How can I enter?
Hillclimbing is a very easy way to get into motorsport. At the lowest level you can compete in a completely standard road car – you can drive to the event and, hopefully, home again. You will need to purchase certain items of safety equipment, you will need to be a member of a recognised motor club and you will need a basic competition licence from the Motor Sports Association (MSA). Here is a rundown of costs but for more information contact us here at Swansea Motor Club.
How much does it cost to compete on a Hillclimb?
If you use a standard production car built after 1st January 2000 and with an engine of less than 2 litres.
- Swansea Motor Club Membership £15
- MSA RS competition licence £69
- MSA approved safety helmet about £200
- Event entry fee about £100 – 120
If you use a road car with limited modifications you need some additional safety equipment in the form of a flameproof suit such as Proban cotton which can be picked up for about £30.
Once you move up to more highly modified vehicles the safety requirements become much greater and costs increase rapidly
- MSA approved race suit from £200
- MSA approved gloves from £30
- Frontal head restraint from £250
Yes, you can bring your road car and compete for a total outlay of about £500, less if you buy a second hand race suit – lots on ebay. But check that it meets the right standard – kart racing suits are not acceptable.
How can I help?
Don’t worry, there are lots of ways!
Events such as hill climbs and sprints are surprisingly major undertakings. It requires the efforts of literally dozens of people, working up front and behind the scenes, for the better part of the year, to make even a modest event happen. Happily, those wanting to lend a hand are welcomed with open arms, and are rewarded with adventure, camaraderie, and friendship. And usually at least a bacon sandwich!
In addition to events held locally, Swansea Motor Club race officials help staff major events throughout the U.K, and some have even travelled to Formula One races in Australia and Europe! If you ever thought you might like to give competing a try, working or marshalling on events can give you valuable insights into driving, preparation, and the tracks themselves. There are lots of jobs to do – one of these might be for you.
Standing on every corner of every event around the world are the Marshals. Marshals go to an incident scene, under the direction of the Hill Controller, to provide a first response. Their main responsibility is to clear the track of disabled and stopped vehicles and to communicate back to the Hill Controller what the car(s) and driver(s) may need in the way of assistance. Some of these cars may have a mechanical problem or they may simply have run out of fuel. Other responsibilities include assisting in clean-up of soiled track areas. In the event of a fire use the extinguisher provided. Marshals are welcome to join as social members at a cost of £15.00. Click here to go to the Membership application form Swansea Motor Club.
If you want to know which of the marshalling duties would be best for you, contact Neil Samuel by email email@example.com. He will be glad to hear from you.
PADDOCK & ASSEMBLEY AREA
This is where you get to meet race drivers up close and personal. You could say that these are the folks who direct traffic– paddock marshals make sure everyone is parked where they’re supposed to be, and help direct those who aren’t sure. If you think the race track sometimes gets crowded, imagine what it is like where the cars park when they are not racing. Paddock is the group that is responsible for ensuring the safe and speedy passage of the race cars to the grid prior to their event, and from the track back to their paddock areas. Assembly area’s job is to make sure everyone is lined up in the proper order before they go out to practise or go to the start line if they are due to start racing. Paddock also works with Fire and Rescue and all emergency vehicles to ensure spectator safety and to provide clear access for all emergency vehicles.
Start line’s job is to make sure everyone is lined up in the correct manner before they start racing. Careful positioning of cars in relation to the start timing beams is essential so this can be a physical job pushing the cars that last few inches forward or back. This is where you get to meet drivers up close and personal.
When an incident is serious, these folks take over. Fire Fighting and/or emergency medical skills are part of the Rescue Crew’s portfolio, though they also tow disabled cars off the track. Rescue crew are trained and expected to become highly skilled as para-medics and emergency rescue workers.
There are two primary functions of a Scrutineer. The first entails a complete visual inspection of all the safety equipment. This includes seat belts, shoulder belts, roll cage, fire system, and general integrity and race worthiness of the car. The second function is to inspect cars at the end of an event or practise to determine their legality with respect to the General Competition Rules and the specifications for their class.
ENVIRONMENTAL (Noise) SCRUTINEER
Engine noise may be music to a fan’s ears, but to the nearby landowner it may not be so pleasant. The sound output of the cars is recorded during practice, qualifying and the race to ensure compliance with a set level, say 103 decibels. At the end of each session the readings are presented to the Chief Steward of the event for review. If a competitor exceeds the limit he is advised and he must make corrections to meet the legal limit or risk disqualification.
When you ask, “who’s winning?” these are the ones who know! They time the cars during qualifying and race sessions, and produce the event results. Timekeepers use sophisticated timing equipment, usually linked to computers so it can be an excellent place for younger people to get involved.
CLERK OF THE COURSE & STEWARDS
Clerk(s) of the Course & Stewards are normally long term members of the club, and are very experienced officials. They can be ex-drivers or have worked their way up as marshals, and are responsible for the general conduct of a racing event in accordance with the “General Competition Rules”. The Clerk(s) of the Course are the executive decision makers at an event, and have broad powers to assure the safety of an event and the legality of the race cars. The Clerk(s) of the Course hears and decides the outcome of protests, and/or investigates incidents, and may impose penalties as a result. Stewards hear and decide the outcome of appeals. Like other workers and officials, Clerk(s) of the Course have license grades that depend on their level of experience. The Chief Steward is the senior official at a race.
Your first contacts at any event are the workers of the Admin office. They make sure you have the proper credentials (licence, club membership card and have signed the waiver) to take part in the event. The goal here is to get your registration done in the quickest way possible, so you can enjoy the weekend.
Event Admin is a “catch all” specialty covering those people who assist in various tasks that are not otherwise defined. As an example, the people who plan the “after hours” activities such as award presentations.
Communication between all of the people that are involved is an absolute requirement. The Radio Tech. specialty is responsible for making sure that all of the radios are working properly all of the time.
As you can see, there is a lot to do, and your help would be appreciated. Of course there are many clubs you can marshal for, and it can take you all over the country, if not the world.
If you want to know which of the marshalling duties would be best for you contact Neil Samuel firstname.lastname@example.org. He will be glad to hear from you.
Other sites giving details of what it’s like to be a Marshal are: