How to become a racing driver

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How to become a racing driver

For many of us petrolheads gaining a race licence and joining the grid for some racing fun is a lifetime goal, but just how do you turn the dream into reality?

The first step is to have extremely rich parents, who know the owner of an F1 team and start karting at the age of 5....... Joking, whilst that is a route some are able to take, most of us start rather later with more modest goals!! 

Opinions vary on the 'best' way to do things but this is our view on how to go fast and be safe. Firstly, decide which type of motorsport you want to enter. Sounds simple, but it really isn't. From Autosolos, Formula G, Rallying, Rallycross and Circuit Racing there is a motorsport which suits most cars, drivers and budgets. Visit events as a spectator and see which paddock and type of racing most appeals, for any racing fan this shouldn't be a hardship!! Once you've chosen your racing check what licence you need to compete and any tests required. Most UK Motorsport is operated under the Motorsport UK (formerly MSA) banner and requires a licence, however some series such as Formula G and others don't need a licence. 

To get started head to the Motorsport UK website - Competition Licences - Motorsport UK - The beating heart of motorsport. You may see ARDS tests and Novice Driver Training Courses mentioned, they are in essence the same thing. 

Assuming you do need a licence you will need to book a test with the relevant school, ARDS for Racing and BARS for Rally. Once you are booked in it's incredibly important that you study the details of your chosen motorsport, the flags, the processes and a strong dose of common sense!

On the day there will be a written exam and a practical assessment. The written exam is important but not to be feared, if you have studied it will be relatively simple, if you haven't you might well fail!! For the practical assessment you will head out with an instructor and show them you are capable of driving at competition speed without hurting yourself or anyone around you. It is important that you a quick but safe, don't over drive and relax, this part should be fun! 

Hopefully by this point your assessors are happy with what they've seen and will sign your application form so you can send it off for your first competition licence. You send this to Motorsport UK (with the relevant payment) and a short time after you will receive your first competition licence, it's time to enter your first race and winning trophies!! 

We took our ARDS test with The Motorsport School at Mallory Park and can highly recommend them, The Motorsports School

As you head into your first race you are going to need a bag to keep all your kit safe, we recommend you check out the Rocked-!T range Motorsport Luggage - Helmet Bag - Motorsport - Motorbike – Rocked-!T (, but then again we would!! 

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