Getting Started
 
The Motor Sports Association (MSA) are the UK Governing Body for motorsports 

 
There is a huge range of motorsport events in the UK most of which require you to hold a competition licence issued by the MSA.

Competition Licence – Types
The types of licence available are Race, Kart, Speed, Drag, Stage Rally, Cross Country, Non-Race & Entrant.
    
Competition Licence – Grades
The grade of licences available are (highest first) International, National ‘A’, National ‘B’, and Clubman.

For racing, rallying or karting you will need to purchase an appropriate starter pack from the MSA, complete a Novice Drivers Scheme at an approved drivers school and then send in your completed race licence application form.

For events such as hillclimbs or sprints a speed licence is required.

However if you are in anyway disabled please DO NOT buy a pack or attend a school until your condition has been assessed - I would not want you to waste your money or delay your application for a licence!   Please give me a call, have a chat, you can then download and complete the relevant licence application form. Have it signed by your Doctor and send it to the MSA for the attention of the MSA's Medical Section Administrator - see Contact Page for all contact details. 

Depending upon your circumstances you may be requested to attend a session of the Medical Advisory Panel which meets twice a year - October and March.  Please refer to the "Regulations" section that explains the medical conditions that may prevent participation in some types of events.
 
Please Note two important points:

1) It has become a standard procedure that disabled drivers wishing to take part in racing but who have no previous competition experience will initially be offered a National Speed licence (National B non-race) to participate in a minimum of four "speed" events i.e. sprints and hillclimbs in their first season before applying for an upgrade to a race licence.

2) For safety reasons (not yours - the marshals, other drivers and spectators!) you have to be able to exit the vehicle, unaided and from a fully strapped in position, within 7 seconds for race events and 10 seconds for speed events.  NB: This does not apply to kart racers taking part in Short Circuit Kart race events.

MSA Blue Book Section J Competitors: Vehicles  The time requirement for exiting a competition car for ALL competitors is as follows :-

5.19.2. The vehicle occupant(s), seated in their normal position, wearing normal equipment, with seat belts fastened and the steering wheel in place, must be able to evacuate the cockpit in a maximum of 7 seconds.

NB Disabled drivers are given an extra 3 seconds to exit when competing in Non Race Speed events where only one car at a time participates e.g., sprints, hillclimbs etc.


 The information below is courtesy of the MSA and you can find much more detail on their website - www.msauk.org
1. Racing
2. Rallying
3. Karts
4. Drag Racing, Hillclimbs, Sprints and other events

 1. Racing
Though motor racing can never be truly cheap,racing at club level is the backbone of the sport in this country and need not be prohibitively expensive.
It is still possible to race competitively in a car, which you have driven to the circuit.
  
Race Licences
A competitor making an application for the first time for a Race licence must obtain a novice race driver ‘Go Racing Driver Pack’, which contains the required application form, from the MSA and then complete an approved course at a school registered with the 
  Association of Racing Drivers’ School (ARDS). The procedure to be followed is contained in the ‘Pack’.
  
Minimum Requirements 
• You must be at least 16 years old.• Before you can apply for your first Race Licence, you must do the following:-
 
1. Purchase a "Go Racing" starter pack from the MSA. This pack includes a DVD, a copy of the MSA Competitors Yearbook, the necessary application form, plus various other useful items.
2. If 18 or over, obtain a medical certificate (the form for completion is in the "Go Racing" pack).
3. Complete a half-day MSA course for novice drivers run only by members of the Association of Racing Drivers Schools (ARDS), before they can obtain a National B Licence.
Please contact your local school for costs - a list of these can be found on the MSA website. 
   

2. Rallying
One of the most popular form of motor sport in Britain, perhaps because it involves ordinary-looking cars. It involves two people working together: a driver and a co-driver or navigator, and the cars normally run at one-minute intervals, competing against the clock rather than directly against each other.

Another major attraction of rallying is that it takes place throughout Great Britain. Although most special stage events take place in less populated areas, road rallies are held even in the Home Counties.
 
 Special Stage Rallying
 These are far more expensive than road rallies, with more emphasis upon car preparation, speed and driver ability, rather than navigational skills.

Road Rallying
 While very specialised cars are required for top-level special stage rallying, unmodified, everyday cars can be used for simple road events, making this one of the cheapest forms for motor sport available.
 
Stage Rally Licence
A competitor making an application for the first time for a Stage Rally licence must obtain a novice stage rally ‘Go Rallying Pack’  The pack contains – among other information – a "Competitors Yearbook", a DVD and a novice licence application form. The pack contains instructions on the procedure for obtaining a Stage Rally National B Licence.

You must then complete an approved course at a school registered with the British Association of Rally Schools (BARS).  The procedure to be followed is contained in the ‘Pack’. 
 


3. Karts   

Where aspiring race drivers should start...
Traditionally the starting point for racing drivers, karting can give competitors their first experience of wheel-to-wheel action. As karts can be significantly cheaper than cars, karting offers huge opportunities for aspiring racers at a fraction of the cost.

 World Champions Nigel Mansell, Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher were all successful kart racers.

This is the nearest you can get to motor racing on the cheap!   
Although karts look much alike to the uninitiated, there are many classes, from 60cc Cadets to 160mph Formula E.
Karts are divided into two basic categories: those with direct drive (which race on short circuits), and those with gearboxes (which race on both the long and short circuits).
  
Kart Licences
A competitor making an application for the first time for a Kart (not Kart Clubman) licence must obtain a novice kart driver ‘Starting Karting Pack’, which contains the required application form, from the MSA and then complete an approved course at a school registered with the Association of Racing Kart School (ARKS). The procedure to be followed is contained in the ‘Pack’. 
  
 Minimum Requirements
• Any kart complying with MSA regulations.
• A crash helmet and overalls.
• You must be at least 8 years old and hold a competition Licence (other than for Kart Endurance Licenses).
You may also need a Medical Certificate.    

4. Hillclimbs, Sprints and other events 

 
Hill Climbs & Sprints  
Hill climbs and Sprints are also run against the clock over a measured distance at venues ranging from disused airfields to the driveways of picturesque private estates.

Drag Racing  
For those who want something even faster, drag racing takes sprinting to its extreme with a wide variety of classes catering for road-going saloons to flame-spitting 300mph machines.
 
Cross Country  
For those wanting to tackle more inhospitable terrain, a wide range of Cross Country events are on offer including competitive safaris, hill rallies and trials.
  
Rallycross  
Then there is rallycross – an explosive sport that combines much of the pulsating head-to-head competition offered by circuit racing with the slippery surfaces usually reserved for rallying.
   
Autocross  
Autocross boasts many similar attractions, although cars compete individually against the clock on a temporary circuit laid out on a grass field.

Autotests  
Autotests, put the emphasis on precision driving rather than flat out speed, employing spin turns, reverse flicks and handbrake turns to negotiate the set route in the shortest possible time.
   
Trials  
Trials are the oldest form of motor sport that gave rise to hill climbs, sprints, rallies and autotests. The competitive element in a trial is the ability to climb gradients of varying difficulty.