CASC-OR Autoslalom Division

/ Tag: Autoslalom

What Is Autoslalom?

Autoslalom is a low-cost "grassroots" motorsport discipline that allows almost anyone to enjoy the thrill of automotive competition in a safe, controlled, and legal environment.

An Autoslalom event consists of competitors driving through a 'race course' laid out using pylons on a large parking lot or other paved surface. Because the vehicles race independently of each other, at no time can there be contact with another competitor, thus reducing the risks considerably, and allowing the drivers to concentrate on threshhold braking and precision cornering. Each run is electronically timed, and the fastest driver in each class is the winner.

Almost any driver can participate in almost any car, no matter how old, the make, the model, or the modifications that have been done to the vehicle.  As long as the car meets certain safety standards, Autoslalom has a class for your car.

Events usually start in the morning with registration and course walk through, then the event. If time permitting at the end of the day, 'fun runs' may be available to practice and hone your skills without the competition.

Understanding Autoslalom

There are eighteen different classes that group vehicles based on drivetrains (engine size, front wheel drive, rear-wheel drive, all-wheel drive, etc.) and the level of modifications, if any, made to the car.

The specifics of each of these classes are spelled out in the Rules and Regulations, but the intention is to ensure that each vehicle will be competitive within its class.

Whether you have a fully tricked-out Camaro or a completely stock Honda Civic, there is an Autoslalom class for you.

No special vehicle preparation is required to compete. The only stipulation is that your vehicle must be roadworthy (although not necessarily licensed) and safe to drive. It must have working seatbelts, and the driver must wear an approved helmet at all times while on course; 'loaner' helmets are often available at the event to encourage newcomers to compete. Additionally, some events may require the vehicle to conform to an exhaust noise limit.

Competing in Autoslalom

As noted above, almost any road-worthy car is eligible; however, before you attend your first event, it is important to understand how this motorsport discipline actually works.

You begin with a standing start, from the 'start box', and must complete the course by finishing up in the 'stop box'. As you launch, you break the beam of an electronic timer, and the clock starts ticking. Each course cone is specifically sited within a chalked box, and if you dislodge a cone you incur a time penalty. So, getting a 'clean' (no cones moved) run is the first imperative. Next is completing the course correctly. Many rookies get lost, and if you go 'off-course', your run is not scored.

As you approach the stop box you will again break the beam, and the clock will stop, but there is one more challenge. The stop box has a final cone located at the end of the stop box. If you take that one out, your run is again not scored. Fast, accurate driving is the most important element of Autoslalom competition, but learning and understanding your vehicles' dynamics is also important. As expected, everything depends upon the grip of your tires, so tire choices and tire pressures are understandably the first area of concern. You will see competitors using white shoe polish to mark their tires before going out. By examining these marks afterwards they can tell how far over onto the sidewalls the tire rolled during cornering, and adjust pressures accordingly.

The Series

The Ontario Regional Championship Series generally consists of several events, across Ontario, that run between May and October. Sponsors (generally automotive-related) allow the organizers to provide prizes and contingency awards at both specific events, and as part of the over-all Championship.

Getting Involved

If you want to learn more about your car's handling, improve your driving skills, or get involved in competitive motorsport, then Autoslalom is a great place to start. You don't need to make a big commitment of money or time, just come out and join the fun.