Autocross is a motorsport where you compete with other drivers for the best time on a closed course. It’s a great choice for both the casual competitor and the developing racer, in part, because there’s not a lot of gear or equipment required to participate.
In fact, you can really narrow it down to just a few essentials that will help get you on a course, bobbing and weaving around traffic cones and having a great day. Here is our take on the must-haves for autocross.
Must-Haves for Autocross
Often drivers get overwhelmed trying to prepare for motorsports events. But if you focus on what you really need versus what’s nice to have, you realize there are only a few must-haves:
1. Your Vehicle
To get started in autocross, you do need a car. But it doesn’t need to be an expensive, heavily modified vehicle with custom safety equipment. Almost any stock vehicle in good working order can compete.
As to make and model, this is largely also your choice. Some of the more popular vehicles in motorsports include:
- BMW 3-Series
- Chevrolet Camaro
- Chevrolet Corvette
- Ford Focus
- Honda S2000
- Mazda Miata/MX-5
- Porsche 924-944
- Porsche Boxster/Cayman
- Subaru BRZ
- Subaru WRX/STI
- Toyota 86
Of these, BMWs, Miatas and Porsches are the most popular.
The main requirements for your vehicle are no worn or loose suspension parts, a properly secured battery, no bald or damaged tires, good brakes, working seatbelts, and no major fluid leaks.
2. Your Safety Helmet
A helmet is a standard piece of safety equipment worn for sports like football and hockey. For motorsports like autocross, a safety helmet is also worn. A Snell-rated helmet is the one piece of safety equipment typically required by events to drive an autocross course.
The main purpose of a helmet is to protect your head from injury if it comes into contact with a side pillar, window or flying object. Helmets can not only safeguard against cuts and fractures, but also prevent brain injuries, since they have a cushioning liner to help absorb impacts and lessen shock forces.
A quality helmet is a good investment if you’ll be doing autocross regularly. But some events may have spares for rent if you don’t have your own. The helmet you wear has to meet certain motorsport safety standards. Typically, what you’ll need to obtain is a Snell “M” or “SA” rated helmet.
3. Your Car Insurance
One other thing you’ll want to make sure you have before you head out to your first autocross event is insurance for your car. Even though autocross is very safe, there is a chance you could have an accident and most auto insurance policies limit coverage for motorsports events. Here’s how you can check your policy’s exclusions.
If your policy does have exclusions for autocross activities, not to worry. Lockton Motorsports offers an AutoCross with Off-Track Insurance policy made just for autocross participants. Online signup only takes a few minutes and the coverage can even be purchased the same day as your event.
This annual policy for both licensed and non-licensed vehicles provides coverage for a full season of autocross events, plus you can add annual coverage for all of your race-related parts, equipment and trailers. It’s a great way to protect your car from damage while you’re working toward beating your best time at your next event.
Participating in autocross events is a great way to get into motorsports if you’re new. Even if you’re not new, it can also be a great tool for testing out new setups, modifications and techniques before your next track event. Best of all, you really only need a few essentials to participate and have a great time.
Whether you enjoy autocross, HPDE, time trials or other track day events, Lockton Motorsports has the coverage you need to protect your vehicle during the event. Visit LocktonMotorsports.com to learn more.