There are two types of Autocross events - those held on a grass surface (sometimes stubble fields) and those that take place on a loose surface (e.g. dirt tracks or quarries).
In either case, a circuit is laid out using coloured flags, one colour on inside and a different colour on the onside. In addition Red Flags are placed to stop corner cutting etc and a time penalty for hitting a red flag is applied. Cars compete individually "against the clock". If the circuit is long enough, cars may be started at intervals so that more than one car is on the track at any one time. However, as the event is "against the clock", no passing is allowed. On Grass Autocrosses, the competitor may get 4 Runs. After two Runs, the track may be altered and the results are compiled by adding the Fastest Time from Run 1 & 2 to the Fastest Time from Run 3 & Run 4 together.
While some clubs organising Loose Surface autocrosses run cumulative times, Autocross championship results are on FTD (Fastest time of the Day) rather than cumulative. Generally, a timed run will comprise of 2 – 4 Laps of the circuit.
TYPES OF VEHICLES
In grass events, there are generally two types of cars catered for, Specials/Buggies and Saloons. These are further sub-divided into classes by reference to the engine size of the car. Almost anything goes in the way of car preparation, although you may only use one engine!
Loose surface events are generally contested by Rally Cars of one type or another and the same freedom to modify the car exists as in grass events.
To keep costs to a minimum, you can share the car with two friends if you wish. Each event organiser takes this into account to ensure all competitors get the same number of timed runs as everyone else.
WHERE AND WHEN
Autocross events are held throughout the year at different venues around the country and there are National Championships for both grass and loose surface.
View Events Calendar
LICENCE REQUIREMENTS AND STARTING AGE
You can start competing in Autocross at 14 years of age with a Speed category "Junior” grade licence or once you turn 16, a Speed “National B" grade licence or a “Clubman National A” grade licence and this will permit you to drive any car up to 1650cc. You do not need a Road Traffic Act driving licence but you do need to complete a doctor’s certificate for your first licence. Competitors under 18 years of age require written permission from parents or guardians. A first time licence costs as little as €50 if you are a member of a Motorsport Ireland affiliated Motor Club and a junior licence is free.
Apply for a Competition Licence
HOW TO GET STARTED
If you are interested in getting started in Autocross, the first step is to Contact Motorsport Ireland. Motorsport Ireland annually publishes a Yearbook containing all the rules and regulations for Irish Motorsport (Appendices 85.1-87 cater for Autocross).
SPECIAL EQUIPMENT REQUIRED
Road tyres are permitted but it might be wise to fit "mud" or "snow" tyres. These tyres can be bought as remoulds if you are competing on a tight budget. Studded tyres are not permitted. Limited slip differentials may be used. However, there are many safety requirements common to most competition vehicles e.g. a roll-bar, fireproofing and fire extinguishers. All vehicles must pass scrutiny each time to compete in an event. All vehicles must have an MI logbook obtainable from the Motorsport Ireland Technical Commission at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You will require a helmet, fireproof overalls, boots, gloves, socks and underclothing. Details of helmet and clothing standards are published in Appendix 2 of the Motorsport Ireland Yearbook.
Learn about our Autocross Championships