Top 5 Cars That’ll Rip It Up in Time Trials and Autocross

Top 5 Cars That’ll Rip It Up in Time Trials and Autocross

Can cars compete successfully in SCCA® Time Trials competition and still own the SCCA Autocross course? Indeed they can, and you’re about to find out which five cars have the highest likelihood of living that dream.

For simplicity’s sake, we’ll focus on the Sport and Tuner classes that compete in Tire Rack SCCA Time Trials National Tour Powered by Hagerty (TTNT) competition, as those are where – like in the Solo program – cars get classed specifically. Obviously, the Max class at TTNT events is a great crossover for CAM, XS, and other “builder” cone-dodging classes, but for today’s mental gymnastics, we’ll focus on a handful of cars from the Street and Street Touring autocross classes that also compete successfully in TTNT’s Sport and Tuner classes.

Let’s dive in, breaking it down into Time Trials categories.

Sport Category

Corvette C5 Z06 – Yeah, you’ll need to run to Kohls and pick up some New Balances and a fresh pair of denim jorts, but this car really is the easy button. It’s currently the top car to run in A Street for SCCA Autocross as well as in Sport 1, TTNT’s fastest Sport class. Four hundred “hrsprs”, RWD, and big ole sticky tires make this car a riot in either discipline. If you don’t mind rocking grass-stained shoes in your quest to go fast, the C5 Z06 is a great choice for both programs. Just keep this one off the lawn during your TTNT sessions.

Pony cars – Whether you’re a Ford man or a Chevy guy, F Street (autocross) and Sport 2 (TTNT) both serve up a heaping helping of Americana. At any National event (for either program), you’ll find the Camaro 1LE, Ford Mach 1, and GT350 near or at the top of the leader boards. And the sounds! They don’t say, “Do it for Dale” for nothin’! So join the crowd – no, wait – get out of the crowd and into one of these hopped-up pony cars and you’ll have all you need to play near the top for TTNT events and in autocross.

Twins (FR-S and BRZ) – This one’s sorta cheating. We know that you know that everyone knows Solo Spec Coupe has been the hot option for those wanting to do both TTNT and SCCA Autocross, as it’s the closest thing to Sport classing in autocross. From one of the biggest classes at the Tire Rack SCCA Solo National Championships in Lincoln to being the reason Sport 5 (formally Sport 6) is typically the biggest group at Time Trials Nationals, you can’t go wrong here. So, if you’re like Freak Nasty and all about Da’ Dip (You put your hand upon my hip…), and love to live that slow car fast life, an SSC “twin” is the perfect pick.

Tuner Category

Supra GR – This one might be a bit of a surprise for most of you. With the formation of the SST autocross class, this awesome sports car from Germany...err, Japan...has proven to be as much of a power player as it is in TTNT’s Tuner 2 grid. And you can get it with paddle shifters, so you don’t even have to worry about your granny shifting. If you’re feeling fast and furious, overnight those parts from Germany Japan and decimate all in either program.

Tuner 4 – “Wait, that isn’t a car!” Right! But boy howdy does this TTNT class pack some of the best Street Touring autocross cars, past and present – all of which make great track toys. The STX “twins” and STR ND MX-5s are both the top cars in their respective ST autocross classes while also not being shabby in Tuner 4. But we’ll admit, one of the best Tuner 4 cars is the former heavy hitter from days of yore in STR: the Honda S2000. (This is when harps play, golden light falls from the sky, and we see unicorns…or something.) So, whether you have one of the current heavy hitters or have one of the best Japanese roadsters waiting patiently for you to break necks once again (VTEC, yo!), Tuner 4 has awesome options. (Author admits no biases and shall not be called out on any forum for said alleged biases.)

Both Sport and Tuner

You want the truth? The best autocross car for you to run in Sport or Tuner during a TTNT event is – wait for it – the one you already own. We know, we know, it’s cliché – but do us a solid and keep reading.

One of the great things about an autocross event is the fact that there’s always a new course and a new challenge to take on – thus, trophies and PAX rule the day as you only get a particular opportunity at mastering that course. Time Trials competition, meanwhile, gives you a new crack at that same track each time. A new chance. That means, in Time Trials, your finishing position is just one way to play the game. One of the others is going for a new Personal Best lap. (You know we’re tracking those now, right?)

When you’ve been working and striving for that new PB and finally achieve it? Whew! That can absolutely be as rewarding as a trophy in any autocross class. Maybe even more so. And who knows, you may just have some fun along the way.

Don’t fall into the new autocrosser excuse of waiting until you have the “perfect car” for the class. With Time Trials competition, you don’t have to have the top car for the class to have fun, or even scratch that ever-present competition itch. If Time Trials sounds fun to you, try it with whatever you have now. To very loosely paraphrase the late, great Mr. Rogers, it’s not so much what we have that matters, it’s what we do with what we have.

Check out the latest Time Trials National Tour schedule and join the fun. The TTNT isn’t coming to a track near you? Try out these Time Trials.

(Editor's note: This article was updated to change the model Corvette from C6 to C5)

Photo by Philip Royle / Staff