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Sprinting....How to

This is copied from a post I made on a Kit forum.  The basic are same but a S4/RS4 would fall into a different category.

1. A car (pretty obvious):- Lots of different classes but I'll assume for the sake of this that we are talking about a road-legal kit car. The class of this is specialist sports cars and normally has all the Lotus Exige/Elises & the kits in. Typically split at 1700cc and therefore I run in the Over 1700cc class whereas a 1000cc BEC would be in the under 1700cc Class. I have ended up competing with a 7.3l Ultima! As the car is road legal you will need to prove Tax, MoT (if required & insurance when you sign on. The car most be road legal in all respects and you can use MSA List 1b tyres (R888, A048R etc etc) and you can also use the standard road tyres listed in 1a but you will not do very well unless it rains.

1a. Car Scrutineering :- They will check the car is safe which included FIA in-date harness if you are using harness it must be FIA/MSA approved, in-date and in good condition, they look under the bonnet (you need to have a yellow earth lead to the battery for easy identification). Although not required in a road class if you have fitted a roll cage it must meet the MSA requirements, same with master electrical switch & manually activated extinguisher. You must also identify how to turn the car off on the dashboard.

2. Clothing/Helmet. You will need a Snell SA2005 or better helmet (open cars required a full face lid), a MSA approved and in-date suit and approved gloves. You don't need boots or underwear but it would be wise to wear them anyway. First time you compete each year you will need to pay 1 to the scrutineer for "MSA approved" sticker on your helmet.

3. License. To compete in a road-going kit car at Sprints or Hill Climbs you need a MSA Non-Race National B license. The cost is 38 or so and you can apply online at

4. Club membership. You need to belong to a MSA approved club. There are loads of these around but I belong to Sevenoaks & District Motor Club ( ) & also Tunbridge Well Motor Club ( ). Cost is about 20 and it allows you to enter their series.

5. Sprint Entry. Normally the Regs are published a few months before the event and you simple fill in the form and send off your dosh. Small airfield sprints are around 100 and ones on proper circuits can be upto 200. The bigger events get booked up very early so be quick.

Your first sprint

Check your car over, make sure everything is connected/tight/bolted down. You will need a timing strut (made and fixed as per the MSA Blue Book, to be fitted on site), some numbers (or black tape) to match your entry numbers (remember to do this once you arrive at the venue not before), your clothing/helmet, a few tools and chair/drink etc.

Turning Up
Be as early as possible as this gives you the time to sort things out. All the instructions will be on the entry information sent through to you. Typically the following happens
a. Turn up and park in the designated area
b. Sign on.....remember all you bits of paper (Insurance, V5, MoT, MSA License, Club Membership card)
c. Fit numbers and timing strut
d. Take car/self/kit to be scrutineered.
e. Walk course (watch flash gits with push bikes do it in a few minutes while you walk round)
f. Drivers Brief


Normally sprints consisting of 2 practise runs and 3 timed runs. This is typically done in number order do make sure you are ready to queue up, in all your kit, when your class is running. After each run all the times are printed up on a board somewhere so you can see how much in the lead you are

Prize Giving
After the event is finished you will need to hang about to pick up your Fastest Time of the Day trophy (!) or applaud the winners. Normally a pot of 1st & 2nd in each class.

Once it is all done you need to take your timing strut and numbers off the car before going on the public road. This is the point you start planning the next time

It is great fun and I would recommend anyone who fancies it to have a go. Anyone who can drive a car on a trackday can sprint it....

Feel free to ask any questions and I will attempt to answer them with my limited experience.

Typically who/what cars enter?

Is there a typical power:weight ratio for the entering cars?  

I assume most are similar to yours jeff, i.e. 450-600kgs & 170-300bhp ?

There are many different classes

I've seen everything from 1.1 Corsa to 1000BHP Skyline in the road going production classes.  The classes are effectively split into 4

Road Going (which is then split into size catergories)
Specialised Sports Cars, which are road going Kits, Lotus Exige, VX220 etc
Race Cars
Single Seaters

All of these are split down into engine size catergories and there are specific tyres you are allowed depending on the class. Forum Index -> Motorsport
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