Sprinting and Hill Climbing

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Sprinting and Hill Climbing

Postby simontaylor » Thu Feb 01, 2007 12:31 am

Now that Christmas is truly over, you have an Alpine or some other sports car and you fancy a bit of cheap motor sport with it this year. It is true, it is not expensive to use your own car, it is safe, your car will be fine and it really is great fun and you will meet a load of other like minded petrol heads and motor enthusiasts.

And just so you know, the RAOC committee have asked me to be the Southern Area Competition Co-ordinator. So this thread is to drum up some more competitors this year. Some may know all this or bits of it, others may not, so bear with me to start with.

What is Sprinting and Hill climbing?
Simply it is a time trial. A tarmac course of about 1 or 2 miles, you are timed from a standing start to the finish line, just racing against the clock.
Sprints are typically on the flat, it could be a lap and a bit of a race circuit (Goodwood, Brands, Cadwell Park, Silverstone etc. etc.). A marked course around some service roads, runways and/or perimeter roads (Abingdon, North Weald, Barkston etc) or even a test centre like MIRA (very fast) or Longcross (twisty and banked).
Hill Climbs are similar, a bit more scenic and can be at famous places like Prescott, Gurston, Shelsey Walsh or country gardens like Longleat, Loton Park etc.
You race one at a time so you will NOT have a coming together with any other cars. You are just against the clock.

Car Classes: for most of us we have 3 options and the main differences and classifications are:
1) Standard, for bog standard factory supplied cars, only mods allowed are tyres 1 inch wider, that’s about it.
2) Road-Going, standard block, heads, gearbox and diff, you are free for wheels, induction, tuning (no nitros though) and some accessory lightening, but must have an interior and be road legal (Tax, MOT and Insurance), so it’s road tyres too.
3) Modified, engine swaps are ok but must be in the same original location can run on slicks and must have a roll cage and interior trim is not required.

So, how do you get started and what preparation is required.
Administration:
1. You need to join a club or organisation that is affiliated to the MSA. RAOC is, so is CAR and many other car clubs too.
2. You need an MSA Licence, Just apply to the MSA for a “non-race” national-B, £34. www.msauk.org No medical is required, no training course, just send of a cheque, photo and application form and it comes back in 3 weeks and you will get a “blue book”. This book is very important, it contains ALL the motor sport regulations, car regulations, safety requirements, event regulations, lists of clubs, venues and championships etc. etc.
Personal safety
3. You need a helmet, Type A. Motor bike ones are not satisfactory.
4. A race suit, from £99 new, ebay about £20.
Car safety & preparation
5. Battery earth lead needs to be marked in yellow, just a few twists of yellow tape will suffice.
6. You must have a fixed headrest, normal GTA seats are ok
7. You need race numbers, can be purchased or home made with sticky back plastic or just paper inside the rear windows,
8. You need a black timing strut on the front of the car to break the electronic timing beams.
9. The direction of “ignition off” must be marked on the steering column, a bit of masking tape with a black pen arrow on it will suffice.

This is just the minimum for Standard and Road-going class. Normal seat belts are ok, but you will feel a lot more secure if held in by a 4 strap harness. Fire systems are not mandatory, you don’t need gloves or race boots or fire proofed underwear. Theere are some other requirements for Modified which I am not experienced of. However all the finer details of the regulations are all detailed in the Blue book.

Entering some events.
If you just want to do a couple of events during the year, fine. Just approach the organising club and get an entry form and enter, but apply well in advance for popular venues. You may wish to enter a championship. They cost between about £12 to £30 and you will automatically be sent entry forms to all the qualifying events, normally between 10 and 20 during the year. Event entry fees can vary. Many costs need to be covered, like public liability insurance, St John Ambulance, Rescue services, MSA fees and of course the trophies. Entry fees are normally between £60 and £100, often depending upon the how prestigious or large the venue is.

Your first event. Your entry has been accepted, you will get some final regs from the organiser, and an entry list. You will know your race number and the other cars that have entered for the day.

What to expect on the day.
Typically events start at 9am. Arrive early, get unpacked in your pit position, register with the signing on crew (they check your documents etc) and get your car scrutinised (they check your car for safety, your helmet, your suit and measure your noise level) and you will need to attend the drivers-briefing (where the clerk of the course mentions any special instructions, reminds you about safety flags and bids you all good luck). It is highly recommended to walk the course first, but this can only be done before the practice, so this is why you arrive early.

During the day you normally get 2 practice runs and 2 timed runs. Normally practice runs are also timed, but only the official timed runs count for competition purposes. Events vary, sometimes you may get a course convey to start with and you may even get a 3rd timed run. It all depends on the location, organisation and timings.

Costs:
One-off: Helmet (say £120) and race suit (say £99 for new)
Annual: MSA licence £34, car club £30 (ish), Championship optional (£20-ish)
Events: from £60, but allow from £100 - £150, depending on venue and travel costs. More for accommodation if you choose to stay overnight. There is always a Burger van on-site but many people bring their own picnics and food.
Car prep: mostly home made and shop bought numbers are £13 for a set of 80 numerics which should last you all year.

Remember, events are run and marshalled by volunteers. There can be some teething problems (normally small delays caused by over enthusiastic drivers, or timing failures) but you should be there for the enjoyment of it.

Really, the other competitors are all nice guys (or girls), enthusiasts like us and very friendly. Others will help you if you have technical problems, give advice about the course and often they will have very nice cars too. You will also find quite a few people, competitors as well as spectators come up to you and admire your car.

So, WHO is interested?
Want to know a bit more? The HSA has a great web site and it lists most of the UK championships. For us southern softies, the main ones are the Practical Performance Car (Midlands and South), Aldon (Similar), AEMC (East Anglia), ASWMC (SouthWest), Midlands, NSCC (Nottingham) etc. The North, Scotland and Ireland are catered for too. http://www.hillclimbandsprint.co.uk/champs.htm

This year I shall be entering the PPC and the HSA Aldon champs and pick and choose the events and venues to suit me, I’m not over enthused by championship trophies, more the experience of the venues. Last year, as a complete novice, I entered the PPC just after the start of the season and came 3rd in class. I often met up with Pete Ellens in his nice A110 and he clinched a championship class title in his 2nd year of competition.

Don’t be shy, you have a sports car and you should do some motor-sport in her. 2 minutes of racing (4 times in a day) is probably a lot less abuse for your car than a Sunday afternoon blast along some country lanes, and the only ‘speed timing systems’ are ones that want to clock you going fast. Many guys come along with their mates or their families, even more so in the summer at the Hill climb events, and be prepared to talk about your car to all spectators and fellow competitors who come to look. Some may even know more about your car than you do!

Names Please :?: You know you want to be a racing driver really 8) , make your dream come true for a few hundred quid :D , you already have the car and this really is “Real Motor Sport” and FUN.
1986 : '86 GTA v6 BW-EFR turbo, with Adaptronic ECU
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2007 : Gurston Down & RAOC Champion
2008 : Rushmoor & Eelmoor & ACSMC Hillclimb class Champion
2009 : Longcross & Eelmoor
2010 : Crystal Palace & Eelmoor
2016 : Rushmoor & 5th O/A
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Postby peterg » Thu Feb 01, 2007 10:08 am

So good (or had you been to the pub!!?) you posted it twice! Simon, your description of modified isnt really right. In the modified class you can change the engine but it has to be for one of a type fitted to a variant of that model i.e. if you had a 1600cc Sierra you could fit a Cosworth engine, but not a Zetec. The car also has to remain in the same capacity class as a car from the original line up would have competed in. i.e. you cant run an 1800 k-series in a Metro because they never built one bigger than the lower class capacity of 1400cc (I know I got caught out) I dont suppose it would cause 24v runners any trouble as the scrutineers would have to be bloody hot to know the ins and outs of Alpine engines....worst case scenario they would make them run in sports libre.
If Ive made it sound complicated, it really isnt....road going classes are full of fairly standard cars on ordinary tyres having a good day out. There is nothing like the adrenalin rush when the light goes green! :twisted:
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Postby clee » Thu Feb 01, 2007 10:17 am

I'm hoping to do something this year .Should be ready for the summer latest .Engine is done , fingers crossed .I need to get a roll cage sorted as well .Will be in the Modified class ,doesn't bother me that I'll be out- gunned by all the other entries in that class I suspect :roll:
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Postby peterg » Thu Feb 01, 2007 10:20 am

Why are you going for modified class? All you need to do is keep your glass and some semblance of an interior and you can do everything that the modified lot can (except slicks). David has a couple of rear glasses in stock at the moment...they arent that heavy to make it worth running in modified.
If you absolutely have to run in modified you'll find there are some seriously quick cars out there (Dinis and the like!! :lol: ) but also some slower and slow cars. I dont know anyone who comes last! (obviously someone has to....they must just be loners that no one speaks to :lol: :lol: )
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Postby clee » Thu Feb 01, 2007 10:30 am

I was going to make a polycarb screen .Would I get away with that ?
Interior's out ,sound deadening gone .I would need to get some rear seats back in I suppose to run RG .The interior doesn't weigh that much but the sound proofing does :shock: I would like a roll cage though .
Not worried about coming last in the class ,times speak louder than trophys :lol: :wink:
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Postby peterg » Thu Feb 01, 2007 11:12 am

No you have to have a glass screen I'm afraid! A rollcage will cost you a whole lot of money.....it'll have to be custom made and you'll need to have it fitted while the interior is out....and if you are doing it properly you will need to take the dash out too!
You are allowed to remove soundproofing, door cards and carpets in road going, but you have to retain seats and the dash, centre console etc.
I took all the metal out of my rear seats to keep the weight down. As long as they are there then no problem.
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Postby clee » Thu Feb 01, 2007 11:25 am

I could try ' the screen is no longer available ' which is true :mrgreen:
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Postby peterg » Thu Feb 01, 2007 11:35 am

Are you talking about the windscreen? I assume you mean the rear screen? David has a couple.....buy one, it'll make your life easier!
If you mean the windscreen then everyone absolutely has to have glass, no exceptions.
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Postby clee » Thu Feb 01, 2007 11:44 am

Yes I mean the rear screen ...........
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Postby peterg » Thu Feb 01, 2007 11:52 am

You would be winging it! Some places you would get away with it, others I think not. As I said....buy a glass one!
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Postby clee » Thu Feb 01, 2007 12:08 pm

Would they let me run though ? Just not compete IYSWIM .

One good thing with no tunnel cover I can get to the gear linkages easily so may drop it out for a refurb ,time permitting :lol:



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Postby peterg » Thu Feb 01, 2007 12:20 pm

Oh yes.....they would move you to modified thats all.
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Postby clee » Thu Feb 01, 2007 1:22 pm

In the champ I'm looking at ...........Contenders last year

1C
Scooby
2 x EVO
Pulsar

3C
Ferrari F355
911
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Postby simontaylor » Thu Feb 01, 2007 1:59 pm

Lee, my interpritation of the regs is that if I have to have a rear window in glass, then I do and so do you. It is the vertical one just behind the rear seats.
Some regs allow you to change the bonnet and boot covers, my interpritation is that I have a glass engine cover ( ie bonnet cover) and the regs can allow me to change this...... to perspex or something.
Some regs do and some dont stipulate about cooling in the boonet, ie holes or louvres etc.

Anyway, untill you start winning all the time and by large amounts, nobody really cares too much. Anyway, as far as I know, perspex rear engine covers were a factory option for Europa Cup cars and also tuning houses like Simon Auto do vented covers. Could be contentious with Alpine-experts but the scrutineers won't mind too much.

If you enter Modified, it might be harder to get into RG at a later date because some will know your car. Try entering RG first.
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2008 : Rushmoor & Eelmoor & ACSMC Hillclimb class Champion
2009 : Longcross & Eelmoor
2010 : Crystal Palace & Eelmoor
2016 : Rushmoor & 5th O/A
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Postby clee » Thu Feb 01, 2007 2:02 pm

I like your thinking Simon :lol: 8)
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