Getting Started

Who is the Badlands Region SCCA? 

This organization is a region of the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA). We participate in and host events around the state of North Dakota following the SCCA Guidelines for classing, events, and safety.  We hold events in Bismarck and Carpio, ND regularly; in addition to our annual charity event held near Grand Forks on Grand Forks Air Force Base. 

Our club is run solely by Volunteers who help set courses, do registration, review safety, and keep events on schedule. 

The SCCA is a nationwide organization that hosts Auto-X, Track Days, Time Trails, Road Racing, Rally-X, and Road Rallys. 

What is Autocross? 

Autocross, also most commonly referred to as auto-x, is a precision driving event held in local venues(parking lots, stadiums, air ports, etc). Each driver will get multiple attempts to navigate that days course to achieve their best time which is obtained by an electronic timing system. Each day there will be a different course, which is set up with traffic cones. 

Where to Register? 

If you see an event you wish to attend, you will need to pre-register. We employ a system called MotorsportsReg(MSR) to handle all registrations. You will need to set up an account with them, pick a car #, and determine the appropriate classing for your vehicle. To access our MSR Page, click the Register button in the blue box in the top right corner of this page. 

Our event fees are $25/Day for registration and then a $20 per weekend weekend membership is also required, unless you are already a SCCA Member. 

Novice Classing! 

We do offer a novice class, which does still take your correct vehicle classing into account; however, it will group you with other novice drivers to compare against each other! To be a novice, you must be in your first year of competition OR first 5 events in a span of 2 calendar years. To sign up for this, you must click novice during your registration in MSR, in the “PAX” drop down when you choose your class and vehicle. 

Vehicle Prep for your first event

You do not need to have a highly modified vehicle to do auto-x. Many people start with things like a stock civic, or even a 1990s buick. Focus on driving first, and car mods second. 

We will do a basic tech inspection on each new vehicle at events. Our primary goal is to insure everything is good safety wise. Tech is also a great place to ask any specific questions you may have if you feel you may need help classing or about your vehicle for auto-x. 

Here are some of the basic things you should to to get ready: 

  • Ensure your car is in sound mechanical condition(give it a shake, check your tires, etc)
  • Make sure your fluids are full and clean(brake fluid, coolant, oil, etc), and inspect for fluid leaks and firm brake pedal. 
  • Make sure your battery is secure(not by bungee cords) and that your positive post is covered. 
  • Check your tires for wear and proper inflation. You probably will want to be a bit over factory spec in most vehicles. We can help show you how to see if your tires need more air at the event. 
  • Make sure your wheels/lugs are torqued correctly. 
  • Clean out your car of anything you will not be taking with to the event(thing soccer balls, book bags, extra floor mats, etc). You will have to remove any loose items and set in the grass or parking lot near your car for the day. Remember things like garage door openers on your visor should be removed as well.  
  • If you have a number picked out, you can apply in advance. Typically we would request this on both sides of the vehicle and large enough to read from a distance. If you have questions we can help here too!
    • Many people buy stickers, magnets, window markets,  print off numbers and tape on the inside of a rear door window, or use painters tape on the door. 
    • We do have tape and window markers on site. 
    • Please make sure the color contrasts the vehicles color. 

How to prepare for your first event 

We have many participants who come and spectate before they sign up! If you are wanting to learn about the sport, this is the best way and you will meet some great people at the same time. Stop out and ask questions, we can probably find someone for you to shadow or chat with. 

You will be outside and on your feet for a good majority of your day, and there may not always be shade available. Shoes are very important. Auto-X events run rain or shine, and we only stop if there are safety concerns based on pooling or lightning in the area. So plan for the weather the night before. If it is going to rain, an umbrella and extra clothing in a waterproof storage device is a smart idea. 

What to Bring to an event

  • Yourself and your drivers license. 
  • A car. Yes, you can share a car with a friend if all parties are willing. 
  • Helmet – See the rules page for more info. 
  • Sun Protection – Umbrella, long sleeves/pants, sun screen, etc.
    • Even on a warm day some long sleeves and pants are a better option to help protect from the sun and heat. 
  • Water and Snacks/Food – Bring more water( or drinks like gatorade) than you would think for the day to avoid dehydration. We do not take breaks for lunch unless you are at one of our Carpio events, so also make sure to bring some good snacks to take with and eat while you are in grid or between run groups. 

Many members have a plastic tote they use for racing where they store stuff like tire pressure gauges, some basic tools, gloves, etc. It helps keep your stuff from getting lost and keeps it dry. 

What not to bring

  • Drugs and Alcohol
  • Items you do not intend to bring back home with you at the end of the day. 

A typical Auto-X Day

Our events will always have for the most part the same schedule / flow of events. 

  • 7-8am – Event Organizers will arrive to unload the van, set course, etc. 
  • 8-945am – Participants arrive, unload, check-in and tech.  See the schedule page for maps for each location for info on where to park. 
  • 9(ish)-945am: – Participants can walk the course before the driver’s meeting. 
  • 10am: Drivers Meeting and course walk.
    • If we have a large group of novice drivers we may do a novice course walk before the drivers meeting. 
  • 1015(ish): Run group 1 to grid and Run group 2 to work assignments. 
  • 330-4pm(ish): Complete runs, fun runs, and clean up followed by awards. 

What is the most important Advice

Have Fun and obey and list to instructions from the event organizers. Our members will likely become  your friends and most will be very willing to help insure you have a great day, if for some reason you are not having a great day, let us know so we can can help. 

During your first couple of events, learning the sport and driving the course can be confusing. Ease into it as we find those who take the approaching of learning to read the course often progress quickly vs those who focus on trying to be “fast” right away. 

At the end of the day, our focus should be on having fun and being safe. There is no prize money, so its not worth pushing it too hard. 

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