We have to say it was tasty to get on an autocross course after years of road racing and open-track driving. Autocrossing is much less expensive than those other two corner-intensive disciplines and is the best way for an enthusiast to introduce himself to the corner-bending business. Like grudge-night drag racing, autocrossing is an affordable motorsport.
If nothing else, there is essentially no chance of either car-to-car and minimal chance of car-to-wall contact, plus brakes and tires last far longer because they just don't get worked as long as on a road course. On the plus side, the quick timing and technical nature of the course layouts is superb driver training. Ride-along passengers are a regular part of autocrossing, so the all-important coaching from an experienced driver is easy to get.
Our autocrossing test session was sanctioned by Speed Ventures, a Southern California-based organizer of autocross, open-track, and training events. We've driven in Speed Venture open-tracks before and found them well-organized, and held at a variety of interesting tracks. Typical of autocrosses, the only gear required was a daily driver Mustang and a helmet, and we drove 31 laps between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. using about half a tank of gas. We can't imagine not giving it a try.