Spreading the word on racing on a really tight budget. Sharing knowledge found the hard way.
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There is a lot of necessary bureaucracy in racing these days, from an organisers point of view it’s a nightmare, insurance, indemnities, track fees, regulations, organisation, timing etc. When you finally get to the race the organisers will be running round sorting out a million problems, if the organiser does not look stressed then they are either dead or have resigned!

To make life as easy as possible I tried to get all the forms sorted out as early as possible, this includes paying for it! For any MSA type circuit racing like the Jag you will need the following:

A race licence (about £400 all in)
Club membership (usually in the region of £60).
Race registration and a race number (again, often about £60 but sometimes free).
Race entry (varies with circuit but about £185).
A certified and stickered crash helmet (a certified sticker on the helmet may cost a pound).
A timing transponder (various types about £250)

So you will spend about £1000 just to get all the paperwork sorted for the first race!

The following were recommend to me as things to do BEFORE the first race:
Get your crash hat certified.
Get your car scrutineered. Its amazing what you may have forgotten or got wrong!
Get your race suit and helmet scrutineered.

I also had to sort out:

Transport there and back (remember the car may get broken).
Fuel (available at most circuits but really expensive)

I found it invaluable to do a track day first, to iron out any niggling faults before race day and get some much needed experience behind my nice new shinny steering wheel.

I got my licence severall years ago, but thats another story. Here is the general proceedure as best as i can remember!

For this series I needed a ‘National B race licence’ from the MSA (part of the RAC that represents the FIA in the UK) that cost£45.

The first step was to buy a starter pack from the MSA for £49. This contains the legendary 'Blue Book' from which all regulations come, a video showing basic techniques, safety info and various other bits of useful gubbins.

I had to get a medical so they know I will survive your first lap! This includes a basic eyesight test, much like your driving test, and a check that you can get out of your seat without falling over.

Then I had to do a simple training day at a racetrack and pass a test. This is the Association of Racing Driver Schools (ARDS) the course. This is compulsory but well worth doing and actually an enjoyable day out. You learn basic track skills on the circuit in one of their cars and more importantly how to be safe.
Then you do a simple multiple-choice test that checks you know what to do in an emergency and that you know what the flags mean. When you’re finished the instructor will sign your paperwork and you can go home smiling with a few stories to tell your chums.

That done, you post off your forms and test certificate (a bit like when you did your driving test) sit back and wait excitedly for the posty to deliver your shiny new race licence.


©Ralph Hosier