AUTOCROSS

Details of Autocross.

AUTOCROSS

Postby Pete Brace » Thu Aug 19, 2010 11:46 am

A very popular form of motor sport that gives competitors the chance of experiencing speed whilst at the same time requiring good driving skill in order to achieve the best time. Cars compete against the clock on temporary grass circuits, normally on a farm field with the permission of a friendly farmer. The course is normally around 1000 - 1200 yards and usually combines a series of left and right hand bends of varying degree to really test the driver. Each run is over a distance of 3 or 4 laps and competitors usually get 3 runs during the day; a total of 12 to 16 laps plus a practise run of 3 laps.
Although the competition is against the clock as opposed to pure racing, it is usual to have at least two cars leaving the start line together and often there is another pair starting about 300 yards behind. Because the surface of the field is bound to be bumpy and uneven, there is the risk of minor contact with your competitors and so most competitors use cars prepared for the type of course and that includes at least a sump guard, probably uprated suspension and more often than not, a basic roll cage. But this work can be carried out in a fairly cheap and basic car.
There are normally 6 Classes at each event with 2 classes covering cars described as Economy Production Saloons. Then there are classes for more highly modified saloon cars with 3 engine capacity splits and finally a class for pure ’Specials’ and production based 4wd cars such as Impreza, Evo etc. The latter are normally modified to a rally specification.
The cost of competing in Autocross is fairly reasonable. The running costs are as much or as little as a competitor wishes to make it depending a lot, upon which class they run. The Economy Production Car classes are definitely the classes to start with and here you can probably have a car with which to have some fun for not much more than £1000 based on £500 for cost of the basic car. You will also need a Crash Helmet, Fireproof Overalls and Gloves to a specification laid down by The Motor Sports Association. Your own DIY skills can save a lot of cost as well. Oh, and you will probably need a trailer on which to transport the cars to and from events; beg, borrow or buy!
Weston-super-Mare Motor Club currently runs one Grass Autocross each year and to be eligible to compete, all you have to do is become a member of Weston MC. You also need to purchase a Competition Licence from the ruling body of British Motor Sport - The Motor Sports Association. All pretty straight forward and worth considering if you want to have some motor sport fun.
Pete Brace
 
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