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Over many years I've been asked about how to get involved in motorsport, or what you need to do to be able to compete. So here is a brief guide to answer those questions.

 

How Do I Get Involved?
Do I Need a Special Competition Car to be Involved?
What Safety Gear do I need?
Schedule A is too complicated. How can I work out what to do?
Should I buy a competition car or build one?
So when does my car need a log book?
And what about these Authority Cards?
Do I need a civil driver's licence to compete?
Do I need a competition licence to compete?
How do I enter a motorsport event?
What is this Documentation Thing?
And What about Scrutineering?

  How Do I Get Involved?

In short it is very easy. Join a Car Club! A list of clubs in the Wellington area is here.

No seriously.... this isn't a club promo, it is the best thing you can do. While being involved is very easy, there are so many aspects to the sport that what you need to know depends on what you want to do. There are too many options to list here! Talk to the people at a club about what you are wanting to do and they can give you info on the things that will be specific to your situation.

Also, to compete and have a competition licence, then you will need to belong to a car club affilliated to Motorsport New Zealand.

  Do I Need a Special Competition Car to be Involved?

NO! There are many club sport events that allow you to use your everyday road car. Plus you can be involved as a volunteer and get right in the action as a marshal or official.

Download this flyer as an intro to how you can get started.

Also see the MSNZ web site on Getting Started for more detailed info.

  What Safety Gear do I need?

At a basic level, a helmet and cotton overalls. As the level of competition and/or event goes up, so do the requirements. The minimum requirements are contained in Schedule A of the Motorsport Manual.

Again, it is best to talk to the people in the car club as to what specific things are needed for what you are wanting to do.

 

Bloody Hell, Schedule A is too complicated. How can I work out what to do?

Yet another reason to join a car club and talk to those who have already been there, done that. Especially a scrutineer.

Yes, it is a big complicated document, but it also has to cover every motorsport situation imaginable and then some. Therefore, download a copy and use it for reference on the bit you are sorting out.

Examples, You want to buy a new helmet, just refer to the bit on helmet requirments. You need a fire extinguisher, read up on that bit. You are installing a hydraulic hand brake, refer to that bit.

When it gets to things like getting a roll cage installed, refer to the bit on cage designs and material specifications, but you will probably need to get a specialist cage builder to design, make and install one, especially as they need engineering calculations to go with them.

 

Should I buy a competition car or build one?

If you want to compete in events that need a specialist competition car, and if you are new to motorsport, then it is best to buy a car that is already built up. It saves you a hell of a lot of trial and error, time, and money learning what others already know.

If you have started on events where you use your road car and want to move up over a period of time, as your budget allows, then you can progressively build a competition car. Talk to others to see what they have done and get to know what modifications need special approvals or will require the car to have a log book and an authority card.

 

So when does my car need a log book?

The official wording for a Log Book is any vehicle that is a " Purpose Built and Dedicated Motorsport Vehicle". This means a) Has roll protection fitted and/or b) The construction of which prevents its use on public roads.

This doesn't mean your car is unsafe, it means that the modifications are outside what is allowed for road legal cars in NZ and therefore won't be able to get a WOF. Then you need a log book to compete at motorsport events.

This can include suspension changes, changing standard brake hoses for braded stainless steel ones, removing interior components, changing standard seat belts for full harness ones, changing seats, the list goes on and on.

It is best to discuss your modifications with a licensed scrutineer before you make them, and then you will know what you can do, have the paperwork you need, and have it all sorted before you turn up at the next event. Yet another reason to join a car club.

 

And what about these Authority Cards?

Known as Low Volume Vehicle Authority Cards, these are only needed if you have a dedicated competition car (one that needs a Log Book) that you want to drive on public roads. They are issued by Motorsport NZ on behalf of Land Transport New Zealand. The typical example would be a rally car, but many others would want this too.

To use a competition car on public roads it still needs a WOF. The LVVAC allows you to get a WOF because it covers the modifications that have been made that would otherwise have WOF inspectors giving you a short sharp shift. All other parts (not covered by the authority card) must still meet standard WOF requirements.

The cards are issued for a vehicle, not the driver, and needs to be in the car if your friendly police officer asks to see it.

To maintain the authority card you must show that the car has been used in competition at least 3 times a year.

 

Do I need a civil driver's licence to compete?

At private venues, like a race track or events on private property, no.

But, assume that for any event held on a public road will need you to have a civil driver's licence. There are some exceptions to this, but they are event specific, and you will need to find out the requirements before you enter.

You don't need to have a civil licence in order to hold a competition licence.

But.....a word of warning, if you have been naughty and had your civil licence taken away by the courts, then you will have your competition licence suspended for the same length of time as well.

 

Do I need a competition licence to compete?

For very basic events, probably not. For the vast majority of events, yes.

For a competition licence you will need to be a member of a MSNZ affilliated car club.

A Clubsport Licence (M Grade Licence) allows you to compete at club level events and can be purcahsed by credit card from MSNZ for $75 incl GST. Click here to do so.

If you want to comete in Rally or Race events then you will need a National Rally or Race Licence as appropriate. These involve sitting an exam to prove you know what the important safety aspects are, and you need to contact an examiner to sit these. Again, talk to the people in the car club you have joined, now that you have followed the advice in the first item above.

 

How do I enter a motorsport event?

You need to get hold of the Regulations (Regs) and the Entry Form for the event you want to enter. The Regs tell you about the rules that are specific to that event, who the organisers are, how to enter, the cost to enter, what cars are eligable, what time you need to be there, etc.

The Regs and Entry Form are usually available from the web site of the organising club, or this web site (under Downloads). If they aren't there you will need to contact the organising club. Their contact details can be found on this link to Clubs.

Some events you can enter on the day, some you need to pre enter by sending the entry form in by a closing date. The Regs will tell you this too.

 

What is this Documentation Thing?

Documentation (Doco) is the time (and place) that the organisers check your licences, club membership, and check your car's Log Book (if it has one) to confirm your entry is valid. If it is entry on the day, you also hand over your entry form.

The time and place for Doco will be written in the Regs.

Everyone must do this, so make sure you have the correct pieces of plastic ready at this time. (Car Club membership, competition licence, civil licence, plus log book).

 

And What about Scrutineering?

Sometimes the organisers will want to check that aspects of your car meet the requirements in Schedule A. This is called scrutineering and you must present your car as you intend racing it.

If your car doesn't have a log book it will be scrutineered at each event.

If your car does have a log book, then it will be scrutineered every third event at least, but may be looked at more often, depending on the event and what the organisers want to look at.

It is your responsibility to ensure that your car meets the requirements of Schedule A. The scrutineering check is only what the scrutineer decides to pick on that day. It isn't a full vehicle check.

Therefore if you have a new car or have made modifications, you are very wise to get your car checked over by a scrutineer before your next event to ensure it meets Schedule A. That way you have time to fix anything up, without the drama of trying to do it at an event (or worse bing excluded from an event).

The car club you have (by now joined) will be able to help with all of this stuff.

   
     
   
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