A few people ask, "What is AutoCross?" Below, Jamie McKillop answers this & more.
- What is autocross?
Autocross is a low speed motorsport that emphasizes car control and handling over raw speed. The most popular type of Autocross is Autoslalom, which involves navigating a course laid out with cones. Only one competitor is on course at a time.
- Who can participate?
Anyone with a valid driver's license and who is a member of an Atlantic Region Motorsports Club. Membership of the Fredericton Motorsports Club is open to anyone.
- What are the requirements and limitations on the car I can use to compete?
Cars must be able to pass a basic safety inspection. Suspension components, tires, brakes, seatbelts and any other components related to safety must be in proper working order. The battery must be securely tied down and all bodywork be securely fastened. The car must also not be leaking any fluids. Vehicles with a high center of gravity, such as SUVs, trucks, and minivans are not permitted. Vehicles such as motorcycles, ATVs, golf carts and other recreational vehicles are also not permitted.
- Is any special safety equipment required?
Yes. You must wear a SNELL M2005 or higher helmet during competition. The club has loaner helmets if you don't have one. A regular DOT certified helmet is not sufficient.
- How much does it cost?
If you don't have a current membership in an Atlantic Region Motorsports Club, you will need to purchase an FMC membership at $20, which is good for the calendar year. Each event costs $20 but your first event is free when you purchase a membership. Typically, when you attend your first event, expect to pay $60 - $20 member, $20 for the "test & tune" morning session, and $20 for the afternoon competitive event.
- How do I prepare for competition?
Check the fluid levels in you car and top them up if they are low. Check your tires to ensure they are at the recommended pressures and are not showing unsafe wear. Some competitors prefer to add additional pressure but this should be done at the event. Ensure your battery is tied down securely. Remove any loose items from your car, including floor mats. Pack a lunch. Bring sunscreen and bug spray. Bring your helmet if you have one.
- Where and when are events held?
Most FMC events are held at Speedway 660 in Geary. The event schedule can be found under the Events section of this FB page.
- What else should I know?
Competitors will be broken into two separate run groups. Each group will get the same number of runs (4-6 usually). Your best run will be your official time. People in the run group not currently running will be expected to work as corner marshals.
- Is Autocross dangerous?
Safety is the top priority when running an autocross event. There is always some level of danger when cars are being driven near their handling limits. The course is designed in such a way that it is not near any hard barriers or objects. This allows for plenty of runoff area should you lose control. Everyone is reminded to keep an eye out for any dangerous situations that are developing and marshals will red flag a competitor, if necessary. Everyone in the paddock and competition areas will be required to sign an insurance waiver.
- I have a 1988 Topaz. Should I even bother?
Yes! You can have fun doing autocross in pretty much any car. Your goal should be to learn how to better handle your car and improve on your own times. Don't worry about what anyone else is driving or how fast they are going.