How to get into motorsport… and then win trophies
Do you want to be the best in British motorsport? Or maybe just want to drive fast cars at the weekend? Well, you’re not alone, and motorsport is the perfect sport for you. It’s accessible too if you know where to go. Keep reading for the best way to get into motorsport that suits your driving style.
How much does it cost to get into motorsport?
Vehicles are expensive, but your pockets don’t need to be that deep to dip your toe in the water. In fact, there’s a range of cheap options. Your bog-standard road car is good enough for many entry-level racing events. It probably won’t suffer too much damage either.
You can’t get behind the wheel for free (usually) but if you join a local motor club and make some friends, you can offer to be a trials driver’s passenger. That way you’ll be able to experience a racing competition from inside the car.
Where do I start?
Join a motor club
A motor club is ideal for introducing yourself to the scene. Motorsports clubs offer their members a valuable range of benefits & discounts. They’ll keep you up to date on all the upcoming races and car shows/events as well. If you do get into it, you might even make the race team.
You can use this tool on motorsport UK to find your local club and get in touch.
Your local motor club will probably have a social media presence too which is an ideal place to make first contact with the community and take a look at the events that take your interest.
Do you want to get super low to the ground and pin corners? Go-karting is a breeding ground for racing success. Some of the best drivers in the world came from a go-karting background. That includes Ayrton Senna, Lewis Hamilton and Michael Schumacher. So if you’re good, it’s the perfect stepping stone into F1, as well as many other racing avenues. It’s cheap to get into too! Usually costing around £30 a head, there’s probably a centre near you.
Advanced driving school
Ever heard the phrase “all the gear, no idea”? Don’t expect to buy a racing car and win every event you enter with no experience. First, you need to work on your technique. Training with a good instructor will help you master your car control, so you can get the most performance out of your car. You might learn a few useful tips for everyday driving too.
Autocross is the ideal place to start properly racing cars. You can even use your everyday road car without risking too much damage; you're better off in something lightly modified though.
Autocross races take place in car parks and on private land. It’s all about speed, precision and competition. The courses are marked out with cones or take place on dirt tracks. The fastest time around the track wins. It’s a low entry fee, and you only compete against cars with similar performance to your own.
You can find information about the events at your local motor club. You will require a four-point harness, fireproof overalls and an MSA approved crash helmet as well as an MSA competition licence to take part in legal autocross races. so make sure you get that sorted first.
If powering down dirt tracks and sliding around corners is your thing. You need to try your hand at rallying. It’s hugely popular in the UK, and there are lots of events to get involved in. You can use your regular road car in rallies too! But it’s not recommended, because there’s a good chance it’ll get damaged, and you’ll need to get a roll cage!
The ideal car to get you started in rallying is a second-hand all-wheel drive. You should modify it with the help of a mechanic to get the best results.
To get involved you also need a full DVLA driving license, an MSA Go Rallying Starter Pack, a certificate to say you’ve passed the BARS course test and a Rally National B Stage Competition Licence.
Or, If you just want a ride in the car, you can apply for a navigator’s licence and help co-pilot your friends from the motor club.
UK rally starter pack: https://www.motorsportuk.org/Get-Started/Starter-Packs
Do you love rear-wheel-drive cars and have way too much tread on your tyres? You should go drifting. Beginner drift clinics usually take place big open spaces with obstacles set up for you to slide around. If you get a bit more into it, there are full drift tracks like Driftland in Scotland where you can spend a whole day shredding your tyres to pieces at full speed around the race track. Even better, you can rent a car to use instead of your own!
If you don’t want to buy a race car just yet, you can book a track day and race any car you want. Depending on the type of car and what you want to do with it, you can book decent track days for little more than £100. There there are loads of amazing tracks you can visit. Including circuit racing at the famous Silverstone track.
Now you know how to get into motorsport, go out and get involved! And don’t forget about us when you start winning medals. We’ve got a huge range of motorsport awards that are ideal for celebrating your podium positions and best drivers. Check them out in our motorsport section.