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Motorsport racing: how do I get started?

If you’ve always dreamt of getting behind the wheel on a racetrack for events like the MINI CHALLENGE or Volkswagen Racing Cup, now is a great time to take action. Whatever your experience and budget, it’s easier and more affordable to get cracking than you think, and you’ll be made to feel welcome at the track.

However, there are a few things to sort out first, none of which is particularly complicated.

What you need to do – step-by-step

These organised events permit non-members of motorsport UK to drive around them. Occasionally, you can do the same on a disused or closed airfield. You take your own vehicle, and get a taste for all the thrills of pushing your car to its limits of grip and driving at speed without risking your license! At the same time, you may want to think about some extra coaching from qualified instructors. This will help you get up to speed on what you and the car are capable of and could make your track day more enjoyable.

  • Apply for your racing licence

If you’re not a licence holder, you’ll need to apply for a racing national license document from Motorsport UK. You can order a ‘Go Racing’ pack which gives you all of the information you need to book your test.

The test isn’t complicated and providing you do your homework, you’ll pass with no problems. You’ll have a theory test in the classroom and then an examiner will take you out for your practical at the race circuit. All in all, the experience will take about half a day to complete.

Test days are a great way to set your car up for an upcoming race but they are also a great opportunity to get up to speed on a circuit with other race license holders. This can mean overtaking on either side and a few other rules which ultimately means you’ll be amongst more experience drivers and less of the track day drivers!

  • Go racing!

Now that you have your race license, you can sign onto to an organised race event. There’s thousands of different race events up and down the country and the level of experience and budget massively varies. If you’re feeling confident you could try the MINI CHALLENGE or perhaps start with the MSV Track Day Trophy which is a great way to get started in motor racing!

  • Own your car or ‘arrive and drive’?

The cheaper of the two options is to have your own car but depending on your mechanical knowledge, you may want to buy a car which is ready to race rather than converting a standard road car. This may also end up being cheaper than building it yourself! If you choose to build your own race car, take careful note of the race series regulations to make sure your car complies!

The alternative is to organise an ‘arrive and drive’ deal. With these arrangements, you rent the car with the team included, so everything’s sorted and you just have to show up and drive. The car is taken to the meeting for you and the team will look after it. Sometimes race entry is organised for you too so you are left to relax and enjoy your day trackside.

(Alternatively you could put together your own team to run your car, or, if you feel able to, do everything yourself from repairs to sourcing parts and event entry, perhaps with help from family or friends.)

Book an arrive and drive race weekend for the MINI CHALLENGE

If this is something you’ve always wanted to do, we can make it happen! We’ve joined forces with AReeve Motorsport to offer everything you need to make your dream a reality, at an affordable price.

Your package for a wonderful weekend of racing includes:

  • Rental of the MINI Cooper for two days
  • Full team back-up, with at least one mechanic on hand throughout the whole weekend
  • A lap timer inside your vehicle
  • All race fuel
  • In keeping with championship rules, two new plus two used tyres

As mentioned, you will need a racing licence to enter the MINI CHALLENGE, a fantastic event and superb introduction to the sport. What’s more, the Cooper class is ideal for those who are new to driving at this level, or who may already have some karting experience, or who just want to race at a high-profile event on a budget.

Get in touch today for prices and latest availability – and prepare for the drive of your life!