what motor clubs can do for you
|Coming to this web site suggests you have an interest in motorsport. You may not know how to get involved or what you could do. The truth is you can get involved on a huge number of levels. You don't even need to hold a driving licence. As an example in the space of one year we helped a world rally champion driver and co-driver, marshalled at stage rallies in the UK and Europe, went karting, got special entry to the NEC Autosport, competed on a number of stage rallies and won a trophy. That is nothing special. It is available to you right now at any level of involvement.|
|JOIN A MOTOR CLUB|
| Joining a motor club is inexpensive typically around 12.00gbp for one year, and easy as clubs
cover the entire UK and Irish Republic. Some clubs specialise in various activities or have a broad
spectrum of opportunities to get involved. You can view all the listed clubs by visiting the
Its My Motor Club page . Your local clubs will be listed and you can
identify what they get involved in.
UK clubs need to be recognised by the Motor Sports Association (MSA). The individual clubs affiliate to a regional association and may belong to a number of these associations.
Clubs organise a variety of social and competitive activities covering a broad selection of opportunities to get involved or compete. Some clubs have a particular interest in an area of motorsport. They may organise club championships. The regional associations organise regional and national championships. Other clubs exist to promote one area such as the HSCC, Historic Sports Car Association who organise a number of circuit championships throughout the year.
As an example take the Dukeries Motor Club in Nottinghamshire. They belong to five regional associations and their members can compete in any MSA sanctioned event within those regions subject to individual members holding the correct licences where required. They organise two major stage rallies and their members can compete in the club championship and the various championships organised by the associations to which they belong.
If you compete you do not need to join a championship. If you do not compete you can help in the most important way possible and become a marshal. You can marshal anywhere in the UK or abroad and not restricted like the competitor.
| Once you have joined the club you can receive training in the marshals duties and safety
matters, including first aid. You will apply for a marshals licence which can be used to act as a
marshal at any UK event. You will be warmly welcomed and could even receive a prize at a club, regional
or national level. Marshals are highly valued as 'no marshals=no motorsport'. Local
clubs provide all the facilities you need but you can also consider a dedicated marshal club such as
British Rally Marshals Club .
What can you expect to do? You will work with a group of marshals to cover a sector of a rally. This could be helping in the service area, on stage, timing, setting out the route or a number of other duties. You will be responsible for the safety of yourself and the public. If an incident occurs you will be trained to act immediately. It could be a car leaves the stage and you need to help get it back on, secure it or warn other competitors of a pending hazard. You will be close to the action and see an amazing sport at first hand. In service and particularly with timing you will meet drivers, co-drivers and teams. You could be speaking to a world champion. That won't happen sat in your armchair.
| Having joined a motor club you will have access marshalling at small venues, all the major
UK racing circuits and those abroad should you wish to travel. You will be able to attend initial and
subsequent training days to ensure you have the ability to deal with the highest levels of assistance,
support and safety.
Circuit marshals are given a sector of the circuit in which your team will work. You may be using flags to inform competitors of hazards and warnings. Secure the safety of competitors and vehicles following an incident. Your contribution cannot be underestimated as you can save lives. You will see some of the greatest racing in the world from the closest point possible outside of the cockpit. No matter where you marshal it is entertaining. You could be helping the highest paid drivers or the clubman competitor. It matters not which as they are all equally grateful. You could consider a dedicated marshal club such as the -
British Motorsport Marshals Club .
|STAGE RALLY COMPETITOR|
| This type of rally is probably the one you are most aware of, particularly the World Rally
Championship (WRC). You can start your stage rallying on a budget when you have joined a motor club and
applied for the relevant competitor licence with the MSA. Your club will help you. As a co-driver you
will need a National B licence which will not allow you to drive. As a driver you will obtain a pack
from the MSA and take a British Association of Rally Schools (BARS) exam.
Your choice of car is endless. It will need some modifications including a safety cage, extinguishers, harnesses and other strengthening and safety requirements. These can be explained by your club and also with the MSA who will have an appointed examiner check the car and issue an MSA Log Book. Your car will also need a valid MOT. Modifications are as costly as you wish to make them. It is possible to take a road car and for about 500gbp turn it into a viable first rally car. Our first car cost 150.00gbp with 400.00gbp in modifications, although I would say 3000.00gbp is a more realistic bottom line figure now due to the saftey requirements. The more you can do yourself the cheaper it gets.
You will need a budget for a season as you will want to get the car more and more competitive. Tyres can be a major expense and you will need plenty of rims to keep a variety available. Tyres can be bought part worn. You will enter rallies with your clubs association having decided whether to compete in single venues or mutli-venues. Single venues are cheaper as you will not need road insurance.
If you have the money you can spend anything you wish to get the best car. That said you would be wiser spending money on extensive training with one of the UK's many rally schools who will teach the tricks of the trade.
A single venue rally typically takes place in a single day at an old airfield, army camp and some racing circuits. Surfaces are very varied, from smooth tarmac to rough, muddy and wet. That's the skill with a rally. The total distance is typically 60-80 miles split into 8-12 separate stages. Your car will be noise-checked and scrutineered for compliance. You then get the stage planes which is the major job for the co-driver who will need to be sure of calling each hazard clearly. Servicing is at the venue and limited time is given between stages for repair etc. From the first stage everything will be timed. Each stage must be completed as quickly as possible and each service completed within a given time. Single venues cost about 250.00gbp
Mutli-venues can be single days or 2-4 days. You would compete on special stages separated by public road sections. Your car will need to pass a noise check and scrutineering. You will be issued road books or maps with the route to be followed exactly, with no shortcutting on the road sections. Every element is timed which includes special stages, road sections and servicing. Multi-venue is more demanding as you will probably complete two or three stages between servicing and any problems with the car must be resolved by the crew between services. If you make a wrong tire choice you have to live with it until service. It's tough for the driving who trying to get the best time on stage and correct time on the road. The co-drivers duties are non-stop as he is responsible for calling the stage and ensuring the road route is taken exactly as stated. Multi-venues cost around 400gbp and way upwards.
A stage rally is thrilling and frustrating but a good finishing position makes all the effort worthwhile. Many cars retire and if you don't then you've beaten them, no matter if you're in a 205 and they were in a Metro 6R4. Finishing is as big a challenge as a fast stages time.
|CIRCUIT RACING COMPETITOR|
| As a driver you will need an MSA competition licence of which there are many. The MSA web
site will explain what is required and the course you will need to take. You can start competing at UK
circuits in low budget racing and progress when money, time and skill allow. Money does not equal success.
Building a solid foundation of car and driver preparation, and driving technique matter more.
There is no doubt that circuit racing is expensive, although many championships cater specifically for the budget driver. For saloon cars you could look at Hot Hatch (750MC), Locost (750MC), Mazda MX-5 (BRSCC), Minis(BRSCC) and even 2CV Championship (2CV Racing). For single seaters look at Formula Vee (750MC) or Formula Ford (BRSCC).
Car preparation is similar to rally cars in that you will need a safety cage, fire systems and modifications to various areas of the chosen car. You could buy a used race car if you have the budget. Start by buying Motorsport News or Autosport magazine. Check out the various internet based traders and even eBay. You will need advice and assistance which can be obtained from your motor club and chosen championship. It is possible to start competing on a car budget of 2000gbp but you will need to do a lot of work yourself and the budget for a season needs to be considered particularly damage and tires.
|An inexpensive form of competition. You can use your own road car or create a special with modifications. Cars are classed so you will, as always compete with similar vehicles. It's competitive and fun. Autotest is a test of driving skill. You will be timed around marked out courses and receive penalties for hitting markers. These events can be held on grass or tarmac. There Is minimal possibility of damage.|
|There a wide variety of road rally opportunities and most motor clubs offer these night time events. Using public roads this is grass-roots rallying and gives you a cheap alternative to stage rally competition. You will compete against the clock on public roads under tight regulation. The timing between points is designed to negate breaking speed limits. That said it is all pressure and needs excellent driving and navigational skills. You would need to check with your insurance company regarding your car but probably would not be covered. The minimum insurance for any road vehicle is for third party liabilities and this can usually be obtained through your club for the event. Cars vary widely from standard to modified although restrictions do apply.|
|SPRINT and SPEED HILL-CLIMB|
|Usually circuit based or a similar closed venue. An example is Three Sisters in Wigan, Prescott Hill near Gotherington, MIRA at Hinckley and a huge number of other competing over timed laps on tarmac. You will need some safety equipment such as helmet, fire suit and gloves. Classes go from near standard to heavily modified and include rally orientated cars. As with any motorsport the best are the most skilful and not the richest. We compete in a modified Porsche alongside standard road cars. It's great fun.|
|Circuit racing on a loose surface against the clock. Bear in mind the loose surface will usually be a field so you will need to make sure your car is prepared accordingly. Your car will need safety modifications and all vehicles are classed. Practice is offered followed by a number of laps or circuits. You would only compete at the same time as one other vehicle although your time is the only factor considered. National B licence required to compete.|
| With cars producing 500bhp plus this is an expensive and very specialised racing. Rallycross
is usually at a racing circuit and uses both the tarmac and off tarmac sections. You can visit the rally
cross associations for more information -
British Rallycross Drivers Association
|TRIALS and PRODUCTION CAR TRIALS|
|The competition is to try and get your car as far up a hill as possible. Speed rarely helps to a great extent as you need to travel across, down and up around markers. It's difficult and a great test of slow and quick driving skills. Specialised vehicles compete in trials whereas standard vehicles take part in PCT's.|
|12 CAR and SCATTER NAVIGATION RALLY|
| So called as 12 cars maximum can take part. 12-car is similar to a Road Rally but over a
lower distance of around 70 miles. They take place mostly on smooth tarmac public roads. Events are
timed to within 1 minute taking about 2 hours total to complete. Events take place usually in an
evening and finish before 10pm. Using standard road cars. The route is set to be followed exactly.
The car team (driver and navigator) must follow the route and stop at time controls (TC). Points are
lost for approaching the TC from the wrong angle, missing a TC, late, early, missing a code board etc.
It's enough to prove a real challenge and is taken very seriously by those who compete. 12 car and
scatter use Ordnance Survey Landranger maps which teaches the use of map co-ordinates.
The scatter is the same except that it does not need to follow the fixed route of a 12-car.
|Held as good fun, very sociable and a good navigational training event for other rallies. Using standard cars the events run over variable distances on public roads.|
|Fun, sociable and good basic navigation training. Clues are provided to get you through the route. Great fun to solve the clues and with no timing there is no pressure. Held on weekends and summer evenings.|
|Trying to find little jars of nails planted around the countryside. This is a slightly different version of a scatter or navigation rally. Ordnance Survey Landranger maps are used together with clues to find the jars of nails. The nails vary from 3 to 6 inches and clues are given to identify co-ordinates of the jars. The longer the nail the more difficult the clue. Complicated enough to ensure navigation is the essence of the event. A time is given for completion of the event and the winners have the most length of total nails. Usually takes place in an evening with a small charge for entry to the event. A great navigation exercise and a lot of fun.|
Motor Sports Association
Its My Motorsport motor clubs page
Volunteers in Motorsport
British Motorsport Marshals Club
British Rally Marshals Club