Rallying is an exciting and amateur-friendly motorsport in the UK. It’s a great way to show off your skill as a driver or navigator and have an adventure at the same time. There are two principal types of rally, the stage rally and the road rally. Stage rallies often occur in forests, and drivers compete in different stages marked by timing gates. The co-driver reads notes and navigates the roads between stages, ensuring the car doesn’t get lost and stays within specific time windows. Road rallying takes place on the roads without the stages.  

Join the Club

To get into the rally scene, a club is the place to start. Even if you are just exploring the idea or can’t yet afford to compete, you can learn a lot and make valuable connections at your local club. In addition, it’s an excellent way to check out the scene and build your knowledge of the sport. Your local club or clubs may organise rallies themselves or participate in them. They might run trials or other types of motorsport events. And they may even have club cars available for use for a fee. 

Go to Rallies

Don’t neglect to go to a few rallies before you think about entering one. There are lots of ways you can volunteer to get a behind-the-scenes look at what goes on. You can be a marshall or a mechanic, or just help out with any large event’s logistical aspects. Understanding how things work will minimise stress when you take the leap to participate.  

Get Licenced

At the simplest level, you will only need an RS Clubman licence, which is free and easy to obtain. However, once you level up into more challenging stage rallies, you will need an RS Inter-Club Stage Rally licence. In addition, you will need to pass the British Association of Rally Schools (BARS) test, which involves written and driving sections.  

Start Small

Every bit of experience you can pick up as a driver will help you. Starting by doing autocross or autotest events will gain you valuable skills that you will need as you move on to more challenging races and courses. Track days are also a great place to start and can be an affordable way to gain experience. Finally, begin with road rallies to learn to work as a team of driver and co-driver.  

And the Car?  

One of the best things about some of the simpler rallies is that you can do them in your street car. Remember, for courses with dirt roads, you will need to calculate for the wear and tear of all that gravel hitting your undercarriage. And don’t forget to follow this safety advice whenever you are on the road. Road rallies are a brilliant place to start before you take the plunge and invest heavily in your vehicle. When you progress to stage rallies, you will need additional equipment, such as roll cages, harnesses, flame-safe overalls, and safety kits for driver and co-driver. 

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