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Suggestions for a safe Gymkhana or Autocross

Course Site Choice:
Choose as large of a paved area as possible, preferably without solid objects such as retaining walls, light posts or islands. Too often, however, one or more of these objects will be present and the course must be designed in such a manner for a competing car to pass that object in a straight, relatively safe manner. The course should be set up to offer speed and precision driving. You must keep in mind that you are usually dealing with Sprites and Big Healeys. Always position the course with the fastest portions having the least obstructions; there must be room for the car to spin out safely in this area. The end of the course must always be progressively slower by the use of gates and should end with the car coming to a complete stop.     

Staging Area:
Keep this area a safe distance from the start and finish line, at least 50 feet. Only drivers, mechanics and event workers should be in this area.     

Driver's Meeting:
Have a meeting with all drivers just before the event starts. The best time for the meeting is just before the walk through the course. The following points should be brought up:  

  1. All drivers must sign an insurance waiver and be of legal driving age in the state where the event is being held.
  2. All drivers must have a valid driver's license.
  3. Absolutely NO alcohol or drugs of any kind are allowed during or previous to any driving event. Any driver who even "smells" as though he / she has consumed alcohol will not be allowed to compete.
  4. Drivers must wear a Snell 2500 or equivalent approved helmet, loaners should be available.

Knocking over five or more cones prompts an automatic black flag of that run. All drivers must be reminded that any dangerous or fast driving in the pit area will get them disqualified from competition. Also, if they lose control of the car for any reason on the course, depress the clutch and the brake pedal hard until the car has come to a stop.

AHCA GYMKHANA - Event Operating Rules for Drivers

  • All competitors must have a valid driver's license.
  • Competitors are required to wear seat belts and helmets when driving in competition. A roll bar is recommended for each vehicle.
  • A passenger is allowed to participate provided that he / she:
  • Is no younger than twelve (12) years old or is at least 57" tall
  • Is in a vehicle which has passed the required safety (tech) inspection
  • Is wearing a properly fitted seat belt and a properly fitted helmet

 Has completed and signed the required participant waiver(s), including a signature from a parent / guardian as appropriate

  • All cars shall be subject to a strict safety inspection as described below.
  • All participants, including competitors, workers, crew, and guests, must sign the required waiver form.
  • THE USE OF ALCOHOL OR NARCOTICS IS NOT ALLOWED AT THE EVENT.  Unsportsmanlike Conduct: any driver or participant who drives or acts unsafely at or near the event location or displays unsportsmanlike conduct shall be disqualified.  Staging, grid, start, finish, and course workers must be at least sixteen (16) years of age.
  • Smoking (including e-cig, PV, or ENDS use) is not permitted in the grid or staging areas.
  • Course workers must be standing at all times when any competition cars are on-course during the event.
  • Cell phones and video or still cameras are not permitted at course worker positions or other locations within the course area. Exceptions may be granted for media relations purposes by the Event Coordinator.
  • Competitors are responsible for using proper support (e.g., jack stands) to safely support a raised vehicle if any person is underneath that vehicle.
  • The use of unmanned aircraft systems (I-JAS, drones, etc.) is not permitted at any event.

The Event Coordinator(s) have the right to refuse an entry at their discretion. This permits organizers to protect themselves and their programs by declining the entry of someone who is believed to pose a safety hazard or other significant threat.


Helmets meeting the following standards must be worn while on course: Snell Memorial

Foundation standards EA 2016, SA2020, SA2015, SA2010, SAH2010, SA2005*, M2020D,

M2020R, M2015, M2010, M2005*, K2020, 1<2015, K2010, K2005*•, SFI standards 31.1/2015, 31.1/2010, 31.1/2005*, 41.1/2015, 41.1/2010, 41.1/2005*; ECE 22.05 or R22.05•, FIA standards 8860-2018, 8860-2018-ABP, 8859-2015, 8860-2010, 8860-2004; or British spec BS6658-85 type A* are acceptable.

For maximum protection, helmets must fit securely and should provide adequate peripheral vision. The chin strap must be securely fastened. Loaner helmets should be available to vehicle occupants not having their own.

* Not valid after 12-31-2021: Snell SA2005, M2005, K2005; SFI 24.1/2005, 31.1/2005,

41.1/2005; British Standards BS6658-85 type MFR, BS6658-85 Type A.

Shoes that cover the entire foot must be worn at all times by persons inside the vehicle when the vehicle is on the course.


Driver Restraints

Seat lap belts are required in all cars and must be installed in cars with passive restraint systems that do not include a lap belt. Installation and the use of shoulder belts or harnesses is strongly recommended; however, non-factory upper body restraints may only be used in open cars, cars with Targa-tops in the open position, or cars with T-tops in the open position when these two conditions are met:

  1. The roll structure must meet either the requirements of Appendix C or the SCCA@ Club Racing General Competition Rules (GCR) Section 9.4.
  2. The top of the roll structure may not be below the top of the driver's helmet when the driver is in the normal driving position.

 Safety Inspections-All vehicles must pass safety (tech) inspection on the following points prior to competing.

Inspection Requirements

  1. All loose items, inside and outside the car, must be removed. Handheld items, such as but not limited to, cameras and cell phones are considered loose items.
  2. Pedal operation must not be impeded. Driver's side floor mat must be removed unless securely mounted. OE fasteners designed to prevent the mat from moving forward satisfy this requirement if they are in good working order.
  3. Passenger's seat back and all cushions, bolsters, headrests, etc. must be secured. All allowed aftermarket replacement seats (i.e., driver and passenger) must be securely and safely mounted. Special care should be taken when using other than OE mounting points and/or fabricated bracketry.
  4. Any cameras, if installed, must be securely mounted to withstand loads from driving maneuvers. The camera may be installed either inside or on the outside of the car. In either case, its mounting method and position must not interfere with driving or pose an additional hazard to driver, passenger, or course workers.
  5. Snap-on hubcaps, detachable fender skirts, and trim rings must be removed.
  6. Wheels must be safely affixed. All studs and lug nuts must be present and functional.

7. Tires must be in good condition, with no cord or belts showing or cracks in the tread or sidewall. Each tire must have measurable (i.e., exhibiting positive measurement values) tread depth at no less than two points on the tire which are 1800 apart around the circumference, and which are within the center one-half of the tread surface that normally contacts the ground. Tires may not have cord visible at the start of competition.

  1. Seat belts (and harnesses if used) must be properly installed with attaching hardware, in good condition, secure, tight, and in compliance with the driver restraint section above.
  2. Throttle return action shall be safe and positive.
  3. No excessive fuel, oil, water, or brake fluid leaks should be observed.
  4. Steering "spinner" knobs shall not be permitted.
  5. No broken or missing spokes or more than one loose spoke per wheel shall be permitted in wire wheels. No cracks shall be permitted in disc or cast wheels. Non-metallic wheel construction is prohibited.
  6. Brakes must have an adequate pedal, sufficient fluid in the master cylinder, and no apparent hydraulic leaks under pressure. Vehicles must have a brake mechanism acting upon each wheel. The braking system shall be a dual system, arranged in a manner to provide braking for at least two wheels in the event of failure in part of the system. In the case of OE single systems, this requirement may be satisfied by a functional, redundant emergency brake.
  7. Wheel bearings, shocks, steering, and suspension shall be in good operating condition.
  8. Exhaust must exit behind the driver or exit to the side of the car.
  9. All batteries (on-board power supplies) shall be attached securely to the frame or chassis structure, independent of any container or cover that may be present. Any wet-cell battery moved from the manufacturers original location shall be in a non-conductive, marine-type container or equivalent and the "hot" terminal shall be insulated. NOTE: This will allow the use of gel cell or dry cell (AGM) batteries without a non-conductive, marine type container where applicable.
  10. Roll bars, if installed, must meet the applicable portions of Section 3.3.2 and Appendix C of SCCA solo rules with specific attention to roll bar height.
  11. Helmets for all occupants of the vehicle are to be inspected for condition, fit, and compliance with Section 4.3.1, Driver's Safety Equipment, Helmets.
  12. Flex fans are not allowed.
  13. For cars competing on non-DOT-approved tires, the vehicle safety requirements as referenced in each category rule set, in addition to those in Mandatory Sections of the Solo@ Rules, shall be adhered to by all entrants.
  1. For those categories which permit fuel cells and/or fuel tank modification or replacement, the following requirements apply if the fuel tank/cell does not fit within the same area as the OE tank.
    • No part of the fuel tank or fuel cell shall be closer than 6.0" (15.24cm) to the ground unless enclosed within the bodywork and mounted above the floor pan. A metal bulkhead is required that provides total separation between the driver compartment and the compartment containing the fuel tank/cell and/or filler neck. This includes fuel tanks/cells that are flush mounted with driver compartment panels or otherwise exposed to the driver compartment. Fuel filler doors in the driver compartment must be positively fastened (non-metallic fasteners are not allowed). For the purposes of these rules, a fuel tank consisting of a structure containing a fuel bladder is considered to be the entire fuel cell including the containing structure. The containing structure of a fuel cell does not qualify as a bulkhead. A separate metal bulkhead must isolate the fuel cell from the passenger compartment.
    • Internal body panels may be modified to accommodate the installation of the fuel tank/cell as long as such modifications serve no other purpose. In the event installation includes encroachment into the driver's compartment, a metal bulkhead shall prevent exposure of the driver to the fuel tank/cell.
    • Fuel tank/cell breathers shall not vent into the driver/passenger compartment.

Any car that is judged by the Event Coordinator to be in an unsafe operating condition at any time during the event shall be barred from further competition until the deficiency is corrected to the satisfaction of the Chief Technical Inspector.

Adequate mufflers are required for events. The criterion of "adequacy" is not what the exhaust system consists of, but the sound level. Any car deemed by the Event Coordinator or his designated representative to be excessively loud shall not compete without acceptable modifications installed on the car.

These are abbreviated rules. Any questions can be answered by the full version on the AHCA website.