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How to get a licence.

To go circuit racing, you will need a racing licence, which like all motor sport licences is issued by the Motor Sports Association (MSA).

To get the appropriate licence it is compulsory to complete a practical test called the Association of Racing Drivers School (ARDS) course. It can be carried out at most of the top race circuits in the country and involves both a written and track driving test (with an instructor). If that sounds a bit daunting, then fear not. The written test makes a great deal of sense and is designed to make sure you understand things like the racing procedures, what all the marshals' flags mean, and why the Clerk of the Course should sometimes be called Sir! The track driving part is not where you try to prove to the instructor that Jenson Button should opt for early retirement, it is just for you to demonstrate that you can lap a circuit safely - your speed is not important, you will not be timed.

To register yourself for the ARDS course you must first contact the MSA for the Go Racing pack. The pack, which can be ordered via the MSA website, includes a great deal of information and a very useful introductory video. Also included is a medical form that has to be signed by a doctor. All race licence applications have to be accompanied by a medical report and most family GPs are happy to complete these reports for a fee. The actual cost of the practical part of the ARDS course varies depending on which circuit you go to, but the total cost of the Go Racing pack, the track session at the circuit, the medical and your race licence will set you back about £270. You have to complete the ARDS course only once, but you will have to renew your MSA licence each year, with a new medical required every two years.

The minimum age to apply for a race licence is 16 years of age.

When you have obtained a Competition Licence, you will require the following:
Car with added safety equipment (roll-cage, fire extinguishers, fireproofing, etc)
Approved crash helmet
Approved flame-resistant overalls and racewear (gloves, balaclava, boots etc)


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