you hear that far too much when you try to talk about this sport. I’ll be the first to admit that it really isn’t much in the way of motorsports, but the competition is fierce. People often assume that you need high speeds to get that “sweaty palm” sensation when racing. What I like about auto crossing is that it is a sport that demands precision driving over raw speed. Each course is supposed to be unique, but we do repeat our favorite course layouts every now and then to see if we can better our previous results. The driving precision and unique course designs really lead to some significant challenges to the driver. When you are participating in an event, you typically get 3 runs. Like baseball, you get 3 strikes to get on base, you have 3 runs to get your best time.
- The first run is really a test of your expected setup, the course design and how well the course flow and suites the setup of your car; or not….
- The second run is run for time. By this run, your tires are hot, you have had a chance to make tweaks to the setup while on grid, set your optimal tire pressures, etc.. This is your best chance to get a good run.
- When you get to this run, you have either had a really good day, or a bad one (hit a few cones). This run is your last chance, you MUST do well or you suck as a driver for that day. You can discard that if your sitting in a podium position, but if your on the podium with a shot at winning, this is the most intense run of the day. If you have had a reasonable day you can kind of relax and have fun on this run. Otherwise it can be pretty intense.
In the end I always find this sport very satisfying, although it’s nice to win every now and then. I have very completive region with a lot good drivers. that helps keep the interest up.
So is autocross a true motorsport? yes it is. It can be a very competitive environment that teaches you the limits of your cars performance in a safe environment. This sport has been the stepping stone for many of the professional drivers that race in the various road racing series here in the US. so get out there, have some fun and dodge some cones and support your local auto crossing community.