Get Inspired: How to get into Motorsport

Fast Answers

Why get into motorsport?

Mixing stunning speed with strategy takes physical strength and agility, plus a fair degree of bravery.

Who is it for?

If you like fast paced activities that get your heart pumping and your brain working, this is for you!

Is there a cheap option?

Some motor clubs run grassroots events that you can enter for a small fee using your standard road car.

What if I want a proper workout?

Trial biking is the most physically demanding motorsport, and is what the F1 drivers do to keep in shape!

Can I take it to another level?

Competition licences/ applications are available for those wanting to seriously race cars or bikes.

Is there a disability option?

There are disability options within rallying, karting and motorcycling.

Is there a family option?

Go Karting and motorcross are safe activities for all the family to enjoy.

Motorsport is big business these days, thanks in no small part to the glitz and glamour of Formula 1. But while you are unlikely to hop straight into an F1 car as your opening motorsport experience, there are many more disciplines waiting to take you on. Here's a starting point to help you decide which is for you:

Karting

Karting

Kart racing is a fun way to challenge yourself while getting a feel for racing on a track, and it caters for everyone, no matter what your age. There are indoor and outdoor tracks where you can take lessons before heading out for a drive, and for the keen enthusiast, you can obtain a licence and compete. Contact the Motor Sports Association UK for a "Go Karting" pack  to find out more about competition karting. There is also leisure or corporate 'arrive-and-drive' karting, which is not governed by the MSA.

Circuit racing

a row of formula one cars driving on the track

The most widely known form of motor sport is circuit racing, but there are a number of different types of competitions. Racing consists of drivers competing alongside each other on a track, all striving to be the first to finish. As with all motorsport, you will need a competition licence to be able to compete. Contact the Motor Sports Association UK for a "Go Racing" pack  to find out more about how to compete on the track.

Rallying

Rally driving

Rallying is a popular motor sport in Britain. Ordinary looking cars are used in a competition that is against the clock on stages rather than on a track against other competitors. It involves a driver and a co-driver or navigator, working together to complete all the stages in the lowest aggregate time. Contact the Motor Sports Association UK for a "Go Rallying" pack  to find out more about how to obtain a competition licence and to find out about the different forms of rallying.

Club motorsport

Isle of Man T T

A club rider rounds a hairpin corner in 1912

There are around 750 local motor clubs in the UK: social hubs for enthusiasts which run grassroots events that you can compete in for the cost of club membership and a £15 entry fee. The great thing is, for many of these events you can use your standard road car. For example, AutoSOLO involves driving as quickly as possible around a course marked out by cones, usually on a large asphalt area. Road rallying takes place on the public highway and is as much about navigation and map reading as driving skill. Because they are run by registered clubs, they are properly organised and controlled. To find your local club, visit MSAUK  or GoMotorsport. 

Speedway

Speedway

Going fast on a motorbike on a track, racing other drivers, using skill and technique to outmanoeuvre your competition. If this sounds like your idea of a good time, then speedway is for you. These bikes do not have brakes and only use one gear as they race anti-clockwise around a circuit. Find a club near you in Scotland, England & Wales via the Auto-Cycle Union;  in Scotland you can also go to the Scottish Auto Cycle Union.  If you are in Northern Ireland visit the Motorcycle Union of Ireland.  For riders interested in competing, find out about obtaining a licence.

Trial bikes

Trial bikes

In trial, the competition is focused on the skill and accuracy involved in completing a set of obstacles. Rather than racing a circuit, the competition usually takes place in natural terrain such as over rocks, up hills and/or across streams. Riders are not permitted to touch the ground with their feet and are given penalties for footing or stopping. Find a club near you in Scotland, England & Wales via the Auto-Cycle Union,  in Scotland you can also go to the Scottish Auto Cycle Union.  If you are in Northern Ireland visit the Motorcycle Union of Ireland.  For riders who are interested in competing, find out about obtaining a licence.

Motocross

Motocross

This is probably the most dynamic type of motorcycle activity. The race takes place in rugged, natural terrain where competitors test their skill against each other, performing spectacular jumps and racing for the finish line. Motocross participation can start as young as six years old! Find a club near you in Scotland, England & Wales via the Auto-Cycle Union,  in Scotland you can also go to the Scottish Auto Cycle Union.  If you are in Northern Ireland visit the Motorcycle Union of Ireland.  For riders who are interested in competing, find out about obtaining a licence.

Enduro

Enduro racing

Also taking place in an outdoor, off-road environment, this race is against the clock rather than directly against other competitors like in Motocross. Once a challenger has completed the course, they then are faced with a final timed test which ultimately determines the winner. Find a club near you in Scotland, England & Wales via the Auto-Cycle Union,  in Scotland you can also go to the Scottish Auto Cycle Union.  If you are in Northern Ireland visit the Motorcycle Union of Ireland.  For riders who are interested in competing, find out about obtaining a licence.

Disability

Disability motorsport

With the aid of specialist equipment, all kinds of motorsport can be undertaken regardless of ability. From car racing and rallying to karting and motorcycle sports, there are inclusive clubs around the country. The British Motor Sports Association for the Disabled  is an organisation set up to assist drivers with disabilities and debilitating medical conditions to get into motorsport.

Marshalling

Marshalls at a rallying event

If you are a keen motorsport enthusiast but prefer to watch rather than compete, you can still be involved. All events rely on an army of volunteers to carry out a wide range of duties, all of which contribute to the success of the event. Whether it is marshalling, officiating, timekeeping or administration, motor clubs always need the support of volunteers. Find out more about volunteering for car racing motorsport, and contact the Motorcycle Union near you  to enquire about volunteering in motorcycle sports.

Aspire to be like: Lewis Hamilton

Inspire to be like Lewis Hamilton

What next?

1. Go to our Activity Finder to get into motorsport near you.

2. Find your local club via MSAUK.  , the Auto-Cycle Union  or Motorcycle Sport Scotland. 

3. Share your story  and inspire others!

Are you inspired to try motorsport? Or maybe you are a keen enthusiast already? Get in touch and tell us your story by tweeting us on @bbcgetinspired,  visit us on Facebook  or email us on getinspired@bbc.co.uk.

See our full list of activity guides for more inspiration.