WHAT WE DO
KDMC Members participate in a variety of Motorsport activities.
The information provided here gives an insight as to what is involved in these activities and the
level of experience and/or equipment that is required to participate.These events vary from small club-level events such as Grass Autotesting and Navigational Scatters up to National Level Stage Rally Events.
In addition to the above, many members assist events by Marshalling. Please see the separate Marshalling page for more details.
AUTOTESTING, including AUTOSOLOS
An Autotest is a competition for cars in which marking during the event is based solely on a competitor’s performance in manoeuvring tests. There are three types of autotest as defined by the Motor Sports Association; Autotest, Production Car Autotest and Autosolo.
In an Autotest the tests may include spin or handbrake turns, stop astride lines, and some reversing, and may be at one or more sites. A passenger is not allowed.
A Production Car Autotest is a competition for Production Cars capable of being taxed and MOT’d. These tests may include a limited number of spin or handbrake turns, stop astride lines, and some reversing, and may be at one or more sites. A passenger must be carried in the front seat.
An Autosolo is for Road Going Cars, i.e currently taxed and Mot’d if over 3 years old, with tests held on a sealed surface. These tests are all forward and non-stop, without requiring any spin or handbrake turns, and may be at one or more sites. A passenger may be carried if so allowed by the organisers.
In all cases the driver completes the course in the shortest possible time with penalties added for hitting cones (used to make gates and garages) and failing to stop as required. Venues vary from fields for autotests and PCAs for starter events to car parks of various sizes for the championship autotests and autosolos. Events are divided into classes based on type of car, engine capacity and size. This varies between events. Cars are checked for safety before they can compete. This includes a properly secured battery, good brakes, secure seat(s) and everything held down. There are no special safety measures as this is regarded as a low speed form of motorsport.
Your club membership card is sufficient to compete on Clubmans level events and a MSA licence is required for the National B events which form part of the Regional and National Championships.
You will be provided with a diagram of the course, usually there are about three courses laid out at a time. You should walk the course before hand to familiarise you with the route. In Autosolos organisers tend to number the cones as an aid to memorising the route. Should you go the wrong way then a maximum penalty is applied, typically the fastest time in your class plus 20 seconds, although on longer tests this may be 30 seconds.
For 2017 the regulations for Autotesting, including Autosolos have been rewritten. One of the changes is the provision to allow passengers in Autosolos. This allows drivers of 14 and those without a full RTA licence to compete in Autosolos and PCAs provided they carry an experienced driver as their passenger. Cars are limited.
Autotests don’t have passengers so the minimum driver age is16. In this case it must be a Touring Car with a maximum engine of 1400cc. As can be seen this provides an excellent way into motorsport for young drivers.
At the top end of autotesting cars become very specialised. Drivers develop their skills so that the car “floats “ through the tests and never appears to stop, even when changing direction and reversing over lines.
KDMC are involved in most forms of rallying; - on public road or on private land and in the ‘forests’.
Historic Road Rallying
Generally take place during daylight hours and comprise two main competitive elements:-
- Regularity road sections; crews have to maintain prescribed (low) average speeds, which are checked by means of secret intermediate timing points.
- Driving tests; held on private land where the crews have to negotiate a given route as fast as possible.
These events are a good test of teamwork in maintaining the average speeds and negotiating the tests successfully. Since 2004 KDMC have organised such an event; The Tour of Cheshire, see www.tourofcheshire.co.uk for more information.
Members regularly compete in similar style events throughout the UK, generally run as part of the HRCR (Historic Rally Car Register) Clubmans Championship.
A number of members of KDMC are regular competitors in road rallies throughout the UK, these events take place through the night on quiet lanes and are a tough test of driver and navigator to go the correct way and visit all the checkpoints in the required order.
KDMC organise a 12 car each year that is like a mini-road rally and runs on a Friday evening. This usually takes place during November. A very good event to sample road rallying.
There are a variety of different formats of Stage Rallies:
- Single-Venue, where all the Stages are in one location and comprise tarmac, gravel or a mix of the two surfaces.
- Multi-Venue, typically a forest event, which visits several forests during the event.
KDMC organise a national level forest stage rally, which utilises some of the classic forests of mid-Wales; The Plains Rally, see www.plainsrally.co.uk for further details
These comprise a series of tests (either at a single venue or a number of different venues) where the crews have to complete the route, over a mixture of surfaces, as fast as possible in vehicles which require little or no modification from your standard road car. KDMC are organising a Targa rally in 2017 for the first time. More details see www.knutsfordtarga.co.uk
Car Trials, or Production Car Trials (PCTs) are a low-speed, high-skill motorsport. They take place on grass hills. The course has a number of ‘gates’ the competitor has to pass through. The ‘gates’ on the lower sections of the hill have higher penalty points than those higher up the hillside.
The overall winner is the competitor with the least number of penalty points. Each car must carry a passenger who can act as a bouncer to try to assist the driver get better traction when traversing the course. There are different classes covering; 2WD Production cars, Front-Wheel drive, Rear-Wheel drive, both unmodified and modified.
SPRINTS & HILLCLIMBS
These are two types of speed event, both taking place on a solid surfaced (Asphalt or concrete) course with the obvious difference being that hillclimbs take place on a hilly course. In both cases cars run one at a time and so you are in essence competing against the clock.
Speed events allow a wide variety of cars to compete. These can range from fairly basic production cars up to full-blown single-seaters.
The minimum personal safety equipment includes a helmet, fireproof overalls and gloves. You should consult the current MSA Blue Book for the latest specification of safety equipment.
More properly called Navigational Scatter Events, and provide a simple introduction to using maps and basic timing. Whilst sometimes referred to as Scatter Rallies - they are NOT rallies.
Who can enter?
- Anyone with a club membership card.
What do you need ?
- A reliable car. If you have auxiliary lights fitted, then you’ll either have to remove them or cover them so they can’t be used as they are not allowed by the regulations.
- Decent footwear, as you’ll probably have to jump out of the car to find the clue.
- A good torch to help find the clues in the dark!
- A watch. There is only an overall time limit and big penalties if you overrun the allotted time.
- A relatively soft (2B,3B or even 4B) pencil to mark the locations on your map(s).
- An eraser to remove those mis-plots.
- A romer - this little piece of plastic is used to accurately plot the map references.
- The appropriate Ordnance Survey Map for the event.
Once you have been given your list of locations, you then spend some time plotting all the points on your map(s) and then decide which of the points to visit. You are only required to visit 75% of the points which have a variety of scoring points allocated to them. The crew with the highest points collected within the time allowed wins.
KDMC run a championship, known as the Twilight Championship consisting of seven events, of which your best five scores count.