A type of event that has always been on my radar to try are the RallyCross events. Imagine an Autocross on dirt. Some get a bit more extravagant depending on what the location is but the basics is where I wanted to start. The good news about a RallyCross event is that you can take any car that you may of that is in good, running condition and compete with it.
The class system is quite simple. There are 3 breakdowns of FWD, AWD and RWD and then 3 more breakdowns of Stock, Modified and Prepared with each having different rules for modifications allowed. The 2001 Acura Integra LS that we recently acquired was the perfect candidate to run in the FWD Stock class so I signed up for the Central Florida Region SCCA RallyCross back in November held at the St Lucie Fairgrounds in St Lucie, FL. After reviewing the rule book and seeing that stock really does mean completely stock all that was needed was to once over the car and make sure it is in good running condition. Considering the car only had 1200 miles on it at the time of the event there was plenty of confidence in its condition.
One of the modifications that is allowed in the stock class is the use of Snow Tires. Seeing as how the Integra had Summer Performance tires installed on it and after much debating I sourced (2) Snow Tires to mount on the front of the car only. This was recommended by someone that had much more experience than I as with a FWD car putting the power down at the front wheels and getting the car to rotate are the ways to go quick. The summer tires on the back of the car would aide in the rotation so the concept was used.
About 40 or so cars competed at the 1 day event with a total of 6 in the Stock FWD Class. The group was broken up into 2 heats with 1 group running the course and the 2nd group working the course and vice versa. Each heat consisted of 3 runs of the course in the morning and then 3 more in the afternoon. The afternoon session on the track was run in reverse from the morning. Unlike Autocross where you are ranked on your best time of the day with RallyCross each run is considered a stage and the cumulative total of all 6 runs for the day are used as your rank for the event. A parade lap for all cars before their first run on the course layout allowed everyone a shot at seeing what they could expect. Walking the course before the first heats of the day is also allowed and recommended.
My first run was quite tentative to say the least. It is hard to initially gauge how much traction is actually available on the dirt surface for cornering, accelerating and braking. Naturally as the runs went on I was able to get quicker each session with the final runs of the day being the best. The snow tires worked well for putting the power down and the rear end of the car was able to be rotated easily and controlled through throttle pedal application. The real interest in RallyCross aside from it being a neat event to compete in was to personally grow my car control skills. This will all spill over into our road racing activities of course so it will all come full circle at the end of the day.
Needless to say the event was a blast. I ended up taking 3rd place in the stock FWD class behind 2 hot shoes in a rental car. You know rental cars always are the fastest cars you can buy. I will 100% do it again and it looks like the Central Florida Region is going to have about 7 events throughout 2017 so we will make sure to put a couple of those on our calendar. The car held up great and just needed a good wash after the day was over.
Check out a Full Gallery of Photo's here - http://www.rallygirlracing.com/CFR-Rallycross-2016-Season/Event-7-CFR-Rallycross-2016/