Wa region autocross - your invited!

Green Viper

Sep 30, 2004
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Washington State
Hello friends South of the Washington border, thought I would take this opportunity to pass along an update on what appears to be the most popular event on the Washington region's calendar.
Details below:

WA VCA is proud to announce our first ever Auto-Cross series!

We have four events planned for Saturdays from May through August, and are pleased to invite you to join us in having some fun. These events are focused on learning more about your car, and having fun! We want you to bring your car out to a controlled environment, really learn how to drive it, and learn what it can do, in a safety-oriented, family-friendly way.

What is it?
Auto-Cross is a relatively slow-speed test of maneuvering through a course of tightly placed rubber cones, on a flat, open track surface. There is a start, a finish, and a whole lot of twists and turns in between. The idea is to see how quickly you can get through the course, without knocking over any cones. If you do knock over a cone, don't worry! You get a couple of penalty seconds added to your time, but no big deal – it's bound to happen to everyone, sooner or later. That's why they're made of soft, pliable PVC rubber. You can take multiple runs, and gauge your personal improvement by the time and penalty points you accumulate on your runs. It's a real blast for novices and experts alike.

The best part is, the track is on a closed airport runway that we've rented for the day, so there's no other traffic to contend with, no speed limit (on the track), and if (when) you run over a rubber cone, you're not very likely to hurt your car, yourself, or anyone else. You'll be hard pressed to exceed normal freeway speed, so this is nothing like NASCAR or other high-speed driving events.

Lunch is provided, so plan on coming out for the whole day.

Spectators are not allowed, so everyone who attends must be a registered participant, sign a waiver, and help in some way. Registered “Drivers” will be expected to help as course workers (flaggers, timers, registrars, etc), and Non-Drivers can assist with lunch and beverages (or course work!). We have intentionally not hired paid course workers to keep the total cost as low as possible. More affordable means more fun, more often!

When is it?
Saturday, May 22 9:00am - 5:00pm Tech Inspection opens at 8:00am*
Saturday, June 5 9:00am - 5:00pm Tech Inspection opens at 8:00am*
Saturday, July 10 9:00am - 5:00pm Tech Inspection opens at 8:00am*
Saturday, August 7 9:00am - 5:00pm Tech Inspection opens at 8:00am*

* - Drivers and course workers, please plan on arriving by 7:00am to help setup the course and registration area, attend a safety meeting, review flagging rules, etc.

Who can come?
These events are open to Viper Club of America (VCA) Members only, because of insurance regulations. This includes regular members, Venom members, and co-members (e.g. spouses).

If you are a former member of the VCA, you must renew your membership prior-to the event date.

If you are not eligible for VCA membership, for example, because you don't own a Viper, don't worry - you can get an Associate Membership which will allow you to participate. Associate Membership is a limited form of membership directly with the Washington Region of the VCA, and gains you access to events we sponsor. It is intended for people who are not eligible for regular membership, and as such, does not confer many of the benefits of full membership (but at a much reduced price, too!). For full details, contact any officer of the Washington VCA. To obtain an Associate Membership, contact any current VCA Washington member, and ask them to sponsor you. For $50 / year (plus individual event fees), you get to join us in all of our events, and be covered by our liability insurance for the event.

Washington VCA is extending a special invitation to our VCA club members in Oregon, Idaho, and Western Canada as well.

Where is it?
Sanderson Field, Port of Shelton, Shelton Washington. Located about 1-1/4 - 1-1/2 hours drive south of Seattle, Shelton is a small town in a beautiful part of Washington.

What does it cost?
$50 is the entry fee for a single car and Driver, for each event. Each additional Driver associated with that car can enter for $25 additional (per event), up to 4 total drivers per car. Participants that will not be driving can attend at no charge, however, they must still help with the event. Due to the significant expense to put on an event like this, refunds will not be offered. Once a Driver is registered on any car, they can drive additional cars for no additional fee (subject to personal arrangements with their owners, of course!).

Each car must be separately registered. Participation is limited to the first 30 cars registered.

Those members who donated to the auto-cross fund raiser get free entry (one car plus two drivers) for their first event. You know who you are, and so do we! This is one way we would like to THANK-YOU for helping to make this all happen!

How do I sign up?
If you are already a VCA member (any VCA club), please fill in the registration form, sign it, and send it with your entry fee to the registration address. Please make checks payable to "WAVCA".

If you are a former VCA member, or otherwise eligible for VCA membership (e.g. own a Viper), please send in your new or renewal membership form to national VCA headquarters, and then send a copy of it with your completed registration form and entry fees to the address below. By sending us a copy of your renewal, it will get the information to us much faster, and help ensure that we can get you into the event. Don't delay! You won't want to miss this!

If you don't own a Viper, please contact any Washington VCA member, and request Associate Membership. Then send in your completed registration information and entry fee to the address below. You can do this in one step, if you prefer, by sending your membership request, event registration, and membership and entry fees, to the registration address. WA VCA reserves the right to refuse Associate Membership to anyone for any reason. Once you are approved, your event registration will be processed.

Registration for the event will be available on-site, the day of each event. So, if you completely forget about this until the day before, please come on out anyway!

Where do I send the registration?
Please contact me for the registration form and address to submit it to. You will need to print out the form, fill it in, and sign it, and return it with your entry fee.

What are the rules?
Detailed rules will be sent out to each registrant. Basically, any car is allowed, as long as it is street legal, currently registered, and can pass tech inspection. Drivers must have a valid drivers license issued by their local licensing authority, and must be at least 18 years old. Sorry, we cannot accept drivers under 18.

Helmets are required. They must have a rating of Snell M2000, M2005, SA2000, or SA2005, or equivalent.

Only registered Drivers are allowed in cars on the course, either as drivers or passengers. Registered Non-Drivers can be course workers.

Alcohol and drugs are not allowed. Anyone appearing to be intoxicated will be asked to leave.

What about insurance?
Washington VCA is providing liability insurance for the events through our insurance provider, K&K. However, this is not collision or damage coverage, so you are on your own for that. Most standard insurance policies will consider Auto-Cross to be a form of racing, so will not extend any coverage to the event. However, policies do vary, so the best advice is to check your policy, or contact your carrier.

Are there different categories of cars or drivers?
We will have categories ("classes") setup for Stock Viper, Modified Viper, Open Viper, and Open Non-Viper. This is intentionally far simpler than standard SCCA Solo classifications, as we want the focus to be on learning and fun, rather than competition. That said, there will be awards for the Viper classes, to commemorate the best performances. Sorry, no awards are planned for Non-Viper, as we really don't know yet how to gauge participation levels in this class. If participation is high, we'll adjust.

Also, there are no separate classifications for drivers, such as Novice or Ladies. Again, the reason is to keep it simple. We want you to focus mostly on having a good time, and improving your own performance, at whatever level you're at, without worrying about what other people are doing.

So, why have categories at all? Well, that's a concession to the competitive nature of the more advanced drivers, to level the playing field for comparison purposes. We want the event to be fun for novices and experts alike.

Is it totally safe?
No. Like any Auto-Cross event, it is technically considered racing by most, because the runs are timed, and competitive awards are given. And like any driving event, there is always some risk, and you will be required to sign a waiver. But because the speeds are similar to everyday driving speeds, the course is controlled access (and closed to the public), you are not running with other cars, and the track is intended to be clear of any obstacle except cones, the risk is much lower than with traditional high-speed driving.

What if the weather is bad that day?
Washington is well known for unpredictable weather, and many people are rightly concerned about running high-speed track events in the rain, for valid safety reasons. However, given the nature of these events, and the safety precautions in place, there is no reason to call it off for common weather conditions such as rain. In fact, having a wet track would prove to be an extremely valuable learning experience for many drivers - how to corner and brake hard in the wet, and how to accelerate without excess wheel spin. Plan on coming, rain or shine.

I hope to see all of you out there this summer!

1999 Viper GTS, Solid Black, Connelly Leather
2006 RAM 3500 Laramie Cummins, Pearl Black
2002 Jeep Cherokee Overland, Pearl Red


Aug 24, 2007
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Sammamish, WA

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