Always fancied having a go at motorsport?
Read on for some useful tips
What is Motorsport?
Motorsport is one of the most successful and popular sports in Britain. There are a number of different disciplines from stage rallying to circuit racing. Events are organised by registered motor clubs under the umbrella of Motorsport UK, the governing body.
The sport provides a level playing field for competitors regardless of age, gender, race or disability. All that counts is how fast you are!
Who can compete?
Anyone over the age of 8, male or female, can drive in some form of competition.
Many forms of motorsport can be tackled with completely standard road cars, so there is an opportunity for anyone to have a go without spending a fortune on a car specifically for competition. Some disciplines require each car to carry a passenger, often as an active participant, so you don't necessarily even need a car to be a competitor. But do be warned - once you get the bug for competing you may not be able to stop!
How else can I get involved?
It's easy to become actively involved without competing. There are loads of enjoyable and rewarding ways to get into motorsport, such as volunteering to organising events or marshalling. In addition the UK offers a huge number of employment opportunities, with jobs in the industry ranging from team managers and administrators to truck drivers, event organisers, championship coordinators, mechanics or salespeople.
How do I find out more?
Have a look at the Motorsport UK website at www.motorsportuk.org/get-started/ and check out where your nearest motor club is. There are lots of benefits to joining a club, including regular meetings where you will get to know fellow petrolheads. As well as meeting in real life, most clubs have a website or a facebook page to keep you up to date with events and news. Clubs usually have annual awards too which are presented at their end of season party. Hopefully by joining a club you will meet many like-minded partners in crime to help with your new motorsport hobby.
Got the bug? Get a licence
To compete in all events, you need a competition licence. At the moment the basic licence is free, but you will have to take proficiency tests to get your rally or race licence - for example you need an ARDS test for a racing licence or a BARS test for a rally licence. There are race and rally schools around the UK who offer ARDS or BARS courses and a good place to start to find a school is once again the Motorsport UK website.
All forms of motorsport competition are controlled by a set of rules contained in something called the Blue Book, available online at the Motorsport UK website/. You can also ask for a hard copy of it with your licence. You can research the rules for your chosen type of motorsport before you spend loads of money on a competition car. These rules also govern what kind of personal safety equipment you will need. Most, but not all, disciplines require a Helmet and FHR (Frontal Head Restraint) and fireproof overalls at the minimum. If you're not sure then Rob at Clubman Motorsport will be happy to advise you.
Good luck and enjoy getting involved