Hello there and welcome to the BMW Car Club of America.

If you are a BMW CCA member, please log in and introduce yourself in our Member Introductions section.

First Autocross

Discussion in 'Autocross' started by Arash2002tii, Jul 29, 2008.

    Arash2002tii guest

    Post Count: 235
    Likes Received:0
    I'm going to participate in my first autocross in one week and was wondering if you guys had any pointers that would be of use. Any tips are greatly appreciated. Thanks! I'm a frequent mountain road driver if that makes any difference (my guess is it makes no difference at all). Hope to hear from you pros. ;)
    • Member

    Bimmerdan

    Post Count: 422
    Likes Received:4
    The thread below this one ( http://stage.bmwcca.org/forum/showthread.php?t=2849 ) has a lot of great information regarding autocrossing for the first time.

    Aside from proper car preparation, be sure to walk the course, take rides with instructors or experienced drivers if possible, talk to the other competitors and tell them it's your first time (like I said in the other thread, we were ALL first timers at one point so we know exactly what it feels like).

    The only driving tip I'll give you is... LOOK AHEAD!!
    • Member

    Brian A

    Post Count: 657
    Likes Received:7
    • Member

    Bimmerdan

    Post Count: 422
    Likes Received:4
    Nice!! Definitely worth some style points and those are always crowd favorites!!
    [IMG][IMG][IMG][IMG]
    • Member

    az3579

    Post Count: 3,270
    Likes Received:3

    LMFAO!!!
    That really just made my day! I love the technical descriptions of what's going on in the picture! :D
    I've actually made that into my wallpaper...





    Anyway, the link Bimmerdan posted has some very useful tips for autocross.
    +1 on checking out that link first.

    wanesso guest

    Post Count: 149
    Likes Received:0
    First time

    These guys in this forum have helped me tremendously (and I still haven't experienced the first autocross event yet)--be sure to look at all these autocross threads and links over the past two weeks for the great advice they gave. (wanesso). When you get back from the first time, please let me know what you think and how you did!

    wanesso guest

    Post Count: 149
    Likes Received:0
    autocross class

    How is one's class determined? Does that have to be labeled to the car with your number?
    • Member

    CRKrieger

    Post Count: 1,616
    Likes Received:20
    Compare your car and its modifications, if any, to the sanctioning body's rules (which vary widely). Then, yes, it usually is added right beside your car #.

    Do not be discouraged (or surprised) if a couple of 'minor' modifications 'bump' your car into a class where you get your lunch handed to you. This is why many experienced autocrossers will pass up some of the easy changes that 'bump' them out of a preferred class in order to compete in a class that better matches their car's abilities. An example of this is something as 'minor' as port matching your head and manifold(s). Under SCCA rules, this immediately takes you from 'stock' three classes 'faster' into 'modified' - where you would undoubtedly get your butt kicked if you made no other changes. Use of R compound (competition stickies) tires also generally bumps you a class or two higher.

    The simple lesson to take from this is, READ THE RULEBOOK!

    wanesso guest

    Post Count: 149
    Likes Received:0
    autocross class

    read through SCCA rulebook about auto classes--must be me, but I still don't get it. Will the officials determine the class upon arrival or do I need to figure it all out before I get there? The car has no modifications, however, small print in the rules says the M3 is not eligible for "stock" category.....
    • Member

    CRKrieger

    Post Count: 1,616
    Likes Received:20
    It isn't small print. It clearly says the M3 Lightweight is not eligible for stock category. The E46 M3 is in A Stock. Looks like the Lightweight is in Street Prepared B.
    • Member

    Bimmerdan

    Post Count: 422
    Likes Received:4
    The classes vary by what club you run with. SCCA classes are completely different than BMW CCA classes. Even the classes within BMW CCA vary by chapter.

    If you are asking about SCCA, CRKrieger is right, you need to read the rule book (in many cases...more than once!). If you still can't figure it out, there should be a tech steward at the event that can help you.

    Fo BMW CCA (O'Fest specifically) the 2008 M3 is in class 5A. If they need you to put the class designation on the car for O'Fest, it will be included in your package. In past years, they never required it though.

    wanesso guest

    Post Count: 149
    Likes Received:0
    Yep, read the rule book--still had a mental block--you're correct--it would be 5A confirmed by the autocross official for O'fest. Thank you (it's probably no suprise that I'm still figuring out iDrive....)
    • Member

    CRKrieger

    Post Count: 1,616
    Likes Received:20
    OK; understand that that is the Oktoberfest classification system. Although it is refined for different BMWs much more than SCCA's scheme, it is not a universal 'BMW CCA' classification system (ISTR they modify it annually for O'Fest) nor is it necessarily the same as any local chapter might use. And, as everyone has mentioned, it is not the same as SCCA. This is one reason many dedicated autocrossers will prepare for, and compete in, only one sanctioning body's events. It can be tough to keep everyone's rules in mind.

    wanesso guest

    Post Count: 149
    Likes Received:0
    well then I'm discouraged again....what is the rationale for such a complicated system? I will keep up w/ local rules---well, I'll read them then ask for your help again.........but I'm set for the moment ----I expect to pull in the slowest time/accuracy ever recorded for an M3 but also expect to have a blast!

    Arash2002tii guest

    Post Count: 235
    Likes Received:0
    That's what it's all about my friend. Extremely pumped for Sunday (autocross day)! :)
    • Member

    CRKrieger

    Post Count: 1,616
    Likes Received:20
    It isn't a single 'system'. It is a bunch of different competing 'systems' all catering to different customers.

    BMW CCA's system caters to BMWs only. If they used SCCA's classes, they'd probably have about half as many classes as they do now. But, once you start putting more different kinds of cars together, you find that some of them have a clear advantage regardless of driver skill - and this is supposed to be about driver skill as well as about the car. 'CCA's rules, and many local chapters' rules, try to cater to BMWs by more finely dividing the cars into groups with essentially equal capabilities. Whether they do a good job of that is subject to debate, but at least that is the premise.

    SCCA aims for all cars with any 'sporting' pretensions, so their classes are much more broadly based. This inevitably does produce inequities, so each year, debates begin over cars that have clear advantages, or disadvantages, in their respective classes. Some get reassigned (most don't) to be more, or less, competitive, depending on who won the reclassification debates. Again, the effectiveness of the scheme is questionable, but the aims are not. Everybody wants to have a shot at winning in their classes. Some SCCA regions have local variations of classes ("Novice", "Street Tire", & others) that are not necessarily recognized on the national level, so the rules there will be unique.

    The Porsche Club has its own classification as do, I am sure, many other clubs with different memberships and different aims. Although the SCCA rules, at least, say you are supposed to know your class (and carry a copy of the rulebook to prove it), if you show up as a 'newbie', there will be folks there to help you find your class and let you know. This has always been my experience. Starting out, you knowing your class is almost academic, so don't worry about it too much. The course is the same and your car is the same, regardless of your 'classification', so just get out there and drive. Let the 'clock-watchers' and 'pecksniffs' figure out how you did in their own terms. You work on learning and having fun.
    • Member

    Bimmerdan

    Post Count: 422
    Likes Received:4
    I can honestly say...I've never heard this term before!?!? What the heck is a "pecksniff"?? (or shouldn't I ask?)

    Like Arash2002tii said....this is what it's all about!! I'll be competeing in a bone stock car with run-flats and running against totally modified ground pounders with race rubber. I don't stand a chance and I may well end up last in my class but it's still going to be a blast!!
    • Member

    MGarrison

    Post Count: 2,869
    Likes Received:147
    I imagine CR will provide a detailed definition - however, I would assume it's a pc version of what would be an otherwise unflattering moniker (add "er" to each syllable......) for those organizers at an autocross who would have the responsiblity for tech, tech inspection, classification, class/rules compliance, pre/post-race followup, and ensuring no one's cheating.

    In other words, these would be the folks poring over your car with a fine-toothed comb to ensure it is setup the way you say it is and belongs in whichever class it's appropriate for, without having an undue advantage over the other class competitors.

    I think, in reality, it only becomes an issue in the closest levels of competition - but, they'd be the folks, perhaps with the clipboards and pencils-behind-the-ears, checking things out and empowered to make the incontrovertible decisions about class placement, standing, time-validity, etc.

    :D

    wanesso guest

    Post Count: 149
    Likes Received:0
    wow--you'd think there was a ton o' prize money in these compettions....
    • Member

    CRKrieger

    Post Count: 1,616
    Likes Received:20
    Actually, the origin is Dickensian and nowhere near as nasty as you think. After looking it up, though, I found it doesn't mean exactly what I thought it meant (which is the same as you speculated). I thought the etymology was related to the way chickens wander around pecking and sniffing at everything. Kinda' like tech inspectors (which I am). But I was wrong. :eek:

Share This Page