Motorsport comes in many different forms. Whatever your experience or type of vehicle, you are sure to find something suitable. Below are some of the available options. For more information, please come along to one of our club nights.
The most popular form of motorsport in Britain, perhaps because it involves ordinary looking cars. Two people work together, a driver and a co-driver, with the cars running at one minute intervals, competing against the clock rather than against each other. The events are held on private property such as Forestry Commission land, disused airfields, private tracks and roads. There are many types of event and many levels of competition but you will need a specially prepared car to take part. Oxford Motor Club organises and runs its own Carfax Stage Rally each year.
As you can imagine, events cannot run themselves and, as well as competitors, marshals are always needed to ensure the smooth running of an event. Involvement can be as little as a couple of hours on a Friday evening on a 12 car, to a full day at a stage rally. Marshalling in a great opportunity to get up close to the action; our experienced members will show you how. We marshal at all sorts of local events, and further afield – up to Rally GB and events abroad. You can become a registered marshal through training via the club. Oxford Motor Club MSA Safety and Medical Frequency radios mean that Club members are frequently invited to provide safety radio cover on stage rallies.
12-car Navigational Rallies
12-car rallies are 60-mile road rallies for up to 12 pairs of club members and are open to any club member regardless of experience. They are run to MSA rules and are an ideal training ground for those planning to progress to road or stage rallies. Oxford Motor Club pioneered a beginners class where the navigational handouts take the form of marked maps – newcomers to the lanes sometimes have enough of a problem getting used to “finding the slots” without having to sort out the navigational clues too. To familiarise you with the types of navigation, download the following sample instructions: 8th Feb 12 car Beginner 8th Feb 12 car Novice. Use the novice Nav on the beginner’s marked map or plot the Novice on Ordnance Survey Map 164. There is also a wealth of experience within the club to help you get the most from these type of events.
Typically 100 to 150 miles of all-night sport for an entry fee of only £50 or so. Events in this area are “navigational” road rallies and do not tend to use many unsurfaced roads so are eminently suitable for standard cars. Today most of these events take place in the South West, Wales and North Midlands. However, Cotswold Motorsport Group run a small seven round championship under a Roadsport, based on 12-Car Rallies but open to the Cotswold Motor Sport Group, of which Oxford Motor Club is one of the 20 clubs who’s members are automatically members of the Group’s ‘blanket’ club. We have many top crews competing in the series, which use different areas around the Cotswolds.
Targa Road Rally
Quite a new form of rallying in the UK. The events are based around Special Tests on private land. Targa Road Rallying is a real test of driver and navigator; the driver needs to tackle the test/course as quickly as possible but they cannot do it without the navigator who tells them where to go. There are several different takes on the format. From single venue events where double driving is permitted, to multi-venue where cars travel non-competitively between tests on the public road.
Targa Road Rallying may not be the most well known form of Rallying, but using standard cars and a cheap entry level of motor sport, they are rapidly becoming more popular. They are easily accessible to anyone with a road car and driving licence.
Timed tests manoeuvring around cones. We have run these event at Westminster College, on their carpark over the Christmas – New Year period, and on grass at Pewsey Lodge Farm. The grass Autotest is the best introduction to motor sport; it’s easy for the newcomer to have a go and the minimal fee includes a Bar-B-Que.
Autosolos are tests around cones and pylons similar to autotests but they are all forward in direction and are more open, allowing the tests to be completed more quickly. These events take place on sealed surfaces only and are a very cheap form of motorsport. The events are aimed at standard road cars and driver skill is the biggest factor for success. We run our own Bocardo Autosolo, and the Autumn Autosolo at Arncott, Bicester in one of the Army’s car parks. They are part of the CMSG Autosolo and the BTRDA National Autosolo Championships.
A road event with no fixed route – Locations (control points) to visit are cited in curved bands centered on the start venue. Each band is allotted a number of points, for example the closest scores 2 points, the furthest away scores 12 points. Competitors have work out from the clues given where the locations are and then an achievable route to visit them in the allotted time. Visiting all the Control points is impossible and is not meant to be achievable. There will be no obvious single correct route.
Table Top Rallies
A good aid to teach newcomers rally navigation especially if it is against the clock. The National scene ‘Rallies by Mail Order’ is for the experts. If you fancy the idea of pitting your mind against others in a Navigational Exercise then the club Table Tops are a good training. All the navigation skills required by a Road Rally navigator, and some more are, used to crack the clues and plot the route.
A bit like a Touring Assembly, a prescribed route with no particular time schedule usually organised as a Sunday drive with a quiz attached where one has to get out of the car at particular locations along the route to answer the questions. The route could be a list of instructions like ‘drive to the cenotaph in Ramsden and find the initial of the last Smith then head for the Bird in Hand at White Oak Green’. Along the route you need to collect treasure, for example ‘a portrait of the Queen’. The event has a specifed a finish by time at a venue like a pub or a public place.
This is like a Treasure Hunt, but on foot. One for the kids, but a good way to discover areas of the city, town or village most locals would not visit or know about.
Events members can do but the club does not organise
This type of event used to be called ‘Mud plugging’. An almost impossible course is laid on the side of a steep hill around trees, lumps, clumps and obstacles to test how far up the hill can you go? All you need is a car and a co-driver. OMC membership has not supported this type of event in the past! However, the Cotswold Motor Sport Group has a strong Car Trial championship which is open to all the Club members.
These are a speed trial against the clock on a licensed course on either a race track or a disused airfield. They are a bit similar to a Single Venue Rally but the course is not as complicated and there is no co-driver (which makes it less expensive). Classes for anything from standard road cars to full-blown race cars. We don’t organise these, but do have information on local events and some members will be out either competing or marshalling.
This type of event is very similar to the sprint and was the first type of really competitive motor sport. Now restricted to private roads, venues are far apart. It’s a sprint up a tarmac road which can ascend several hundred meters over a course of around a kilometre. Prescot near Cheltenham, which is owned by the Bugatti Owners Club, is the nearest and a well known venue (it has been used as a stage venue).
Grass Track Racing and Sand O’ Cross
This is a course set up in a large field where 4 cars or Quad bikes, or specials race against each other in heats then in a knock out to decide the winner. Not for the faint hearted.