General New to the Sport FAQ

If you're new to autocross, new to the forum or need a hand with what class you should be in, ask for help here.

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Aaron Goldsmith
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General New to the Sport FAQ

Post by Aaron Goldsmith » Sun May 18, 2008 8:35 am

1. Q. Is there a guide for someone who is totaly new to this?
Here's a guide maintained by our local region: ... _Guide.pdf" onclick=";return false;
This one that Tire rack hosts is pretty good and will give you a general overview of the sport and what goes on:" onclick=";return false;
This one is also a good primer: ... ill-cones/" onclick=";return false;

2. Q. I'm Confused about the whole Local, National, Practice, Championship thing...

Lets see if we can clear some of the confusion.

The are several different levels of autocrossing. At the most basic level there are Championships and Practices. We typically hold these events about once a month.

A Practice requires pre registration, usually a 2-4 weeks in advance depending on the hosting club. They are almost always held on Saturdays, but there are exceptions to that. The hosting club also determines how many people to let in (typically between 60 and 80) and how much it costs (also typically between $60 and $80) and how many runs you will get (anywhere from 12 to 16, or maybe more). The best way to get into a practice is to look for posts on this forum and as soon as they post that the flyer is up (will show up in the calander section of then send in your check. You can also follow us on twitter, @CalClubsolo, to be notified of flyers and cancelations. None of your times are recorded anywhere, so you need to keep track of your own times using the time slip they give you immediately after you pull off course.

A Championship is typically held on Sundays (also has it's exceptions) and will have closer to 150 to 300 entrants. At a Championship you sign up to run a specific class and you get three runs to try to get your best time, these times are officially recorded and posted online. We also allow X-runs for an additional cost and they are a set of 3 runs that you take after your class runs and just count as extra seat time. If you sign up for a points card, you get a permanent number and at the championships you can earn points in a class, working up to a year end points battle. These events are a little more serious, but since they allow walk up entries, you are almost guaranteed an entry if you show up.

The next level up from the local champ seires is called a Divisional. These events are run over two days, your best time from Sat and best time from Sun are added together for an overall total and it is that total that deterimes who wins. For our divisional event here in the LA it counts as two championship days. One Champ on Sat and one on Sun. In addition to the racing on Sat and Sun, everyone can arrive on friday to register, walk the course and bench race. Entrants must pre-register and if you do register, you are expected to be there on both days.

Higher up from the divisionals are National Tours and ProSolos. These events are held around the country. National Tours are run exactly like the divisionals. ProSolos add the complexity of a drag race start. The ProSolos are also a points series. But if you are just starting out, these events really should not be on your mind. And of course the top most event is the SCCA Nationals held every year in September.

There are also (as stated by others already) local marquee clubs such as the BMW club and the Porsche club (PCA) that hold occasional autocrosses, but unless you own a BMW or Porsche, it is more difficult to get into those events.

3. Q. How does one get into practices? (by George Shilling)
Answer: It's easy! Become a contributor.

I often hear the stories about practice entries. "No matter how quickly I send my check in, I don't get in." Sound familiar? :(

I started autoxing about six years ago, and during that time I cannot recall ever being shut out of a practice. My secret........shhhh........don't tell anyone.........after my first event, I stayed behind and did what I could to help pick up and put things away. I didn't know where anything went, but I helped with loading the trailer, rolling up cords, doing some lifting, being available. There I was working next to the key people who decide who will be admitted to the next practice. I must have mentioned my first and last name about twenty times introducing myself to those in charge. :)

Now, I'm sometimes the person who makes those decisions. When I look at a list of applicants for a practice, I may not know everyone's name, but there are some names I associate with "offers to help." Lately, I've noticed many people are not taking advantage of getting their foot in the door by offering to stay and help put things away, so when I look at a list or entrants, there are no new names jumping out at me saying, "hey, remember me, I'm a contributor." :king:

Our next championship is a great opportunity for you to help and become known as someone who can be counted on. Either contact your team rep on your message board or just show up after the event and ask someone what you can do to help. Oh, and don't forget to introduce yourself. :thumbup:

4. Q. What's a SCCA Membership, why do I need one, and where do I get one?

SCCA (Sports Car Club of America) is our parent orginization that runs autocrosses, road races, and rally events. (" onclick=";return false;)

For insurance reasons, SCCA is requiring anyone racing at their events have a membership.

There are two types of memberships that you can have.
1. Full SCCA Membership: Good for 1 year. Price includes SCCA national fees and SCCA region fees, so the final price of a membership depends on what region you are in. (FYI we are the Cal Club Region here in LA)

Member benefits:" onclick=";return false;
Sign up for a membership:" onclick=";return false;

2. Weekend Membership: At an event, before you go to registration, stop by the SCCA membership table and for $15, you can get a weekend membership. This membership covers you for that entire weekend (but only that weekend). If you don't want to pay the price for a full membership right off the bat because you are not sure this is the right sport for you then this is a great option. If you do decide to become a full SCCA member then your Weekend membership is good for a $15 discount off of your full membership. Just be sure to hold onto that copy of the weekend membership that we give you. If you do not have a Full SCCA Membership then you must purchase a new Weekend Membership every weekend that you come out racing with us.

5. Q. What is a So Cal Solo points card?
A. A points card provides a number of benefits:

* The ability to accumulate points toward the year-end championship competition

* A "permanent" car number for the year (no taping 6xx numbers to your paint)

* Guaranteed entry into Championships (for those times we run out of 6xx numbers reserved for non-points card holders)

* Priority entry into some practices. This is up to the club hosting the practice.

6. Q. How do I purchase a points card?
A. Go to the PURCHASE POINTS CARD link on the left of the main site.
or click here:" onclick=";return false;

7. Q. How long is a So Cal Solo points card valid?
A. * A points card is valid from date purchased until end of calendar year it was purchased.
If you are a NEW member AND it is purchased on or after October 1st, it will be valid until the end of the following calendar year it was purchased (i.e. 10/2007 - 12/2008). Thus you get 3 months free by buying early.

* A points card expires at the end of the year but is subsequently put ON HOLD for the following calendar year. The member has until the last day of the following year to renew it. If at that time the card is not renewed, then the status of the card becomes AVAILABLE to the public.

8. Q. Can I reserve a So Cal Solo points card number before paying?
A. Points card numbers are NOT put on hold/reserve by request for anyone.

9. Q. Do I need to join SCCA to get a points card?
A. Technically no, but you will NOT be able to compete in our events since SCCA membership is required.

10. Q. Do SCCA members need a points card to compete for points?
A. Yes. While an SCCA membership will provide you some of the benefits of a So Cal Solo points card, it will not allow you to compete for points. Points are tracked by car number, so without the permanent number provided by the points card, you will not be able to compete for points.

11. Q. Do I have to join a club to get a points card?
A. Yes. CSCC is organized as a conglomeration of clubs and in order to be a CSCC member, you must be a member of one of the clubs that comprises the organization. There are many clubs to choose from, from marquee clubs to nation-wide clubs, and many of them do not have any extra dues.

12. Q. Which club should I join?
A. That is a decision you'll have to make for yourself. Read the description of each club or you can e-mail the club rep found on the Club Listings.

13. Q. When will I receive my points card?
A. We no longer send out physical points cards.

14. Currently we have two sets of Club competitions, Team Points and the Team Challenge.

Team Points: Based on the Overall Pax results, Each Club gets points for their top 5 paxing members.
Team Challenge: Each club picks 5 people before the beginning of the event to compete on their team. They get points for how they do in their class.

15. Q. I'm Still Confused..

You can save yourself a lot of headaches by taking an hour and Reading the general rules about how things are done, you don't necessarily need to read all the nitty gritty on classing right at the beginning, but knowing the general event rules is very helpful.

SCCA Rules:" onclick=";return false;

Our local Suplimental rules: ... s_2011.pdf" onclick=";return false;

16. Q. How can i help Support the local Solo organization?

You can help us out at no extra cost to you. If you're buying tires through Tirerack, just click on the ad at the bottom of the forum page when going to make your purchase and we'll receive a small percentage of the sale.

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Rick Brown
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Re: General New to the Sport FAQ

Post by Rick Brown » Sun Mar 08, 2009 3:51 pm

Since light is faster than sound...many people look bright until they speak...

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Re: General New to the Sport FAQ

Post by AGoldsmith » Mon Jun 22, 2009 3:42 pm


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Re: General New to the Sport FAQ

Post by AGoldsmith » Thu Jan 07, 2010 4:26 pm


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Re: General New to the Sport FAQ

Post by AGoldsmith » Tue Mar 16, 2010 8:48 am