Great River Region
We're glad you found us. Take some time to read through our site. Most questions will be answered within the web site. If you still have questions, feel free to email anyone on the Contacts page for more information. We'll be happy to help. Whatever you do, make sure you come out and give it a shot. We guarantee you'll have fun!
What is Solo?
Solo is the SCCA name for autocross competition. Solo events are driving skill contests that emphasize the driver's ability and the car's handling through a course designated by traffic cones (pylons) on a location, such as a parking lot. While you are the only car on the course and speeds are no greater than those driven on the highway, the combination of concentration and car feedback creates an adrenaline pumping experience.
When you come to your first event, come early so that we can make sure we get you set up with a car number, class and give you any help that you need to get started. Park your car in the parking lot and go to registration. Tell them you are new and they will get you started.
Registration is from 9:00-10:15am. The cost is $25 for SCCA members and $35 for non-members. A $5 late fee will be charged after 10:15am, if the event chair allows late registrations. We need to get everyone through tech/registration so that the workers will have time to get everyone entered into the computer. When arriving, consider the fact that it takes time to walk the course and you should walk the course at least three times. This means you have to be through registration and tech well before 10:30am. Please get to registration at 9:00am.
To receive the member's rate you must show proof of SCCA membership. Your SCCA ID, returned dues check or copy of the membership application is okay.
A valid US drivers license and Snell M2000 or SA2000 or better helmet is required. Look for the sticker inside the helmet liner. A few loaner helmets will be available but you will have to share them. A new open faced helmet will run about $85 at local motorcycle shops. At registration we will fill out a score card and a tech inspection sheet. Print and fill out all required information legibly. When complete, tuck this form under your windshield wiper with a "tech" sheet.
At registration, you will get a car number and a class. You need to determine what class to run in. This is an important decision as we want to place your car in its most competitive class and changing it later is a hassle. This is just an overview of your options, it's a good idea to buy a rulebook for more info. It is your responsibility to class your car correctly.
Cars are divided into categories and classes. Classes separate cars by performance, so that Neons compete against Civics and not against Corvettes. Class listings are found in the SCCA Solo Rulebook. Categories separate cars according to their level of preparation. There are 4 main car preparation levels.
Stock class is for unmodified street vehicles. The rules allow you to use certain aftermarket parts for wearable items. Replacement shocks, brake pads, plugs/wires and air filters are 'free'. Any wheel can be used as long as it's the same diameter and width as stock and has the stock offset within +/-.25 inch. You may replace the front sway bar and use a cat back exhaust. You may not use a chip, headers, cone type air filter or cut/replace/lower your suspension springs.
Street Touring allows sedans (four seaters) with a maximum displacement of 3.1L, normally aspirated. This category is for the popular street cruisers with lowered suspension, air filter systems, and wider wheels. The category consists of two classes; STS for street tired cars and STR for "R" compound tires.
Street Prepared uses the Stock rules and allows further modifications. Aftermarket clutches, computer chips, cone filters, lowered springs, fender flares, strut bars, any wheel size, camber plates, torque arms, panhard bars, headers, LSD's and underdrive pulleys are all allowed. You may not overbore the engine past .0472 inch, use an alternate cam or turbocharger.
Prepared cars are usually older SCCA road racing machines. They have weight, carburator and wheel size restrictions, require roll bars and are generally not street legal, (see the rulebook for more info). Unfortunately, otherwise Stock class cars with aftermarket cams must run here or Street Modified to be legal.
Modified class cars are usually purpose built racing machines. Cars with alternate motors, turbochargers, big wings, open wheel formula cars and college SAE cars fall into this category.
Street Modified is similar to Street Touring except that extensive drivetrain and suspension modifications are allowed.
Street Modified 2 is similar to Street Modified, but encompasses small, lightweight and two seater cars.
After you decide which class and category your car falls into we need to think about tires. Racing slicks automatically put you in Prepared or Modified while DT approved R series tires, such as the Kumho V700, Toyo RA1, Yokohama 032R or Hoosier A3S03, are legal in Stock or Street Prepared.
To help attract lady drivers, we have a Ladies class for every open class. Depending on the number of Ladies entries at the event, the Ladies Classes may be scored in a Combined class using an index for computing the results. If enough entries exist, they will run as a separate class. Drivers should notify registration (Ladies do indeed have the option to run in the open classes), if they plan on running in the Ladies Class.
What do I do next?
Now that you have decided on your class/category we need to write it down on you score card and tech sheet. You also need to display it on you car so that the workers and timing and scoring can see it from a distance. The number and class designation should be on both sides of the car. Magnetic numbers and letters are available from various retail sources. Painters tape works, as does masking tape in a pinch.
After registration, It's time to prepare for Tech Inspection. First, empty your car of all loose items. Remove your jack and spare, or make sure they are secured to the car. Remove trim rings and/or hub caps. Make sure everything is tightened down, especially the battery and your lug nuts. When done, proceed to the tech inspection area which is signed and typically has a line of cars with hoods and trunk lids popped. The Tech workers try to make sure that your car is autocross worthy. Items that they will check are your wheel bearing, brakes/fluid, battery security, etc. Basically it's a safety check. They will make sure your helmet has a Snell M2000 or SA2000 or newer rating. They will check to see if your car number is legible. They will also check for loose items in the car that might become projectiles while out on the course. Remove any loose items from inside your car and from the trunk before you go to tech. It is the driver's responsibility to make sure they have their car ready. When your car passes tech, the inspector will put a sticker on your windshield. Once your car is passed, park your car in the paddock area and get ready to study the course.
At the drivers meeting, we will discuss the rules of the day along with any other SCCA Solo information. These are standard rules: no alcohol or illegal drugs are allowed, drivers are responsible for their guests. No tire warmups (burnouts) or brake tests are allowed on or around the premises. Lots big enough to hold Solo events are hard to find so please don't do anything that makes us lose the site.
Everyone has to have a worker assignment. If you do not work you will not receive an award for the day. There are a variety of assignments to choose from such as course working, grid, and timing and scoring. At the end of the day we need help stacking cones and loading up the trailer. You are required to work in the heats that you do not run. If you drive in Heat 1, then you work in Heat 2.
Driving the Course
Do your best to drive through the course. Drive smoothly as you will have more runs in which you can improve your times. Smooth is fast! Locking up brakes and fishtailing will only add time. You're looking to maximize tire contact without going over the limit. If for some reason you get "lost" on the course be sure to ask another driver who has driven the course without error to help you figure out where you went wrong.
At the end of the event awards will be presented, make sure you stay for that.