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What is an Autocross?
Drivers must be 18 years or older.
NJ Chapter events are open to members and their guests, and applications will be available at events.
NJ Chapter events give more runs, usually 8 or more, than most other large club autocrosses.
An Autocross is an automotive trial-by-time competition that emphasizes automotive handling ability and driver skill. The course is marked by cones on a large paved area, such as a parking lot, and courses are generally under 60 seconds long, and are run almost entirely in second gear.
Autocrossing has been a premier activity for the New Jersey Chapter from the beginning, and is open to drivers 18 years and older. It requires a car in good repair, and little else. Few automotive events require so little preparation. Regular autocrossing pays off in increased smoothness, a skill that serves you well on the street and the track. It also results in lower times and points for our chapter’s annual championship series trophy.
Few “driver ed” classes offer the added fun of a competition. The adrenaline rush is highly persuasive in making many autocrossers regular participants. This is literally one of the most fun things you can do in your car, and it will amaze you what your BMW can actually do with you in control. Many autocrossers seek to improve the handling capabilities of their cars with suspension mods and sticky tires, but there is no substitute for experience and practice.
Cars are grouped according to performance potential, using a formula based in part on a Boston Chapter BMW CCA listing. Our class system for BMWs is as follows:
|100+ points||Class A|
Your best time counts toward the competition. Each cone that is knocked down, or displaced from the box in which it stands adds a 2 second penalty.
You will be assigned to a group, and will line up to run with that group. After each run you will rejoin the line, until you have completed 3-4 runs. When you are not running, you will be required to work the course, at the timing table, or as a flagger. Flaggers are stationed at several places around the course. Their job is to reset cones that are knocked down, and maintain radio contact with the timing table.
If you are new to autocrossing, you will find plenty of people to give advice, or even ride along with you. One of the most important things you will need to do is familiarize yourself with the course. It is easy to forget under the excitement of driving as quickly as you dare! There will be ample opportunity to walk the course before each event. A guided tour is usually given. Maps of each event are usually published, and are available online.
Your car should be in safe condition to run at an autocross. Please consult the tech page here:
Autocross Tech Inspection
Helmets are required, and you will need a Snell 2010 or newer. The club will have some loaners available.
Check the schedule for specific locations, and the links for directions. Plan to arrive by 8:30. REGISTRATION WILL CLOSE AT 9:00. NO ENTRIES WILL BE ACCEPTED AFTER THAT TIME. Bring lunch and non-alcoholic beverages. Registration forms can be filled out online and printed out; you can bring it with you to the event, or fax it to:
1. Fees and membership requirements.
Payment will be collected at the event. Events are open to CCA members and their guests. Member’s fee is $50 in advance, $65 on event day; guest registration fee must be paid by the member. Participants must be BMW CCA members, but if it is your first time at one of our events, the NJ Chapter will provide a $25 discount off your registration fee. Application for CCA membership may be made prior to the event at:
A car may be shared, but each driver must register. Also, please download and read the insurance liability release form. All participants and spectators will be required to sign this form at the event, and it is recommended that you read it before the event.
The NJ Chapter autocross series is open to BMW CCA members. Membership application may also be completed on-line at registration.
You should have previously visited our website (njbmwcca.org) and downloaded the registration form, used the link to the Boston Chapter to Download the Inspection and Modification Form, and look up your base model points. (Forms should be finished before you arrive, if possible.) If you have not done this find a tech inspector, ask them for the forms, and fill them out. Please download and read the Release and Waiver of Liability form from the website, as you will be asked to sign this document upon arrival.
2. Safety Inspection and Classification.
When you have filled out the form, find the tech inspector and have your car inspected. Car should be empty – nothing loose in the cabin or trunk. Obviously, it should be in good mechanical condition. The inspector will sign off and put a sticker on your car and on your registration form.
After your car has passed inspection, and when registration opens, get on the registration line and register. You will be asked to pay and sign the liability waiver. You will be assigned a car number. You will also get a work assignment. Exact change would be appreciated. Please have your drivers license and CCA membership card ready. Under 18 years old must have minor release form signed by parent or guardian.
4. Put the numbers on your car.
You can use tape or white shoe polish. (Both available.) Numbers should be on both sides of the car and big enough to read from a distance.
5. Listen and wait.
Wait for the walkthrough (usually about 9:30) and drivers’ meeting (usually about 9:45). Drivers’ meeting is mandatory for all attendees, whether running or not. Walk through is strongly recommended.
Other things to remember.
– Front windows should be open during runs, and rears if there are rear seat passengers.
– Loaner helmets are available, but must be returned to the starting line immediately after each run. Lots of people use them.
– Cars will run in numerical order. Make sure you line up that way in the staging area.
– Get to your work assignments quickly. We’ll get more runs that way.
– Be a good neighbor – obey local speed laws. Drive slowly and quietly on local streets.
– Decisions of the NJBMWCCA autocross committee are final.