If you’ve read enough Jalopnik or are a gearhead in general, you probably already know about autocross. If for some reason you’ve been living under a rock, here’s part 1 of my 3 part primer.

Once you’ve smashed a few cones and maybe even beat a few people at your local events, then what? Well, why not try some SCCA National events?

Disclosure: I did SCCA autocross for 15 years before doing my first national event a few years ago, and have no idea why I waited so long. It’s amazing, even for an average driver like myself. This article is intended to keep you from making the same mistake.

SCCA National currently offers three types of events:

  • Match Tour. This is supposed to be the easiest to access. Saturday morning is a three run session just like any normal event. Then you do it all over again Saturday afternoon. Best run from each session is added for class winners. Sunday morning is another three run session, and the top 16 from each heat go to bracketed single elimination shootouts for the champions. All on the same course. These are new, and tons of fun.
  • Champ Tour. This is similar format to the grand gaddy event of them all, SCCA National Championships. Three runs on one course one day, three runs on another course the next. Best run of each are added together for your total time.
  • Pro Solo. This is the focus of this article.

Pro Solo, in few words, is a combo of drag racing and autocross.

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Instead of one course, there’s two. And they are side by side mirrors of each other. And instead of a starter who says “go when you’re ready,” there’s a full drag racing tree. That’s right, you line up next to an opponent, watch the tree drop, and drag race the first hundred feet or so until the courses diverge. Reaction time counts.

And if that’s not enough, when you come off one course you immediately switch to the other side and run again. Then do THAT two more times for two runs on each course. But wait, there’s more. That’s just Saturday morning. You repeat the whole 4 run process two more times over the weekend. And if you’re fast enough, the top people get to head to bracketed shootouts on Sunday afternoon on top of all that. So if regular autocross is a shot of espresso, a Pro is a double shot of bourbon with a line of coke on the side. And about as addictive.

Despite the name, Pro Solo does not imply “professional.” Any SCCA member can enter. A friend entered one as his third autocross ever and had a blast.

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Yours truly at a Pro Solo last year:

Whether you have been beating up on n00bs locally for years, or just curious to see what the top drivers in the country drive like, I can’t recommend enough trying out a national event.

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My full writeup after my first Pro Solo is here.

Information on SCCA National Events can be found here.