Why Get Your Start at Autocross Sunday?

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George Schilling
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Why Get Your Start at Autocross Sunday?

Postby George Schilling » Sun Aug 04, 2013 7:38 am

Autocross Sunday is the place to go to get started in autocross. While it's true it's primarily a championship event for our regional competitors, we also have in place a very welcoming novice program led by our novice coordinator Leonard Cachola. 8-)

When a novice first arrives, they'll be introduced to some very fine folks who will help them get started and gladly answer any questions they may have. They will then be treated to a course walk geared strictly for novices that introduces them to the autocross course and the strategies involved in driving the course. Because they'll be with others who are first timers or relatively new to the sport, they'll find common ground with others on the walk that have the same questions and desires to learn the ropes. :o

Once the course walk is complete, they'll attend a group safely briefing where safety issues are discussed and working course will be explained in detail. Again, because they'll be with others in the same boat, questions can be answered in welcoming environment as most will be looking for answers to those same questions. ;)

Once the competition begins, novices can avail themselves to yet another feature of having an experienced instructor accompany them as much as needed until they are comfortable going on their own. In fact, an instructor can even take to the drivers seat to demonstrate the proper driving line. These benefits are offered to novices free of charge. :clap:

Why are we called Autocross Sunday rather than a championship? We at CSCC wanted to have a name that reflected the attitude that all are welcome, not just those looking for some intense competition. The name Autocross Sunday fits that bill nicely. :) :thumbup:
Last edited by George Schilling on Thu Jan 11, 2018 4:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Why Get Your Start at Autocross Sunday?

Postby Christal Thavincher » Sun Aug 04, 2013 10:41 am

Thanks for the great info George! :D

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Re: Why Get Your Start at Autocross Sunday?

Postby Tom Tanquary » Sun Aug 04, 2013 2:23 pm

:thumbup:
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Re: Why Get Your Start at Autocross Sunday?

Postby Steve Lepper » Tue Aug 06, 2013 12:50 pm

One other item that we should promote with newbies is the Time Only class, because this is the only place they can have passengers in the car on a Sunday (with the exception of a dedicated "Instructor" run.)

Odds are they are here on the invite of a more experienced friend, and TO is a great opportunity for that friend to help the new guy get familiar with the course and how our events run.

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Re: Why Get Your Start at Autocross Sunday?

Postby George Schilling » Tue Aug 06, 2013 3:10 pm

Steve Lepper wrote:One other item that we should promote with newbies is the Time Only class, because this is the only place they can have passengers in the car on a Sunday (with the exception of a dedicated "Instructor" run.)

Odds are they are here on the invite of a more experienced friend, and TO is a great opportunity for that friend to help the new guy get familiar with the course and how our events run.


Appreciate you bring up the subject of time only runs Steve, but I disagree that a novice should choose that as an option. By running with their class, they can meet fellow drivers in their class, and learn a little bit about the class where they would be competing. At present, they can only have an authorized instructor as a passenger and have their run count toward novice class competition. But in thinking about, is doesn't make much sense that they can take an instructor along to help them go faster, yet not take a friend along for some fun or pointers. I will bring this up for discussion at the next meeting and see if others agree. Perhaps we can get this rule modified.
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Re: Why Get Your Start at Autocross Sunday?

Postby Ed Holley » Tue Aug 06, 2013 3:29 pm

George wrote: At present, they can only have an authorized instructor as a passenger and have their run count toward novice class competition.

Okay...since you brought it up, when if ever can a "competitor" get an instructor run ON SUNDAY that DOES NOT count against them; presumably with the instructor driving?
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Re: Why Get Your Start at Autocross Sunday?

Postby Mako Koiwai » Tue Aug 06, 2013 3:44 pm

I gave an Instructor run to Stig and his AS Vette on Sunday. He should have been entered in Novice RTR ... but as a newbie he didn't know that. I guess it didn't matter since he didn't have any competitors in AS.

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Re: Why Get Your Start at Autocross Sunday?

Postby Jayson Woodruff » Tue Aug 06, 2013 3:49 pm

Ed Holley wrote:Okay...since you brought it up, when if ever can a "competitor" get an instructor run ON SUNDAY that DOES NOT count against them; presumably with the instructor driving?

Any time, Once, when they are a registered Novice.

The rules aren't entirely clear, but that is generally a good intrepretation. You can see this happening with the "Instructor" magnet on cars (so scoring knows not to score the run).

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Last edited by Jayson Woodruff on Tue Aug 06, 2013 6:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Why Get Your Start at Autocross Sunday?

Postby Brian Kelly » Tue Aug 06, 2013 3:59 pm

George Schilling wrote:But in thinking about, is doesn't make much sense that they can take an instructor along to help them go faster, yet not take a friend along for some fun or pointers. I will bring this up for discussion at the next meeting and see if others agree. Perhaps we can get this rule modified.


I used to run in the Rocky Mountain region before moving out here, and they had very novice friendly rules regarding this. Any novice could ride along with a more experienced driver, or have another driver ride with them.

I'm not 100% sure about the details, but I believe that the second part of the rule would apply ONLY if the other driver had already taken their runs. I forget if novices were allowed out for a ride along before their runs, but veteran drivers were definitely not. I remember taking a couple rides in an ESP Mustang and STX 3 series from more experienced drivers, which helped tremendously, as well as getting to meet some of the veterans.

Really the only novices who didn't take advantage of this were the ones that were too shy to ask for a ride. Otherwise it was a fantastic rule.
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Re: Why Get Your Start at Autocross Sunday?

Postby Jayson Woodruff » Tue Aug 06, 2013 4:08 pm

Here's a fun conflict in the novice rules (come on KEN you suppose to catch these ;) )

Novice Class
B. Eligibility: A person who has participated no more than 3 days per year ... any autocross or Solo event, ...
F. Year end points will be ... based on the six best results for each driver.

How do you get 6 Novice class results if your only allowed to drive three events before being kicked out of NOV?

Even better, Practices and non-SCCA events count against your 'amature' status. Seems like the qualifier rules are trying to move novices up to real classes a lot faster than some of the other 'novice incentives'. I'm a "Jump right in" suggester, so I don't really care too much for all this novice class stuff.

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Re: Why Get Your Start at Autocross Sunday?

Postby Ed Holley » Tue Aug 06, 2013 4:13 pm

Jayson Woodruff wrote: Any time, Once, when they are a registered Novice.
Jay W

HUH??? Should that have been two sentences? I know you tried, but what does that mean?
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Re: Why Get Your Start at Autocross Sunday?

Postby KJ Christopher » Tue Aug 06, 2013 4:39 pm

George Schilling wrote:
Steve Lepper wrote:One other item that we should promote with newbies is the Time Only class, because this is the only place they can have passengers in the car on a Sunday (with the exception of a dedicated "Instructor" run.)

Odds are they are here on the invite of a more experienced friend, and TO is a great opportunity for that friend to help the new guy get familiar with the course and how our events run.


Appreciate you bring up the subject of time only runs Steve, but I disagree that a novice should choose that as an option. By running with their class, they can meet fellow drivers in their class, and learn a little bit about the class where they would be competing. At present, they can only have an authorized instructor as a passenger and have their run count toward novice class competition. But in thinking about, is doesn't make much sense that they can take an instructor along to help them go faster, yet not take a friend along for some fun or pointers. I will bring this up for discussion at the next meeting and see if others agree. Perhaps we can get this rule modified.

Also keep in mind that they could do TO runs with their regular run group. The rule you mentioned about authorized instructors was adopted in response to some specific situations, but that can be discussed at the next meeting.
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George Schilling
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Re: Why Get Your Start at Autocross Sunday?

Postby George Schilling » Tue Aug 06, 2013 9:52 pm

Ed Holley wrote:
George wrote: At present, they can only have an authorized instructor as a passenger and have their run count toward novice class competition.

Okay...since you brought it up, when if ever can a "competitor" get an instructor run ON SUNDAY that DOES NOT count against them; presumably with the instructor driving?


This boils down to a sportsmanship issue Ed. If competing for a yearly trophy in class, I would say it would be unsportsmanlike for someone to take advantage of the help rule. If someone is taking advantage, I'd have a chat with the person and if the response is not satisfactory, the class should seek a ruling from the e-board.
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Re: Why Get Your Start at Autocross Sunday?

Postby Craig Naylor » Wed Aug 07, 2013 12:23 am

Jayson Woodruff wrote:Here's a fun conflict in the novice rules (come on KEN you suppose to catch these ;) )

Novice Class
B. Eligibility: A person who has participated no more than 3 days per year ... any autocross or Solo event, ...
F. Year end points will be ... based on the six best results for each driver.

How do you get 6 Novice class results if your only allowed to drive three events before being kicked out of NOV?

Even better, Practices and non-SCCA events count against your 'amature' status. Seems like the qualifier rules are trying to move novices up to real classes a lot faster than some of the other 'novice incentives'. I'm a "Jump right in" suggester, so I don't really care too much for all this novice class stuff.

Jay W


I recall the intent of section B (though I voted against it due to the extra parameters part)... this was the younger brother Elkstrand clause. There were some people who felt he should not have been a novice. So a rule was devised to avoid issues in future years with even wider parameters, that someone with racing exp (not just autocross) does not come in an beat up in the truly novice competitors. So it was sort of a... to participate in novice your first event must meet parameters of "B", once in novice then "F" applies.

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Re: Why Get Your Start at Autocross Sunday?

Postby Mako Koiwai » Wed Aug 07, 2013 8:38 am

We still need to do a better job of helping Novices with what class's they SHOULD be in rather then, yes, your car can run in that class. It seems that registration should at least get the Novice part correct.

At the last event I had two folks running in Stock classes instead of RTR, let alone Novice, because they didn't know better. Once they've run there doesn't seem to be anyway to get them reclassified even though they would not have been a threat.

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Re: Why Get Your Start at Autocross Sunday?

Postby Ed Holley » Wed Aug 07, 2013 9:06 am

George Schilling wrote:
Ed Holley wrote:
George wrote: At present, they can only have an authorized instructor as a passenger and have their run count toward novice class competition.

Okay...since you brought it up, when if ever can a "competitor" get an instructor run ON SUNDAY that DOES NOT count against them; presumably with the instructor driving?


This boils down to a sportsmanship issue Ed. If competing for a yearly trophy in class, I would say it would be unsportsmanlike for someone to take advantage of the help rule. If someone is taking advantage, I'd have a chat with the person and if the response is not satisfactory, the class should seek a ruling from the e-board.

George: By your response, you might have thought I was bringing up an old issue. I'm not. But I am still looking for the answer to my question...when if ever can a "competitor" get an instructor run ON SUNDAY that DOES NOT count against them; presumably with the instructor driving?

Jason may have tried to answer it, but I did not understand his answer.

My question is actually borne out of a conversation with Sharon. We were discussing her frustration with herself pertaining to making the same mistakes on course (God knows I don't do that), to which I said "so, why not ask for an instructor run or two?". After I thought about it, I could not remember the rules. So that's why I asked for clarification here. I KNOW competitors are not supposed to get a look see prior to their runs, but I thought there was SOME provision for the instructor driving. But I can see (no pun) that doesn't really change anything.
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Re: Why Get Your Start at Autocross Sunday?

Postby George Schilling » Wed Aug 07, 2013 9:51 am

Ed Holley wrote:
My question is actually borne out of a conversation with Sharon. We were discussing her frustration with herself pertaining to making the same mistakes on course (God knows I don't do that), to which I said "so, why not ask for an instructor run or two?". After I thought about it, I could not remember the rules. So that's why I asked for clarification here. I KNOW competitors are not supposed to get a look see prior to their runs, but I thought there was SOME provision for the instructor driving. But I can see (no pun) that doesn't really change anything.


The answer is anytime as long as it is not creating a problem with other competitors in class. If others in class deem it to be a sportsmanship problem, it is. I think the thing to do if there is a question is to ask others in class if they mind. Personally, I would have not problem with a person who traditionally finishes in the lower half of a class getting help. Once they begin to compete on a higher level, the sportsmanship of such a move is certainly brought into question.
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Re: Why Get Your Start at Autocross Sunday?

Postby Rick Brown » Wed Aug 07, 2013 10:00 am

Ed, originally the instructor rule was written intentionally vague to allow nearly anyone to have an instructor run, just typically not your first run for more experienced people, nor for someone in a tight points race for year end. Sharon's case would be a perfect example of who it was intended for. As long as it wasn't being abused it was thought a valid thing for mid level people to get occasional help moving on up.
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Re: Why Get Your Start at Autocross Sunday?

Postby Ed Holley » Wed Aug 07, 2013 11:22 am

Rick Brown wrote:Ed, originally the instructor rule was written intentionally vague to allow nearly anyone to have an instructor run, just typically not your first run for more experienced people, nor for someone in a tight points race for year end. Sharon's case would be a perfect example of who it was intended for. As long as it wasn't being abused it was thought a valid thing for mid level people to get occasional help moving on up.

Thanks guys! Sounds like a flexible plan. In my case, I would not expect one. But for someone in Sharon's case, where she has not consistently competed, it sounds like it would not be a problem. And we totally agree that IF competing, which by definition, Sundays ARE for competition for the most part, it would be prudent to discuss the Instructor need with those in one's class.

And. of course, that's what Saturdays are for. But, for the time being, if both of us are driving, the cost of Saturdays AND Sundays becomes problematic.
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Re: Why Get Your Start at Autocross Sunday?

Postby Leonard Cachola » Wed Aug 07, 2013 5:29 pm

Mako Koiwai wrote:At the last event I had two folks running in Stock classes instead of RTR.


This will be a moot point next season when we do away with Stock classes and RT* in favor of Street.
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Re: Why Get Your Start at Autocross Sunday?

Postby Leonard Cachola » Wed Aug 07, 2013 5:31 pm

George Schilling wrote: But in thinking about, is doesn't make much sense that they can take an instructor along to help them go faster, yet not take a friend along for some fun or pointers.


They already CAN take a friend along, it just makes the run a DSQ, but everyone keeps forgetting that little detail.
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Re: Why Get Your Start at Autocross Sunday?

Postby Steve Lepper » Wed Aug 07, 2013 6:50 pm

Leonard Cachola wrote:
George Schilling wrote: But in thinking about, is doesn't make much sense that they can take an instructor along to help them go faster, yet not take a friend along for some fun or pointers.


They already CAN take a friend along, it just makes the run a DSQ, but everyone keeps forgetting that little detail.



... and then they roll to the line, EVERYBODY in the motorhome will yell at them saying "you can't have a passenger!" :P

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Re: Why Get Your Start at Autocross Sunday?

Postby Rick Brown » Wed Aug 07, 2013 7:26 pm

Steve Lepper wrote:
Leonard Cachola wrote:
George Schilling wrote: But in thinking about, is doesn't make much sense that they can take an instructor along to help them go faster, yet not take a friend along for some fun or pointers.


They already CAN take a friend along, it just makes the run a DSQ, but everyone keeps forgetting that little detail.



... and then they roll to the line, EVERYBODY in the motorhome will yell at them saying "you can't have a passenger!" :P

Which simply means that not only do we tell people about this option, but that they need to let T&S know they are doing something out of the ordinary in advance. We are so much happier in the motorhome when we actually know what's happening in advance.......
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Re: Why Get Your Start at Autocross Sunday?

Postby Anthony Porta » Tue Aug 13, 2013 11:53 pm

I enjoy having others ride along or drive my car. Im grateful for the input and take advantage of it on practice days and X-runs.

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Re: Why Get Your Start at Autocross Sunday?

Postby David Watson » Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:32 am

This should be a "sticky".
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