Solo (AKA Autocross) is a test of driving skill and the car’s agility in which one car at a time is driven over a clearly defined course, the elapsed time and penalties for course deviations being the determining factor for awards. Most Solo events take place in large parking lots, with the course defined by orange pylons. Speeds are limited and the hazards to spectators and participants do not usually exceed those encountered in normal, legal highway driving. Competitors range from the casual participant who may use the same daily driver that they car-pool with to the hard-core driver who has a dedicated car and special tires to squeak out every last fraction of a second. In between the extremes, there are levels and classes for different degrees of car modification. Whatever your driving level or car – there is a place for you in SCCA Solo! Contact us or come to our next event to get started!
First, just come to an event. At any autocross, you’ll find a large group of helpful people. Look for the “Help Desk” near the registration trailer and you can always ask for the Novice Chief.
You’ll need a mechanically sound car, a valid driver’s license and the money for an entry fee (cash, check, and credit accepted, see Event Registration & Fees Section Below).
That’s a great question. As much as we’d like to give you a “magic formula” for this, it’s just not that simple. A great place to start is Appendix A of the Solo Rule book. Click Here to visit the current rule book and skip to Appendix A to get started! If you have any trouble, just shoot us an email.
Event Online Registration
Read below for information on entering our events. St. Louis Region Solo uses Motorsportsreg.com for its online registration.
For your convenience, we highly recommend pre-registering online. This will save you time and make the events easier to manage.
You’ll remember your first event for a long time. The adrenaline that makes you shake at the start-line before your first run, and the even bigger surge of adrenaline you feel when you finish. That excitement is part of the sport, and it’s why we all do this.
Don’t let being a novice overwhelm you! Every driver, including the National Champions, had a first day and a novice season. Autocrossing is a skill that requires instruction and practice to see improvements. If it was easy, it wouldn’t be so competitive, or so fun. In fact, when experienced road racers come to Solo for the first time, we often put them in Novice Class. It’s not like falling off a log for them, either. The great thing about this sport, though, is that even when you’re going slowly, it’s still fun driving.
The course may seem busy at first, because it’s tighter than what you see on the street, and you’re trying to attack it faster than you could in traffic. You’ll have fun learning the sport and learning to keep the car in control as you get faster and better with more seat-time.
With that said, here are some tips to give you the right novice attitude, so you don’t become discouraged:
Your goal is to have fun! That’s why everyone is here.
Your goal for the first run is to avoid getting lost on course (see course-walking tips)
Your goal for the rest of the day is to improve your time on each run
Your goal for the second event is the same as the first.
Your goal for the rest of the season is to beat somebody (anybody!) and continue to make each run faster than the last.
At this point, you are learning a lot on each run, and you may be 10 seconds behind the class leader. That’s not unusual! You’re still doing OK.
Generally speaking, the veteran drivers like to help the novices. The magic words “I am a novice” will get you extra instruction from other competitors, who can critique your run. Just be careful not to interrupt a driver on a course walk, or while he or she is concentrating on going over the course in his or her head (See the Solo Etiquette Section).
Don’t forget, there is a Novice Chief available to answer your questions and help you get started.
Also, check out this great article at scca.com called “How Do I Autocross”!
Other pages on this site to visit:
|Registration||7:00 – 8:00 a.m.|
|Worker Assignment||7:00 – 8:15 a.m.|
|Tech Inspection||7:00 – 8:30 a.m.|
|Course Walk||8:00 – 8:55 a.m.|
|Novice Course Walks||8:00 – 8:55 a.m.|
|Driver’s Meeting||9:00 – 9:15 a.m.|
|Heat 1 Workers to Stations||9:15 a.m.|
|First Car Off||9:30 a.m.|
|Final Standings Plus Top Index and Novice Awards– After Audit of Final Results & Cleanup|
St. Louis Region SCCA operates under the insurance and guidelines of the Sports Car Club of America. Solo events are considered low risk events, but there are many requirements that we must follow to ensure we are safe, and to comply with our insurance.
Anyone entering ANY St. Louis SCCA Solo event site must sign an insurance release waiver.
Minors (under the age of 18): Print out the document found on the Rules & Regulations page, have it signed by both parents and/or guardians, have it notarized and on the top write “All St. Louis SCCA events” for dates write “All Dates.” Make a second copy for yourself and give us the original. You will be set for the rest of the year!
Actual event safety is governed by a Solo Safety Steward, (SSS) who is assigned for each event. This person is responsible for the safe operation of the event in all aspects. Please consult the SSS if you have any safety related questions at an event.
Solo is a social sport, and most drivers are happy to give you advice and critique your runs. Ask someone with a similar car if you may follow them through a course walk. Maybe they’ll even think aloud for you (don’t do too much talking yourself, or you will be making them walk again). Ask if you can ride with them on a fun-run. If you’re not sure when to line up, go ahead and ask. Ask someone to look at the chalk on your tires to see whether you need more air. Ask someone to watch your run if they have time, and tell you what needs changing. They’ll be glad to.
There are a few bad times to ask for advice, though. Here’s a quick list:
When they are walking the course. (They’re trying to memorize it.)
When they are staring into space or have their eyes closed, they’re probably going over their run or plan.
When they are in grid. They are only thinking about the course.
Sometimes events will conspire to keep a good driver from competiting. It may be a broken car, it may be an injury that prevents them from being able to change tires. This is your chance! Offer that driver a ride (co-drive) in your car – make it free if you can afford to. So they use up $20 worth of tires. Not a bad price for a private instructor all day! I have gone to some of the big events, Tours, Divisionals and ProSolos and sent out an ad for a co-driver. It has been an enourmous benefit to have advice from these experts all day, and be able to walk the course with them.
Try to help out. There is more work to be done than the mandatory course-work. This is an all-volunteer organization, so help is always appreciated. Luckily, this also puts you in a position to talk to other drivers, because the veterans are helping out, too. If you share the work, they’ll have more time to talk to you. Likewise, showing up early will help out the registration and tech crew, and give you more time to walk the course. Read the next section on how to help, if you’re looking for ideas to lend a hand.
Everyone stays to help clean up the course and pit areas. Keeping the sites is important to everyone, so leave your pit area cleaner than you found it.
(Edited from the “Solo II Novice Handbook” by Kate Hughes)
The Solo Advisory Committee (SAC) is tasked with running a series of Solo events for the enjoyment of members of the St. Louis Region SCCA and any other automotive enthusiasts.
If you have any questions, please contact the Solo Committee at email@example.com
Provide fair, fun, competitive and safe events with excellent customer service to bring increased and sustained participation in events and developing leadership in the Solo Program.
By entering this event, you agree that you will adhere to the SCCA Solo Rules as well as the St. Louis Region Solo Supplemental Regulations. They are available for review at www.scca.com and www.solo.stlscca.org
NOTE: At Family Arena everyone must be off the premises by 4:00pm at most events.
St. Louis Region SCCA reserves the right to refuse service to any party.