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.
NJ Chapter events give more runs, usually 8 or more, than most other large club autocrosses.
Autocrossing has been a premier activity for the New Jersey Chapter from the beginning. 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 car 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.
You do not need to be a member of the BMW Car Club of America to participate, and you do not have to drive a BMW. However there is a $10 surcharge for non-members. The club welcomes new members. To encourage membership there is a one-time $25 discount of the autocross fee for new members. Go to the national BMW CCA website to join. Please email the receipt you receive from BMW CCA to AXregistrar@njbmwcca.org so we can apply the discount to the autocross fee.
There is no charge to register — payment of the event fee is deferred until you arrive at the event. At that time we will charge the credit card you have entered on www.motorsportreg.com. If you prefer you can pay in cash at the event. If you find you are unable to attend, please cancel your registration online. We do not charge a cancellation fee.
Instruction: Instructors will be available to ride with you at no charge. We strongly recommend that drivers with little or no autocross experience have an instructor in the car for the first few runs. Drivers seeking in-car instruction must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by the day of the event.
Shared cars: Two drivers can share a car, but each driver must register. To share a car, both drivers must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, or must be members of the same household.
Please do not create an account on the GGC web page!
If you are driving a BMW, please use the link to determine the total points of your car before the event — you will be asked for this during the registration process. (All non-BMW’s are X class).
Calculate the points for your car on the GCC web page, but be sure to use our class categories:
Helmets are required, and you will need a Snell 2015 or newer. The club will have some loaners available. If you use a loaner helmet we ask that you buy a disposable helmet sock (balaclava) for $2, available at the event. Owing to the pandemic, helmets may not be shared.
Your best time counts toward the competition. Each cone that is knocked down, or displaced from the box in which it stands, adds a two-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 4-5 runs. When you are not running, you will be required to work the course — course workers are stationed at several places around the course. Their job is to reset cones that are knocked down, maintain radio contact with the timing table, and to wave a red flag if we need to interrupt the action for any reason.
If you are new to autocrossing, you will find plenty of people to give advice, and instructors are on-hand and happy to ride with you as often as you like. This is highly recommended. 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.
In accordance with National BMW CCA policies, only autocross instructors or other designated advanced drivers may take passengers. Passengers under 18 years of age must be at least 4′ 9″. A minor waiver must be signed by both parents or legal guardians. The driver and passenger must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
At the event
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.
When registration opens, get on the registration line and register. We will charge your credit card (or accept cash), and you’ll be asked to put on a wristband to indicate that you have agreed to the liability waiver. You will be assigned a car number and given a work assignment.
You can use tape or white shoe polish. (We have tape available.) The numbers should be on both sides of the car and big enough to read from a distance.
Meeting and walk-through
Wait for the walk-through (usually about 9:30) and drivers’ meeting (usually about 9:45). The drivers’ meeting is mandatory for all attendees, whether running or not. The walk-through is strongly recommended.
Other things to remember
We do not break for lunch. You will probably want to bring lunch or a snack but it should be something you can grab on the go. Bring something to drink — it can be hot out there.
Front windows should be open during runs, and rears if there are rear seat passengers.
A limited number of loaner helmets are available. Owing to the pandemic, helmets may not be shared.
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.
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