|zMAX Dragway in Charlotte, autocross in their huge parking lot.|
|Adding some lines to help drivers stay on course.|
|The "N" is for Novice class. Almost any car can autocross!|
|Central Carolina's Region timing trailer|
|On a hot day, some drivers park up under the grandstand to keep cool and dry.|
As drivers approached the start line, the timing trailer folks have you stop at a stop sign so that they can make sure they have your number and car entered in the computer correctly. Not only that, but the trailer also has a little digital display that gives you a green check sign that they've got you all set. From there, you wait your turn to pull up to the start.
|This VW Rabbit is a well-known autocross car, the famous Lamborbunni!|
At the start line, most clubs have a person who is the starter that tells you when you can go. The CCR has an actual red light that tells you to stop, and two more indicator lights that come on as you pull up that little bit more. This ensures everyone is starting from the same spot. In a sport where timing is down to the thousandth of a second, every little foot counts. This was the first time I'd seen this, so after the starter told me what in the wide wide world of sports was going on I was all set for the day.
Another fun thing of any activity from bowling and bingo to sky-diving I suppose is that you meet plenty of other people that have the same interests. At this event I spent time talking to a couple of young guys during the day, some not so young guys, as well as folks I already knew from autocrossing in Virginia Beach in the. By the way, they just got married, so it was nice to see Brian Wells and Stephanie Humphries, two drivers that are way faster than me.
|I didn't get any info on this car, but it looks cool.|
Other than an army of Miatas, Honda S2000s, there were a good number of other quick cars like Corvettes, Camaros, Mustangs, Mini Coopers, Porsches, Nissan Z's, Honda Civics, etc. Hey, there was even a Tesla!
|You can start autocrossing in your own car now; just rent a helmet for the day!|
Other than having to wear a helmet (because SAFETY) you really can autocross just about any kind of car. Even some pickup trucks are ok, but not all. The SCCA has specific rules for computing if a vehicle can compete. One requirement involves the center of mass, so a top heavy SUV is probably not OK.
|After 4 runs, NMS finished in 1st place for B Street by 0.420 seconds.|
|Lightning McQueen came out to drive too!|
|One of the CCR sponsors brought snacks. Pro tip: On a hot day, the chocolate Ding Dongs get really smushy!|
With the 3 run group set-up, everyone had some time off, which on an all day long event gives you a chance to eat some lunch, get off your feet, or go fill up with gas if you haven't planned very well. For this event I stuck with the time-tested "Bring Your Own PBJ and A TON of Water Because it's HOT" plan.
|You shoulda seen the Semi Class competing!|
Seriously, this was before the event, and these trucks had to cut through the parking lot to get to where they were going.