Autocross (SCCA calls their autocross events “SOLO” for reasons below) is a form of motorsports that emphasizes safe competition and active participation. It is normally a timed competition where drivers navigate one at a time through a defined course. This course normally uses cones and can be setup in parking lots, on airport runways or pads or on race tracks or other large concrete or asphalt surfaces. Autocross differs from road racing or oval racing in that generally there is only one car on the track racing against the clock rather than other cars (thus the same SOLO). As an entry level motorsport, it provides a stepping stone for drivers looking to move into other more competitive and possibly expensive forms of motorsport including rally and circuit racing. It’s also an excellent way for the average driver to take their daily car out and learn its limits in a safe, controlled environment. Autocross courses are typically 1/4 to 3/4 miles in length and tend to place more emphasis on car handling and driver skill rather than on sheer horsepower.
Here’s an example of an autocross run in a street legal, daily driven 3-series BMW. (below)
Events typically have many classes which allow almost any vehicle, from economy sedans to purpose-built vehicles, to compete. Due to the nature of a typical track, speeds are normally slower in absolute terms when compared to other forms of motorsports, usually not exceeding highway speeds, but the activity level (measured in discrete turns per minute) can be higher than even Formula One due to the large number of elements packed into each course.
Here’s an example of an autocross run in a purpose built race car – a 300hp, tube chassis “E Modified” car. (below)
Atlanta Region SOLO events are also highly social in nature and are more of a gathering of friends than a serious professional motorsports competition. We pride ourselves on friendly competition on and off the course. After events, we regularly socialize at local restaurants and are always looking for new faces to come out and share a passion for cars. As we like to say in Atlanta, most of us came for the cars, but we stay for the people.
Ever do the burn-out at a red light? Or taken that curve at more than the “suggested speed,” envisioning a race line while never leaving your street car? We say: take that stuff off the street and bring it to the Track! With Performance Driving Experience (PDX – also known by some clubs as HPDE) events, you don’t have to dream anymore and it’s much safer for all concerned.
The PDX provides an instructional environment for drivers who want to improve their driving skills and increase their enjoyment of driving their street vehicle. True to the “run what ya brung” adage, all it takes to be a part is your street car, a valid State-issued drivers license, a helmet and long pants/long-sleeved shirt.
Here’s a video of the same 3-series BMW in the SOLO video above on Road Atlanta during a PDX event. (below)
As I write this, the SCCA National Convention is one day in the rearview mirror, the Southeast Division Annual Meeting in St. Simon’s Island is the next exit (first weekend of February) and Atlanta Region is just weeks away from our first activities of the year. ...
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