Autocross FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions


Do I need a “sports” car to compete at an autocross?

While owning a pure sports car can make autocross more enjoyable, many people have just as much fun with their daily drivers. I’ve seen everything from Z06 Corvettes to a vintage 1960’s Plymouth station wagon competing at various autocrosses, so basically “run what ‘ya brung” is the order of the day. There are limits for safety reasons, where certain trucks, vans, and sport utility vehicles are excluded, but any car that you have sitting in your driveway should be fine as long as it passes a basic safety inspection.


What do I need to do to prepare my car for my first autocross?

Generally, all that you’ll need to do is make sure that the battery is fastened down tight (no bungee cords!), the wheel bearings are snug, and there are no obvious fluid leaks. Other than that, you’ll need to empty out everything that’s loose inside your car before you go through tech inspection in the morning, so you might want to get a head start and remove anything that you don’t want to leave outside all day or don’t need with you to compete.


Should I buy springs, strut bars, or a new cold air intake before I show up?

Absolutely not!!! You can buy these items if you want them, but you may be surprised at how decent most cars handle right off the showroom floor these days. Autocross is more a driving skill contest than a car-building contest, and most people can expect to do poorly at their first few events..even with a race-ready vehicle. Plus, how can you know what your car’s handling deficiencies are if you haven’t driven it at the edge of control yet? Seat time, seat time, seat time. Run what ‘ya brung, and then make improvements as time permits if you identify any deficiencies.


How about race tires?

While R-compound tires (DOT-legal race tires) will make a significant improvement in your car’s handling, they will also make a significant dent in your wallet. PSCC does not allow R-compound tires in our novice class, to keep things safe and to keep the costs down for beginners. My suggestion is to run a few events on your street tires for the experience first, and then drop some coin on rims and race tires if you are driving over the limits of your street rubber.


Are you really going to let me do this???

YES!!! As a matter of fact, we welcome first-timers, and even have a “chief of novices” appointed to answer any questions that you may have. There will be a novice walk-through of the course before the driver’s meeting, and you can feel free to ask anyone for pointers or advice. You’ll probably be approached by several people during the course of the day with tips, or maybe even an instructor who will take you along for a ride in their car or ride along with you. We want everyone to have fun and be safe, so come on out and have some fun with us. We don’t bite!


Do I need to be a club member?

PSCC membership is not required to participate at any of our driving events, but either annual or weekend SCCA membership is required to participate at any of our driving events. (Weekend SCCA memberships can be purchased at all events for $15, and the receipt can be used within 60 days as a $15 coupon towards the purchase an annual SCCA membership.) PSCC members do receive small discounts on their entry fees. Also, only members can collect points towards season championships. We encourage anyone who comes out to our events and likes what they see to join the club and become an active member. PSCC is a volunteer organization, and is only what each individual member makes of it.