How do I start racing in the Alfa Romeo Championship?
If you are interested in Alfa Romeo Motorsport, the chances are that you have thought about taking an Alfa for a few laps on a circuit. You may already want to get out there on the grid for your first race. But where do you begin?
If your only desire at the moment is to take your road-going Alfa onto a proper track where you can push it beyond normal road limits, contact ARCA for information on Trackdays. You will not need a competition licence to take part in a Trackday or to make expensive modifications to your car.
You may have raced before, some years ago, but want to get started again. Why not contact ARCA to discuss your options. Maybe a Trackday to get back into the swing of things is the answer or renting a race car from one of the teams that offer Alfa championship cars to hire would be good option.
You may be racing now in another championship and fancy a change to an Alfa Romeo. You’ve come to the right place! Have a look at the information on the website to learn about the series, the cars and the regulations.
Finally, you may have never raced before and the thought of it seems a bit overwhelming. Well, don’t worry, there are lots of ARCA members who will be able to offer help and advice to get you started.
Here is a brief guide on how to go about racing for the first time:
Before you are even able to enter a race meeting, you will need to get yourself an MSA National B grade licence. You may need some tuition to get you through this but here is what you need to do.
The Novice Race Drivers Scheme
Novice racing drivers must undergo a half days training at one of the Association of Racing Drivers Schools (ARDS) before they can obtain a National B licence.
Anyone who does not possess a Race Licence must apply to the MSA for the “Go Racing” pack. The pack contains – amongst other information – a Competitors Year Book, a DVD and a novice application form. Currently the “Go Racing” starter pack costs £95 (including VAT).
Once you have your pack and you have studied your Yearbook (you will hear this referred to generally as “The Blue Book”) you will need to arrange to have a medical examination. This can be done by your GP and is similar to a life insurance examination. The form for your GP is included in the pack from the MSA. Unless you have a very sympathetic, motorsport loving, doctor you will have to pay for this check-up.
ARDS Racing School
Once the medical formalities have been completed, you must decide at which ARDS racing school you would like to take your test. Most of the UK circuits have an active ARDS school. If your standard of driving is competent and safe you should get through this without too much trouble. The cost of the course is around £300.
Before you go much further, please give some thought to the cost aspect of racing. Even basic club level competition can average out at over £500 per race and this does not include buying or preparing the car. Unless you are well funded, take some time to think over the implications of such a financial commitment. You will be disappointed if you run out of funds half way through a season – especially if you are making good progress and getting results.
When taking costs into account, please be aware of the ever changing requirements for safety equipment. Even if you have raced recently, there is a good chance that some of your personal safety equipment – crash helmet, seat belts, race suit etc will be out of date and will not pass scrutineering.
A final word on this – your MSA licence is valid for the calendar year for which it is issued and will expire on 31st December. Your BRSCC membership is valid for 12 months from when you join, so there is no need to sign-up until it is close to your first race. For general circuit testing (not Trackdays) you only need to have a valid MSA competition licence.