Time to explode a myth
Quite possibly one of the most well known forms of motorsport is circuit racing, but what is less known is that circuit racing is far more accessible than you are led to believe with a full season and race car budget starting at £10,000.
What is Circuit Racing?
A number of cars race wheel-to-wheel on a race track. The winner is the first competitor to reach the chequered flag, which falls once the designated number of race laps or a time limit has been completed. Most meetings comprise practise sessions, qualifying and at least one race.
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How do I start?
Before you start, go to some race meetings and chat with some of the competitors in the paddock. The next step is to buy a Motorsport UK Go Racing starter pack, which comes with a Competition Licence form and USB stick containing an instructional film, plus a digital copy of the Motorsport UK Yearbook.
In order to gain your race competition licence you need to complete a Novice Driver Training Course, run by members of the Association of Racing Driver Schools (ARDS). If you have never driven on track before, it’s a good idea to do some track days first and undergo some basic training.
If you are aged 14 to 59, you will need to have a vision test before applying for your licence, which is easily available from an optician. If you are aged 60 and above, a doctor’s medical report (including a vision test) is required. Bear in mind that your application for a competition licence must be submitted within three months of your vision test or medical.
You’ll also need to join the motor club that organises the event or championship that you want to compete in, and register as a driver.
What kind of car do I need?
It depends on which type of racing you want to do, so ideally choose your championship first and your car second. If, for example, you choose the BRSCC Ford Fiesta Championship, you will need a Fiesta, whereas if you go for BARC’s Mighty Minis you’re going to need a Mini. Your car will need to comply with technical regulations which are found in section Q of the Motorsport UK. Specific event or Championship regulations are found in Supplementary Regulations (SRs) made available by the organiser.
There are also many arrive and drive options available, across many different championships.
A scrutineer will check your car on-event for compliance and if it doesn’t comply, you won’t be allowed to compete.
What equipment do I need?
You will need safety equipment such as a helmet, Frontal Head Restraint device, fireproof overalls and underwear, boots and gloves, all of which must comply with Motorsport UK regulations. As well as Roll Over Protection System (ROPS), FIA-homologated harness and fire extinguisher to acceptable standards, details of which can be found in section Q of the Motorsport Yearbook.
Do I need a timing transponder?
Most circuit racing events will require that you have a timing transponder fitted to the vehicle. Details of the type of transponder required are specified in the event or championship Supplementary Regulations (SRs), made available by the organiser.