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New Racer Hello/Questions

Posted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 7:48 pm
by Owen Binckes
Hello! I'm new to the board, and to autocross, but I am excited to get started. Like I said, I have never autocrossed before, but I just bought a Volvo s60r awd, and I want to see what it is capable of doing, and have some fun. Other than paying for the SCCA membership and registering my car, is there anything else I need to know before I am able to start? I would like to try and make it to the event this Saturday if possible. Thanks so much!

Re: New Racer Hello/Questions

Posted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 12:31 am
by Ed T
Owen Binckes wrote:Hello! I'm new to the board, and to autocross, but I am excited to get started. Like I said, I have never autocrossed before, but I just bought a Volvo s60r awd, and I want to see what it is capable of doing, and have some fun. Other than paying for the SCCA membership and registering my car, is there anything else I need to know before I am able to start? I would like to try and make it to the event this Saturday if possible. Thanks so much!


Hi Owen! Welcome!

Registration -> Tech -> Course-Walk -> Driver's Meeting -> Runs.

The process is very straight-forward and if you ever need any help, feel free to ask a fellow racer you see in paddock as we are a friendly bunch and readily available to help! Tech is a straightforward process of safety checking your vehicle. Since this is your very first time, I suggest you go on Novice course-walk with our Novice Coordinator Leonard Cachola. They should announce it on Sunday but if they don't have a novice course walk on Saturday, come find me and my red MR2 Spyder and I will introduce you to him as he is my co-driver this year. Then it's the Driver's Meeting which takes about 10-15 minutes going over safety and rules, and then it's play time!

Also, since you're brand new to autocross, the Novice Class is a great place to start for Sunday events as you'll be able to compete with those with similar skill levels. If you make it out on Saturday, feel free to find me and you can ride along on the practice runs!

Here is the full detailed breakdown for new and novice drivers https://www.solo2.com/newcomers

Re: New Racer Hello/Questions

Posted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 1:57 am
by Rick Brown
Just to be clear, the Saturday Practice is sold out. There are limited entries for Practices (none for Sunday Championships), but you can still come, take rides with people and just get a feel for what it's all about.

Welcome to the group, hope to see you Saturday or Sunday.

Re: New Racer Hello/Questions

Posted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 2:06 am
by Ed T
Rick Brown wrote:Just to be clear, the Saturday Practice is sold out. There are limited entries for Practices (none for Sunday Championships), but you can still come, take rides with people and just get a feel for what it's all about.

Welcome to the group, hope to see you Saturday or Sunday.


Rick is right! Saturday practices sell out pretty quick and they go on sale about 4 weeks prior to the actual event so it's a good idea to sign up early for those (i don't think they actually charge the credit cards until the week of the event). Sunday Championships are unlimited in terms of numbers.

Re: New Racer Hello/Questions

Posted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 5:56 am
by Randy Gonzalez
Hey Owen,

If you want to get your feet wet this weekend, sign up for Sunday's event (as Rick said, Saturday is sold out). We have a novice course walk (usually around 8:00 am) hosted by Leonard Cachola (our humble Novice Coordinator). We also have dedicated Instructor lanes where you can have one of our experienced autocross instructors sit shot gun and guide you through your first couple of laps (highly recommended for first-timers and those new to autocross). As Ed said, we're a friendly bunch. Let us know it's your first time out and we'll take care of you. :thumbup:

Although you typically get more runs on a Saturday practice day, attendance is lighter this Sunday so we'll be offering free fun runs in the afternoon. All that we ask is that you work course (shagging cones for other drivers) for one session and stay after and help us pack up after the event (we are an all volunteer organization, so as a general rule we all try and help out when we can!). There's typically some opportunities during fun runs to ride along with other drivers, so take advantage of the opportunity (all you have to do is ask...99% of the time the answer will be "sure, hop in!").

Sign up online (solo2.motorsportreg.com). Get there early (like 7:00), stop by the registration table to check in and get your work assignment, empty out your car and pull through tech, make sure you attend the Novice course walk (8:00) which will feed you into our driver's meeting (8:20 ish). If it's your first time working course, we have a short "working course" training session after the driver's meeting (we explain the basics of cone penalties, use of the flags and safety). When your run group is up, pull your car into grid (take advantage of those free instructor lanes!) and be prepared to have a blast!

Also, if you want to dip your toe in the water on Saturday, you can just come out and ride along (it's free, just make sure you get a passenger wristband from registration or up at the motorhome). Just show up in grid with your helmet (we have free loaners) and ask if anybody is taking passengers....if you ask nicely, I guarantee you'll be able to ride in many cars.

If you get out there this weekend, I'm in a red Corvette, stop by and say hello! I'm more than happy to introduce you around and hook you up with some rides with folks in similar cars to yours.

Re: New Racer Hello/Questions

Posted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 9:07 am
by Owen Binckes
Thanks so much for the welcome! Even though Saturday is sold out, I think I will show up, just to see the course. Everyone here seems really friendly, and I am so excited to get introduced to the world of autocross! Thanks!

Re: New Racer Hello/Questions

Posted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:50 pm
by Ed T
Owen Binckes wrote:Thanks so much for the welcome! Even though Saturday is sold out, I think I will show up, just to see the course. Everyone here seems really friendly, and I am so excited to get introduced to the world of autocross! Thanks!


Come find me for a ride along on Saturday if you make it out! My car doesn't have any power but it turns on a dime. You'll have to sit in Randy's vette to experience a fire breathing monster. :D

Re: New Racer Hello/Questions

Posted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 6:17 pm
by Owen Binckes
Ed T wrote: Come find me for a ride along on Saturday if you make it out! My car doesn't have any power but it turns on a dime. You'll have to sit in Randy's vette to experience a fire breathing monster. :D


Thanks! I'll take you up on that! The Volvo has decent power, but cannot turn to save its life. Even on the street, u-turns are a challenge.

Re: New Racer Hello/Questions

Posted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 6:40 pm
by Danielle Gilbert
Welcome Owen! I am new, too. Sunday will be my first real event. I had the chance to go to December's practice: everyone was so helpful and the event was way more organized than I could have hoped for. Expect your expectations to be exceeded. :)

See you out there!
Danielle

Re: New Racer Hello/Questions

Posted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 9:18 pm
by Ed T
Owen Binckes wrote:
Ed T wrote: Come find me for a ride along on Saturday if you make it out! My car doesn't have any power but it turns on a dime. You'll have to sit in Randy's vette to experience a fire breathing monster. :D


Thanks! I'll take you up on that! The Volvo has decent power, but cannot turn to save its life. Even on the street, u-turns are a challenge.


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Re: New Racer Hello/Questions

Posted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:33 am
by David Watson
Hi,

I am trying to start out myself, and jumping in with both feet. I went to the school back in Nov.

1) go early on Sat. and go through the motions; walk the course, chat up others, ride along. Absolutely a friendly and giving group here! you can borrow a helmet from the trailer, but you might just begin hunting for your own.
2) If you register, on Fri/Sat night make sure your car battery doesn't move and there is no wheel play in your suspension. Your tires, seat belts and pedals are prob ok!
3) Also if you register, find a torque wrench and torque those lug nuts when you arrive! Harbor Freight is having a killer sale on that this weekend if you just wanna grab one for yourself.
4) I have followed and attended races since I was a child, and it was even more fun than I anticipated.
5) They are not joking about Sat filling up fast!

Thank you Randy for the explanation of the Sunday coaching, I wasn't aware of those myself, so I am now a lot more interested in attending a Sunday. :clap:

Re: New Racer Hello/Questions

Posted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 12:57 pm
by Randy Gonzalez
Our Sunday novice program is a little more structured than our Saturday stuff. That being said, we have a small team working on a more formalized Saturday program as well. At a minimum, I've been asking the newbies to stay after the Saturday morning driver's meetings and I've been trying to get them informally paired with someone to help instruct/mentor them on their first couple of laps! We're not saying you need an instructor all day, but getting some help those first few laps is mission critical to having a successful day on your first time out.

Again, please stop by, say hi and introduce yourself. We'll get you some fun rides and you can jump right in! See ya out there! :thumbup:

Re: New Racer Hello/Questions

Posted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 3:56 pm
by Ed T
Randy Gonzalez wrote:Our Sunday novice program is a little more structured than our Saturday stuff. That being said, we have a small team working on a more formalized Saturday program as well. At a minimum, I've been asking the newbies to stay after the Saturday morning driver's meetings and I've been trying to get them informally paired with someone to help instruct/mentor them on their first couple of laps! We're not saying you need an instructor all day, but getting some help those first few laps is mission critical to having a successful day on your first time out.

Again, please stop by, say hi and introduce yourself. We'll get you some fun rides and you can jump right in! See ya out there! :thumbup:


Agreed! Considering that Saturday has 12+ runs, it would be in the best interest of new drivers to attend the Saturday practices to get seat time and free instruction. Besides, the atmosphere is more relaxed on Saturdays and senior drivers are more readily able to help out because they are not busy with competition runs.

[Edit:] I should note for the record that Saturday Practices are really a prelude for Sunday Champ events. So ideally, novices would participate for both Saturday and Sunday. Practice what they learned on Saturday and apply it to the competition runs on Sunday.

Re: New Racer Hello/Questions

Posted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 9:15 am
by Owen Binckes
Thanks for all this useful information! It is really making my entry into autocross as smooth as possible. I cant wait for the weekend :D