So you want to go motor racing!
After a quiet-ish couple of years, racing, track days and Motorsport in general seems to be having a bit of a resurgence which is fantastic to see. Getting involved has never been easier or cheaper. If you're interested in circuit racing then we'd suggest trying your hand at a few track days first. We've written at length about budget track day cars, beginners track day guides, track day modifications and even a corner-by-corner guide to our local track Mondello Park so there's plenty of reading material there for anyone new to the scene. In 2016 MicksGarage are sponsoring the Future Classics Championship which is an ideal class in which to start your racing career without bankrupting yourself in the process. This relatively new class has opened up the world of Motorsport to much a wider demographic, largely due to its low cost and ease of entry.
So what do you need to go racing?
- A race license
- Race suit and safety equipment
- A race car
Let's delve a little deeper into each of these:
To get your licence you need to apply to Motorsport Ireland for an Introductory pack which costs €10. This can be done by telephoning or calling to the MI office at 34 Dawson Street, Dublin 2, Phone: 01 6775628. The pack can be paid for by credit card.
The Pack Contains:
- A Current MI Yearbook in CD format (containing the Rules & Regulations)
- Licence Application Forms
- An IRDS (Insurance) Application Form (for Rallying only)
- Course Details - how to book, costs etc.
- An Introductory DVD/Video(for Racing and Rallying only)
- Some additional preparatory information.
- A Booking Reference Number
http://www.motorsportireland.com/Training/IntroToMotorsport.aspx Then you need to do a driving course. Mondello Park can provide you with this. Remember to quote your Motorsport Ireland reference number when booking. The Course will cost you €250 and you can contact mondello at www.mondellopark.ie or 045 860200 The course covers a wide range of things Safety Clothing & Equipment, Safety Signs and Signals, Driving Theory, Practical Driving Instruction, Etc. Don't be put off, it's not a test to see how fast you are! You will also need a medical from your doctor to ensure you are healthy enough to race, then just send everything off to Motorsport Ireland for your Licence. It cost €40 if you are a member of an Affiliated Motor Club (Mondello Park has its own club) and you have had your form stamped by the club, otherwise the cost will be €80.
Race Suit and Safety Equipment
You will need to get Current FIA homologated Flame retardant overalls, underwear, socks, boots, balaclava. These are are compulsory. There are a number of places you can get them and you can choose to go new or second hand. Murray Motorsport, Ears Motorsport or Demon Tweeks are popular retailers that can supply everything you need brand new. However if your budget can’t stretch to brand new there are other options. Aidan Walsh Rally Spares in Limerick can hire you everything at very reasonable rate or even sell you everything new or second hand. You can call Aidan on 087 246 1046 and he is more than helpful. Donedeal also has its fair share of 2nd hand safety clothing but be sure to check they're in date.
There are a few options here
- Hire a car
- Buy a car
- Build a car
Hire A Car
Well this option pretty much speaks for itself but where do you find a suitable race car to hire? The first step would be to contact the class organisers via their website or facebook page and ask if there are any cars available for hire, or else go along to a race meeting and have a chat with the drivers, they're generally a friendly bunch and will only be too happy to point you in the right direction. There are a few cars available for hire for the Future Classics Championship. The Mitsubishi FTO we featured in our budget build thread a few weeks ago being one. Companies such as Gillespie Retro Race & Repair or ASK Racing also hire cars and in addition can offer tuition, maintenance and advice. This is a great way to try the class before you get in too deep.
Buy A Car
Buying a car that is already proven and built is always a good option and there are loads of them available on DoneDeal or from other competitors. You do need to keep certain things in mind. Firstly is the cage suitable for the race class? Is the car reliable? Can you get spares? Does it have potential to go quicker?
Build A Car
This route is a little more complicated but some people prefer this option. The Future Classics Championship is designed in such a way that you can pretty much make any car into a race car for very little money. All you need is a car that was on sale before the 31st December 1995. It needs to be 2WD and fitted with the all basic safety equipment. MicksGarage staffer Marty Moore is building an EK civic for the championship at the moment, you can follow his progress here. You can get a full list of the class regulations here Whatever you're building, remember that your car needs to comply with Motorsport Ireland Appendix 2 and the Technical Regs of the class. Everything is aimed at your safety and the safety of other track users. So that's about it! There is no such thing as a stupid question, so don’t be afraid to ask, you can contact any of the organisers or even Motorsport Ireland if you are in any doubt about anything.