How To Get Into Rally

You’ve been watching World Rally Championship events on TV and just got back from spectating and volunteering at the closest American Rally Association stage rally. The sound of screaming engines is still ringing in your ears and images of Solberg, Seahorn and Albert doing spectacular jumps and perfectly drifting their cars around the corners are still in your head. The mud from their roost still stains your clothes and the adrenaline is still coursing through your veins. You desire to get out there behind the wheel, but you just can’t afford it, or can you?

Getting out on stage is an expensive endeavor. But you can get a similar thrill for a fraction of the cost with RallyCross! No, not ARX or FIA Rallycross with Tanner Foust, Chris Atkinson and Scott Speed, but rather SCCA RallyCross! This grassroots rally-style competition is designed to be fun and extremely affordable.

“What is this SCCA RallyCross?” you may ask.  It’s a bunch of rally fans getting together, generally on a dirt or gravel lot, competing with their cars rally style! The track is delineated by traffic cones with no obstacles on or near the track. The speeds are kept low enough to reduce risk, but fast enough to create a challenge for cars and drivers.  This makes it extremely safe, affordable and a ton of fun!

The best part is that the barrier to entry is very low. Your car just needs to be road-worthy and safe and you’ll need an approved helmet. No need to go out and buy a special car just for this; you can most likely use the car you drive every day. There are a few things you should check before registering for your first event. The brakes must be fully-functional with sufficient pad life remaining. Your wheel bearings need to be in good shape with no play when the wheel is shook. The throttle must return to the fully closed position freely. Finally, your battery needs to be secured with the positive terminal covered. 

The entry fee for one day usually costs around $50-$75 and will require an SCCA Membership. If you’re not an SCCA member, don’t worry; you can purchase a $15 weekend membership for the event. Once you’re hooked, that weekend membership fee can be applied to your first year of SCCA membership. Membership also comes with perks. From travel discounts to 15% off a DirtFish Rally School, the benefits can more than pay for the membership.

To find upcoming events near you, visit SCCA.com/fun. To see the complete SCCA RallyCross rules, including safety regulations and class breakdowns, click here. To purchase an SCCA Membership and learn about the benefits that come with membership, check www.scca.com/membership.

Once you’ve signed up for an event, make sure to check the previous article on prepping your car for RallyCross events here.

 

Words by Geoff Thomas

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