f_
f_
3/10/20 8:36 p.m.

Hello, I'm new to the world of motorsports and I had a couple of questions. Forgive me if these are stupid questions, but I couldn't really find answers for them online.

1. Do people generally compete in different types of motorsports (such as Autocross, Road Racing, &, Rallycross) or do they stick to one?

2. I've read on these forums that generally it would be best to have different cars for Autocross and Rallycross. But in the case of Autocross and Road Racing/Time Trials, do people generally use one car for both autocross and road racing/time trials or do they typically have different cars for each? And if they do have different cars, is it because their car might not be competitive when transitioning from Autocross to RR/TT or vice versa?

3. And finally are autocross cars built differently than RR/TT cars similar to how rallycross cars are different than autocross cars?

Patientzero
Patientzero Reader
3/10/20 8:43 p.m.

1.  I drive in both Autocross and Road Racing.  Rallycross sounds fun too but I don't have a car capable of doing it.  I don't think they'd allow my F150.

2. It really depends on what class you're running in and the rules dictating your car setup.  One car can easily be run in both Time Trials and Autocross, my car included.  Sometimes you'll have to make comprimises in order to stay legal for both classes.  Other people don't mine swapping parts between races to stay competitive in both.  I know people locally that run the same car in both Rallycross and Autocross, including a current national champion.

3. Yes.  There are always things you can do to optimize for one over the other but usually there is a middle ground to make it suitable for both depending on your car.

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/10/20 8:44 p.m.

A few people I know run both Autocross and Time Trials, sometimes even with the same car.

The main issue is that autocross tends to be very regulated as to what you can do to the car, so unless you don't care about ending up in a class where you are not competitive, the mods you'd ideally make for Time Trials or even road racing don't play well with autocross. So you basically have to figure out what to build the car for and then accept that it won't be that great for the other variant of the sport.

It's slightly different if you're looking for something that can do well in autocross and still be fun for (non-competitive) track days - you can definitely build a car that works well in those two categories.

MrChaos
MrChaos GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
3/10/20 8:46 p.m.

you realistically dont want to run a "nice" car for rallycross.  You never get the dust out of the car.  

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/10/20 8:49 p.m.

In reply to MrChaos :

Probably not for Time Trials either, you're bound to have a tire wall moment or take the lawn mower line sooner or later.

MINIzguy
MINIzguy HalfDork
3/10/20 8:50 p.m.

I only have one car for autocross/TT right now. I do SCCA stuff, and their time trials program rules allow my Street Touring prepped car to slot right into their TT classes. I did soften my spring rates to be more suitable on the track this season.

I do want to eventually have two cars. As I get faster on the track, I want a cage around me in case anything happens. 

Floating Doc
Floating Doc GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
3/10/20 9:51 p.m.

I started with autocross, and will stick with just that, since it would be a big weight disadvantage in autocross for me to add a roll bar to my miata.

 

Brake_L8
Brake_L8 Reader
3/11/20 8:11 a.m.

I road race with NASA and my car (German Touring Series 2) is poorly classed for SCCA autocross. I've done it a few times for fun but truthfully, it's easier and more amusing to just take a street car to autocross for me. Or bum a co-drive with a friend who's got something properly prepped to a class.

iceracer
iceracer MegaDork
3/11/20 1:14 p.m.

My ZX2SR was a DD, ice racer, track time trials, hill climbs,  rare auto cross or rally cross.

Tom1200
Tom1200 Dork
3/11/20 8:35 p.m.

I have a Datsun that I vintage race and occasionally bring to autocross. I also have a Formula car (F500) that I autocross and also occasionally run it on road courses.

The Datsun I leave the set up alone but on the F500 I change the toe and the gearing.

When I had the showroom stock class Miata I used it for road racing, autocross and rallycross.

MotorsportsGordon
MotorsportsGordon HalfDork
3/12/20 12:52 a.m.

Over the years here in alberta it was fairly common at times for someone to use the same car for road racing aswell as ice racing etc. Actually at times aswell the same has been used for mini stock oval racing too.  When watching a road race here you could easily tell  which cars were also ice racers as they would have the ceiling mounted break light in the back of the car.

pontiacstogo
pontiacstogo Reader
3/12/20 7:36 a.m.

This is a timely question for me.  We AutoX'd our 94 Camaro all last year but we have our first HPDE weekend coming up in May. 

What (if any) general changes should be made for an AutoX day versus a track day?

tr8todd
tr8todd SuperDork
3/12/20 8:41 a.m.

Dont do what I did.  Got into autcrossing so I built a car for autocrossing.  Decided to try time trials and open track days.  Ditched autcross stuff and rebuilt car for track days.  Decided to start SCCA road racing.  Rebuild car a third time to do SCCA stuff.  I could still do time trials and autocrosss with the SCCA car.  You can always go down a level of motorsports, but most likely you can't move up.  Can't show up with a street car and expect to get into an SCCA race, but you can show up in your SCCA race car and take in an autocross.

amg_rx7
amg_rx7 SuperDork
3/12/20 1:26 p.m.
f_ said:

1. Do people generally compete in different types of motorsports (such as Autocross, Road Racing, &, Rallycross) or do they stick to one?

2. I've read on these forums that generally it would be best to have different cars for Autocross and Rallycross. But in the case of Autocross and Road Racing/Time Trials, do people generally use one car for both autocross and road racing/time trials or do they typically have different cars for each? And if they do have different cars, is it because their car might not be competitive when transitioning from Autocross to RR/TT or vice versa?

3. And finally are autocross cars built differently than RR/TT cars similar to how rallycross cars are different than autocross cars?

 

1. It's going to vary.  Early on, I did track days (HPDE) and autox with the only car I had.  I did some minor mods and had fun doing both but greatly preferred track days to autox to focused more on that over the years.  Eventually, I bought a race car to do wheel-to-wheel racing instead of just HPDE / track days in my daily or weekend/sports car.

2. Haven't tried rallyx yet but if I had the opportunity and desire, I'd try it out a few times in whatever car I had to see what it was like.

3. I never built a car for autox or rallyx so can't comment but, generally speaking, you'll probably start to prefer one type of motor sports over another and build it up accordingly.

goingnowherefast
goingnowherefast GRM+ Memberand Reader
3/12/20 2:08 p.m.
f_ said:

Hello, I'm new to the world of motorsports and I had a couple of questions. Forgive me if these are stupid questions, but I couldn't really find answers for them online.

1. Do people generally compete in different types of motorsports (such as Autocross, Road Racing, &, Rallycross) or do they stick to one?

2. I've read on these forums that generally it would be best to have different cars for Autocross and Rallycross. But in the case of Autocross and Road Racing/Time Trials, do people generally use one car for both autocross and road racing/time trials or do they typically have different cars for each? And if they do have different cars, is it because their car might not be competitive when transitioning from Autocross to RR/TT or vice versa?

3. And finally are autocross cars built differently than RR/TT cars similar to how rallycross cars are different than autocross cars?

1. I think they do. Personnaly, I started with autocrossing because it's the cheapest and safest way to break into motorsports (IMHO). Eventually, after a few trackdays, I realized I started getting bored with how slow autocross is and how absolutely f*****d the classing is in autocross and now I exclusively do road racing/TT. 

2. I can't speak for Rallycross, but I would say in general (obviously this is platform dependent) you can make a great dual duty TT/Autocross car that would be say ~90% optimized for both with a few alignment changes. That works for most people. If your goals is to be nationally competitive, then I believe you must have a car built for the kind of racing you do (not to mention classing restrictions). 

3. Again, can't comment on rallycross, but in general an autocross car is set up to be very loose. You want low-speed rotation over high speed stability. There's less braking zones (or at least less speed) so negative camber will likely be more in autocross than in road racing. 

 

TLDR: If you aren't worried about being nationally competitive, you will have no problem at all building a car that does well at both, but may not be the best at either. 

jr02518
jr02518 HalfDork
3/12/20 2:54 p.m.

This past weekend I spent two days driving on the track, here's my quandary;  what to do next?

I know that I enjoy auto crossing.  We have practice on Saturday and the event does the timed runs on Sunday.  I drive an older car and within the rules I know what to expect from the group.

Road racing is the "wild west". The car I used for the weekend was fun but other than HPD or TT it will not be a "race car".   The potential of writing off the car in a race, is giving me a second thought.

Having the opportunity of sticking the noise were it might belong will come at a cost.  Am I willing to fund it, is the question. 

Tom1200
Tom1200 Dork
3/12/20 10:37 p.m.

@Pontiacstogo if one were trying to be competitive at both autocross and road racing with the same car there might be significant set up changes; alignment, spring rates and damper settings. Realistically for local events the most I would do is change the alignment and damper settings (provided the shocks are adjustable). My F500 uses a chain drive so I swap out sprockets. For autocross I use what is equivalent to a 4.86 rear end and for road racing I use a 3.33 or 4.0 equivalent.

@jr02518 contract to popular belief contact between cars (especially at the regional level) is highly frowned upon. I'm an extremely aggressive driver and in 34 years of racing have only made contact with another car once and it was very light contact. I road raced motorcycles first so my fear threshold is higher than the average car racer. Also because of my two wheel background I also know how quickly things can go south. Once you start racing wheel to wheel 99% of people tend to look after their cars. Additionally the race stewarts tend to have a talk with overly aggressive novices before they get in trouble. With all that said things can happen so you are wise to give thought to the possibility that you could write off a car.

Currently I'm vintage racing and part of the appeal is the fact that people far are less likely to try some banzai move than they would be in moderns.

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