An autocross (aka Solo II®) is a timed, precision driving motorsports event. Almost any vehicle from a stock street vehicle to an open-wheeled, Formula-style car can be used. (Exceptions are high-profile vehicles such as minivans and SUVs.) The driver of the vehicle does not race wheel-to-wheel against other competitors, but, instead, races against the clock to maneuver the course cleanly and faster than other competitors.
Most autocrosses happen in large, open parking lots or inactive airstrips. THSCC uses both types of venues. A course is set up using orange traffic cones. A chalk box is drawn around each cone to indicate its original position. Each driver runs the course one at a time. The clock starts when the driver crosses the start line and stops when the driver crosses the finish line. Any cone knocked down or pushed completely out of its original chalk box adds 2 seconds to the driver's finish time. If the driver fails to complete the course as laid out, he/she receives a DNF (Did Not Finish) instead of a finish time for that run. At the end of the event, only the fastest time (including any penalty) scored by each driver during the day is his/her final score.
Autocrosses are held by many car clubs around the country. Some clubs are independents like THSCC and some are regional divisions of the SCCA® (Sports Car Club of America). Some events are also held on a national level by the SCCA® parent organization. Just as there are a number of clubs, there are a number of ways to hold an event. Because Tarheel Sports Car Club is not just about cars, but also about people and sharing fun times together, THSCC prefers to make our autocrosses day-long events. Competitors usually arrive between 7:30am and 8:30am the day of an event and leave after the cones are picked up and packed away, any remaining trash is cleared from the site, and awards are presented, usually between 4:30pm and 6:30pm, depending on site location, course length, number of competitors, and amount of daylight. A THSCC autocross is usually followed by a social dinner with a small to medium group of competitors somewhere along the route home.
For additional information about autocrossing with THSCC, visit the THSCC Frequently Asked Questions page.