Credit where it’s due – Optima Batteries has done a pretty killer job with its Ultimate Street Car concept, spinning a search to find the baddest built street-legal performance car across a variety of disciplines into a series of events, then a TV show, and now a respected sanctioning body. From great batteries to great motorsport, and now great … autocross? In a word, yes – or that’s the plan, anyway.
Optima’s DriveAutoX is a 4-event series of autocross events that are as much about the social aspect as they are about the competition. At first blush, there’s a lot here that looks familiar – each round offers two days of driving; there are classes for all years/makes/models and modifications; qualifying formats will be in place to maximize seat time; and prizes will be given to those who perform well. But digging a little deeper and soon we realize this isn’t your dad’s autocross.
For starters, organizers seem open to “developing new and unique formats that will test driver skill and vehicle performance” – which instantly triggers visions of gymkhana videos in our heads (it actually means there could be impromptu shootouts, pursuits, or runoffs to end each weekend). This program also aspires to make a big “social” push – as in, getting enthusiasts together to fraternize, socialize, and otherwise mingle. As an added incentive, competitors will not be required to work or “shag” cones (ew!), as Optima has brought in course workers to handle those duties.
Call it autocross with a lifestyle twist – registration for the series is now open at DriveAutoX.com; you can also find a rule-set there. In 2018, the series will visit ZMax Raceway in North Carolina, Grissom Air Force Base in Indiana, Gateway Motorsports Park in Illinois, and Mineral Wells Airport in Texas. Use the #drivelifestyle to what see what they’ve been up to lately.