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An introduction to Motorsport

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The Club wants to attract new members who are specifically interested in motoring and motor sport of all kinds. The Club and its members are involved with motor sport at all levels, from Club events run locally to members competing as drivers or navigators at Regional, National and International level. As well as competitors we also have members who organise and marshal at events at a very diverse range of motorsport events.

There is a huge range to choose from to suit all tastes & budgets. Below is a resume of various forms of motorsport offered by many Motor Clubs throughout the UK. Some Clubs will specialise in a particular discipline, but they all should be able to put you in touch with the right people.

Marshalling – No Motorsport event would exist without marshals, it is a great way to first get involved with the sport. You don’t have to own a car or even be able to drive and it’s not going to cost you a lot either. Club members marshal at all types of motorsport events, Classic Car runs, Production Car trials, Autotests, Stage & Navigational Rallies, Sprints, Hillclimbs, Races, at Club, National & International levels, locally, throughout the UK & Europe. You can get as involved as you wish. If you just want to go out on the odd local event or wish to progress through the ranks to event organisation, there is a wide range of training available from First Aid & Fire Training to Event Officials & Organisers.
Best way to get started is to join your local Club & buddy up with some experienced marshals.

Driving Tests (Auto Tests), Motor Gymkhana’s & Car Trials – Grass routes Motorsport, ideal for a low budget. You can use any car with absolutely no modifications (may be best to take the shopping home first). Many clubs run these as fun Summer events. Generally held in a field or car park, a route few around traffic cones and a stopwatch.
Car trials involve driving up a hill between markers, the further you get the less penalties.
There are Regional & National Championships to compete in if you wish & with classes for some very specialist cars too.

Treasure Hunts – A family afternoon out, use the shopping car, put the kids in the back and off you go. You will be given a set of route instructions with questions to answer (sometimes cryptic) whilst you are travelling around the route and usually some “Treasure” to collect, points will be awarded at the end, nice to finish these events with a BBQ.

Navigational, Road Events, 12-Cars & Scatters – Everything from the Table top rally (a good way to begin), to 12 Car Navigational Exercises, Road Rallies, Classic Car & Regularity Events and Road Rally.
The Table Top Rally is a bit like a board game, usually held in the back room of a Pub or Village hall, you plot a route on a map from a selection of route plotting methods. A 12 Car Nav-Ex (as they are called) is putting the Table Top Rally into practice, you plot a route and drive it, around the route, made up of several sections, there will be Marshal points (Controls) and Code Boards (Letter or Number boards, usually cut up old number plates) for you to make a note of, this is to prove that you have driven the correct route, there is also a timing element. Road Rallies are logically the next step up, generally for the more experienced, longer events, sometimes with more complex navigation & timing. Regularity events are similar again, but the emphasis is on Average Speed, You Have to plot a route & average the given speed around the route, you have to arrive at the controls at your allotted times, but you do not know where on the route they are. Navigational Scatters basically a treasure hunt with no set route, you are given a number of map references, you plot them and visit them in the order that you think will be the most efficient, to prove that you have visited the locations you will either be asked a question about something at that location or there will be a code board with letters or numbers on it, just note it on the check sheet and proceed to the next location.

Stage Rallies – You have all seen the World Rally events on the TV, obviously that is the top flight, very expensive, for the top few drivers & navigators. But every last one of them started Rallying at a lower level, You can start at the Entry level the Club Stage Rally. A one day event for about 60-70 cars upwards of 40 competitive miles, in various classes, usually part of a local/regional championship and just using, in the main one venue. Next up is the National Championship events, one or two day events, lots more miles, using more venues. More often than not these events are held on a disused airfields or MOD bases, or areas of woodland & country estate roads.
From this the progression is to the International Status events, again yet bigger events, using forestry or closed roads. Also expensive to enter & take part. From there World Rally.
If you are really into Stage Rallies but cannot afford it, how about helping out someone else, join a Service Crew/Support Team, you don’t necessarily have to get your hands dirty, they may need someone to drive the van or make the Sarnies.

Sprint, Hillclimb & Race – Sprints can be a cheap way to start off, racing generally costs more, you can use your own road car with a couple of safety modifications right up to a second hand F1 car (if you can afford it) Sprint’s & Hillclimb’s are short speed trials, usually upto about a mile maximum. The venues are anything from airfields & stately homes to a Sea Front Promenades to a Purpose built Circuit. There are various classes in each type of competition, to suit your choice of vehicle & the size of your wallet.

Whatever your motorsport interest maybe, your local Motor Club will be able to guide you in the direction you choose. The vast majority of Clubs in the UK are affiliated to the Motor Sport Association, they are the UK motor sports governing body, the clubs organise events in accordance with the Rules & Regulations of the MSA who issue event permits & competition licences.
The best way to find your local Club visit the Motor Sport Association Website www.msauk.org or look in the Yellow pages.

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Last Updated: 01-Dec-2015
 
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