Jackson McCutchen STU16 Camp Raincloud LLC

Autocross With Jackson McCutchen at NCCAR

Jackson McCutchen in his 4 Door Mini Cooper S, STU-16

I’ve discovered autocross! If you don’t know-Autocross events are regularly held in parking lots and race tracks near you! Autocross is a safe environment where folks go to learn the ins and out of high performance driving from experienced drivers while competing for bragging rights! As far as motorsports go, Autocross has got to be the most accessible!

Tar Heel Sports Car Club is the host we’ve been visiting. It’s been a pleasure to meet the people who make up the family they’ve built. The club has a full roster of events that also includes a Rally-X season, HPDE and classes. AX Points events 6 and 7 were hosted at North Carolina Center for Automotive Research. We had the pleasure of spending the weekend at NCCAR with Jackson and Turner, co-Drivers of the STU-16, a 2018 4-Door Mini Cooper S. In a brief interview, Jackson and I discuss some of the most common misconceptions about this sport, as well as how supportive the club’s community is. As it turns out, racing doesn’t have to be THAT expensive!

“The annual membership, which is required, is a whopping 12 dollars. Each event…50 bucks for the day.”

-Jackson McCutchen, STU-16

Barring some reasonable edge cases, there are a few general rules to follow when considering entering your car in autocross. If a car is taller than it is wide, for example, it will likely not be allowed to compete. This rule keeps SUV drivers off the autocross course, and of course keeps everyone involved safe. The rule, however, also bans some cars that have otherwise been seen on the track. One example that comes to mind is the Scion xB.

“As long as your car is not taller than it is wide, you can run it. You don’t have to have anything special and you’re gonna have a blast.”

-Jackson McCutchen, STU-16

It should be clear that the rules that are in place have been placed into motion in the interest of safety. When the image of a Suburban attacking a Porsche-sized pivot cone comes to mind, it all makes sense. The club puts a great deal of energy and wisdom into organizing these events so they can safely share the joy of high-performance driving. This wisdom is passed on in other ways as well. Jackson says drivers are often sharing hints about the trickiest sections of the day.

“The novice program is fantastic. Everyone wants everyone to do better.”

-Jackson McCutchen, STU-16

As a newcomer, I am constantly floored by the welcoming nature of the volunteers and participants at these events. At all the THSCC events we’ve been to this year, we’ve been made to feel at home and encouraged to get more involved! We were nervous to show up without a car, but as Jackson says, all you have to do is show up.

“Just show up!”

-Jackson McCutchen, STU-16

Contact your local sports club and get out on the track! Spectators are generally welcome at these events, just sign the necessary waivers like any other racing event. This, like most things, may change depending on venue/insurance. Even if you don’t have a car to drive right now, I encourage you to reach out and become involved! If you’re driving, be sure to have a helmet that fits. safety is key!

For more information on THSCC’s upcoming events, see their calendar on their website. To apply for membership and/or register for a THSCC event, visit MotorsportReg.com.

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