A Novice's Autocross Event Checklist

Print this checklist.

Here's some stuff you need and some stuff that's just good to have to make your day at an autocross even better!
 
Hey, you. Yeah, you... ARRIVE EARLY!
bullet Get your car ready right away. Empty the trunk, remove floor mats and anything loose inside the car. If your car has wheel covers or hub caps, remove them, too. Leave the car unlocked with the hood open to signal the Tech Crew to come over and tech your car (you can't run if you don't have a tech sticker).
bullet Start walking the course as soon as it is open. Ask to walk with an experienced competitor and pay attention!
bullet Keep an eye on the registration line and get yourself registered.
 
Your sled... shouldn't be leaking anything or making strange noises. Brakes, exhaust, and suspension should be in top shape. Tires should not be showing any cord. (You'll also need to increase your tire pressure before you drive in the event and you should ask an experienced autocross what pressure to use.) Unsafe cars will be declined by the Tech Crew, so re-check everything! Confidence in your vehicle will improve your times.
 
Fuel... Have some. Arrive with at least 1/4 tank which will get you through most events with fuel to spare.
 
A helmet... which must be rated at least "Snell SA2005" (greater if you plan to eventually do track events, so check those requirements before you buy if you think track might be in your future). "Loaner" helmets may be available at the event, but you must share (i.e. return it after each run to where you picked it up) and your size may not always be available.
 
Class and Numbers... to mark both sides of your car. THSCC has paper classes and numbers available at the event for use on a temporary basis but, once you start attending events pretty regularly, you should get 2 sets of class/numbers made from magnetic material. Before you buy the magnetic class/numbers, be sure to read about the Autocross -> Class/Number Specifications at www.thscc.com.
 
Shoes... should be lightweight with thin soles. Driving shoes, wrestling shoes, and indoor soccer shoes come highly recommended. Running shoes will work. Hiking boots and flip-flops are right out!
 
Driving gloves... are not required, but sweaty hands can ruin a good run. Gloves can help. Plus, they look way cool!
 
Jacket or sweatshirt... just in case the weather suddenly turns really cool. That sometimes happens before you know it when you have to be out all day, especially in the early spring or fall, so bring something warm.
 
Wide-brim hat... to keep the sun off of your head and face. Remember, you'll be working as well as driving. Sunburns suck big time!
 
Sunscreen... Bring some -- always! You'll need it. Make sure it's water-proof! Sunburns su...well, you know that.
 
Big ol' umbrella... It does occasionally rain, you know. Also helps on a hot, sunny day.
 
Rain suit... It does occasionally rain, you know. Oh, we said that. Well, it doesn't help keep the sun off, but it sucks to be soaking wet all day.
 
Tarp... Yeah, it does occasionally rain, and it sucks to have all of your stuff drenched, too. Remember, you have to remove everything from your car that's not attached, and in a heap on the ground is where it all usually goes.
 
Plastic bags... are good for keepin' stuff dry, too, but most importantly, you need 'em to take your trash home with you. We need to leave sites cleaner than the way we find 'em. Even if you don't have an environmental conscience, if we don't keep the site owners happy, we don't have sites; if we don't have sites, we don't have autocrosses! Get it? Be sure to take at least your own trash home with you. If you see somebody leaving trash, remind 'em about this; if you see trash that's already been orphaned, give it a home! Seriously, this is important and trash clean-up is everybody's responsibility, including yours!
 
Folding chair... to relax a little. Standing up on hot pavement all day is not all that fun.
 
Water and snacks... Bring some -- at least a gallon of water. It's a long day and dehydration is not cool!
 
Tools 'n stuff... Keep a separate tool bag just for autocrossing. Include the specific wrenches and sockets for your car. Bring an air compressor (one of those small, 12-volt jobs that plugs into your cigarette lighter will do just fine), a good tire pressure gauge, and some work gloves -- no, these are not the same as your new driving gloves! If you'll be changing your tires, bring a hydraulic jack (not a bottle jack!), and a torque wrench with proper-size socket for your lugnuts and an extender if needed.
 
A sense of responsibility... Have one!! Once again, if we don't have sites, we don't have autocrosses so 
BE RESPONSIBLE ! !
 Speeding, tire warming, brake checking, drag racing your buddy, "cutting up" in a vehicle, destroying any property, or investigating non-event parts of a site are ALL MAJOR NO-NOs! If you don't bring anything else with you to a THSCC event, please bring a sense of responsibility. It will make yours and everyone else's day a lot more fun!