British Grand Prix fever hits the nation – you too can get involved
Discover motorsport through your regional clubs and events
Britain’s Lewis Hamilton leads the Formula One® World Championship driver standings as the pinnacle of motorsport comes home to Silverstone Circuit, where it all began 70 years ago.
Silverstone will host not one, but two Grands Prix in the coming weeks, the back-to-back races part of the new F1 calendar, revised in light of COVID-19. First, on the opening weekend (31 July – 2 August), the Pirelli British Grand Prix, one of the traditional highlights of the summer of sport. Just one week later, a second race weekend (7 August – 9 August) celebrating the Emirates 70th anniversary Grand Prix, marks the very first race held in 1950.
Motorsport UK, the governing body for British motorsport, plays key role in the planning and running of events at Silverstone each year. Not only does the organisation issue competition licences for F1 stars Lewis Hamilton, Lando Norris and George Russell, it organises the sporting element of the weekend, with over 420 marshals, officials and volunteers needed to safely and smoothly operate one of the jewels in the crown of UK sport.
Motorsport UK works with the future generations of sporting stars through its Team UK and Academy programmes, supporting the development of British hopefuls, Formula 2 race winner Callum Ilott, W Series Champion Jamie Chadwick and Formula 3 prospects Oli Caldwell and Jake Hughes, as they strive to become the F1 drivers of the future.
This year, Motorsport UK also ran a competition for young karters and children of NHS workers to become F1 Future Stars, 10 winners have been chosen to be part of the national anthem ceremony during the British Grand Prix, where they will have a ‘virtual’ presence.
In light of the pandemic, Formula 1 is currently being played out behind closed doors, so these drivers will race without the passionate home support and the sea of Union Jacks. Will you be watching from home? Ever got an urge to give motorsport a go, but don’t know how? Motorsport UK have five ways you – yes, you! – can go and compete in low-cost, miles-of-smiles motorsport – some with your very own road car!
Join the Motorsport UK Trackside community
Trackside is a newly-formed community for fans to come together with a mutual passion for motorsport. This membership allows you to get closer to the action with behind-the-scenes access to circuits, race and rally teams and motoring manufacturers, as well as taster events, competitions and discounts to help you make the motorsport. To find out more about Trackside visit trackside.motorsportuk.org
Arrive and Drive – British Indoor Kart Championship
Drive to your nearest TeamSport indoor Karting venue and take part in a British Championship. There are 35 venues around the country, with each circuit hosting local qualifying sessions from July until September.
There are classes for all ages from eight-year-olds upwards, and for adults, there are four weight categories for those who might be carrying more personal success ballast than others! Compete as a family, and if you make the timing cut, you could see yourself into the regional finals. Visit www.bikc.co.uk for further information.
Autotest and Autosolo
Over 30,000 racers get their competitive fix through 11 different motorsport disciplines every weekend. Autotests and Autosolos are two of the most accessible and it doesn’t get much cheaper than this. For around £50, in your own road car you could be sliding around courses on Tarmac or grass.
Autotests involve several courses in an event, with drivers getting two shots at each, and the winner being the competitor who covers all of the challenges in the lowest accumulated time. You accrue time penalties for hitting cones or for getting lost on the course. Autosolos are the same, but on simpler courses and without reverse-gear sections. To find your nearest event, visit www.motorsportuk.org/events/find-events
Volunteering and Marshaling
Motorsport is made up of over 14,000 volunteers across the length and breadth of the country, providing the organisational backbone for events. Marshaling is the perfect way to get involved in the sport if you don’t want to compete.
As well as looking after competitor and spectator safety, it is great way to meet new friends, get the best spot in the house, close to the action and develop new skills, perfect for adding to the CV – and the best thing, it’s free! www.motorsportuk.org/volunteers/marshals to find out more.
For the more adventurous…Car Trials
Unlike many of the disciplines in motorsport, Car Trials are all about the distance you travel over an off-road course, rather than how quickly you go. Usually run on grass, wear and tear is kept to a minimum, and with a few small recommended modifications to your own car (new tyres and a sump-guard to protect the underside) you could be taking part in a British Championship!
Just like Autotests and Autosolos, passengers are allowed, and they can play an important part in trialling, as they not only help with directions but help with the balance and traction of the car. To find your nearest event, visit www.motorsportuk.org/events/find-events
For Autosolos, Autotests and Car Trials, get your free Motorsport UK RS Clubman Competition licence at rsclubman.motorsportuk.org. For further information on Motorsport UK and to discover the clubs in your area, visit motorsportuk.org