AutoCross, AutoX or AX. Regardless of how you type it out, AutoCross means that you are going to be having as much fun with your car as you can without being on a full racetrack. You will be able to feel how strong the brakes in your Porsche are without having to worry about being rear-ended by that SUV. You will swerve through a row of cones without construction workers waving their fists and you can put your foot to the floor without getting a ticket. From putting numbers on the side of your car to taking a track walk, you will gain some serious car control skills. You will have the chance to drive your Porsche like the race car that it was designed to be.
AutoCross laps, or “Passes”, are run one car at a time, with the drivers competing to have the fastest time. The course is defined with cones in a large parking lot and will normally be focused on agility and driver skill over straight line speed. You may find double the number of turns per lap than on a full-sized racetrack. The course layout and the pacing of the start is designed to make sure that there is no possibility of car to car contact, and mistakes, hit cones or even spins are punished with time penalties, not car damage. This makes AutoCross a very popular event for beginning drivers. Each driver will get between five and six passes through the course to try and get their fastest time. The competition is lighthearted and can be very close; the top drivers are often within tenths of a second of each other.
Q: What special items do I need for participation?
A: There is no need to do anything special with your car to participate in an AutoCross event. Lower top speeds and shorter lap times keep you from having to install extra roll cages, five-point harnesses or special brake pads and tires. Any well-maintained Porsche can handle an AutoCross with ease. SNELL 2015 or newer rated helmets are required for drivers and can be purchased for a reasonable cost or the Club maintains a few loaner helmets for those that want to “try before they buy.”
Q: What if I am too slow?
A: The adage “Slow is Smooth and Smooth is Fast” is never truer than in AutoCross. The course is often tighter than a normal road and the turns are much sharper than what you would experience on the road. Smooth inputs and careful planning are rewarded with faster times!
Q: What should I do before the event?
A: Remove any items from the interior that are not attached to the car. Charging cords, coffee cups and even loose wrappers can become dangerous in a High-Performance Driving Event. Having a mechanic inspect your vehicle is a great way to be sure that you are ready to drive. They will check suspension parts, brake components, tire wear and make the Top Tech inspection a breeze.
Q: What should I do when I get there?
A: Introduce yourself to the event organizers and confirm your car number / participation / run group. Ask questions so that you know the next steps and what you need to do to be ready to drive. Do not be afraid to admit that you are new. Organizers and other drivers will be happy to guide you toward success.
Q: What is Top Tech or a Tech Inspection?
A: A Top Tech or Tech Inspection is someone else looking over your vehicle and making sure that it is ready to go on the track. This can be intimidating but should be viewed as an extra set of eyes making sure that nothing was missed and you are ready to go. A Porsche is a brand like no other and motorsport is an integral part of the development of these amazing machines. If your Porsche is in good running order and you perform basic maintenance regularly, your Porsche will have no trouble passing a Tech Inspection. A Porsche mechanic is a great resource if you have concerns.
Q: How do you win?
A: You are racing a Porsche. Whether or not you are the fastest person on that particular day, you win.
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