Many people wonder what's involved in taking part in one of our FMC events, who can attend, what are the rules. I've decided to write this up to cover most of those. If you have any questions, let us know, and we'll include those here.
Who can take part?
Anyone is welcome to attend. One of great things about Autoslalom is that anyone is welcome to try it out. Spectators are also welcome, we would request though that they stay well clear of the track (Everyone must sign the insurance waiver)
What's required to take part? Can I use my car?
You can run pretty much any vehicle you wish. Only cars (and occasionally trucks) are permitted, no atv's, motorcycles, etc. The car should be road worthy - good brakes, wheel bearings, suspension, seat belts, and must pass our basic safety tech inspection - but it doesn't have to be licensed. If you are on unsure, feel free to ask on the forums for advice. You are also required to wear a helmet during your runs. If you do not have one, the club has loaners which can be borrowed for your run. Just make sure you return it promptly after your run, in case someone else needs it too.
Also, always check your oil before you run. This is probably one of the easiest things to check, and can ensure you don't damage your engine. You should expect higher brake and tire wear during an event, as you are driving more aggressively than when on the street. You'll also burn a bit more gas than usual. There is a PetroCanada towards Oromocto, about 15 minutes away, if you need to fill up prior or during an event.
What do I do when I arrive at the event?
When you arrive, you need to complete a membership form, if it's your first event, an event entry form, and sign the insurance waiver form. You should look for some of the FMC managers (Kent Staples, Dwight Spencer, Chris Wilcox, Dave Charters) and ensure that you submit your paperwork and fees to them.
Also at the end of an event, the managers greatly appreciate anyone wiling to hang around for a while to help pick up cones, timing gear, etc. This ensures that we're able to clean up quickly and all get home for supper.
What happens at the event, how do I know what to do?
Once people arrive and are registered, we typically break the participants into two groups - one running, and one working the course. If you are running, you are required to work an event. This allows us to keep the cones setup and in the proper spots, as well as calling back to time control if someone hits a cone while they are running. Always make sure you are watching the cars while working, as they can spin out quite quickly and you may need to move to avoid being in the way. We usually place worker stations well away from the action, but you should always pay attention.
Run groups are assigned usually by car class, but depending on cars, we may just split the two groups in half. If you are sharing a car. we typically try to have 2 other cars between runs of a shared car, to ensure people have time to move get into position, and to prevent an unfair advantage from additionally warmed (sticky :) ) tires.
Always feel free to ask questions of someone around the event. Many of us have been doing this for years, and are more than willing to answer any questions. We're always excited to see new people taking part, and having fun.
What are the costs?
Yearly memberships are $30, and your first event is free. Each subsequent event $15. Other family members are also permitted to join at a reduced membership rate ($15 per member), but they do need to pay the same amount for their events.
- insurance coverage
The club has it's own liability insurance plan that covers the club. if you need details, let me know
- event details
The events are more skill based than speed based, and as such, speed is not excessive, rarely reaching 80-90kph. This always depends on the course location and layout.
- during event
The course is manned during the entire event, with marshalls at multiple locations around the track to keep an eye on everything happening on and off the course. Marshalls are equipped with radios and flags to quickly flag down the driver as neccessary.
- safety gear/inspection
Most cars at the events are street licensed, and as such, already undergo a yearly DMV inspection. During some longer events, a quick inspection is done on the cars to ensure they are road/track worthy. All loose items, including mats, are removed from the cars during the event as well. helmets are -always- worn during the event. During timed trials, only the driver is in the car (though in rare cases with new drivers, a more experienced driver may ride along for the first few runs). First aid kits are on hands as well
- spill kits
An oil spill kit is taken to every race as well