There are many different disciplines of motorsport and if you know you want to get involved but don’t know where to start, it can be a little daunting. You may know you like rallying, but do you want to do navexs, 12 cars, scatters, targa rallies, road rallies, endurance road rallies, stage rallies or something else?
For a number of grassroots motorsport disciplines you can use your standard road car. Events that Chelmsford Motor Club run that are an example of these are 12 cars and targa rallies. The entry fee for a 12 car is £10 per car, whilst entry fees for targas are normally £50 per driver (cars can be double driven but each entry is £50). There are other disciplines that CMC doesn’t run that are suitable for standard cars, for example autotests, autosolos and production car trials. More information on all the different types of motorsport can be found on the Go Motorsport website.
Club motorsport is a great place to start competing as you can try a variety of events without breaking the bank. Often you’ll find people compete in lots of different disciplines rather than specialising in just one. If you want to get more involved, events such as stage rallies require cars to be built to various safety specifications, for example including roll cages. Stage rally drivers must have taken their BARS (British Association of Rally Schools) test to obtain a minimum of a National B Rally licence which involves theory and practical tests. Co-drivers must also have a licence, but only require a Non-Race National B licence which can be purchased from the MSA for just under £50 and no tests are required. In addition, crews must also wear fireproof overalls and helmets - so you can see there are a few extra requirements for stage rallies.
There are so many different disciplines and so many potential questions, that it would be impossible to answer them all here. One of the common questions is “how much does it cost to get involved?” You can find a guide on costs and budgets at all levels on the Go Motorsport website.
In any club, you’ll find people have their own favourite disciplines and everybody’s interests vary. It’s always a good idea to go along to an event or to a club night (held on the third Thursday of every month at The Generals Arms, Little Baddow from 8.30pm) to talk to a variety of people who can also answer any questions. As previously mentioned, the Go Motorsport website has tonnes of information about all areas of grassroots motorsport.
This guide isn’t designed to be exhaustive, it is just to give you a little information on some of the many options available. Events that Chelmsford Motor Club organises include:
MGJ Engineering Brands Hatch Winter Stages and Hutton Kitchens Brands Hatch Summer Stages
Featuring 80 rally cars with everything from WRC screamers to MKII Escorts to Peugeot 205s, both events make use of the Indy circuit, pitlane, paddock, rally stage and more. For more information see the Brands Hatch Stages website or the Chelmsford Motor Club website.
Cadman Construction Woodbridge Stages
With 60 miles of smooth, twisty and flowing tarmac, the unique nature of Woodbridge makes this more exciting than a normal airfield venue. As the rally is held on MOD land, the only way to see this event is to enter or marshal. For more information see the Woodbridge Stages website or the Chelmsford Motor Club website.
The East Anglian Classic
A historic road rally, this is a round of the Autosessive HRCR Clubmans Rally Championship. A one day event, the rally covers 150 miles around Norfolk comprising of special driving tests and regularity tests. For more information see the Chelmsford Motor Club website.
The XPart Endurance Rally
The XPart is a day / night rally for lightly modified two wheel drive cars limited to 1400cc for petrol and 2000cc diesel non-turbo engines, built to the endurance road rally formula. For more information see the Endurance Road Rallying website or the Chelmsford Motor Club website.
The Preston is a road rally in Norfolk and Suffolk, and is known as “The One and Only” due to the tough nature of the event. For more information see the Chelmsford Motor Club website.
12 Car Rallies
Chelmsford Motor Club runs a 12 Car Winter Series from September to April. 12 cars are navigational tests held on public roads to an average of 30mph, with a set of instructions or clues defining a particular route to be taken. A standard car with a driver and navigator, a map and a few pencils are all you need. For more information see the Chelmsford Motor Club website. Want hints and tips including map folding techniques and navigation guides? Have a look here.
Targa rallies comprise of a number of driving tests which are typically one to two miles each. A standard car with a driver and navigator are all that are needed - team work and going the right way (from diagrams provided) are the keys to success. For more information see the Chelmsford Motor Club website.