Autocross

Our autocrosses are a competitive environment where a cone track is setup in a big parking lot (Candlestick Park) or airfield (Marina Airport). We put cars into classes based on a formula (considering weight, torque, modifications, and several other factors), and drivers compete against other cars within their class. Though there is an element of risk, hazards to participants and property are not expected to exceed those encountered in normal, legal highway driving. Due to the length of our courses we allow only one to two cars on the course at any one time (opposite sides). Cars race against the clock, not side-by-side.

We do not require previous high performance driver training or experience, but participation in a Car Control Clinic or similar training is highly recommended. First timers and inexperienced autorcrossers will be assigned a driver coach to ensure they get the most out of their autocross experience. Our events are open to licensed drivers age 16 and up. Drivers under the age of 18 will be required to submit a signed and notarized minor waiver to participate.

No special car preparation is needed, in fact, we highly recommend you bring the car you drive on a daily basis. Doing so will give you a greater appreciation for your car’s capabilities and improve your driving skills in the process. All cars are welcome and unlike our driving schools, stock convertibles are accepted – roll cages are not required. We do not allow SUV/SAV vehicles to participate however. If you would like to drive and do not own a car, you may share a car with a friend.

Snell 2005 or 2010 certified helmets (M or SA) are now required for all GGC driving events. If your helmet is expired, or you don’t have one, we have a small number of loaners available at no charge. Check the certification sticker inside your helmet liner to make sure it meets this requirement.

Car classes are split into (up to) four run groups depending on registration count. Participants drive one session and work one session and have the other session(s) off. Every participant (except those 65 or older) is given a work assignment which may include: cone workers, trailer workers, start, finish, and grid positions, or driver coach.

Setup for the events start around 7am and registration opens around 8am. Cars go through an on-site tech inspection and around 8:45am all attendees gather for the driver meeting where we review important safety information and details of how the day will progress. After the driver meeting, everyone has an opportunity to walk the course, and for those interested, they can join the course designer for a personal look at how to drive the course. Drivers assigned to the first run group grid up and around 9:45am we send the first car out on course. Lunch usually arrives around 11:30am and we break for about 45 minutes between run group one and two depending on how things are going. During the break, drivers are welcome to walk the course again.

Generally, drivers will get 7-8 runs per event and all times and cone counts are logged in our computer system. Your first run is a practice run where the time does not count. Successive runs count and your fastest timed run is your fastest run of the day. Downing cones results in the addition of one second to your time for each cone hit – hitting cones is bad for your times! Often we have time available at the end of the day for fun runs where you may drive your own car or swap cars with friends… it’s a good opportunity to beat your buddy’s best time in his car!

Our 2013 season consists of 11 events: Three pre-season fun-run/tuning style events, seven regular season competition events (April – October), and the season end Top Driver Shootout (November). Competitors earn points during each regular season event and at the end of the season, we tally up the points and the top three earners in each class receive a trophy.

The end-of-the-year Top Driver Shootout (TDS) is something we autocrossers look forward to for many reasons. It’s the culmination of a season of heated  competition, but also a celebration of the camaraderie and fellowship we share as a group. Autocross is as much about the socializing as it is about the driving, so we strive to make the TDS an extra-special event with a catered barbeque lunch and a modified driving format. This is an invite-only event for drivers who have participated in 3 or more autocrosses during the regular season. The TDS competitor with the fastest time at the end of the day takes home the coveted Fechner Cup and is forever remembered with an engraved plate affixed to the base of the trophy! For a write-up of the 2011 TDS, view the article on page 16 of Die Flüsternde Bombe – our club newsletter.

Our events are very social and we welcome all makes of cars, not just BMWs and MINI. Unlike some other car clubs, we don’t limit registrations from other marques. Everyone has an equal opportunity of getting in! You’re likely to see a sprinkling of vehicles from Porsche, Mazda, Honda, Lexus, even Aston Martin and Corvette! We usually limit the events to 100 drivers, but depending on the venue, this could vary somewhat. Events fill up fast (especially those at Candlestick), so if you want to join us, don’t wait too long to register. Registration for the next event opens on the Monday after the current event.

Regular season event cost is $50 per driver and an optional sandwich lunch is offered for an additional $5. Drinks are free to all participants. The TDS event is $60 per driver and includes the catered BBQ lunch as a thanks for your continued support of our program.

Feel like giving it a shot? Come join us!

Documentation