How to Get Into Rally Car Racing Part 2

How to Get Into Rally Car Racing
How to Get Into Rally Car Racing

Now that you are sure that rallying is your passion, it is time to make the first steps into the driver’s seat. First, you’ll need to obtain a full UK driving licence. This will serve as the foundation for all the other training and learning you will receive along the way. Rallying is a highly dangerous and, therefore, heavily regulated sport. First, you will need to purchase the so-called Go Rallying starter pack, which will include the materials you’ll need for your next step. Then, you’ll have to pass the BARS test. The BARS test is like a driving test for rallying, but without all the trick questions. It isn’t designed as a barrier to entry to the motor sport, but as a way to make sure you understand the safety rules in rallying and have sufficiently good command of the vehicle. Once that is obtained, the last thing you’ll need is an RS Clubman Licence. This is a licence that allows you to actually compete, and is completely free of charge. It is relatively simple to get, and focuses mainly on your medical fitness to participate in rally racing.

With all the paperwork in order, you need to join a rally motor club that will also be your rally school. Yes, you are eager to get behind the wheel already, but it is far better to have some basic knowledge before you do that. It is less likely that you will be discouraged by the difficulty of it if you already know how to approach that difficulty methodically. Rally is about skill. You might already have a dream-build car in mind, but if your vehicle control and response times are lacking, the fancy suspension and grippy tires are not going to save you. There is a way to get around this problem somewhat if you are not the most patient of people – autocross.

Let’s say you’ve already bought the vehicle you’re planning to convert to a rally racer. Before you get into all of the expensive modifications required, especially if you’re planning stage rallying, you can race your stock vehicles in the dirt. There is an even class for it at many autocross clubs, where only completely stock road vehicles with road tyres are allowed to compete. This will enable you to hone vehicle control skills essential to rallying. Once you and your instructor are comfortable with your level of skill, you can begin rallying. Road rallying will require little from your car, apart from the normal insurance and MOT requirements for all road vehicles. You’ll fund the full list of requirements in the Motorsport UK Yearbook, but the compulsory modifications are normally aimed at safety. So a set of racing seats with special harnesses, a roll cage, and a fire extinguisher are a must. Luckily, there are garages that specialise in those kinds of modification and can bring you up to standard in short order. The cost of these mods can easily reach the purchase price of your relatively fresh used car, so keep that in mind. And that is it! You can pretty much begin applying for competition events.