For any good autocrossing vehicle, there are events to show off your driving skills and the performance handling of your car. What better way to show off our autocross ‘69 Camaro than to take it out to some of these events and unleash it? While we’re still a long way from having Project Blank Slate ready to race, we’re trying to determine what events we would like to participate in with it. Although there are autocross events all over the country, we plan to keep the car fairly close to its Southern California home.
I’m sure many of you have heard of the Goodguys’ car shows. A growing trend at these shows is to have an autocross course. At the events that offer autocrossing, those who plan to run the course must be a participant at the show. Goodguys’ auto crossing happens all over the country, two events of which are right in our backyard. The Del Mar Nationals is one of the first Goodguys’ autocross events of the season. It happens early in the spring.
The Fall Del Mar Nationals marks the end of the autocrossing season and occurs in late fall. As the name suggests, both events take place at the Goodguys’ car shows in Del Mar, California. At both of these events, three classes of vehicles are timed as they go through the autocross course. Because our Camaro is newer than 1955, we would participate in the Street Machine class rather than the Street Rod class. The winning driver in each class is given a gift certificate from the events sponsors and an award at the end of the event.
Another event we’d like to attend is the Run to the Coast, a fairly new autocrossing event. This year, it celebrated its second year. This event takes place at the very beginning of spring at the El Toro Marine Base in Irvine, California. The Run to the Coast is a three day event with options to participate on any or all of the days. Occurring over a weekend, the event kicks off with dinner and a cruise on Friday evening.
Drivers can participate in an autocross course, road course and a speed stop challenge the rest of the weekend. To participate in this event, we’ll have to register for the days we want to participate, attend a mandatory driver’s meeting and pass a tech inspection before we can race.
The Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) has been around since 1944. This organization strives to provide an outlet for those passionate about cars, competition and speed. Many autocross events are held nation wide by the SCCA. We would be part of the Southern Pacific Division of the SCCA. This division holds the Tirerack SoPac Divisional at El Toro Field in Irvine, California. If we were to attend this event, we would be able to go through the course three times each of the two days of the competition.
Event participants are required to be SCCA members. While we don’t think we’d register as a full member, we could purchase a weekend membership for less than $20 in addition to event registration fees. This event is a qualifying event. If we did well enough at it, we could go to the Tirerack Championship later in the year if we wanted to. In addition to qualifying for the Championship, cash prizes are awarded.
The ultimate event for autocross is the Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational. This event occurs every year after the SEMA show in Las Vegas. Participants get to display their car at SEMA. After the show, participants take their cars out into the desert and push their limits autocrossing, drag racing and doing speed stop challenges. As the event title says, this event is by invitation only.
Those who wish to participate must attend and do well at a qualifying event, and then be invited. The Run to the Coast, which we hope to attend, is one of these qualifying events. While it may take more than a year to be invited to this event, we’re confident that Project Blank Slate will be a participant sometime in the future.
Autocrossing our Camaro will be a learning experience. First we’ve got to build the car to be the ultimate autocrosser and then we’ve got to learn the ropes of this type of racing by participating in local events. With some events in mind, we have a good idea about what kind of competitor we want our Camaro to be. What other autocross events should we attend when Project Blank Slate is finished?