Rallycross FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions – Rallycross

I’m new, how do I get started?

Show up on at any rallycross event with a car and preferably a helmet (Snell 2005-2010 both M and SA helmets are valid in 2015, or you can rent one).  Bring cash for entry fee (exact cash is better but not mandatory), or sign up in our Shop.  Register at the event, and attend the drivers meeting.  You don’t need to purchase a yearly membership (although you can, either onsite or through our Shop), but you will need to purchase a daily membership in order to run.  There are drivers who will let you ride along with them (just ask around) and some who will ride with you. Do bring something to eat and drink – sometimes we’ll have people onsite to sell food/beverages, and sometimes not.  You won’t often have time to run into town for food.  If you are not running you are expected to marshal for the other drivers as they did for you.

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How is the day structured?

Registration usually starts between 9-9:30 am, and stays open until 10:30.  Drivers meeting starts at 10:30, and the first car out on track is at 11:00 am.  Depending on weather, track conditions, and number of cars, we usually end with awards somewhere between 3:30-4:00, and request that everyone stay to help collect cones.  You can expect to be heading out around 4:30, although it is sometimes a bit earlier (or later… there is no “get out before XYZ” time).

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What do I do when I’m not racing? 

Each participant is asked to go into the field and marshal for the other competitors (as they did for you). This means watching cars knock over cones, watching cars going “off course” and relaying that info back to Timing and Scoring.  Marshaling is really important to all motorsports, and this is a great time to learn the basics.  It’s the best seat in the house, when it comes to watching racing, and getting to call out your buddies for destroying cones is always a plus.  If you’re not required to marshal, this is a good time to use the restroom, have a bite to eat, attempt to clear the mud and dust off your windshield.

How many runs do I get?

Number of runs depends on a variety of factors, including car count, weather, track conditions, etc.  We aim for at least 6, but have had some events where we get 8 in.

How many drivers can use the same car?

We’ve seen three. Although there is no actual limit, it does weigh on the drivers to be co-ordinated enough to not miss their runs. Seems simple enough and if you are on the ball…. it is.  We recommend that each driver does both runs in a run group before you switch drivers, and if you only have two drivers, one should run with 2 wheel drive, and one should run with 4 wheel drive.  Be sure to have your numbers clearly labelled, so it’s easy for Timing and Scoring to know which number belongs to which driver.

Can I bring my girlfriend/boyfriend/grandmother along for the ride?

Yes!  There may be one passenger per vehicle.  They must have an approved helmet.  Children must be 12 years old, at minimum 4’9″ tall, and weigh 36 kilograms (or 80 lbs).  All kids must have a waiver signed by a parent/guardian.

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How old do you have to be?

You need to be at least 16, with a GDL license (no Learners permits), with a parent or guardian’s signature.  Everyone over 18 needs a GDL license… no permissions required (unless you’re borrowing the car).

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What kind of safety equipment do I need?

You are required to have a helmet bearing “Snell Memorial Foundation” M2000 or SA2000 (or more recent) label. Helmets must be in good visible condition, with no visible defects or damage.  The other acceptable helmets are listed under 11.1.6 in the CARS rule book.  You are welcome to rent a helmet from the club, just ask during your registration in the morning.  Sizes are limited, so they are on a first-come, first-serve basis.  Note: It is the users responsibility to ensure that their helmet fits them properly.  Helmets are to be worn by drivers, co-drivers, and passengers, every time they are in the car.

All cars must have 3-point seat belts in good working condition.

What kind of modifications do I need to make to my car?

None!  The only thing you might want to consider is a winter tire with an open, aggressive tread.  If you want to throw a bit more money at your car, trying to find a gently used rally tire (or new ones, if you have ALL THE MONEY!) would be worth your time.

What kind of shape does my car have to be in?

It must be able to pass a basic safety inspection (no flapping or missing bodywork.  Decent tires, brakes, steering, seatbelts and seats.  Strapped down battery, etc.).  You can find all the actual specifications in the CARS rulebook, under the Rallycross section.

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What are the classes?

There are 6 classes. 2 wheel drive and 4 wheel drive each for Novice, Expert and Pro classes. Most people start out in the Novice classes, and when you get good enough to finish in the top 3 of the class’ annual championship, you get “graduated” to the Expert class. Experts who feel they’re REALLY GOOD can elect at any time to try and compete in the Pro classes.  If you are just oozing in talent, the organizers might bump you up a class to keep all the classes competitive.

How close do the cars get to each other on track?

They don’t. This is single lane, single car racing. There may be as many as four cars on the track but they are spaced far enough apart they should never meet. If you catch up to another car, you will slow down, follow the car around the track, and request a re-run.  There is no passing, under any circumstances.  If a car breaks down and halts the entire field, all cars on field (except the broken one!) get a re-run.  Rallycross is a time event, racing against the clock, and is never door-to-door racing.

Does my car need to be registered and insured?

No.  You are welcome to bring your car on a trailer.  If your vehicle is registered, we do need to see your registration in order to determine that the vehicle belongs to you.  If you are borrowing a vehicle, you need to either have the owner be present to confirm that you have permission, or they must send in a signed note saying that you have permission to drive their vehicle at the event.  We do not allow rental cars to compete.

I have questions about insurance…

When you race with the ERC, you will sign a form.  That form means your regular insurance no longer applies and cannot be used.  You are insured for the purposes of fixing the fence you drove through.  That’s about it.  If you break your car, it is broken.  So please drive within your ability, to help you preserve your vehicle.  If you have any questions about our event insurance, please feel free to ask the people at registration, after the drivers meeting, or your Timing and Scoring crew.

What am I allowed to race?

CARS (our sanctioning body) is currently working on the vehicle rules for rallycross.  Currently, the standard is that your vehicle must be based on a production closed-body vehicle, should be street license-able and road worthy.  Tube or box frame vehicles are explicitly forbidden.  CARS is considering adding in a rule that states “The vehicle must be based on a vehicle model that is recognized by Transport Canada as a Passenger Car or Light Truck. All vehicles must be based on production passenger cars or light trucks that are of monococue or unibody construction.”

If you have questions about what you’re allowed to race (as we’ve made a few exceptions in the past), please feel free to contact us with the vehicle you’d like to bring out and your racing experience, and the governing board will get back to you.

We do retain the right to refuse entries if a vehicle has been deemed unsafe, but this isn’t something that has been seen all that often.