START RACING – EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW
If you’re new to racing or thinking about getting involved in racing, we’re here to help. Many of our race drivers have come up from karting, track days or just fancied trying out car racing.
To help you get started, we’ve put together a simple guide. We can assist with each of these steps and provide training and tuition to see your way to your first race.
Step one: Apply for a Race License
If you don’t already hold a race license, then you’ll need to apply for a RACE NATIONAL ‘B’ license from MSV.
Start by applying for the ‘Go Racing Pack‘ from the MSA. Fill out the application and then book your test at your local track.
Step 1.2: Do your homework
Learn about basic car handling techniques at Driver61’s Driver University.
Step two: Pick a suitable race series to enter
The MINI CHALLENGE has four different classes to choose from. This allows you to start racing at a level and budget to suit you. For beginners, choose either the Cooper AM class and Cooper Pro class. These cars use a normally aspirated 1.6l engine and is very popular so there’s lots of high action racing.
If you’re looking for a little more power, try the Open class. Intended for R53 and R56 MINIs, these have turbocharged or supercharged engines which gives them extra speed and with the Open class, it’s based on a power to weight ratio so the cars don’t all have to be the same specification. This allows drivers to use MINIs with different parts, resulting in lower costs to build a car and race.
For the more experienced drivers, the ultimate MINI CHALLENGE class is the MINI JCW. Often compared to a touring car, these are based on the latest generation 3 model, but unlike the previous MINI CHALLENGE cars, these are built from the ground up to be a race car. The new turbocharged engines are fitted with a sequential gearbox and each car is identical. This allows for very close racing and this class is part of the British GT package which comes with TV coverage and big crowds.
Step three: Obtain a car to race