Sprint is a high-speed discipline in which drivers take turns to set a time around a lap of a race circuit or a point-to-point course, with the fastest times determining the results. Sprint is a very diverse discipline, with vehicles ranging from near-standard road cars to F1-style single-seaters.
How does Sprint work?
Sprints are typically held on racing circuits, as well as disused airfields, and with venues spread right across the country you won’t have to travel too far to have a go yourself.
Competitors are given practice runs before the competition proper starts. Usually you will get two runs against the clock, with your best time counting in the final results. The best part about Sprinting is that if you get your first run wrong you still have a chance of making amends on the second run.
How do I start?
You then need to apply to the MSA for your National B Speed Competition Licence, available to anyone aged 16 or above. You don’t need to take any tests, or have a medical.
A good starting point is the Hillclimb & Sprint Association. The HSA produces the magazine Speedscene, dedicated to sprinting and its sister activity, Hill Climb. This will help you choose where to compete and which class to enter. Another good reference is The Essential Manual of Hillclimbing & Sprinting, published by Veloce.
Next, go to some Sprints and chat with the competitors to get a real-life feel for the discipline and what it takes to be a competitor.
What kind of car do I need?
There are many different Sprint classes, including categories for standard or near-standard roag-going vehicles, so you may already be driving your future competition car.
If you decide to buy a car specifically for Sprinting, make sure you check it for damage and mechanical soundness before buying. Most competition cars are well looked-after but, as the old saying goes, “Let the buyer beware”.
What equipment do I need?
You will need MSA-compliant safety equipment such as a helmet, fireproof overalls, gloves and boots.
Remember that it is the competitor’s responsibility to ensure that their vehicle and equipment comply with both the MSA’s General Regulations (detailed in the MSA Competitors’ and Officials’ Yearbook) and the Supplementary Regulations (SRs) of the event or championship.