Be Prepared for DirtFish RallyCross National Championship

People competing at the upcoming 2018 DirtFish SCCA® RallyCross® National Championship have a lot to look forward to in Indianola, Iowa. But to make sure all goes well, drivers should make sure they’re prepared. If this is your first RallyCross National Championship, take a minute to read the “tips” below.

Before the race has started and it’s too late, give your car a quick shakedown to make sure everything is in order. A practice course will be set up from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday at National Balloon Classic Memorial Balloon Field so people can check out their cars and the terrain. A single practice course run only costs $4, but $10 will get you three runs.

In advance of competition, drivers should also examine helmets to make sure everything is up to par, and don’t forget to carefully scrutinize your inventory of tools and spares. And make sure you’ve registered for the appropriate contingencies. Some of these tasks can be done even before arriving at the RallyCross venue.

All racers will be working for part of the event, so keep in mind you’ll need more than just racing equipment. For starters, you’ll want gear that will keep you comfortable in case the weather isn’t ideal. Rain gear is always a good bet. A jacket and hat, along with boots that allow you to move comfortably, are all advised. An umbrella is also a good idea, and not just for rain. Sometimes they can also fend off the sun and dirt.

It’s a good idea to keep abreast of impending weather. Check it in the morning and on your phone’s weather app throughout the day. Not only can this help you choose the right clothing before heading out on your work assignment, it might even help you make the right tire choice.

Certainly, it’s a good idea to have some food and beverages on hand. Some folks like to go all out with grills and fixings. Others keep it simple with things like fruit, energy bars, chips and water. Some people opt for bottled water, whereas others use hydration packs to keep their hands free for radios and flags. Bear in mind water has many uses, and not just to keep you hydrated. You might need it for your car (or your neighbor’s), so bring a few extra gallons. It’s a cheap insurance plan to keep you racing should you need it.

It’s always a good idea to have a camp chair or cooler to sit on. A pop-up tent can also add a lot of comfort during downtime and make it easier and dryer to work on your car. Just make sure you have enough weight to hold it down if it’s windy. You can camp onsite at National Balloon Classic Memorial Balloon Field, but remember there are no electric or waste hookups . And whatever you do, NEVER drive on the competition area after hours.

Upon arrival Friday, your first priority should be checking in at the event building next to the paddock, and then go through tech inspection. At check-in, they’ll verify your car, class, work assignment, and that you made it to Indianola safely. Tech verifies that your car is in proper working order to compete. If this is your first DirtFish SCCA RallyCross National event, they will also give you some mandatory decals to be put on your car. Both are open from 12:30 p.m. until 4:30 p.m. on Friday. NOTE: Tech does not check for compliance to class rules.

Your next must-attend event is class inspection at 5 p.m. on Friday. Your grid spot will be listed in your check-in booklet. Park in that grid spot by 4:45 p.m. with your disclosure form filled out. The class inspection will take about 30 minutes and once released, you can go take your first course walks. A representative must stay with the car during inspection.

The welcome party and town hall meeting are Friday night, so head over to the event building around 6 p.m. and get to know some of the other participants.

If you haven’t yet, go ahead and download the SCCA RallyCross App for iPhone or Android. You’ll have access to the event schedule, live results, and there will even be notifications going on throughout the event to keep you in the know. This is a must-have for everybody on site.

However you choose to enjoy the race, we look forward to seeing you there!

Photo Credit: Rupert Berrington