Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Autocross (also known as motorkhana in Australia and New Zealand, Solo2 by the Sports Car Club of America) is a popular form of motorsports competition. Rather than racing wheel-to-wheel, as in road racing, drag racing, or oval racing, an autocross is a timed handling competition similar to rally racing, although on smaller facilities. The Sports Car Club of America and National Autosports Association sponsor autocross events throughout the United States, and similar events can be found worldwide.
Autocrosses are usually held on parking lots or similar large paved areas (such as airfields) with the temporary course marked by traffic cones. Typically, new courses are created for each event so drivers must learn a new course each time they compete. Prior to driving the course, a competitor will walk the course, taking mental notes, and develop a strategy that will be refined on each subsequent attempt at driving it. Speeds generally are slower in absolute terms when compared to other forms of motorsport, rarely exceeding highway speeds, but the activity level (in driver inputs per second) can actually be higher than even Formula One due to the large number elements packed into such small courses.
Autocrosses typically have many classes which allow almost any vehicle prepared to almost any prep level to have a realistic expectation of doing well, subject to driver skill and experience level. Autocrossing is a good way to get started in sports car road racing, as witnessed by the many SCCA national racing champions who started their careers in autocrossing, as well as being a top-level sport in its own right.
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