Car racing is a challenging sport, both physically and mentally. Anyone who has ever driven at speed knows it requires concentration and skill.
The challenge of racing put both the driver and the car to the test, of physically challenging the driver and mechanically stressing the car, with the added distraction of other drivers “getting in the way”. The sweaty palms and nervousness on the start line are instantly replaced by heart pumping adrenaline as the lights go green.
In the race you have the thrill of the chase and the mental challenge of finding that gap while closing in on your fellow racer.
We Can Help You Get On Track
The route to getting on track is not particularly complicated, but there are pitfalls and well defined regulations for process, safety and technical fairness reasons.
From a complete novice, track day regular to a seasoned racer, the Royal Navy Royal Marines Car Racing Team (RNRMCRT) can give you the platform and support to compete against other service men and women. We compete in the Armed Forces Race Challenge (AFRC), a tri-service race series run by the renowned 750 Motor Club. You’ll get to pit your skills against the Army, Royal Air Force and Veterans.
For current serving and reservist personnel all rounds of the AFRC are classed as representative sport and attracts “On Duty” status, which also entitles you to travel to and from the events.
Where to begin?
First and foremost join the RNRMMSA, that we can help you on your driver path. We’d always recommend coming to an AFRC event in support of one of the drivers. You can travel as support crew and this will allow you to meet some of the team members and discuss the merits of different styles of car.
However if you want to get cracking as soon as possible you need to complete the following steps.
Liaise with your unit’s Education Officer. You can claim the ARDS Test as a formal sports training course and they should reimburse £175 of your fees using your Standard Learning Credits, we can advise on how to complete the SLC Form. Alternatively your Gym may be able to provide funding as it is a recognised course for the sport.
Car & Kit
As you’re probably already aware motor racing isn’t particularly cheap, however the RNRMCRT have got an established pathway to competing that has reduced initial own expenditure considerably.
The association has two of its own vehicles that can be rented. They are primarily made available to novice drivers and are not intended for sole use by an individual to make a charge on a full race season. There are also 2 Lo-Cost race cars which are owned by Sultan Car Club that can be used as well. They aren’t totally free to use and a small rental fee of approx. £100 per race weekend (based on a 2 race format) is chargeable for basic upkeep of the car. Additional conditions on damage and repair do apply though.
Kit wise we should have everything that you’ll need for your first few races, so that’s Helmets, HANS, Gloves, Overalls, Boots which can all be borrowed. as such we have discounts arranged with a large number of suppliers of equipment to help with this.
Whilst team overalls will be loaned for a full race season (where possible), personnel will be expected to invest in their own car and race kit should they decide to continue competing post their first couple of races. As such we have discounts arranged with a large number of suppliers of equipment to help keep the budget in check.
Your Own Car
There are a number of options when purchasing a race car, Tin Top, Open Top, Single seater. Professionally prepared, pre built, partially built, build your own, kit car. All of these have strengths and weaknesses. We can talk you through these.
Before you commit to spending all your sea pay, deployment bonus and half your annual wages on your dream car, you need to first think about your overall budget and race costs.
You will either need your own trailer (must be professionally manufactured for MT vehicles to tow) or book to borrow an association trailer (very limited supply).
Our advice would be to buy a pre built entry level car to begin with, then build that dream car once you have the cash. But if you are into building cars, then get going. The biggest advice we can give is to keep it simple and focus on reliability.
Remember the adage - To Finish First, First You Have To Finish!
This part can be a bit eye opening.
Please be very aware that car racing is expensive. There are very few series that offer cost neutral racing. You only have to look around the paddock at your local track to see the amount of funds invested in trailers, motor homes and race cars.
Packs and Initial ARDS Test
Go Motorsport Pack - Free
ARDS Test - £350 approx (SLC can be used towards)
RNRMMSA - £20 annual
750 Motor Club - £25 annual (required to compete in AFRC)
Race Series Fee/Licences
MSA Race Licence Renewal - £99 annual (for Inter Club)
AFRC - £100 annual
Event Entry Fees
AFRC Event Entry - £375 - £400 (varies on venue, each event includes 2 races)
Whilst the majority of costs have to be met by the individual, with Motorsport a “Representative Sport” recognised by the RN & RM it gives the following benefits.
Standard Learning Credits
Upto £175 can be claimed towards the ARDS Test
Duty Status & Travel
For authorised events (i.e. AFRC rounds), you can claim Motor Mileage Allowance for your own vehicle, or you are entitled to an MT or Hire Vehicle.
You are “On Duty”, so are covered for personnel injury.
We provide branded awnings for the AFRC events, giving a professional and shelted pit area.
Loan kit is available to borrow to reduce own cost.
The AFRC aims to provide a free lunch on race day and also free wets throughout the race weekend. All of this available in the sheltered hospitality area.