsafe condition occur on the course.

There'll be a bazillion cones outlining a challenging twisting, slaloming track laid out around the runways and electronic timing to the thousandth of a second.

Cars will vary from bone stock to trailered vehicles with heavily modified suspensions and race tires and driving skill will vary from newbie to super-human.

Here's some shots of an event from last year:


and here's an in-car video that'll give you a very good idea what it's all about:


These autocrosses are very full days, you'll be whipped by the end when it's time to head home. Figure on getting 8-9, maybe 10 runs in depending on the size of the field.

Bring a half dozen bottles of water, sun-screen, insect repellent, half a tank of gas, and rain gear depending on the forecast.

Ft. Devens is a great place to autocross -- with a great group of folks. Just do it, you'll have a blast.


03-01-2009, 03:15 PM

I think you'll like running at our autocrosses as Pat does a good job and he has a fantastic team to help him out. I would suggest trying it once and see if it is for you. You can sign up on line at www.scmcstore.com and give it a shot. We're supposed to have a member discount in there so I'll have to check with Pat on that.

Good luck, have fun! :thumbsup:

03-02-2009, 05:56 PM
Randy did a pretty good job descibing the events. It's a lot of fun with a great group of people. Novices are welcomed. If you have any questions feel free to contact me


03-20-2009, 07:55 PM
Thanks for all the info, and the links. The video definitely helped me get a good idea of what a course is like. I sure hope I can make it for the April event, but if not I will definitely be at the next one in the area. I will need to get a helmet, as my head is tiny and I highly doubt any loaners would fit. I'm guessing my old Jockey helmet would not be acceptable. :D

Hope to see you all there! :bounce:

03-21-2009, 12:46 AM
I got my helmet from racerwholesale.com (http://www.racerwholesale.com), they were extremely helpful.