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Old 12-18-2013, 12:11 PM   #1
mhoerath
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Default RallyCross - What & How & Your Experience

The questions of "what about RX" and "is it expensive" and "will it damage my car" pop up in NASIOC once in awhile. Here's some basic info. Also, post up your experience, pics and event announcements.

The Basics

SCCA RallyCross (RX) is the most widespread and readily accessible form of extreme dirt motorsport. Imagine a scaled down stage rally laid out on a non-paved plot of land where the course is delineated by traffic cones instead of trees or rocks.

RX is inexpensive and safety equipment minimal. Driver’s need a drivers license, a sound hardtop vehicle with seat belts and a $30-70 entry fee. Many venues will assist the first time competitor with entering the appropriate class, making their way through technical inspection and finding their way around the course. Most venues have loaner helmets.

One car on a turny course, designed to keep speeds less than 60 mph. Course is coned away from trees, rocks, berms and obstacles. Cars cannot leave the ground. The sport is designed as an entry level activity.

The attraction is racing in a safe and legal setting. Getting sideways by counter steering into and through a turn and using throttle to modulate the turn is screaming fun.

Driver Prep

RX is designed as an entry level event, a valid driver’s license is the only requirement. Drivers are able to go as slow or as fast as desired. Generally courses are unpaved, flat surface, consisting of short straight sections and connecting turns or corners. Speeds are below 60 mph. One car is on course with no car to car racing.

Car Prep

Loose items need be removed (spare tire/jack), and street tires pumped to 40-45 psi. Mud flaps will help protect body panels from debris. All season radials and Mud & Snow tires work well on track. Some drivers use rally tires. Here's a link to a great discussion on RX suspension http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show...1668983&page=2

Car Classes
Cars are classed by FWD, RWD and AWD. And then by Stock, Prepared and Modified for a total of 9 classes. For an explanation of what car and mods are allowed in each class visit http://scca.cdn.racersites.com/prod/...es-Revised.pdf, pages 25 – 31.

Will I Damage My Car?

Probably not. The key is RX is designed as an entry level racing program and sanctioning requirements (SCCA sanctions most RX, although some RX venues are not SCCA affiliated) are written accordingly. Some drivers use painters tape, mudflaps are recommended. Lowered cars aren't a good match.

Consider the following:

• A loose surface (such as dirt/gravel) allows slip, therefore easy on drivetrain and suspension.
• Drivers go as slow or as fast desired, therefore maintain control of car according to driver skill and car prep.
• Due to one car on course at a given time no debris will hit your windshield or front of the car.
• Car can’t leave the ground (no jumps)
• Ruts are avoided by course design and if big enough courses will be altered during the event.

How Can I Find a Venue Nearby?

Google search your location/state and rallycross. Or go to http://www.scca.com/events/?sid=75


Read more at the SCCA RX website at http://www.scca.com/rallycross/content.cfm?cid=44503

Other Forms of "Rally": Stage Rally and Global Rallycross

Some have the opinion "rally" damages cars. That is 100% correct for stage rally and global rallycross due to course layout and/or wheel to wheel racing.

+ Stage Rally offers multiple race segments (stages) over closed forest service roads. Cars are started 1 min apart and are timed from beginning to end of each stage. End of the day cars with least amount of stage time win. Cars transit from one stage to the next over public roads and therefore cars need be street legal.

Forest service roads typically are narrow and not paved. Obstacles (such as trees) are within feet of the racing car. Cars need have a full roll cage, 5 point harness, Hans device, full driver suit and other safety eqt. Registration averages $800 for the day. Cars are dedicated race cars and are trailered to events.

Stage rallies are always looking for volunteers and this is a great way to see the action close-up. Check here for upcoming US events: http://www.specialstage.com/

+ Global Rallycross. 4 or more cars wheel to wheel on a turny course, example 2013 X Games used this format. Partially non-paved and paved. Cars have a full compliment of safety gear, are dedicated race cars and trailered to events.
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Last edited by mhoerath; 06-21-2014 at 09:57 AM.
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Old 12-18-2013, 05:42 PM   #2
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Default thscc rallycross

right at this moment, we dont have that rough a course. fayettvillle and wilson are great sites, wilson is mixed gravel and grass. Fayetteville is all grass nad clay.Both are fairly smooth, open and great.Tarheel Sports Car Club has had rougher patches to race in the past.But at this moment, we are doing rather good. Saying that, we always need more racers! 2wd always needs more, awd is tough too! I will be rallycrossing a 99 golf next season, many rally crossers have graduated to rally after only a season or two.Some bring their rally cars to compete too. Fred,Sebastian,Simon Wright,to name a few. Sandblast always for thscc is the opener . very little happens before then.After, we have many events, being that the competitors on sandblast are thscc members, and can not be in two places at once. i would reccomend airing up the tires a little over stock, to prevent debeads, running strong alloy wheels, valve stem caps on the tires,to keep dirt out,realllly low cars may not be ideal. Its not that rough typically anymore. But all the same ground clearence is your freind.sideways is fun, often we cant race when its raining, because the field would never recover... so that does happen, but as far as we know, we got two sites for sure, and are always looking for more. So keep your eyes peeled for more suitable sites anywhere, we are open to thoughts.
LSD diffs are great too, our vw is open diff, and will be tricky .FWD often beats rwd, but my freind has a vw bug that is of course rwd, and is a blast.
Come one come all, thscc rallycross needs you!
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Old 12-20-2013, 10:00 PM   #3
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Here is my story:

1. Bought a 97 Outback with 392k kms on it for $500.

2. Put it on the road for $200 more

3. Ran it for two years and won 2nd place in class a couple of times.

4. Tore the entire exhaust off it one time. (Our course gets rough).

5. Had a blast!!!

6. Sold the Outback for $1000 to buy my WRX.

7. WRX is my DD - so no RallyX.
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Old 12-20-2013, 11:15 PM   #4
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I did my first rallycross in 2002 in a Suzuki Swift GTi. I then set out to buy an 02 WRX for rallycross. ended up getting rally tires and ran the 2003 season in Norcal at Thunderhill. Went on to do other forms of racing and returned to rallycross in 06 with an 04 STI. Started organizing rallycrosses in Sacramento area starting in 2007 and continue to organize them at Prairie City OHV.

We do what we need to so that the courses are groomed and dust is kept to a minimum. Something that is necessary, since most entrants use their cars as DD'ers.

Our events run between $40 for local events and $100 for National Challenge events, best part being that Subaru and other manufacturers support RallyCross with between $300-$1250 contingency money. Again, pretty awesome considering this is a sport where you can use a daily driver car.

Currently I switched to a Toyota MR2 to try a new challenge.

The real challenge to rallycross is the need to deal with the limited traction, that is really what rallycross is about.

Brent
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Old 12-21-2013, 07:22 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by 2005wrxowner1 View Post
right at this moment, we dont have that rough a course. fayettvillle and wilson are great sites, wilson is mixed gravel and grass.
I've rx'd at Wilson, and know all them guys from RX and Sandblast. Maybe see you next year.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NGTD View Post
Here is my story:

7. WRX is my DD - so no RallyX.
Been RX my DD for 11 yrs!

Our venue *was* at Summit Point Motorsports Park about and hour west of Washington, DC. We had 3 different courses to use...two 60 sec run and one monster 1:30 with elevation changes, with access to a road grader, air, gas, food, camping. Unfortunately the property is no longer available to us and we're looking for new ground.

We typically have 60 drivers and get 5 runs in the AM and another 5 in the PM. Registration is $60, add $10 if you're not an scca member.

I run in M4 in a bugeye wagon. 6 spd with plated rear diff, lots of suspension mods, lots of power mods and rally tires. Car has 208k miles on the chassis. FYI info on my car and mods
http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show...5#post40255445

couple of pics:
sideways throttle steer


and fast sweep at sandblast
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Old 12-21-2013, 10:26 AM   #6
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Dude, sandblast is awesome .
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Old 12-22-2013, 01:38 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mhoerath View Post
Been RX my DD for 11 yrs!

Our venue *was* at Summit Point Motorsports Park about and hour west of Washington, DC. We had 3 different courses to use...two 60 sec run and one monster 1:30 with elevation changes, with access to a road grader, air, gas, food, camping. Unfortunately the property is no longer available to us and we're looking for new ground.
Unfortunately our course (about 3.5 hrs from my place) has a sand base and ruts up really bad.

I have seen the course you have run from one of the BMW E30 guys that posts on GRM and your course holds up better. I don't have a lot of spare funds these days and can't afford to tear up my DD. The Outback would routinely hit the bottom of the car due to the ruts, that is how I tore off the exhaust.

I will get back to rally-X in a few years, but right now looking for a cleaner shell to swap my 02 WRX drivetrain into. The tinworm has got a pretty good hold on mine.
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Old 12-28-2013, 03:42 AM   #8
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nice post
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Old 01-07-2014, 09:07 AM   #9
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An entertaining aspect of RX is the wide variety of cars. One of my favs was a nissan ser co-driven by 3 drivers; definitely a beater but always brought a smile. And there's a contingent of 5 or so BMW's, many co driven. Availability of cheap cars and parts makes these attractive and rwd fun to drive.

One day a guy showed up with a new Mini towing a real Mini Cooper, priceless. Another day guy showed in a restored Celica All Trac. Seen a couple of Evo's but they never come back.
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Old 01-09-2014, 01:10 AM   #10
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I started Rallycross in Kansas City in Oct 2012. This was the first rallyx they had in 10 years and never a sanctioned event. I drove my buddy's 2005 STI. I was hooked from that moment. I bought a 2005 STI as a daily drive and rally X car. The car has Tien Street coilovers which are not good for rallyx. Also with the 17" tires you cannot get a true rallytire so I run Snowtires. I found a set on Craigslist almost new for $300 and they are blizaark WS70s. I ran 4 events last year. Three in KC and one in Nebraska. We have two site in KC and both are decent one is fairly small. The place in NE is very good. Nationals will be held in NE next year and they are next to a dirt over. I did the regional and got second. I also tied for first in class for the season in KC region.

It is tremendous fun. I am planning a suspension change to stock struts revalved by FEAL for gravel setting and a set of king springs. I bought the Primative racing skid plate for front and am considering going to the the rallyX driving school that Primative racing runs.

The best advice I have is to get some seat time and have a great time. check out some of these videos

http://openpaddock.net/photo-gallery...scca-rallyx-2/
http://openpaddock.net/photo-gallery...ca-rallycross/

Mark
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Old 01-09-2014, 03:45 AM   #11
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Rallycross, same as autocross with a little higher risk of tearing off your front bumper.

Rallycross tends to be more lax in nature. The fewer classes and less rules tend to group a wide variety of cars together via very loose circumstances. However, I do find rallycross provides more focus on driver than on car as small driver errors can moderately outweigh differences in car performance. Rallycrosses tend to have significantly fewer cars. It's sometimes hard to get 15 people to sign up for a rallycross event, but 80 people will sign up for an autocross event in the same area.

The quality of the even will depend upon the quality of your local club as well as the quality of the locations available. There can be a huge difference in locations for rallycross. It can be run in gravel parking lots, farmers fields, dirt track courses, someone's back lawn, really just about anywhere. This means surfaces vary a LOT. Some hold up well. Some degrade fast. Typically events will shy away from course locations that are too rough for cars and promote high risk for damage.

I have typically found my local rallycross courses to be tighter and more technical than my local autocross courses. Course layout tends to be more complex, plus as the course degrades with use, there are frequent course changes that reshape the course throughout the day and present new challenges.

Typically rallycross scoring is done like autocross pro class as in the best run of each run set is added together for a final total for the day, at least for my local rallycross club. National events take every single run into the score. This in part rewards personal skill more than autocross.
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Old 01-24-2014, 06:15 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mhoerath View Post
• Car can’t leave the ground (no jumps)
• Ruts are avoided by course design and if big enough courses will be altered during the event.
I had to re-read the rulebook to check, but there is no rule explicitly outlawing jumps. Here is the closest rule I found:

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2014 SCCA RallyCross Rule Book
The course, as laid out, must contain no large holes, deep ruts, or other dangerous features. Dips or berms that could get a vehicle airborne must not be included.
It's easy to misinterpret this as "no getting airborne", but it specifically applies to dips and berms (more dangerous than bumps/small jumps). Jumps are limited in that they cannot be "dangerous features" though. Tires will unavoidably spend a lot of time slightly off the ground.
To be clear, I agree with the point you were making about not damaging the car though. Any jumps encountered will be small enough for a stock suspension to handle (avoid free-floating springs and you're safe).

Quote:
Originally Posted by mhoerath View Post
Seen a couple of Evo's but they never come back.
In defense of the Evos (sorta, but not really), STis also tend to not come back. WRXs are extremely common, but Mitsubishi only recently started making something similar to the WRX (AWD Ralliarts). I expect to see more of the Ralliarts compete as their prices come down. I don't expect anything to ever outnumber the AWD NA Subarus though.
We have one Evo in AZ that regularly comes out (typically with 4 drivers)... and zero STis.
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Old 01-24-2014, 06:24 PM   #13
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It just depends on how much money you're willing to write off.

The guys with expensive cars figure out pretty quickly that they'll do some damage if they want to win, and since they know they won't win by protecting the car, they don't come back.
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Old 01-24-2014, 10:19 PM   #14
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It just depends on how much money you're willing to write off.

The guys with expensive cars figure out pretty quickly that they'll do some damage if they want to win, and since they know they won't win by protecting the car, they don't come back.
False.



It's not "expensive" cars, it's "pretty little princess" cars. And I've broken way more **** at autoxes than at rallyxes. But I broke both engine mounts on my 5th of 8 runs at the last rallyx... and still got cumulative FTD by 19 seconds. Not that much $ to upgrade to the torque solutions mounts afterward, though. (was using Group N)

Also, I always protect the car as much as I can (whether it's the RS wagon, the STi, the rally car or any of the dozen or so cars I've rallyxed over the years), while going as fast as I can, and I don't do stupid reckless **** that's going to debead a tire or break something that I need in order to finish all my runs or be able to drive home. Smooth and sane is fast, rough and crazy is slow.
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Old 01-24-2014, 10:47 PM   #15
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To answer Mark's question...

I've run a lot of rallyxes (competed and/or organized). I've owned a rallyx site with a couple of permanent courses (it's back to being a farm, now). There were 3 jumps of varying sizes, and as many different types of turns as I could get out of a 15 acre field. I used to come home from work, drive my 2.5RS straight to the rallyx courses, do a few laps to get work off my mind, and go park the car in my yard.

I've done hundreds, or probably more like thousands of runs on rallyx courses. I've had fastest time overall at probably 90% of the events I've competed in, including a couple of regional championships in Mark's area.

I've rallyxed nearly every Subaru I've owned (there's been 16 of them), including brand new WRXes and Forester XTs, and both of my STis. When I buy any Impreza, the first thing I usually do is set it up to be great at going fast on gravel.

I'm not one of those people who throws the car into the turns and hope that it sticks, and end up plowing through half the time. I don't get too crazy with oversteer or tire spin, unless I'm driving the STi or the rally car. If I'm there to win, I'm maintaining momentum and running the tightest possible lines through the course. If I'm just there to have fun, I'll get the car sideways more, and kill some time.

I've chipped a little bit of paint (on the car and on the wheels) on a few cars, broken two engine mounts, and debeaded about 3 tires. Never debeaded a street tire, only rally tires. That's it. No huge repair bill from the thousands of rallyx runs I've done, just an engine mount upgrade and sticking a few tires back together with their wheels.

On the other hand, every time I've let somebody borrow one of my cars to rallyx it, it's come back with something broken.

That's why I always tell people "Hell no" when they ask to drive my car, and why I tell potential rallyxers that it's best to rallyx a car that either YOU care a great deal about, or NOBODY gives a **** about.

I've now "moved on" to stage rally with an Open Light 2.5RS, co-owned with and co-driven by my fiancee. I still have fun throwing dirt and gravel around at a rallyx. It's nowhere near the insane amount of fun we have at stage rallies, but it's a LOT less expensive, and it's easy to have some sideways fun without risking death. lol

Last edited by Fred; 01-24-2014 at 10:52 PM.
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Old 01-25-2014, 10:28 PM   #16
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Wise words from wise people. Speaking of which we should toss together a quick rally x here in fayetteville the weekend of the 8th as a shakedown for Sandblast Rally
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Old 01-26-2014, 12:14 AM   #17
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I really want to bring the BOSS 302 out to a Rally X. Ive had dumb ideas in the past, i'm pretty sure this is another one.

Thoughts.....
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Old 01-26-2014, 11:09 AM   #18
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Wise words from wise people. Speaking of which we should toss together a quick rally x here in fayetteville the weekend of the 8th as a shakedown for Sandblast Rally
Yes. That would be a good shakedown for Sandblast, with all the sand and bumps.

We're doing some maintenance and upgrades on our rally car today, so it would definitely be ready by then.

Make it happen, cap'n!
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Old 01-26-2014, 12:29 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by hkerekes View Post
I really want to bring the BOSS 302 out to a Rally X. Ive had dumb ideas in the past, i'm pretty sure this is another one.

Thoughts.....
I'm available as a co-driver for this fantastic idea. Just make sure you put the passenger seat back in so we can run SR.
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Old 01-26-2014, 06:11 PM   #20
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I'm available as a co-driver for this fantastic idea. Just make sure you put the passenger seat back in so we can run SR.
Drag radials would be a good tire choice for that car.
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Old 01-26-2014, 07:40 PM   #21
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I've done a ton of Rallies, stopped rallying then got back into rally again by doing a few years of rally cross. In the good old days we used to use rental cars! I won the 2002 street 2WD in a Malibu! I would say the 2002 Malibu automatic was an awesome rally cross car. Why? because the 3 speed auto was good got 55mph in 1st. It had a foot parking brake which could be made to work as 2nd brake for the rear wheels by jamming open the locking racket. The result was a flat out in 1st and steering with the rear wheels! good fun for sure.

I've seem some folks go all out for rally cross in terms of car spec but at the end of the day if you don't have the car control skills a high spec car is not going to help you. The main focus is smooth and controlled driving. The tyres rolling off the rims are the biggest issue and stone chips on the body. Apart from that rally cross is really fun.
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Old 02-25-2014, 12:25 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkerekes View Post
I really want to bring the BOSS 302 out to a Rally X. Ive had dumb ideas in the past, i'm pretty sure this is another one.

Thoughts.....
There was a slammed r32 VW golf out at the last one tearing the track up.
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Old 02-26-2014, 02:31 PM   #23
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i will be at fayetteville nc drag way out back in a field is the race. i will be in a 99 golf
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Old 03-06-2014, 10:10 PM   #24
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What tires/wheels would you guys recommend if I want to rallycross on the weekend, but drive my car to work during the week? Thanks!
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Old 03-07-2014, 07:46 AM   #25
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What tires/wheels would you guys recommend if I want to rallycross on the weekend, but drive my car to work during the week? Thanks!
Basically 3 choices for tires; all season radials, mud & snow and rally.

You'll need to pump to 40 lbs the all seasons and M&S, this helps prevent debeading. Also makes them act like marbles on hard surface like clay.

Rally tires are best - good sidewall strentgh and run mine at 25 lbs - and can be bought used, but only come in 15" and 15" rims are expensive for some cars.
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