Autocross Story vol 1. Spitfire Challenge
Purpose: Visual story for inexperienced to experienced drivers. In all seriousness this is mostly for some smiles.
Club members hosting the autocross usually arrive early for setup. As early as 6:00am as some cases. It takes a bit of manpower to get the ball rolling. Today our safety chief wasn’t up for pictures this early. Oil spill on the track prompted work to make sure it was all removed. A few laughs along the way.
Checking the course. Making adjustments if needed, making sure everything looks right and feels right.
When you arrive to the autocross, it’s important you check in, even if you preregistered. At this time you’ll pick from a list of available job duties. Most job duties are first come first serve. So if there is a particular job you like done, it’s a good idea to check in early.
Don’t want to be this guy, he always shows up late!
Some drivers often arrive early too. Usually about 2 hours before the drivers meeting. During that time, they’ll check-in, swap in their racing wheels, remove loose items from the trunk, and make sure their car is ready for a day of racing. Most drivers drive their own car, it’s their daily driver. Others that compete on a more serious level will trailer their dedicated racecar to the event.
Some drivers will bring some entertainment with them to pass the time until racing starts.
Every car has to undergo tech inspection. In reality it’s more like a safety inspection. Usually a team of a few guys will check for play in the wheels, make sure the battery is tied down, make sure your brake pedal has firm pedal pressure, that you don’t have anything loose in the trunk, that your floor mat is removed, and that your helmet meets the requirements of snell 2005 or later. Usually loaner helmets are available if needed. A vehicle is then later stickered once it passes inspection.
Some cars have stock motors but highly tuned suspensions, other cars have highly tuned motors and a more mild suspension setup. This is what makes autocross so great, no two cars are alike. It’s a very dynamic sport.
Shortly before the mandatory drivers meeting there is special optional meeting called the novice course walk. Anyone can participate, but novices are urged to go through this meeting. An experienced driver will talk a little about the course. You’ll walk with them and as he approaches different obstacles in the course he’ll share some ideas on what to look for or how to handle the approach of a particular obstacle.
You are also free to walk the course on your own or with a group of friends. You can walk as many times as you want, time permitting.
Bushy Beard man waiting patiently for the drivers meeting.
The mandatory drivers meeting is held just before the racing starts. They go over work assignments, safety concerns, talk about the course, talk about penalties of running off course if applicable (some places make you pay if you run off into the grass), amongst other information. Usually takes no more than 15 minutes.
First run group lining up while the second run group gets to the work stations. When this run group is done, the people working will race and these racers will report to their workstations.
Racing in the rain!