What is Autocross ?
“Solo” is the brand name for SCCA Autocrossing and on paper it seems very simple – use traffic cones to make a mini-roadcourse in a large parking lot or unused airport and see who can drive it the quickest without hitting any cones or going off course.
In practice, and despite the generally low speeds attained during competition, it’s one of the fastest paced, rapid-fire forms of motorsports you can find, with barriers to entry so low that many people are able to compete and be competitive at it.
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 special car, special tires and uses lots of vacation days to squeak out every last fraction of a second. In between the extremes there are levels and classes for different degrees of car modification, ladies and even kids.
Whatever your level or car – there is a place for you in SCCA Solo.
If you have never autocrossed (Novice) before or don’t know the specific details, check out the “I want to Autocross” page. It will give you the basics of participating in an event. Don’t worry – it’s pretty easy and there are people to help along the way.
Regional – That’s us
Regional events are hosted by us – Allegheny Highlands Region – one of the many individual regions which make up SCCA. These events tend to be “small” events, and although some larger regions might see 200-300 people it’s much more likely to see only a few dozen entries at one of these. You do not need to be an SCCA member to participate in a regional event (they will make you a temporary member for the weekend) but it does usually mean a discount if you are.
Divisional events – a step up from regional events – are hosted by groups of SCCA regions. Not every SCCA Division has a series, but if yours does, it’s a good way to find tougher competition than regional events.
Match Tours are two-day events where the first day is a “traditional” autocross followed by a second day made up of qualifying runs and then the Top Dog or Under Dog challenges to determine an overall event winner.
The SCCA Championship Tour is a set of events which create similar conditions to those seen at the season-ending national championship. “Tour” events attract the highest-level national competitors and local drivers who want to see how they stack up against them.
It’s like drag racing, but with turns. With two mirror-image courses set up; reaction time, getting a good launch, and being consistently fast all play a role in winning at Pro Solo. This series travels the country and competitors collect points that set them up to be or not to be crowned Pro Solo Champion at the season finale in Lincoln, NE.
The TireRack SCCA Solo Nationals is the largest competition for sports cars in the world. More than 1,200 competitors descend on Lincoln, Nebraska each year for a competition which takes a week to complete and crowns a national champion in each class.
Autocross Vehicle Classes
Cars and vehicles are classed in autocross according to modifications and potential. Each level has a set of allowed modifications and then the cars are divided into classes by ability. After all, it wouldn’t be fair to have an Italian exotic against an economy car.
Street (Super Street and A-Street to H-Street)
The set of classes known as “Street” have the most restrictive rules which keep competitors from feeling the need to make extensive modifications to their cars. “Racing” tire compounds are not allowed and only a few parts and changes are allowed to the car beyond what it had on the showroom floor.
Street Touring (Street Touring P, R, U, S and F)
Street Touring classes are the next level up from the Street classes, and although they still require true street tires, more bolt-on modifications are allowed to make the cars handle better and get through the course quicker.
Street Prepared (Super Street Prepared and A-Street Prepared to F-Street Prepared)
This set of classes is where the level of commitment to modifying your vehicle really starts kicking in. Tires must still be “DOT” approved but sticky “racing” style compounds are allowed. This is the first set of classes where competitors can modify some engine internals and even swap parts between some trim levels.
Street Modified (Super Street Mod, Street Modified and Street Modified Front Wheel Drive)
Want to add a turbo? Do an engine swap? Have traction control? A wing for some aero-grip? This is the set of classes that might grab your interest. Tires must still be DOT approved but R-Compounds are allowed.
Prepared (C-Prepared to G-Prepared plus “X” Prepared)
In most ways this is a step up from the “Street” set of classes. Prepared allows non-DOT true “Racing Slicks” and even more internal engine modifications and body/interior changes are allowed. Rules for this set of classes can get more intricate based on what car and class you’re running, so it pays to familiarize yourself with the rules when building a specific car for its Prepared-level class.
Modified (A-Modified to F-Modified)
The highest set of rules, these six classes have a place for cars built specifically for autocross, cars built for road racing and production-based cars with the most extreme modifications. If it doesn’t have a place in a class set before this, it is almost sure to find a place here.
Karts, CAM, Vintage etc
There are some classes which don’t fit the previous sets, but play an important part of automotive and racing enthusiasts lifestyle. SCCA has classes for “Classic American Muscle” (CAM), Vintage cars, College-engineering “Formula SAE,” and karts for both kids and adults. (Currently we do not run karts due to size restrictions of the parking lots we utilize.)