- You don't need a proper rally car to enter, any car will do. Photo: Roy Meuronen

Get started in Motorsport: Sydney based event perfect for first timers

The Whiteline Tarmac Rallysprint in Sydney gives first time racers the perfect opportunity to get started in a safe and friendly environment.

Have you always wanted to get started in Motorsport but don't know where to start? There's an event in Sydney on a weeknight over summer that is the perfect place for first timer racers to get started in a safe and friendly environment.

The Whiteline Tarmac Rallysprint Series is held on a Thursday night over summer and there are two rounds left in February and March 2020. If you've never raced before then this is a great place to start. Let's go over the basics:

What is a Tarmac Rallysprint?

A tarmac rallysprint uses the basic rules of rallying over a shorter course that you contest multiple times. As the title of the event suggests, it's on an all tarmac course. Cars are let go at 30 second intervals, so you are racing against the clock, not against other drivers on the course.

Do I need to write Pace Notes?

Before the event starts, teams are given the opportunity to drive the course twice at a slow speed and write pace notes. But you don't have to, you can simply use the two reconnaissance runs to get familiar with the 3.5km tarmac special stage in readiness for your competitive runs. But if you want to write notes and don't know how, there's plenty of seasoned teams at the event who can help you get started. Just ask the team at Rally HQ when you arrive.

Do I need a Co-Driver?

No, a co-driver is not mandatory. But we'd prefer you bring a friend along as your co-driver so they can experience your awesome driving skills first hand.

Do I need to be familiar with time cards and checking into controls etc?

No, the start procedure is a little more relaxed than a typical rally and there's plenty of officials to help you. You arrive at the start line in approximate car number order and get given a start time. You then line up at the start where you can see an electronic clock and you start when your time ticks over.

Is it like a race track?

Sort of. The course consists of access roads and car park areas around Sydney Dragway. There are markers around the entire course to make sure you know where you are going at all times. It's easy to follow and has plenty of corners, straights, bends and a roundabout to provide a circuit that looks and feels like a street based rally course.

How much does it cost?

You'll need to get a CAMS Level 2 Speed (L2S) licence, which is $143. You can either arrange this directly with CAMS before the event or you can buy a one off L2S licence on the night of the event for $90. You can then use this one off licence as a credit towards a full yearly L2S later when you decide that Motorsport is now in your blood! And if you have a Co-Driver, they will also need one of these licences.

The event entry fee is $255 per round and this includes a driver and co-driver combination. If you don't have a co-driver, the entry fee is $285 per round. You can enter online at nsscc.com.au

You'll also need to be a member of North Shore Sporting Car Club (NSSCC). Membership is $75 per year for a single membership, but if you're a member of another CAMS Car Club, you can get a summer membership from NSSCC for just $25.

The first event is always the most expensive and the total cost to do your first event is $143 + $255 + $75 = $473. Then every event you do afterwards is just the entry fee.

When are the next events on?

The next two events are Thursday, 13th February 2020 and Thursday 12th March 2020.

A standard Hyundai takes to the Rally Course at the Whiteline Tarmac Rallysprint. Photo: Roy Meuronen

A standard Hyundai takes to the Rally Course at the Whiteline Tarmac Rallysprint. Photo: Roy Meuronen

What Time does the event start?

Scrutineering starts at 3pm. Drivers Briefing is at 5:15pm with reconnaissance commencing at 5:30pm. The event starts at 6pm and finishes around 10:30pm. A far better night out than going late night shopping!

Scrutineering? What's that?

Scrutineering is where we check your car for basic safety. This event doesn't require a fire extinguisher, roll cage, first aid kit or anything special. It just needs to be safe.

Is any car really eligible?

Yes! Any car from a full on rally prepared EVO through to your Mums Toyota Camry can enter. We have a HUGE variety of cars come and rally including Ferrari's, Mazda 3, Golf R, Holden Commodore, Ford Falcon, World Rally Cars and everything in between. You get seeded so that you are around cars of a similar pace and speed.

How old do I need to be?

You need to be at least 14 years old. That's right, just 14 years old. We even have a juniors category and a junior development program. So get Mum, Dad or Uncle George to bring you out for a run in the family sedan. They can even be your co-driver... in fact they have to be your co-driver as juniors must have a responsible adult in the car with them.

How do I enter?

Easy, just go to https://nsscc.com.au and follow the links to enter an event. It's that easy.

I'm still not sure... Can I call someone to have a chat?

Sure, you can call me, the author of this article on 0413 042 763 for more details or to simply have a chat on how you can get started in Motorsport!

Can I see what it's like?

Yep, check out the video below to see a couple of first timers have a crack at the event. There is a range of videos available to view here on DRIVETRIBE, just have a look at my profile for more.

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