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I seriously enjoy autocrossing my Elise but the local club seems to be so overwhelmed with cars that it turns the event into an entire day spent waiting in a parking lot for 5 minutes of seat time. I don’t blame the organizers, they do a good job of moving things as quickly as possible, but 120-160 cars show up and each get 4 runs. The first car is off by 9:30 am and I don’t get to leave until 3 or 4 pm. It’s 7 hours of waiting for five minutes behind the wheel, it’s a very boring day.

I would like to know if this is common for most SCCA Solo events or is Rocky Mt Solo overly busy? How do other clubs deal with this? Have an extra charge so you do not have to work the course? Cut the day in half so there is a morning and afternoon group? Limit the number of car entries?

I’ve been going to the local track more because $90 buys me 40-60 minutes of seat time. I would like to spend more time in an autocross course but I can’t justify an entire day for such a short amount of driving.
 

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The sticks of Arizona, typically has about 30ish cars show up. Four runs for A group, which includes one extra run to scrub the track, 3 runs in a later group for "time only" runs. So seven runs in a day which ends around 2PM. A few hours drive to the Tucson group usually results in a field about twice the size. The down side is you see Fred Zust's car, and it makes you want to add more modifications to your car. The "FrankenLotus" gets the job done.
 

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I seriously enjoy autocrossing my Elise but the local club seems to be so overwhelmed with cars that it turns the event into an entire day spent waiting in a parking lot for 5 minutes of seat time. I don’t blame the organizers, they do a good job of moving things as quickly as possible, but 120-160 cars show up and each get 4 runs. The first car is off by 9:30 am and I don’t get to leave until 3 or 4 pm. It’s 7 hours of waiting for five minutes behind the wheel, it’s a very boring day.

I would like to know if this is common for most SCCA Solo events or is Rocky Mt Solo overly busy? How do other clubs deal with this? Have an extra charge so you do not have to work the course? Cut the day in half so there is a morning and afternoon group? Limit the number of car entries?

I’ve been going to the local track more because $90 buys me 40-60 minutes of seat time. I would like to spend more time in an autocross course but I can’t justify an entire day for such a short amount of driving.
You need a more efficient club. With 140 cars we at Minnesota Autosports Club get at least 6 runs.

Our T&T days are for seat time. Two courses. Work 1/3 of the time, the rest of the time you can run your brains out. I think the record is like 56 runs a day. I usually see 20 to 30, depending on how many times I'm riding as an instructor.

That said, we sure would like to get more and better sites.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
You need a more efficient club. With 140 cars we at Minnesota Autosports Club get at least 6 runs.
I'm not sure how our events could be much more efficient. The courses are ~60 seconds long, 2-3 cars on course, 4 run groups, group changes are on done on the fly and there is no break for lunch.

The junior karts take a while to run because no cars are allowed to move while the underage drivers are in their cars. I think they are a bit over sensitive to safety on this.

We do not have test & tune days but there are a lot of events through out the year. Rocky Mountain Solo Series - Schedule
 

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Autocross will always have alot of stagnant time. It drives many people to HPDE. However, if you attend events regularly you tend to make alot of friends. The downtime can be social and fun.

I used to look at it as a few min of driving and some a good gathering of car guys.
 

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Because of the numbers that show up in Houston, and the heat, we do split groups, morning and afternoon so participants only spend 1/2 day at the event.
The other alternative is to autocross with other clubs, the local BMW club has typically 60 cars, gets 6 runs and your done by 2PM. Shorter day, more runs, lower key.
 

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I found the same thing with my local auto-x.

It was $45 (granted it would be cheaper if I were a member). But then I spent hours and hours working the cones, for a grand total of six ~60 second runs. Was there from the crack of dawn to 4-5PM...

I had a lot of fun behind the wheel... and I would love to do more auto-x but I find myself avoiding it to some degree simply because of all the effort for 6 minutes of seat time.

By contrast I went to WMHM @ Gingerman this past weekend (my favorite event all year):
I ended up with well over an hour of track time (could of had 2 hours if I went out all my sessions), didn't work a minute of it, had a blast with friends and it cost $275 for the weekend...

If it were the dodging cones with my local group to get even an hour of seat time would take 10 days, cost at least $350, and by the end I would have worked 30-40 hours?!
 

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The sticks of Arizona, typically has about 30ish cars show up. Four runs for A group, which includes one extra run to scrub the track, 3 runs in a later group for "time only" runs. So seven runs in a day which ends around 2PM. A few hours drive to the Tucson group usually results in a field about twice the size. The down side is you see Fred Zust's car, and it makes you want to add more modifications to your car. The "FrankenLotus" gets the job done.
In our region is Soutern California (CalClub) we get at least 12 runs (I've run up to 20 runs) on "practice Saturdays" (day before championships Sundays), and 4 runs on Championship Sundays. Our summer course (formerly a Marine Air Station) runs about 80 seconds for fast cars (stock Corvettes Z06, Lotus, Porsche GT3's).

People love our course. We have an Arizona resident in his very very fast Lotus Elan come down every month. The FrankenLotus comes here almost every other month.
 

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In the Central Carolina Region has really upped our game in the last year or two. I'm one of the 20 or so core workers One of our early events this year was just over 200 drivers. We have been working hard on our equipment, core worker training, and locating new larger and better sites. Our last event was around 170 entries, 4 x 60 sec runs, 1st car around 10 am and we were done with official runs before 3 pm. We then opened it up for fun runs for the next hour or so for those who wanted to stay. We are getting more and more drivers making the trip from surrounding regions just to run our events. I think the next big step for us to try moving up our first car out time to 9am so we can try to be done with runs by 2pm. We have the benefit of access to the lot the day before to setup the course so that helps. One great event we put on every year is the 24 hour autocross. It is set up as two 12 hour back to back events. You have to work a 2 hour shift for each 12 hours. So if you work first and last shift, you could autocross for 20 straight hours if your car, tires, and body will withstand the abuse!
 

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Do you guys do preregistration online?

In the Central Carolina Region has really upped our game in the last year or two. I'm one of the 20 or so core workers One of our early events this year was just over 200 drivers. We have been working hard on our equipment, core worker training, and locating new larger and better sites. Our last event was around 170 entries, 4 x 60 sec runs, 1st car around 10 am and we were done with official runs before 3 pm. We then opened it up for fun runs for the next hour or so for those who wanted to stay. We are getting more and more drivers making the trip from surrounding regions just to run our events. I think the next big step for us to try moving up our first car out time to 9am so we can try to be done with runs by 2pm. We have the benefit of access to the lot the day before to setup the course so that helps. One great event we put on every year is the 24 hour autocross. It is set up as two 12 hour back to back events. You have to work a 2 hour shift for each 12 hours. So if you work first and last shift, you could autocross for 20 straight hours if your car, tires, and body will withstand the abuse!
 

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Yes, but it isn't mandatory. We do charge an extra $5 if you don't preregister to help discourage onsite registration. We have split our on site check in line to two lines. One for pregistered current SCCA members and a second line for those needing to do a weekend membership or onsite registration. This keeps the check in fast and short for the majority of participants. We have also changed our how workers are assigned. Instead of the normal run group 1 work group 3 and vice versa, we have worker sign up sheets at registration. Run groups are also published on Friday afternoon evening. This lets you sign up to work any run group you want other than the one you are running. So if you are run group 1 you could sign up to work 2 and be packed up and heading home by lunch time. Run groupings are semi fixed depending on the number of participants, but they rotate each event. If you are early to check in you get your pick of just about any work assignment. If you are late to check in you are probably going to be stuck doing clean up. It sucks for those that don't want to get their early, but you can't please everyone. The majority of our regulars like the new changes.
 

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I've done one AutoCross in my life and it was the most boring horrible day I've ever had with my car. Like you say - stand around for hours and hours for a few seconds of driving, no thanks.

A friend once compared AutoCross and Track time this way. AutoCross is like jerking it - it get the job done but just barely. Track time is sex with the hot girl you've wanted forever.

4-6 runs of 60 seconds vs. 4-6 runs of 25 minutes? Yeah, AutoCross definitely isn't for me...
 

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There are 2 ways autocross is superior to track days though:

1. It is an actual race

2. really the only venue to safely explore the cars ability 100% and beyond

If you are a very competitive person, these 2 items keep you going. I know people that drive 1500miles for 2 min of driving.


Imagine an olympic athlete. He may train his whole life for a 8 second sprint or 1.5 second lift.
 

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I've done one AutoCross in my life and it was the most boring horrible day I've ever had with my car. Like you say - stand around for hours and hours for a few seconds of driving, no thanks.

A friend once compared AutoCross and Track time this way. AutoCross is like jerking it - it get the job done but just barely. Track time is sex with the hot girl you've wanted forever.

4-6 runs of 60 seconds vs. 4-6 runs of 25 minutes? Yeah, AutoCross definitely isn't for me...
Different strokes for different folks (AKA apples & oranges).

Started autocrossing in the late 80's, then did track days in the early 90's. Exhilirating at first then became boring. Decided to get a racing license and did wheel to wheel. Now that was FUN (better than sex!)! Now mostly autocrossing. tried to do track days recently but just got bored.

As as said earlier, different strokes for different folks.
 

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Autocross isn't for everyone. You do have to stick with it to really enjoy it. I race wheel to wheel in a formula 600 but I still autocross for the competition and . I also view autocross as a large all day social gathering with fellow gear heads. I'm having fun all day helping run the event, catching up with old friends, instructing novices, and of course driving. I never have a chance to be bored.
 

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There are 2 ways autocross is superior to track days though:

1. It is an actual race

2. really the only venue to safely explore the cars ability 100% and beyond

If you are a very competitive person, these 2 items keep you going. I know people that drive 1500miles for 2 min of driving.


Imagine an olympic athlete. He may train his whole life for a 8 second sprint or 1.5 second lift.
Gotta disagree on both points.

1. It is not a "race". A race involves other cars at the same time as you. Yes, you're racing the clock but that's exactly the same thing I do in time trials on the track - race the clock.

2. First there is no beyond 100%. There is 100% and when you go beyond that you crash. You also are nowhere near the limit in AutoCross (IMHO) - while you may be at your limit driving a car hard for 60 seconds isn't the limit.

I will give you that AutoCross is a safer way to have some fun with your car - but I'm sorry it doesn't even remotely compare to the track. 60 seconds in a parking lot vs. 30 minutes on a 2.5 mile course are two very very different things...

My .02 - and clearly just my opinion...
 

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Gotta disagree on both points.

1. It is not a "race". A race involves other cars at the same time as you. Yes, you're racing the clock but that's exactly the same thing I do in time trials on the track - race the clock.

2. First there is no beyond 100%. There is 100% and when you go beyond that you crash. You also are nowhere near the limit in AutoCross (IMHO) - while you may be at your limit driving a car hard for 60 seconds isn't the limit.

I will give you that AutoCross is a safer way to have some fun with your car - but I'm sorry it doesn't even remotely compare to the track. 60 seconds in a parking lot vs. 30 minutes on a 2.5 mile course are two very very different things...

My .02 - and clearly just my opinion...
By limits, I mean the limits of the grip envelop of the car. You cannot win an HPDE but you can win an autocross. A timetrial is the same thing as an autocross more or less. Call it a race or a competition or whatever. The competitive element is absent in a track day. The path to proving yourself the best racer in the states is clear in autocross.

Exactly, you can try to push past 100% in autocross but you really cant even in racing. I have spun off course no fewer than 5 times in a single autocross afternoon. If I did the same thing at HPDE eventually I would find a tire wall. Thats why my track driving is limited to 8.5/10ths.

Anyways autocross is fiercly competitve. Not at the regional level, but at national tours and espescially nationals. You absolutely have to be a great driver to win any of the major classes.
 

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By limits, I mean the limits of the grip envelop of the car. You cannot win an HPDE but you can win an autocross. A timetrial is the same thing as an autocross more or less. Call it a race or a competition or whatever. The competitive element is absent in a track day. The path to proving yourself the best racer in the states is clear in autocross.
Agreed but notice I didn't talk about racing in an HPDE I talked about it in context of Time Trial which is the same concept (race the clock to mitigate risk to the car/driver). I also disagree that a track day isn't competitive as I have a blast comparing lap times with my friends and even "racing" them when we're out (assuming the track is sorta empty and we're all very careful when passing).

you can try to push past 100% in autocross but you really cant even in racing
You can't push past 100% ever, it doesn't exist. Pet-peeve of mine, there is no 110% - there is 100% and that's it, period.

I have spun off course no fewer than 5 times in a single autocross afternoon. If I did the same thing at HPDE eventually I would find a tire wall. Thats why my track driving is limited to 8.5/10ths.
Completely and totally understand/agree here. As I said AutoCross is the safest way to have fun with your car - far safer than the track or street racing.

Anyways autocross is fiercly competitve. Not at the regional level, but at national tours and espescially nationals. You absolutely have to be a great driver to win any of the major classes.
100% agree you have to be a great driver to win a national class - but I disagree with the blanket statement that autocross is fiercely competitive. Many people are just out in their street cars having fun. Just like Time Trial on the track can be fiercely competitive it isn't necessarily so.

For me it boils down to the amount of time I get to have fun vs. the amount of time I invest in that time. If I spend 8 hours at the track and get to drive for 2 hours of that I'm pretty happy - if I stand around in a parking lot for 8 hours and drive for 5 minutes (or something that can be measured in seconds) that's not time well spent for me.

But as already said - different strokes for different folks.

-Ross
 
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