Autocross Inpection and Tips
version one: May 19, 1998
version two: May 25, 2007
Tech Inspection is the responsibility of the driver. The objective
is to inspect your car, insuring it is in safe operating condition. Regular inspection
is good practice for all your cars, for driving on the street or for autocrossing.
It is the safe thing to do.
Much of this list copied from the Deanza Autocross Technical Inspection Form. SCCA and open track events are more strict when it comes to safety rules.
- Each car must be equipped with an adequate seat belt for the driver.
- The seat belt must be anchored securely to the frame or, on frameless
cars, with large diameter washers on both sides of the floor mounting holes.
- Seat belt mounting swivels must have eye bolts welded dosed. Seat
belt and shoulder harness clasps must be positively fastened.
- A double competition style shoulder harness restraining both shoulders
may not be used in open cars with or without a soft top unless they are equipped
with an approved roll bar.
Steering and Front Suspension:
- The steering and front suspension must not have excessive looseness
and shall be checked with the front end off the ground.
- All pre 1959 Porsches must be updated to 1959 or later front spindles.
- The brakes must be tested for pedal fade while the car is stationary.
- The brakes must be tested for their ability to bring a moving car to a stop in a straight line.
- Brake test will be conducted with HANDS ON THE WHEEL.
- Flush brakes at least once a year. Check fluid level.
- Check brake pads for wear, watch for uneven wear.
- No car shall be permitted on course with fluid leaking.
- This check will be made with the engine running.
- Tires must not be underinflated.
- The tread area must not be worn through to the cord.
- All wheels shall be on tight and have no visible cracks.
- Wire wheels shall have no missing or loose spokes.
- Wheels centers will be checked for enlarged lug holes, and loose
or missing lug nuts.
- Wheel spacers must encompass the studs, be one continuous plate,
and be no smaller than the diameter of the hub.
- Hub caps and other snap-on wheel trim shall be removed.
- Lug nuts must be the right type for the wheel design. Lug nuts
with locks are prohibited except solid lug nuts such as McGard or Puzzle lock brands
which require special sockets for attachment and can be properly torqued. If closed-end
lug nuts are used, technical inspection shall require the driver to remove one lug
nut from a front wheel and one from a rear wheel to check thread engagement. Lug
nuts and studs shall be in safe condition with no thread damage. There must be either
a minimum of 3/8 inch stud length threaded into each lug nut, or the engaged thread
length must be equivalent to at least one stud diameter, whichever is greater.
- Loose objects inside the passenger compartment MUST be removed.
- In all closed cars and cars with hardtops, it is recommended that
the drivers window be closed or covered with safety mesh or some suitable material
so that the drivers hand will not be able to pass through this opening. The driver's
hands and arms must remain inside the car during the competition.
- If the driver's hands or arms are observed outside the passenger
compartment of the car during competition, the car should be red flagged and the
run considered a DNF.
- Sunroofs must be closed. Removable roof panels are not considered
- Each contestant MUST WEAR A HELMET meeting current standards. WARNING: Some helmets' strength deteriorates with repainting.
- ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES ARE PROHIBITED
- Roll bars are strongly recommended in all automobiles. Roll bars
are required in all purpose built competition cars and any other open cockpit car
using racing (non-DOT approved) tires.
- All fiat 850 Spyders must have a roll bar.
- Immediately prior to a contestants run, his/her seat belt shall
be checked to see that it is securely fastened.
- Tonneau covers may be used ONLY if the car is equipped with a
roll bar and shoulder harness and if the shoulder harness is worn by the driver.
- Owners will remove hub caps and other snap-on wheel trim.
- Closed exhaust (Mufflers) are required.
- No reversed wheel CENTERS on VWs.
- No copper fuel lines are allowed.
- No vans, and no two or three wheeled vehicles.
- Wheel centers on British cars will be checked carefully.
- Metallic lined brakes may pull slightly when cold.
- SU carburetors will be carefully checked for leaks.
- Check battery attachment. Require a mechanical hold down from
- Check suspension, including front wheel bearing play, any wear
in joints or attachments. Swing axles need to have negative camber and either camber
compensators or retaining straps.
- Check the return spring on the throttle, make sure the throttle
returns easily from the full position.
- A fire extinguisher in easy reach of the driver is recommended.
- Obey all flags and instructions immediately. Watch the flag man!
Red means stop immediately.
- Sign release
- Check oil level, coolant level.
- Fill gas tank, or at least half full. (Sloshing gas, breaking fuel pumps, or starvation result.)
- Check alignment, add toe out or favorite setting
- Check tire pressure for optimum setup. (chalk or infra red thermometer.
- Adjust shocks
- Point mirror up and away so you are not tempted to check for bounced
- Plug in favorite music
- Good links:
- Physics of Racing (http://www.miata.net/sport/Physics/) by Brian Beckman
- Water, stay hydrated
- Eye protection
- Long sleeved cotton and long cotton pants (minimal fire protection)
- Point mirrors away or up. (avoid distraction of seeing hit cones).
- Spin once. (find your limit)
- Look far ahead.
- Walk looking only forward.
- Walk in position, left side of car distance from cones.
- Ignore the horn, wipers and lights.
Comments and modifications gratefully accepted by Michael Sands or