Autosolos are one of the most accessible forms of motorsport, and offer an unparalleled amount of fun per pound.
Check out a run at our Kempton Park Autosolo below:
The rules around Autosolos are specifically designed to keep the costs down and regulations to a minimum:
Only road legal cars are allowed
Entry fees are low - around £50
Drivers require just a (free) Motorsport UK RS Clubman licence and Club Membership
Cars can be shared by two drivers
Drivers as young as 16 can compete (accompanied by an adult)
The risk of car damage is low
With drivers taking turns to marshal together, Autosolos are very sociable affairs as well as being incredible fun - and all for about the same cost as going go-karting for an evening.
Autosolos develop fundamental car handling skills, and many drivers who start with Autosolos go on to compete in rallying. They are also a safe and fun environment for young drivers to learn these skills.
Typically, there are four tests around a course made up of cones. Drivers get three attempts at each test, with their lowest score (time + penalties) counting. The lowest aggregate time across all four tests wins.
Test diagrams are handed out just before each test and the drivers get to walk the course. While you can have the diagram in the car (some tape it to the dashboard), you need to memorise it to set a fast time.
A 5 second penalty is incurred for each cone touched, and no score is recorded if the driver goes the wrong way around any cone.
A small yellow cone lying next to a larger orange cone means the driver should pass on the other side of the orange cone.
Competitors often try to get a steady run 'in the bank' first, before trying for faster runs. Smooth and accurate driving is the key to success.
Events are run under Motorsport UK regulations, so course layouts must comply with rules that govern the maximum length of straights, for example, in order to speeds down and ensure the event is safe.
SEE FOR YOURSELF
Check out the course, below, from an Autosolo at Kempton Park.
A wide range of cars take part in Autosolos. The regulations are aimed at making it as easy as possible to have a competitive car, and production cars form the bulk of the field with kit cars in a separate class.
So you can enter an Autosolo in your daily driver - a nimble car is best, but we've had SUVs and MPVs going surprisingly well!
Scrutineering will check that the battery is secured, seats are not loose and the steering doesn't have excessive play - none of which should be a problem for a well maintained car.
Typical classes are:
Saloons & hatchbacks up to 1400cc
Saloons & hatchbacks 1401 to 2000cc
Saloons & hatchbacks over 2000cc
Specialist sports and kit cars (Caterham and Westfield etc)
AT AN AUTOSOLO
MARSHALLING & TIMEKEEPING
There may be 5 or 6 marshal posts around the course and each post will be manned by 2 or 3 marshals. Marshals need to:
radio in any infringements by competitors
reset the course if cones have been moved
put out a red flag to stop the cars if instructed to do so
make the Clerk of the Course aware of any safety concerns
There are usually 4 or 5 in the timekeeping team, working stopwatches or a smartphone app to time each competitor's run and record penalties called in over the radio by the marshals.
With multiple cars on the course at any time, it can get quite hectic!
AT AN AUTOSOLO
FROM FIRST TIMERS
Thanks to some first time Autosolo competitors for giving their thoughts on trying their hand at our Kempton Park Autosolo.
Neil Burgess used the Autosolo as a try out for his Mini and wrote his experience up in Performance Mini magazine.