PittRace BMW/MINI Autocross Series: Session 1

Pittsburgh International Motorsport Complex Announces BMW / MINI Autocross Series The series will consist of six (6) sessions starting on May 5th and concluding October 20th. They are held 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm on the following dates: May 5, May 26, June 15, August 4, September 8, and October 20. (Note: you do not have to do all sessions to participate. See costs below.) 

What is Autocross? Autocross is a full time car control contest. It will teach you how your car behaves as it approaches its limits; limits that are not safe, legal, or practical to explore on public streets. While many of you are confident about your driving abilities you will quickly realize that there is always room for improvement and a lot to learn about your car. Autocross differs from track events because it typically remains under 60 mph and has less straightaway’s and many more turns. Autocross events are frequently held in large parking lots. Traffic cones are used to define a course, where drivers will compete one car at a time against the clock. The times are recorded and used to differentiate drivers as they compete against each other. There is no passing or rubbing of fenders since cars are always separated from each other and do not compete in the same manner as race car drivers. In autocross cars are assigned a class based on make, model and modifications. There are several class options one could be placed into. This is determined by combining specific makes and models into three sub-categories called Groups. These sub-categories are then split into three more categories or classes called Performance Class based on whether or not your car has been modified. Once your car has been assigned a Class you be provided with a window sticker denoting your class. This sticker is then placed onto your driver’s side rear window.  
If you are interested in a copy of the 2014 BMW/MINI Classing please go to the Allegheny Chapter website or contact Jeff Taylor @ [masked]

Helmets are required and can be rented from the track for only $8 a day or if you intend to purchase a helmet the fine folks at Pitt Race are available for consultation. 

When participating in an Autocross on the day of the event you want to come early to prepare your car. Start by removing any loose objects you may have in your car. This means glove compartments, interior and trunk are emptied.  Remove any wheel covers, hub caps or such (we don’t want any flying objects). Check your car for fluid leaks and cracked or frayed belts. You would want to bring a mat and tarp to place your objects onto and keep covered in case of inclement weather.

Typically there is a designated Tech Inspection area. Once your car is prepared, you will want go to the Tech inspection. The earlier the better, you don’t want to find out your class is going first and there is a line of ten cars in front of you at the Tech Inspection. After you have passed you Tech Inspection you will go back to your parking space and wait to be called to your run group. Everyone shares in the responsibility of keeping the course set up for those to enjoy. So often, those not to run will be required to help keep the traffic cones in place and the course setup.

Prior to your practice sessions you will want to walk the course and familiarize yourself with the layout. During this walk you want to note specific areas, maybe a difficult turn or an area where you may get some speed. The more you can study the course, the more prepared you are for your run.

When your group is called to the starting area, cars will line in a designated area for their run. The starter will direct you to your starting point. Once the starter receives the all clear, they will signal your start. Out on the course, you follow the course setup to the best of your abilities. If you hit a cone keep going. A typical run will last under a minute. Once through the finish line there is a timing clock displaying your time and your time is announced.

PITT Race and the Allegheny Chapter have partnered to offer the 2014 BMW/MINI Autocross Series. All members of the Allegheny Chapter or Pitt Stop Mini are welcome to participate. The Autocross Series is open to all levels of experience.

Registration is open until April 29th CLICK HERE TO REGISTER . Cost for this introductory offer is only $120 for the first 20 registrations. After we reach 20 participants the cost is $180 per person. If you don’t want to participate in the Series, you can come out for just the day. Cost is $40 per person.

Starting at 4:00 pm on the day of the PITT Race autocross, you can practice on the course. All runs are timed during the practice session but not recorded. At 6:00 pm each Series participant will be permitted three runs. The times of your three runs will be posted with your fastest time being used to determine the class winner. If the time allows, you will be able to continue to practice until 8:00 pm.

 Concluding the October 20th Autocross, times will be calculated and class winners will be determined. Participants must compete in at least four (4) of the six (6) Autocrosses to be eligible for awards. At the November, Allegheny Chapter social meeting, Series Awards will be presented to participants.

This program is being offered by Pittsburgh International Motorsport Complex. The BMWCCA, Allegheny Chapter, its Board Members and Membership assume no liability. You will be required to sign wavier forms by Pittsburgh International Motorsport Complex. You must be 18 years of age to participatehttp://alleghenychapter.wordpress.com/2014/03/15/bmw-mini-autocross-series/ 

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