The high-speed discipline
Sprint is a high-speed discipline in which drivers take turns to set a time around a lap of a race circuit or a point-to-point course, with the fastest times determining the results.
Sprint is a very diverse discipline, with vehicles ranging from near-standard road cars to F1-style single-seaters.
How does Sprint work?
Sprints are typically held on racing circuits, as well as disused airfields, and with venues spread right across the country you won’t have to travel too far to have a go yourself.
Competitors are given practice runs before the competition proper starts. Usually you will get two runs against the clock, with your best time counting in the final results. The best part about Sprinting is that if you get your first run wrong you still have a chance of making amends on the second run.
How do I start?
First, join your local Sprint club, which you can find using the club search function.
You then need to apply to Motorsport UK for your RS Inter Club Competition Licence, available to anyone aged 16 or above.
A good starting point is the Hillclimb & Sprint Association. The HSA produces the magazine Speedscene, dedicated to sprinting and its sister activity, Hill Climb. This will help you choose where to compete and which class to enter. Another good reference is The Essential Manual of Hillclimbing & Sprinting, published by Veloce. There is no test requirement for taking out a RS Inter Club Competition licence but the Association of Hillclimb and Sprint Schools (AHASS) offers a written examination that can count as an upgrade signature towards a RS National licence. AHASS also offers introductory courses for prospective competitors.
Next, go to some Sprints and chat with the competitors to get a real-life feel for the discipline and what it takes to be a competitor.
What kind of car do I need?
There are many different Sprint classes, including categories for standard or near-standard road-going vehicles, so you may already be driving your future competition car.
If you decide to buy a car specifically for Sprinting, make sure you check it for damage and mechanical soundness before buying. Most competition cars are well looked-after but, as the old saying goes, “Let the buyer beware”.
Where can I find technical regulations for Sprints & Hill Climbs?
Technical regulations for Sprints & Hill Climbs are found in section S of the Motorsport UK Yearbook. Specific event or Championship regulations are found in Supplementary Regulations (SRs) made available by the organiser.
What safety equipment needs to be fitted to my car?
It is possible for a standard road-going production car to be used in Sprints & Hill Climbs without any additional safety items. Modified production cars, or specialist Sprint or Hill Climb vehicles are required to be fitted with a Roll Over Protection System (ROPS), details of which can be found in section S of the Motorsport UK Yearbook.
What personal safety equipment do I need to wear?
As a minimum you will be required to wear a helmet, flame resistant overalls and gloves to approved standards. Details can be found in section S and section K of the Motorsport UK Yearbook.