Autocrossing as an Involved Fan

In my mind I am getting myself ready for this upcoming autocross on Sunday, (tomorrow, 7/13/2008).  Please bear in mind that I won’t yet be participating as a competitor.  I will be there all day, from the drivers’ meeting to picking up the cones.  I will be visiting with people, getting introduced to new friends by my mentor, Jerry.  Especially of interest will be the opportunity to ride along on possibly a couple of runs to get more first hand knowledge, and more information to share with you, dear reader.

I will be talking about and promoting the CG-Lock (remember the $5.00 savings – click on CG-Lock!).  Also, I will be interviewing some of the drivers to get a stronger foundation about what amateur racing at this level is all about.

Here’s the event schedule, pulled from the SPOKES website:

Race-Day Schedule

  • 8:00-9:00AMREGISTRATION and TECH open.  Pre-registered folks must check-in. Work/run assignments will be announced at drivers meeting.
  • 9:00-9:15AM LATE REGISTRATION open.  Registrations accepted for an additional $5 charge.
  • 9:00-9:15AM NOVICE WALK-THRU and COURSE OPEN for walking.  (Course may be open before 9AM, if available).
  • 9:30AM Mandatory Drivers Meeting at the timing trailer.
  • 9:40AM First Heat Cars To Grid, First Heat Workers to Report.
  • 9:45AM First Car out.

Here’s their suggestions for “newbies”:

New to Autocross?

If you’re new to autocrossing or just have some questions regarding what to do to prepare for an event, then read on!  First of all, please be aware that autocrossing will very likely take ALL DAY! In order to participate, you need to be willing to devote nearly all of the daylight hours to it.  Below is a checklist of helpful items to follow…

  • Pre-register online at http://www.spokes.org ahead of time (if possible)
  • Arrive to the site with plenty of air in your tires (typically max. recommended pressure because it’s easier to release air than to put it in, especially if you don’t have a compressor or air tank).  Once you get to the site, ask experienced autocrossers what pressures they’d recommend for your car
  • Secure a pit spot, taking only as much space as you need
  • Drive your car to Tech to get it inspected, unless you already have a yearly Tech sticker.  You need to get your car inspected before proceeding to registration
  • Proceed to registration (typically near the van) to register and get your work assignment from the Worker Chief
  • Walk the course. Follow or walk with more experienced drivers, if you need assistance.  Everyone is willing to help!
  • Novices are welcomed to join in the Novice Walk-Through with our Novice Chief just prior to the Drivers Meeting
  • Attend the Drivers Meeting which is scheduled to start at 9:00
  • Pay attention to the heats that are running and preparing to run so that you report on time (or early!)
  • Our schedules can be inconsistent due to different numbers of drivers in each heat.  When you venture off for lunch, please hurry back so that you do not miss your runs or your work assignment.  The best plan is to bring your lunch and drinks with you from home
  • If the event finishes early enough and there are enough people still on site, we will present trophies at the site.  Otherwise, they will be presented at the meeting on the Tuesday following each event

These are some great guidelines to follow, and will allow to participate as a knowledgeable fan (or competitor) who is Racing Ready!

Dan

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