utocross is a wicked beast. While
arguably the most achievable form of
full-size-car motorsports for anyone to
contest, the learning curve can be steep.
The concept is simple: race through a
series of cones quicker than your
competition. Reality, however, is the kicker.
Traversing a mass of cones that constitute
a 60-second course set up in a giant
parking lot can be daunting because,
frankly, few of us are used to interpreting
cones as a miniature road course. What
looks simple from the sidelines quickly
becomes overwhelming, and that can lead
to frustration. But it needn’t be that way.
The Sports Car Club of America is the
largest organizer of autocross (dubbed
“Solo” in SCCA lingo) in the U.S. An entry
fee is about $35, with events taking place
near you, year round, at any given time.
“There are roughly 1,000 Solo events
a year, give or take, with about 73,000
entrants,” says SCCA Rally/Solo Program
Manager Brian Harmer. For you to make
that 73,001 next weekend, Harmer
explains, “a person just needs to show up
with a car, a valid driver’s license, and be
ready to have fun,” noting that a lot of
SCCA regions, which host the events, offer
loaner helmets should you not have one.
Other things to bring? “I’d recommend
some water and food, sunscreen, an
umbrella, and a tire gauge,” he says.
The basic structure of the SCCA is
that it’s a national club with roughly 115
individual regions that host events, so to
find a region near you – and its events –
click the “Find your region” link under
“About SCCA” on www.scca.com.
For someone attending their first Solo,
they’ll want to check in at registration (or
contact the organizing region beforehand)
and ask if there’s a program for novices.
“Some regions have a huge novice
program,” says Harmer. “The majority of
SCCA regions even have some sort of
SCCA’s autocross program is an easy and low-cost way to
get into motorsports. It’s fun, it’s safe and it’s addictive.
Words Philip Royle
Main iMage Rupert Berrington
(LEFT) Safety is key,
so pushing too hard
rarely results in more
than a flat-spotted
tire. (ABOVE) Solo
competitors also work
the course at events.