Motor sport is one of the most diverse sports there is, with more than 20 different disciplines on offer. There are also plenty of ways to get involved if you don’t fancy getting behind the wheel, such as volunteering behind the scenes or simply spectating at some of the thousands of motor sport events that take place every year in the UK.
There are more than a dozen different ‘disciplines’ of motor sport, ranging from Racing, Rallying and Karting to Autotest, Trials, Rallycross, Drag Racing and more. So, whether you want to go wheel-to-wheel, compete against the clock, drive quickly or even drive slowly, there is something out there for you.
That remains the case even if you don’t have deep pockets; some disciplines such as AutoSOLOs and Road Rallies are designed for completely standard road cars, don’t require you to buy a helmet or overalls, and carry entry fees from as little as £25 per event.
It is also possible to compete without getting behind the wheel; you could be a Rally co-driver, Cross Country navigator or Trials passenger. Alternatively, you could offer your assistance to a team in all manner of roles.
If you want to explore your competitive options more deeply, have a look at the various Types of Motorsport and Other Ways of Competing.
Almost all motor sport events need volunteer marshals (recognisable from their orange overalls) to make sure they are run safely and effectively.
Marshalling is a rewarding way of getting more closely involved with motor sport and joining a community of like-minded enthusiasts; general duties range from displaying flag signals to drivers and clearing debris to helping extract drivers and cars that have crashed or broken down.
A Scrutineer’s job is to check that competing vehicles comply with the relevant technical regulations, which help to ensure safety and fair play. While experience in engineering or a similar technical field it usually an advantage, it is not essential.
The process for obtaining a Trainee Scrutineer licence is free and simple; complete the MSA’s New Officials Registration form and return it by post to the MSA Licensing Department. You will need to tick the relevant box or boxes depending on whether you want to be a Car, Kart or Environmental Trainee Scrutineer and you can apply to be all three if you wish.
You’ll then be sent a Trainee Licence and an introductory pack, with a Training Module and DVD.
Rescuing and Recovering
MSA-licensed Rescue personnel provide immediate medical and extrication facilities at the scene of an incident. They move around venues aboard MSA licensed Rescue Units, which are kitted out with the latest medical and extrication equipment.
Meanwhile Recovery personnel retrieve stricken rally cars, operating from MSA-licensed Recovery Units fitted with vehicle recovery equipment.
To obtain a Trainee licence you will first need to gain the support of a current MSA-licensed unit and then complete the MSA’s New Officials Registration form, which must be returned to the MSA Licensing Department with a supporting letter from the unit operator.
You will then be sent your Trainee Licence and the relevant Training Module.
Timekeeping is an essential element of most motor sport events, with the timekeeper’s role being to competitors’ times and positions in order to determine the event results.
The tools used range from simple hand-held stopwatches to complex electronic timing systems that can accurately measure to the nearest thousandth of a second.
To acquire a Trainee Timekeeper licence you simply need to complete the MSA’s New Officials Registration form and return it by post to the MSA Licensing Department, having ticked the Timekeeper Trainee box.
You will then be sent a Trainee Licence and an introductory pack with the Training Module.