The Sports Car Club of America's Milwaukee Region was created as a not-for-profit corporation in 1952. It was formed to encourage the preservation, ownership, and operation of sports cars. It acts as a source of information on the rules and regulations of the SCCA, provides and regulates events and exhibits for the owners, and encourages careful and skillful driving on public highways. The Solo Rule Book is now available online, at onsite event registration or you can order one online from the national web site. Any other local rule changes will be posted at the event or in the supplemental regulations. Remember, we are a club run by it's members and participants. That means you and I. No one is getting rich putting on Solo events. Entry fees cover the lot rental cost with just enough left over to maintain the bus, cones and timing equipment. We do this for FUN!
Solo is the SCCA brand name for autocross competition. Solo events are driving skill contests that emphasize the driver's ability and the car's handling through a course designated by traffic cones on a low hazard location, such as a parking lot or inactive airstrip. While you're the only car on course and speeds are no greater than those normally encountered in legal highway driving, the combination of concentration and car feedback creates an adrenaline pumping experience. It's like being in a movie chase through a parking garage only you are holding on to the steering wheel instead of a box of popcorn! You are timed to the thousanth of a second and we add 2 seconds to your time for every cone you tip over or knock out of its box. Speeds are no faster than what you reach on the highway.
When you come to your first event, come early so we can make sure we get you set up with a car number, class and give you any help you need to get started. Park your car in the parking lot or paddock area and go to registration. At Miller Park it's usually under Gantner's Gardens. Tell them you are new and they will get you started.
$30 for annual SCCA member pre-registration
$35 for annual SCCA member onsite registration
$45 for weekend membership onsite registration
Onsite registration is from 7-8 am. The cost is $35 for annual Milwaukee Region SCCA Members and $45 for temporary event members. If you show up after registration closes at 8 am you won't be allowed to compete. This may sound harsh but we need to get everyone through reg/tech so the workers will have time to get everyone entered into the computer. They want to walk the course too! Consider the fact that it takes 15 minutes to walk the course and you should walk it at least three times. That means you have to be through registration and tech before 8 am. Please get there at 7 am.
With Solo becoming more and more popular we're starting to find a limit on how many entrants we can deal with at a given event. To help everyone get through registration so the event can start on time we offer online pre-registration for members. To encourage people to use it the event cost is $5 less or $30 for annual members. The pre-registration page also spells out our refund policy.
Pre-reg is only available to annual SCCA members. Membership applications are available on the national website. To get the member discount at registration you'll need to show proof of SCCA membership. Your SCCA ID, returned dues check or copy of the membership application would work. Notes from your mom and saying "I forgot it" don't.
At registration you'll fill out a tech inspection card. Put your name, address, and car info on it. At the next event you can find this same card in our folder so you don't have to fill it out again. If you change class, number, address, etc. you can make the changes on the card or fill out a new one.
A valid US drivers license and Snell M2000, SA2000 or better helmet is required. Look for the sticker inside the helmet liner. We have a few loaner helmets available but you'll have to share them. A new HJC open faced helmet will run about $75 at local motorcycle shops like Pegasus Auto Supplies, Sportland 2 or Don & Roy's. Helmet City and the Helmet Shop also sell them online.
At registration, you will get a car number and a class. You get to decide what class to run in. This is an important decision because we want to place your car in its most competitive class and changing it later is a hassle. This is just an overview of your options, it's a good idea to read the rulebook for more info. It is your responsibility to class your car correctly. Competitors police themselves by the protest procedures detailed in the rulebook. Don't worry, the reality is that there are very, very few protests. But did we mention how useful the rulebook is? It's also now available for free online.
Cars are divided into categories and classes. Classes separate cars by performance, so that Neon's compete against Civics and not against Corvettes. Class listings are found in the rule book. Categories separate cars according to their level of preparation. There are now 6 main car preparation levels. You should fill out the car modification worksheet to see what category your car falls in.
Street class is a prep level for nearly unmodified street vehicles. New for 2014 the rules allow you to use certain aftermarket parts for wearable items. Replacement shocks, brake pads, plugs/wires and air filters are 'free'. Any wheel can be used as long as it's the same diameter and width as stock and has the stock offset within +/- .25 inch (6.7 mm). You may replace the front or rear sway bar and use a cat back exhaust. For 2014 140 treadwear tires can be used. In 2015 they go to 200 tw tires. DOT R tires (Hoosier A6) or racing slicks are not allowed. You may not use a chip, headers, cold air/cone type air filter or cut/replace/lower your suspension springs.
Street Tire R (formerly Stock) class uses the same rules as Street (minus the +/- 1" diameter wheel rule) but does allow DOT R tires such as the Hoosier A6. Note that all but SSR will no longer be offered after 2014.
Street Touring builds on the Street rules and allows some common suspension and appearance modifications. Aftermarket clutches, computer chips, cone filters, lowered springs, strut bars, camber plates, headers, and underdrive pulleys are all allowed. You may not flare your fenders or use unlimited wheel sizes.
Street Prepared builds on the Stock and Street Touring rules and allows further modifications, again mostly bolt ons. Fender flares, any wheel size, torque arms, panhard bars, and LSD's are all allowed. You may not overbore the motor past .0472 inch, use an alternate cam or aftermarket turbocharger. They run on DOT R tires such as the Hoosier A6.
Prepared cars are usually SCCA road racing machines. They have weight, carburator and wheel size restrictions, require roll bars and are generally not street legal, (consult the rulebook for more info). They also run on full racing slicks. Unfortunately, otherwise Street class cars with aftermarket cams or gutted interiors must run here to be legal.
Modified class cars are usually purpose built racing machines. Cars with alternate motors, turbochargers, big wings, open wheel formula cars and college FSAE cars fall into this category. They also run on full racing slicks.
To help attract significant others, we have a Ladies class for each of the open classes. These are completely optional, ladies are free to run in the open classes. Depending on the number of Ladies entries at the event, the Ladies Classes may be scored in a Combined class using an index for computing the results. If enough entries exist, they will run as a separate class. This way the Ladies Class drivers will be more likely to have some competition at events. Drivers should notify registration (Ladies do indeed have the option to run in the open classes), if they plan on running in the Ladies Class. You also need to display an L after the class on both sides of the car for example B-Street Ladies would be BSL.
2001 was the last year we ran a Novice Class. The original idea was to give new competitors on street tires a place to run where they didn't have to go against the DOT R cars in the open classes. Since we now have the Street category we feel there's no call for it.
The instructors have removed themselves from normal class competition so that they can help others improve their skills. They are available to help you at the event, whether it is for recommendations on tire pressures, how to read the course or in-car instruction. The instructors are some of the best drivers in the country and you can learn a lot from just watching how they drive. They are run as a group with a "P" for their class letter. The instructors are available to ride along with you for instructional purposes; they may also take you out in their cars. Participation in this indexed class is voluntary and is subject to the approval of the Solo Chairman. The instructors are eligible for all year-end awards and will be eligible for the event FTD Award. The instructors will lend their years of experience and knowledge to help make your experience in Solo more rewarding.
Each class has an index factor attached to it; this index is used to equalize the competition between different types of cars. The PAX (Pro Autocross) and RTP (Racer's Theoretical Performance) index's have now been combined. Some classes such as Pro use their indexed times to figure out class results. The index's are maintained by Rick Ruth, a longtime SCCA member from St Louis, not the SCCA itself. Each cars index is very course, weather and surface dependent but over the course of a year, it should equal out.
To calculate your index time you multiply your raw time by your cars class index. For instance if you had a time of 50 seconds and your car is in D-Street with an index of 0.800 you would multiply 50 x 0.800 = 40 seconds, this would be your indexed time. You can also compare this indexed time to cars in other classes to see who is faster. An AS Corvette can have a faster raw time but lose to a DS Integra Type R on index. For instance, if the AS car ran a raw time of 48.5 on the same course as above, with an index of 0.830 he would have an indexed time of 40.255, so in this case the slower raw time would be the faster car on the index.
Jeff Slater has come up with a couple of helpful worksheets to help you class your car. They can be found on the Car Classing page.
Now that you've decided on your class/category we need to write it down on your tech card. We also need to display it on your car so the corner workers and timing & scoring can see it, in bad light, from a distance, while you're moving at 60 mph. The rule book states that all cars must have numbers and class letters on both sides, and that numbers be a minimum 8 inches high and use a 1.25 inch wide stroke. The class letters will be smaller, usually 4 inches high. They shall be of a contrasting color on body panels, not on windows (Hint: red & black don't contrast). You may use magnetic material, tape, or a large white paper label with thick black marker on it as long as the above rules apply. Note that shoe polish on your windows will NOT be allowed. Examples of what should and should not be on your car are found below.
Put your assigned car number and then the class letters after it, such as…
AS = A Street. Street tires rated at 140 tw or greater required.
ASR = A Street R. DOT R tires allowed.
ASL = A Street Ladies.
AP = A Prepared. Racing slick tires allowed.
STU = Street Touring Ultra. Street tires rated at 140 or greater required.
CM = C Modified. Racing slicks allowed.
So, a typical scenario for a new person showing up with their unmodified, street tired H-Street Honda Civic starts with an HS on their car. If they start using DOT R series tires like a Hoosier A6 then they would use HSR instead. If they have done car modifications they'd be in STC, FSP, SM or DM.
Magnetic Numbers, letters, and other autocrossing accessories are available from the following:
K&M Magnetics, for a catalog call: (630) 894-3174
Pegasus Auto Racing, for a free catalog call: (800) 688-6946
SPS SoloTime, for a free catalog call: (316) 683-3803
After registration, it's off to Tech Inspection which can be found near the grid area. The Tech folks try to make sure your car is autocross worthy. They'll check your wheel bearings, brakes/fluid, battery security, etc. It's a basic safety check, we don't have time to tear each car apart. Please bring your helmet with you as they'll make sure your helmet meets the minimum rating. Please have your numbers displayed on the car as they'll check to see if you're car number/class is legible. They'll also check for loose items in the car that might become projectiles (such as floor mats, paper, clothing, soda cans, etc) while out on course so clean it out the night before and make sure these objects are out of your your car prior to going to tech inspection. If Tech declares a car unsafe, it will not be able to run and the driver's entry fee will be refunded.
Tech may also check to see if you meet our sound limits which are 100db @ 50 fee. For reasonable first offenses, you will be asked to fix sound issue for the next event. An unreasonably loud vehicle will not be able to participate until the sound level is reduced. Not only does this help with site retention it's safer for grid and corner workers hearing.
Tech will put a sticker on your car and your helmet. It is the driver's responsibility to make sure they have their car ready. If you do not have both a helmet and car sticker, you cannot run, they will be checking for them at the starting line. If you do not bring your helmet or you do not have numbers on your car when you go to tech you will be forced out of line and have to wait in line again when the car is ready. Check to see if you're eligible for an annual tech inspection.
Everyone has to have a worker assignment. If you do not work you will be DNF'ed for the day. There are a variety of assignments to choose from such as corner working, grid, and timing and scoring. For those who like to arrive early, we can usually use help with set-up, registration and tech. At the end of the day we need help stacking cones and loading up the bus. If you don't work one of these special assignments you are required to work in the heats that you do not run. If you drive in Heats 1 and 3, then you work in Heat 2 and 4. If there are enough participants at the event, (150+) we will only have to work in one Heat. If there are any changes, we will make announcements on the P.A. or at the drivers meeting. The P.A. is transmitted on FM radio at 88.5 so you can listen to the times in your car. Be sure to pay attention to your driving when exiting the course and returning to the grid after your run. Although there are no DNF cones, the marked cones after the finish do count if you knock them over. Safety first! Red umbrellas, cell phones, sandals and flip flops are not allowed while working the course. We recommend wearing tennis shoes. Also, wear comfortable clothing, be prepared for any kind of weather and bring water to drink.
After Tech it's time to put your car in one of the two Grids. Heat 1 and 3 cars will go into one and heat 2 and 4 cars in the other. The first couple of grid spaces are for two driver cars, these are marked by green cones. The grid spots are no longer numbered, however we want you to line up with the other cars in your class. Changing grid spots to get a competitive advantage (weather, etc.) will be deemed as unsportsmanlike behavior. Disqualification of that heats runs may happen at the Chairman's discretion.
The course is setup each morning and is different from event to event. There may or may not be a course map available. It is very important that you memorize the course so you know where you're going. Walk the course at least three times. In Solo this is one of the most important parts of your day. Develop your plan of attack and then adjust it after your first run. Look for the laydown or pointer cones that mark the insides of the turns, we'll be turning around them. For more course info go here. While it may look like a miniature road course most Stock class cars will never go over 65 mph and we rarely use 3rd gear (put it in 2nd at the start and then leave it there!). We also have a instructor course walk at approx 9 am so you can have someone experienced to walk along with and ask questions.
It helps to know what's around the corner before you get there
The course will be closed for walking at 9:10. We will then start the drivers meeting by 9:30. At the drivers meeting, we will discuss the rules of the day along with any other SCCA Solo Information. These are standard rules: no alcohol or illegal drugs are allowed, drivers are responsible for their guests. No tire warm-ups or brake tests allowed on or around the premises including any of the city roads or area parking lots. Lot's big enough for Solo are hard to find so please don't do anything that will get us kicked out or you'll have 150 angry Autocrossers at your doorstep the next Sunday. We will get the cars started as soon as the drivers' meeting is over (hopefully by 10am). If you are working in the first heat, please come to the drivers meeting ready to go to your work assignment when it is over. If you are driving in the first heat, please put your car in grid before the drivers meeting starts.
We will try for six timed runs whenever possible, (three in the morning and three in the afternoon). After the official timed runs we may have time for Instructional Runs. These are extra timed runs that don't count towards trophies for $1 each (sorry no re-runs for missed times). We have a short meeting to split the group in two. One-group goes to work the course, (no penalty calls necessary) the others form a continuous line as you leave grid. As you come around stay in line unless you are making changes to your car or changing drivers. The grid is not used for Intructional Runs. We then switch around for an equal number of runs for the second group. If you run first, please man the course as soon as possible so the second group of drivers can start their runs in.
The SCCA Solo Rule Book states that awards will be awarded to the highest placed drivers in each class on the following basis unless otherwise provided by supplementary regulations.
One award for one to three entrants; two awards for four to six entrants in a class; three awards for seven to nine entrants in a class; one additional award for every four additional entrants. You or a designee must be present to receive your trophy, or alternately, if you must leave early, ask the event organizer for your trophy before you leave. If you are not present, you will be awarded a Chit, by default. A Chit is a coupon for $5 off your next event. If you are not present to collect your Chit or trophy, YOU must seek out the event organizer at a subsequent event to get your prize. The event chairman will NOT try to find you to give you your Chit/trophy. This requires more time than the event organizers have to give, and it is unfair to expect them to do such.
Event points are calculated as followed:
(Fastest class time) divided by (your time) x 100 = (your event points).
If the class winner ran a 50 second time, 2nd place ran a 51 and 3rd ran a 55 we'd have...
50 / 50 x 100 = 100 pts for 1st place.
50 / 51 x 100 = 98 pts for 2nd place.
50 / 55 x 100 = 91 pts for 3rd place.
To be eligible for year-end awards you have to be an annual Milwaukee Region SCCA member before the last event. If you already have another home region you can become a dual member to get Milwaukee Region awards. Your best five out of eight events count towards the season class awards. You need a minimum of 3 events to qualify and can only win one class per year. The fastest driver of the year (top overall PAX/RTP) receives free entry into all events the following year. To sign up for the Rookie of the Year award you need to email the Solo Committee chairperson to let them know you're eligible. Rookies can not have run more than 2 events the prior year. At the end of the season, we have an awards banquet where we give out the year-end awards.
In addition to the driving awards, we have the following traveling trophies. The Dean Rhode Award goes to the person who made the most significant contribution to the Solo program for that year. The Earl Krause Hard Charger Award is awarded to the driver best exemplifying competitive spirit and dedication to the sport. There is also a traveling trophy that goes to the fastest driver of the year. Previous award winners can be seen here.
Membership options include Regular, Spouse, Family and the First Gear program designed to help those age 24 and under. Applications with current prices are available on the website and at all the Solo events, or call the Milwaukee Region Membership Chairman.
There are many benefits to joining the Milwaukee RegionSCCA. You'll receive the SCCA magazine "Sportscar" (a $24 value), get discounts from a variety of retailers, receive the Milwaukee Region newsletter "The Drift", and get higher insurance coverage when participating. Also, if you pre-register and come to 3 Solo events, the discount entry fee savings will pay for your membership.
If you are an SCCA member in another region you can apply for dual region membership for $20 a year, that will make you eligible for the year end awards.
Please remember that we are a not-for-profit club. We're here to have fun and we only charge enough to cover the lot rental, insurance and have enough left over to buy supplies for next year. We really appreciate it when people go the extra mile to help out before or after the events.
Kate Hughes Solo Handbook also has a lot of good info for new autocrossers.
For more information contact the Solo Chairman