Written By Tony "Mario" Crea
(This applies mostly to all NNJR events)
The day before an event:
Check http://www.autox4u.com/ or that specific club's website to make sure the event is on. You can also pre-Register online prior to the event.
Wash the car...a clean race car is a happy race car!!! (Optional)
Bring Lunch, plenty of water for those hot days and suntan lotion if needed..
Clean out the interior completely. There should not be any loose items "floating" around which could interfere with driving. (Mandatory) This will be checked at Tech on site
Remove any hubcaps or wheel trim rings. These could pop off during an autocross.
Check the tightness of the battery on its bracket or mount.
Check the tightness of the lug nuts, and the overall condition of the tires. Dangerously bald or worn tires will not be overlooked as "slicks".
Have at least a half-tank of gas available to race with. This excludes travel usage., this varies with some cars.
Prepare a lunch...there are no food services available at most events. Be sure to pack more non-carbonated fluids like water. Dehydration occurs faster than you think on hot summer days.
Keep at least $50 in your wallet/purse. Approximately $35-$50 for SCCA Members and $50-$60 for non-SCCA Members will go towards the entry fee. The rest may be needed for refueling or tolls. Spectators can come and watch for free, just make sure they must sign the insurance waiver.
Get plenty of rest..."morning comes around faster than you think." Mom
The day of the event, before the Drivers Meeting:
Arrive as early as possible. Approximately 8:00 ~ 8:30 is suggested for novices. This will allow ample time to get settled, unpack, and "hook-up" with a more experienced autocrosser. All you have to do is ASK
Do not be afraid to ask questions, we were all "rookies" at one time or another. The more experienced racers will be happy to educate and guide any novice.
Sign the release/waiver form. This is REQUIRED by anybody in the paddock area, even non-competitors.
Register yourself and the car; pay entry fee and pick out you car number and class. Then receive your worker assignment, this is a requirement at all events.
Receive course map (If applicable)
Inflate "street" tires to at least 5-8 psi above what you use on the street. This dramatically stiffens the tire sidewall, a must for crisp, responsive handling. The pressures can be raised or lowered during the event, this is merely a general benchmark for FWD & RWD.
Bring car to REQUIRED technical inspection. Have car all empty of all loose items and race ready with numbers on the car, otherwise we will use window chalk. The following will be checked...
Seatbelt condition. (Factory or aftermarket) Not to be torn, excessively worn.
Tires and lug nuts. (As mentioned earlier)
Nothing loose under the hood.
Brake pedal feel.
"Cleanliness" of the cars interior. (As mentioned earlier)
Helmet Snell or M 2005 or newer.
A brief introduction by the Solo (The formal name for autocrossing) Chairperson.
An explanation of the safety rules of the event, and the consequences for not following them.
A discussion of the general rules of autocrossing, including the guidelines for scoring and penalties.
Once competition begins:
Cars are lined up according to classification...
Clubs do not run in number order, however you run within your class.
Paddock speeds are limited to 5mph or less. Strive for less in this case, things get pretty hectic in the paddock.
No burn-outs to heat tires are allowed in the paddock area or surrounding roads.
Competitors are to acknowledge any red flags issued to them by a course worker. We understand concentration and adrenaline levels are high, but, safety is our number one priority.
Should a competitor be issued a red flag for any reason, he/she is to come to a quick, controlled stop and slowly completiting the course at 50% and return to the grid area.
The same rule applies once a competitor completes a lap and crosses the finish line.
Work the course when your run group has completed a heat. Working is required by all competitors. As a novice, request working a station with an experienced autocrosser.
Once competition ends:
See if the event coordinators need any assistance cleaning up.
Gather around for the presentation of the trophies.
Head on home...unpack, clean up, relax, and tell everyone about your first autocross!!