Autocross is a form of motorsports that emphasizes safe competition and active participation. An autocross is a timed competition in which drivers navigate one at a time through a defined course on either a sealed or an unsealed surface. Autocross differs from road racing and oval racing in that generally there is only one car on the track, racing against the clock rather than other cars. As an entry-level motorsport it provides a stepping stone for drivers looking to move into other more competitive and possibly expensive forms of racing (such as rallying and circuit racing).
Autocross courses are typically one to two kilometres long and tend to place demands on car handling and driver skill rather than on engine power and outright speed. Courses may be temporary and marked by traffic cones or be permanent tracks with approval by a motorsport body.
Events typically have many classes that allow almost any vehicle, from economy sedans to purpose-built racing cars, to compete. Due to the nature of a typical track, speeds can be slower when compared to other forms of motorsports, usually not exceeding highway speeds, but the activity level (measured in discrete turns per minute) can be higher than even Formula One due to the large number of elements packed into each course.
Australian Autocross is type of motorsport sanctioned by the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport, which defines it as a speed event held on a dirt course less than two kilometres long. Eligible vehicles range from standard road-going cars through purpose-built buggies to full race- and rally-prepared machines. Drivers may begin competing at the age of 14 and must hold a recognised racing licence, which is usually obtainable on the day through the hosting club.
American Autocross is a form of autocross practiced in the United States of America sanctioned by Sports Car Club of America and National Auto Sport Association. Events are typically held on flat sealed surfaces such as parking lots or airport tarmacs, and have a new course for each event, generally marked out by traffic cones.
European Autocross is significantly different from most other types in that cars race wheel to wheel and is similar to Folkrace.