Guidelines of Etiquette for Autocrossers (Or, Emily Post in a Porsche)

Posted on July 6th, 2012

Originally found on the San Francisco Region SCCA website.

Autocross Do’s:

Do your work assignment.
When you participate in an autocross, you are expected to be at your work post on time, and to perform your duties in full. Half-hearted efforts don’t cut it. In fact, why not plan on volunteering for a major job at least once a year? Ask an organizer what jobs they need help with.

Show up on time.
Give yourself plenty of time to prepare your car, register, tech, and grid. No one likes it when latecomers rush up to the table and expect everyone to drop everything to help them. Being on time to the starting line is equally important; stay with your car while in the grid and be ready to go when the starter says GO!

Be nice to newcomers.
Offer advice or assistance. Lend one your pressure gauge. Make them feel welcome. Talk to them regardless of what they drive. A sociable attitude around novice drivers (no matter how good they think they are) goes a long way to better the sport and your future competition.

Share your tools.
Helping your fellow competitor in the spirit of good sportsmanship will give you a warm fuzzy feeling inside. Why not take it a step further: lend your car to someone whose ride has broken down!

Respect others’ pit locations.
Stuff lying around in a parking space generally means someone is pitting there. Find an empty spot. Don’t use 3 spaces when 2 will do. Finally, pick up your trash when you leave.

Politely confront a suspected rules violation before filing a protest.
It’s no fun being surprised by an unexpected protest. Sometimes the offender isn’t aware that what (s)he is doing is not allowed. Sometimes, what (s)he is doing is legal – and you should be doing it too!

Be honest.
If a course worker misses one of your downed cones, own up to it.

Be a good winner/loser.

Autocross Don’t’s:

Don’t bother a driver who’s about to take a run. You may ruin his/her concentration.
A driver waiting in the grid won’t appreciate it if you run up and ask him questions just before his run. Doing so breaks a driver’s concentration, and generally results in mistakes on the course. So when you see drivers in the grid, helmet on, strapped in, don’t bother them. If you must communicate, give the thumbs up sign.

Don’t speed in the pits or site entry road.
Don’t do burnouts before the starting line, don’t do donuts in the parking lot, don’t squirrel through the grid area. Unsafe practices like these put everyone at risk. Speeding or racing to and from events puts us all at greater risk of getting a speeding ticket, too! The cops know where we hold these things, after all! We don’t need a bad reputation.

Don’t be stubborn.
Be open to suggestions and don’t think for a moment that you know everything. That kind of attitude is non-productive and usually painfully obvious.

Don’t make fun of someone else’s car.

Just because you hit a cone or two, don’t get careless and plow down ten more.
Somebody’s got to right all those, you know! It slows things down, too.

Don’t yell at officials or course workers.
They’re volunteers you know. They don’t need to take your crap. Cool down and come back when you can speak in a reasonable fashion.

Don’t cross banner lines.
You know where you are and aren’t allowed to go. That’s what that tape’s there for!

Don’t cheat. Don’t steal. Don’t drink. Don’t litter. Be honest. Be compassionate. Be smart. Pick up your trash. Common decency is not a difficult thing!

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