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Getting Started Hillclimbing and Sprinting for beginners

Contents

>> What is Sprinting and Hillclimbing ?

An addictive, inexpensive form of motorsport, held on racing circuits, special sprint courses, hillclimb venues or closed public roads. The surface is always tarmac. You are purely ‘on your own’, driving yourself and your car from a standing start to the finish line, timed to the 100th of a second as quick as possible!

Depending on how fast you are and the venue, the runs last between 40 seconds and 3 minutes. This may sound short but the concentration and pressure required to drive the circuit perfectly in the quickest time possible is all part of the fun! Cars are divided into classes, so you compete against similar cars to your own and events/classes are won and lost by hundredths! Who can enter the Championship?

Anyone who is a member of Nottingham Sports Car Club (NSCC). You will also need an MSA competition licence. Which are available from The Motor Sports Association, tel., 01753 765000, www.msauk.org.

>> What type of car can I use?

The events are open to almost any car. It can be a standard saloon with simple safety modifications such as the ignition cut off point marked (i.e. ‘keys on column’) and a timing strut fitted to break the optical start and finish beams, through to modified road going cars, kit cars, seriously modified cars, home built specials and single seater racing cars. At one event recently we had what looked like a modified lawn mower through to a Formula 1 car from the late 80’s! All classes have capacity sub classes.

The only mandatory safety equipment you are required to wear is an approved crash helmet and fireproof suit to the correct standards. The “Blue Book” you will get with your licence gives all the regulations.

>> What is the Nottingham Sports Car Club Speed Championship?

Nottingham Sports Car Club organise five of the events and co-ordinate with other clubs to form the NSCC Championship. They are held at venues around Nottingham, Norfolk, Lichfield, Liverpool, Shrewsbury, Cardiff, Coventry, Leeds, Louth, York and Wigan. More information on each venue can be found on this website. Points are scored in relation to national record times set by previous cars in your class, this way a standard road saloon can compete on equal terms with a stripped down kit car or single seater racing car. You can enter as many of the rounds as you wish, but your best 8 scores will count towards the championship – see the official regulations’ for more detail.

>> Championship Awards

  • 1st Overall 1.5 litre Trophy and award
  • 2nd Overall Keith Douglas Trophy and award
  • 3rd Overall Mitchell Trophy and award
  • 4th Overall An award
  • 5th Overall An award
  • 6th Overall An award
  • 7th Overall An award
  • 8th Overall An award
  • 9th Overall An award
  • 10th Overall An award
  • Fastest NSCC member over season Harry Driver Trophy and award
  • 1st in NSCC rounds Des Richardson Trophy and award
  • Amusing incident as voted by members Wonky Trophy
  • Improver of the Year An Award
  • Classic Car Category An Award
  • Highest Placed Novice An Award
  • Highest Points Scorer at each NSCC Rounds An Award

Last year the Championship attracted over 70 scoring contenders and was keenly fought out being only decided on the last weekend. The competition included drivers of kit cars, Elises, Westfields, various single seater racing cars, Porsches, VWs, Audi and all sorts of specialist and standard machines.

>> What’s in it if I win?

The winner of the overall championship receives the impressive “1 ½ Litre Trophy”, for a year with their name engraved alongside the list of winners going back to the 1950’s!, together with a crystal trophy to keep permanently. Trophies are also presented for second and third, with lead crystal awards down to 10th place. The highest placed novice is rewarded as well as the driver who has improved the most over his/her previous season. Additionally, the “Des Richardson Trophy” is presented to the highest points scorer from the NSCC events as long as you are not in the top 3. At all events awards are presented to class winners and the highest NSCC scorer. The Harry Driver trophy is won by the fastest NSCC member throughout the season.

A recent survey of many contenders of the championship highlighted the excellent, friendly paddock atmosphere and general good nature of the events as one of the main reason why they competed.

>> How much will it cost?

If you are new to Motorsport, you will need an MSA Non-Race National ‘B’ licence, for 2014 this costs £43. NSCC membership for the year and championship registration is £30. Brand new fireproof suits start at around £250 and helmets from £140. Depending on what category you enter, the car can be absolutely standard so hardly any additional expense is actually necessary. A typical entry fee for an event is between £75 for some NSCC events to £100 at some venues. This entry fee covers payments to the MSA, the doctors, ambulance and paramedic cover, fire extinguisher and equipment hire of various circuit safety items, fees, and event insurance etc.

>> What happens on the day’?

Two timed practice runs are held in the morning, but before then ’signing on’ involves a few documentation checks and cars need ‘scrutineering’ for basic safety features (as per the RACMSA rules found in the RAC ‘Blue Book’ which you get with your licence). Times are posted after each run, and the trick is then to see how you can drive a fraction faster to beat your fellow competitors! The post practice times are the ones that matter and depending on the venue you will have between 2 and 5 timed runs. Your fastest run of the day counts, with the class positions and overall winner being sorted on that basis. Never Sprinted Before?

We’re a friendly bunch in the NSCC, and sometimes your first event may seem a bit daunting. If you have entered or are thinking of entering your first meeting, give any of us a ring, (perhaps try Steve Miles first on 0115 922 7974) from the list of committee members on the back page of this booklet or the monthly club magazine – SPIN OFF, and let us know what car you are entering and class if you know it. We can then arrange for a fellow NSCC class member to give you a call, answer any points and guide you through your first meeting if you wish.

All the courses and dates are listed in this leaflet. Don’t hang around, events fill up fast! Select the events you wish to enter get regulations from the relevant club website or contact the person named for an entry form and regulations. Fill it in, send your cheque off (NSCC and some other clubs don’t cash them until the event closing date) and wait with anticipation…..

>> Yes, I’d like to give it a go! What do I do next?

To register and contest the Nottingham Sports Car Club Speed Championship, you only need to become a member of the NSCC. Championship registration is free. Contact Mary Pearson via email mep069@aol.com or phone 0116 277 6654 for an application form or download one from this website.

>> NSCC Championship Scoring System

The NSCC champion will be the competitor that achieves the highest aggregate score from the designated number of rounds- usually 8 (check championship regs for exact details) over the qualifying events on offer throughout the season.

The official regulations give the exact scoring system, but basically for each class of vehicle at each event there is a target time, calculated from historical data produced by competitors from national records. Matching the target time will realise a score of 19 points (again please check regs), decreasing by hundredths of a point to zero, in sympathy with an increasing time on the track, over the specified target. Improving on the class target time will produce a similarly improved score with a maximum of 19 points. The maximum theoretical score for the NSCC championship is: 8 x 19 = 152 points. If weather or circumstances prevail that would otherwise prevent a time close to the target time, a data analysis system protects the event, allowing for a maximum score of 18 points in each class, so all rounds will count despite the weather!

The key benefit of this system – unlike most others is that you can do well, even if the class isn’t that well supported. Many championships favour competitors if there are more competitors in the class.

In addition to the main championship top ten awards, there are several other trophies for competitors to contest. The Harry Driver trophy is awarded to the fastest competitor over eight events, the Des Richardson trophy goes to the best aggregate score for NSCC organised events in addition to the highest points scorer award at each NSCC round. The Ladies trophy, the Novice award and the Vi Selby award for the most improved driver fulfil a range of competitions that provide a challenge for all competitors at all levels!

If you require further details or wish to discuss the technical content of the scoring system then please contact our Championship Scorer Lee Griffiths who can be found on our contacts page.