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I have been wanting to do auto-X for some time now, and was wondering what I need to do to get involved in it. I know that I need to get a helmet, although I don't know where or what to get, and I am sure that I need to pay some sort of liecencing fee, althoug I don't know to whom or where I should pay it.

I live in Austin,TX and if there is a club, or newsletter that anyone can point me toward it would be greatly appreciated. Also, if someone can describe what the auto-X experience is like. Do you start in the morning and go all day? Do winners in different classes get a cash reward? Do I have to take a passenger in the car with me (I know it seems stupid but everyone of Randy he has a passenger)? Finally is there a "qualifying period" in which I would be not allowed to compete at my currently limited driving potential unless I have a certain number of passes similiar to the hours required for a pilot's liscence? Thanks for your help, as any information is more then I have been able to get from the web. It seems I am looking in the wrong place. :confused:
 

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Wow. It's much easier than you're thinking. No license required (aside from a driver's license). You don't have to be a member of any special clubs (although club memberships will get you discounts on entry fees). For your first one you really don't even have to own a helmet. They almost always have lots of loaner helmets available.

I'm certainly not the resident Autox expert here, but I'll give you my quick bit of advice for getting started.

First you'll have to find an event to attend. The SCCA is the best place to find a good autox. I'm sure that there are local clubs around you that put events on as well.
You don't have to have a passenger (lots of events don't allow you to have a passenger).
You can drive as fast as you are comfortable driving from your first event on.

Autocrossing can be extremely low pressure. Just find an event, show up, and tell them you've never done it before.
 

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The questions I missed:

You're certainly not driving for cash. Around here if you do really well you might win a T-shirt or a little model car. It's all about having a good time.

Autocrosses usually start in the morning. There will be registration, tech inspection of your car (is it safe), and course walks. First car off usually happens at about 10:00 AM in this area. The autocross usually lasts until mid afternoon.
 

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Go here-
http://www.spokes.org/

The best group of autocrossers are in Austin. Autostrada is also involved.

Look up some of my buddies there, such as Adrian Iley (MR2 Spyder) or Andy Hollis (Honda or Miata). Some of the people on EliseTalk also autocross there.

From my region's site-
http://www.sdr-scca.com/solo2/information/firstEvent.html

Different regions will have some minor differences in how they do things.

edit to add: Damn just a little too slow in replying! :)

P.S. Moving to Solo Events forum. Buckle up and hang on.
 

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I am relatively new to elisetalk and this is my first posting. I am also
interested in doing auto-crossing in Austin. I have checked the spokes
website and planning to do the event on October 17th.

My first close encounter was when I was attending BMWCCA driving school.
The fastest driver at the auto-x event told me that it is best to start with
the slowest car I can find. I am wondering whether my 70hp 89 civic (it
also weighs 2000lb) is a better choice than the 3-series. Does the front
wheel drive make things different when it comes to learning? My limited
experience in performance driving has been with the BMW.

So what am I doing here? This board is by far the best place to find
inforamtion on Elise. I am fairly certain about the Elise I want to get,
although it going to be about one and half years from now. In the mean
time, I need to get myself ready by learning to drive well.

I would also like to add some encounters with people who are good at it,
which includes some driving schools. In my experience in other areas, the
most effective way to learn is to hang around the best people. This board
is also good for this reason.
 

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I think you would be fine in your 3 series at an autocross and I think rear drive is more entertaining also. The Houston Chapter of the BMW club puts on a very nice autocross school, I think they call it a Car Control School, but it is autocorss school. I highly recommend it.
 

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James, thanks for the tips on BMWCCA activity in Houston. I think that Car
Control Clinic is one of the schools I attend in the Parking lot next to
where the auto-x was happening. Is there any benefit in taking it again?
By the way, were you active in Houston CCA? The chapter in Austin, as
someone else pointed out, is a drive to eat club. The good news is Spokes
is there for auto-x.

The first link in your previous post is helpful. It reminded me that I can
always start slow and maintain the smoothness while carrying more speed as I
progress. The slow car is not really necessary if I can remember this.
 

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On a related note, can anyone suggest a place in San Diego (or SoCal) to try on automotive helmets before purchasing. I always hear the comment, "buy a $100 helmet if you have a $100 head". Was thinking of a Bell M3.
 

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Vantage said:
On a related note, can anyone suggest a place in San Diego (or SoCal) to try on automotive helmets before purchasing. I always hear the comment, "buy a $100 helmet if you have a $100 head". Was thinking of a Bell M3.
I don't subscribe to that notion that you pay what your head is worth. A head is not worth $100 nor is it worth $1000.

The real question is, are you getting better safety and protection for your money. I suggest you are most likely not. You are getting styling, lightness, cool features, and marketing. This year's models will cost more than last year's. Last years's models were not less safe. They all meet the same specs.

That said, I am not suggesting getting a $20 crappy helmet. You want a respected brand that meets the latest SNELL ratings, which is 2000. The next rating will be 2005. I don't think they are out yet??? Not sure. If you bought a 2005, it would legal for 5 more years than a 2000. Most places like SCCA autocrosses check your SNELL date.

Dave Turner has some helmets in stock. http://www.daveturner.com/
 

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>>>The next rating will be 2005. I don't think they are out yet??? Not sure.<<<

I think they come out with the new rating some time after the new year. That's what happened in 2000...it took until around the second quarter for SA2000 to be available to buy if memory serves.
 

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Personally, I really REALLY like using an open faced cheap helmet for autocross.

It's lighter. Easier to talk to people. It is cooler. No fog issues.

I use a cheap G-Force for autocross. Like the Bell MAG.

I think I paid $110 new from racerwholesale.com

And frankly... the possibility of needing the protection in autocross is extremely low that I think the extra protection of a full face is overkill.

I have a full face Beiffe for when I need a full face. I think it's a good idea for track events, and really a good idea if you kart.
 

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Thanks, wanted to get someone's opinion on that.

I looked it up and Snell 2005 will be released October 1, 2005. Not willing to wait that long, but there is still plenty of use to be had out of 2000 helmets. Assuming new specifications every five years, and the rule being helmets from the current specification ahd the last, this means you can use it till 2010.

Leaning full face, just so that I only have to buy one for track and autox. However, having two makes sense as well. We'll see...love the look of Bieffe helmets. Like I was saying earlier, if you can't drive fast, you might as well look fast. ;)

- J

PS: Checked the price on the M3 helmet. Don't need a $500 helmet to autox, LOL.
 

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Mos,
I was very active in the Houston BMW autocross series they are a terrific bunch of people and it is a great series and far less manic than the SCCA series in terms of numbers. They limit their events to 75 so you can get 5 runs in and be out of there by 2 or 3 in the afternoon.
 

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atyclb said:
all their events are on Sundays?! what's up with that?
The vast majority of autocross events nationwide are held on Sundays. Higher-level events (National Tours, Pro Solos, Divisionals) are two-day affairs, taking up an entire weekend.
 

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RopaS2 said:
The vast majority of autocross events nationwide are held on Sundays. Higher-level events (National Tours, Pro Solos, Divisionals) are two-day affairs, taking up an entire weekend.
guess most autoXers are Catholics, Jews, Muslims, or Pagans :p
 

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all their events are on Sundays?! what's up with that?
The vast majority of autocross events nationwide are held on Sundays. Higher-level events (National Tours, Pro Solos, Divisionals) are two-day affairs, taking up an entire weekend.
guess most autoXers are Catholics, Jews, Muslims, or Pagans :p
...most big open parking lots which are available to autocross groups tend to be empty on sundays only...
 
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