Keys To Setting Up an Autocross

Yesterday I arrived at the last SPOKES autocross event for this year.  Getting there early I was able to appreciate the logistics of the physical site set up for an autocross.  I was at the San Antonio Raceway at 7:30am, and, with only about 10 people there, the trailer & the basic set up of cones to define the course were already in their appropriate locations.

Beside setting up the course, the timing and scoring equipment needed to be set up & put in place.  SPOKES makes use of the AXWare Autocrossing Software with the associated wireless transceivers that record event timing.  It just so happens the Vitek, a very active SPOKES member, is also the owner of AXWare.

Vitek arrived arrived to set up, put in place and connect the laser activated transceivers that the AXWare Autocrossing Software utilizes.  The software (now working on version 8), in conjunction with the transceivers, not only measures the drivers’ full course track times, but can divide it up into 3 sections.  In this way, competitors can see if what they did in one section was better on than on a previous run, in just that section.  Pretty slick.

I have posted about 2 different trucks that have entered in autocrosses.  Trucks are also vital in getting equipment to the course location.

Nick is in charge of towing down the club timing trailer with his truck.  Not only is this trailer used as “command central” during the event for timing & announcing.  It also serves as storage of all the cones and other equipment utilized in the physical autocross setup.

Registration also takes place at the trailer, using the club’s laptop, with pre-registered and walk-up (drive-in) competitors signing up there.  Of course, the registration puts the competitors’ names & their associated vehicles in the AXWare timing software.

From this point forward the race-day schedule flow is followed and kept on track.

The all-important Novice Orientation takes place before the event.  John, the Novice Coordinator, does a great job of explaining the basics, the rules, along with some course driving suggestions.  He finishes up strongly suggesting that they ride along with another experienced competitor to see the autocross course at speed, before they go out on their own.

Bottom line, autocrosses do not happen without a core group of responsible individuals who consistently volunteer their time for the good of the club.  There is no glory, but they know this will keep the club alive and moving forward.  They really want to have the spirit of autocrossing to be alive & well.

That’s how I see my role in providing you this blog, Racing Ready.  You may not be able to be physically present (yet) at an autocross or other participatory motorsports event.  But I am consistently here to inspire you to get to one and get involved – to go from wannabe racer to successful racing competitor!


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