What is an Autocross?
Autocrossing is an ideal way for drivers at any level of ability to learn the fundamentals of car control. It’s an opportunity to drive your car more aggressively than is safe or practical on city streets or country roads. That's not to say reckless driving is encouraged; on the contrary, good autocross drivers are in complete control while driving their cars close to their handling limits. One of the attractions to newcomers is that any car in sound mechanical condition can be used. SUVs and vans are not permitted but beyond that, almost any car (BMW or other marque) can participate. Most people that attend an autocross for the first time have never attempted anything like it. Many come back because it's just so much fun. A few keep doing it year after year because it has become a part of their lives.
Autocrossing emphasizes driver skill and vehicle handling rather than just speed. In Autocrossing, each driver is individually timed to the thousandth of a second, over a short, miniature road course clearly defined using traffic cones. Drivers compete one at a time, in a class with similar cars. An event can be held on any flat paved surface, usually a parking lot, or airport apron or runway, and the course is often marked by cones. The corners are tight, and there are lots of them, so the driving is exciting and challenging.
At GVC events, cars are grouped by manufacturer depending on the numbers represented. We group BMW, MINI, and Porsche into separate classes. Other manufacturers are usually grouped into the 'Other' class but sometimes we'll group Corvettes or Corvairs together when there is good turnout.
Guests are always welcome to watch and cheer on their friends. Things to bring to an event include the kinds of things you would bring to a picnic or day at the beach - appropriate clothing, drinks, sun block and maybe a chair. Food is usually available from a vendor or nearby restaurant, but packing a lunch or snack is a good idea.
A guide to help you make it through your first autocross season
Four things first-timers should pay particular attention to in order to get the most out of their autocross experience.
With its solo set-up, more subdued speeds, and endlessly varying events and courses, autocross is the easiest, safest, and least expensive way to get into motorsports. Anyone with a helmet and a car can do it. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to have some driving skills, which is where this book comes in. As a veteran racer and professional driving coach, Ross Bentley knows what it takes to compete and to win, and he shares the benefit of that knowledge .