A Day at the Races

Attending a Typical Okanagan Autocross Event

A typical Okanagan Autocross event starts with a course walk where the course designer leads event competitors through an array of traffic cones that comprise the event’s course. Courses can be complex and change with each new event so paying special attention during the course walk is vital, particularly for newcomers. You’re welcome to walk the course as many times as you like in the allotted time.

Once the course walk is complete, the Steward or Clerk of the Course will call a driver’s meeting where general regulations, event cautions, safety and noise concerns, among other topics, will be discussed. Following the driver’s meeting, mark your name on the board in your preferred competition time slot and get ready for your turn at the course.

Morning course walk at Vernon

Waiting to launch

Since hosting autocross events require a lot of volunteers, all event competitors are asked to step up and help, typically as course workers, during each event. Newcomers will be trained on working the course at their first event. Volunteering at an event helps quickly develop a greater understanding of both the sport and the day’s course layout.

A box is drawn around the base of each cone to allow the cone to be replaced correctly if dislodged, and to allow corner workers to determine if a driver has disturbed it sufficiently to acquire a two second penalty. The rule of thumb is that a cone on its side or a cone that has hopped completely out of its box is assigned a two-second penalty. However, an upright cone that is in contact with the chalked box is not penalized, although the course worker still needs to put it back into its proper position.

After you complete each run through the course, your time is displayed as you pass through the stop gate and recorded by the time keeper. Two seconds will be added to your time for each cone that you have dislodged during your run. If you went off or around the defined course, your run will be disqualified, but don’t worry, you’ll have a few more passes to make up for it. Your best run for the day will go toward your season’s point accumulation.

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