Peterborough Motor Club runs a range of “clubsport” events, suitable for ordinary family cars. These events do not require special licences or equipment and they are non-damaging. We also organise some events where cars have to be specially built or modified to enter. Please read the descriptions of the different events listed below for further details.
Production Car Autotests. These are for standard production cars, and may be run on grass or tarmac. A passenger has to be carried in each competing car – some folk get to ride round the course with several drivers. We normally use a smooth grass field as it is kinder to gearboxes and tyres! The event consists of several tests against the clock driving around a series of markers to follow a defined course. There are changes of direction from forward to reverse as well as handbrake and J turns on some tests.
Autotest. Exactly the same principle as a Production Car Autotest except that passengers are not allowed. This style of autotest is that used by the BTRDA in the national championship. Most are held on tarmac.
Autosolo. This type of event is similar to an autotest except there is no reversing involved, they have to be run on concrete or tarmac and passengers are not permitted.
Production Car Trials. A PCT involves trying to drive up very steep, muddy slopes in an ordinary road car. Again passengers must be carried.
Sporting Trials. These are similar to production car trials but are designed for specially built cars that are quite different to a normal road car. They will also go places that a road car will never manage.
Sprints. A Sprint takes place on a smooth sealed surface over a measured distance against the clock. Cars start separately, although there may be more than one car on the course at any time. A wide variety of cars compete, from ex-Formula One single seaters to standard road cars. They are, of course, divided into classes by type and engine capacity. A number of our members compete in this type of event, please contact us for more details.
Hillclimbs. This type of event is similar to a sprint except as the name suggests they use a course which is mostly up fairly steep hills on tarmac. Unfortunately it is a bit of a challenge finding suitable hills in our area.
12 Car Rallies. A 12-car rally is a motorsport competition run on the public road. They are a simple and strictly amateur form of the sport. Events are based on navigational skills rather than speed, and with usually a notable social element too. The event has a maximum of 12 competing vehicles, only standard road cars are permitted. A maximum average speed of 30 mph applies to all road events. Navigation is what is known as ‘plot ‘n bash’ where route information is given out as you cross the start line. No timing to the second is permitted, only to the previous minute. Public relations work is carried out as necessary if the route affects any residential areas. Finally the police need to be informed of the event, and route authorisation must be granted from the MSA’s local representative. Channel 5 (Fifth Gear) did a feature on this type of event. There is some more information on this link.
Road Rallies. A road rally takes place on the public roads but these are not closed to the public. It is part of the core of the “grass roots” club-based amateur motorsport. The attraction of the sport is that it is cheap to compete, requiring minimal preparation, and is open to a wide degree of abilities. The events are legal and regulated by the sport’s governing body. Competitors take part over a predetermined course against the clock. Cars start at one-minute intervals. There is no direct head-to-head racing, and the emphasis is very much on navigation and teamwork rather than out-and-out speed. Sponsorship is not permitted. Insurance for competing crews is cheap and easy to obtain, reflecting the good safety record of the sport. With their emphasis on map reading and navigational skills, they remain a very competitive, fun and worthwhile pursuit for many. We have a number of members interested in these events.
Stage Rallies. Stage rallies take place on all surfaces and in all conditions: tarmac, gravel, or snow and ice, depending on the course and event. Rallies are also run every month of the year, in every climate, bitter cold to monsoon rain. This contributes to the notion of top rally drivers as some of the best car control experts in the world. As a result of the drivers not knowing exactly what lies ahead, the lower traction available on dirt roads, and the driving characteristics of small cars, the drivers are much less visibly smooth than circuit racers, regularly sending the car literally flying over bumps, and sliding the cars out of corners. Most events consists of several timed “special stages” on which the competition takes place. Sometimes these are many miles apart and are connected by untimed “transport sections” on public roads where the rally cars must be driven under their own power to the next special stage. Rally cars are unlike most other top-line competition cars in that they have to run at normal driving speeds, and indeed must be road legal. The winner of the event has the lowest combined special stage times. Again we have members actively involved in these events.
Our events page includes examples of most of the above types of events. As well as events organised by Peterborough Motor Club, the lists also include events organised by other clubs, where PMC members may well be involved either as competitors, organisers or marshals.