Autocross is an intense test of car and driver as competitors fight against the clock for top honors on a tight and twisty race-course.

You can think of it as a go-cart race with street cars. A very tight course is lined out in a parking lot with road cones, and each competitor has 3 or 4 runs to get around it as fast as they can.

The rules are simple: follow the course, don’t hit any cones, and get through the timing gates a split second faster than the next guy. When your run group is called, you’ll grid near starting line with everyone else and get ready to run. Cars will cycle through one at a time according to the number they received at registration. When you’ve completed your run, you’ll come back to your grid position and wait for your turn to come again (this is a good time to make any quick adjustments to your car). When you’ve finished, your runs will be tallied and your best run will go on the scorecard to be compared with the other competitors. Cars are classed by performance and modifications so you won’t be facing down a race-ready 911 in your bone-stock 318.

In addition to your time on the course, you will be asked to work one session before or after your assigned run. You see, autocrossing is a community event and every participant is required to help out. In addition to a run-group, you will be assigned a work-group, and during that time you will be asked to help out in some capacity. There are plenty of options for those with no experience, and for those with mechanical or motorsport experience, there are tech inspector and corner captain positions available.

At the end of the event, all of the scores are tallied and the drivers crowd around the timing and scoring truck for the announcement of the class winners. Trophies are handed out according to the number of entrants in a class and each driver’s time.

Though our club doesn’t currently run an Autocross series, the St. Louis chapter of the SCCA (Sports Car Club of America) has a very active schedule usually starting in April or May, and many club members participate. For a competition schedule, entrance fees (usually between $20 and $30), and other information, feel free to visit the St. Louis region Solo II page.

Also, see our calendar for up to date information.