Sure, we all know that you would probably be racing in F1 already if there wasn’t that small complication about you not having a racing license. Guess what? Your endless excuses are now null and void. Time Attack is a venue where a regular guy (or gal) can go out and race on the big tracks. That’s right, no parking lot racing here. These events are held on real race tracks that you’ve been reading about in magazines and playing on Gran Turismo for years. This is the real deal.
Time Attack is a timed racing event where you take your car onto the track, do your best impression of Aryton Senna on a qualifying lap, and try to put down a blisteringly fast time. Your best lap time is compared to that of people in your class (similar cars, similar mods). The one with the fastest lap time picks up a trophy and never ending glory.
So, you watched Travis Pastrana in his Subaru at the X Games and now you’re convinced that you can get your Mom’s Outback at least six feet off the ground if you were just given a dirt jump and the chance. Well, it’s time to put down your PS3 game controller, turn off MotorStorm, and borrow a helmet. Rallycross is the closest thing you’re probably going to get to the X games without any money or talent.
Rallycross is similar to the more popular autocross, based on the fact that there is one car out on the course at a time racing against the clock. The course is delineated by cones in a large empty area. The important difference is that Rallycross is a race on dirt. Yes, you and your car will get dirty. The other main difference between the two sports is your autocross time is based on your single fastest lap around the track (like qualifying), whereas Rallycross is set up like a stage rally. Each lap is a separate stage, and each stage counts toward your total and final time.
As a total newb, I made the mistake of blowing a muddy corner at a Rallycross and sliding off the racecourse. I had to go into reverse (once I finally found it, Goddamn Volkswagen!) to get back on the track. I lost a crap load of time farting with the tranny, but since I was a seasoned autocrosser, I really didn’t care. “I’ll get ’em on the next lap,” I said -wrong! That was when I learned the all important lesson about Rallycross, every lap/stage counts. Just like in the bigs, like in the WRC.
Please welcome a new writer to the Speed:Sport:Life, Rob Krider. Rob was the staff writer for NASA NorCal last year, and has been published in AutoWeek and MotoRacing Magazine. Rob currently is a columnist for the Santa Maria Sun but wants to share his adventures and knowledge with a great group of car guys such as the readers of Speed:Sport:Life. His column, Racer Boy, will be running bi-weekly and will cover every type of racing that us normal guys can possibly get involved in…from Pinewood Derby to the Demolition Derby. This week Rob covers Solo 2 Autocross. Please welcome Rob to the S:S:L team! — Zerin
One of the easiest/cheapest/safest ways to get into some type of motorsports is Autocrossing, otherwise known as Solo 2. Autocrossing is a timed event where an individual car maneuvers around a coned off twisty racecourse which is usually located in a large parking lot or abandoned air field. Each entrant gets three to five shots at going around the course as fast as possible and the fastest time wins. Motorsports glory is yours to be had.