Your First Autocross

Preparing for your first event

ALSCCA Solo events are held in accordance with the rules and guidelines of the SCCA.  It's a good idea to read through the SCCA Solo Rule Book before your first event to get an idea of what is required.

Basically you need to bring yourself, your driver's license, the entry fee and a car in good running condition. Some other recommended items to bring are SUNBLOCK, water/sports drinks, approved helmet (SCCA Helmet Certification Bulletin), comfortable shoes, sunglasses, money for food/drinks, tire pressure gauge, a small air compressor/air tank and magnetic numbers/letters.

Preparing your vehicle

Nearly any car can compete in Solo events.  There are some exceptions listed in the rule book (mainly trucks, SUVs and crossovers), but most any sedan, coupe, hatchback, wagon or convertible can be autocrossed.

To prepare your vehicle, you'll need to have:

  • Removed any loose items from the passenger compartment and trunk
  • Working seat belt or harness
  • Checked all fluid levels and reservoir caps
  • A secured battery with a protective cover on the positive terminal
  • Acceptable pressure/return on the brakes/throttle (and clutch if applicable)
  • No leaking fluids
  • Acceptable tread remaining on your tires
  • Minimal "play" in suspension/steering components
  • All of your lug nuts/bolts in place and tightened to spec

For safety reasons, if your vehicle doesn't meet these requirements at tech inspection, you will not be allowed to participate.  If your vehicle fails any part of the inspection you will have time (until tech inspection closes) to correct any issues present and can be inspected again.

Vehicle classes

Vehicles in Solo events are divided in to classes in order to promote balanced competition.  Each class has two parts; the vehicle classification and the class classification.  These classifications are listed in detail in the Solo Rule Book.  Here is a list of the classes and a brief description of each.

  • S - Street - Stock cars pretty much how they rolled out of the showroom running 200+ treadwear tires
  • ST - Street Touring - Mildly modified cars running 200+ treadwear street tires
  • SP - Street Prepared - Mildly modified street cars with no treadwear limitations
  • SM - Street Modified - Heavily modified street/track cars
  • P - Prepared - Production-based race cars
  • M - Modified - Others not listed above, such as non-production race cars
  • CAM - Classic American Muscle - American made Front Engine, Rear Wheel Drive cars and trucks on street tires with a very open ruleset

There are also classifications based on the driver or other factors that can be appended to the main class.  In these classes, you are often competing against drivers in other vehicle classes.  We use a mathematical formula (PAX) based on estimated class performance to calculate your times against the other classes.  This way slower car classes can compete with faster, modified car classes.

  • T - Street Tire - Classes running against one another on 140+ tread wear DOT tires. S & ST classes are not eligible.
  • N - Novice - Drivers new to the sport that have driven three events or less. ○○
  • L - Ladies - Female drivers that wish to compete with other females
    • All drivers with less than 3 completed events are considered novices will compete in the "N" class their first season.

It's a good idea to read through the rule book and decide which class you belong in before the morning of the event.  If you can't decide, someone at the event can help you.

What to expect

Solo is a grass roots motor sport and events are generally held with as little "overhead" as possible in order to keep costs down for participants.  Solo events have no designated "crew," only motivated volunteers that handle the different positions in an event.  Because of this, participants must work the course for a portion of the day while other competitors have their chance to drive.  The amount of time you work depends on the required positions and participant turnout for the event.

Competitors at Solo events come from a wide range of motor sport backgrounds and have varying levels of experience, but they all share a love for the sport and are eager to share that with new participants.  If you have questions, need a tool or just want a ride in the Corvette, just ask! Solo is just as much a social event as a motor sport event.

Have questions?

If you would like to attend a Solo event, or have questions in general, feel free to post them here in the Forum. Someone here will be able to answer it or know where to find an answer for you.

We look forward to seeing you at an ALSCCA Solo event soon!