BEGINNER Motorsport can be difficult to find. It is also usually a rather expensive hobby, hence this blog.
However, Motorsport can be cheap (ish) and Autograss is one of the best.
Autograss is simply an oval circuit. Usually starting the event as grass, it soon turns to mud as cars tear their way around. Each race runs for a set number of laps and contact IS allowed.
Taking your first steps into a world of racing can be daunting. Preparation is key. Find a local Autograss track and get in touch. Most tracks run a tiered structure. Base entries being the likes of Vauxhall Corsa’s and Mini’s, all the way up to custom built motorbike bike-engine rocket ships.
For now lets focus on the entry level cars.
Here for example is a Mini Autograss race:
There are many classes including one for Juniors. The low level classes are generally cheaper to run as the car’s engine remains standard and the overall car is cheaper to repair. You may think this hampers the fun, but it certainly doesn’t.
Any car – so long as it works – can give you the opportunity to push it to the edge. Autograss gives you the field in which to play, you just need to drive.
There are of course rules and regulations to follow. These can vary at different tracks so it is worth getting in touch with the closest organisation to find out the rules and regulations.
You can even build your own car to save on cash. Starting with a list of approved vehicles at your local track. You then buy the banger, strip it and build it to the local track specs including roll-bars and wire mesh ‘windows’. Paint jobs and stickers don’t have to be professional as the car will make contact. Rubbing is racing and that is true here with Autograss. It is all about having fun, not necessarily looking good while doing it.
I spoke with Jamie. A 37 year old Motorsport enthusiast from Dorset. Although he asked for his picture not to be included, he did tell me about his time in Autograss and included a picture of his Cinquecento racer.
“Autograss is the most fun I have had on four wheels” Jamie explained. He talks about the atmosphere between the racers. Everyone lends a hand to get you out to race in the next round. He talks about the fast-paces nature of the sport.
“Autograss runs differently to any ‘standard’ form of racing”. He explains that the racers complete their laps while the next round prepares to begin. This leaves very little down time for spectators and means the drivers have plenty of racing throughout the day.
I think this is great. It is an easy, fast, accessible and enjoyable form of Motorsport that doesn’t take it’s self too seriously. Safety is adhered to but everyone is there to have fun and most importantly, it won’t break the bank.
The spectators may even have the best fun of all.
Watching some of the machinery on show is eye-watering. The sounds of roaring engines and the smells of oil and smoke surround the field. It feels raw and honest. You can get up close and personal with the cars. Most owners are more than happy to show-off their handy work.
Here is a video showing an on-board Autograss race in a standard mini:
Here is another video highlighting the capabilities of the higher class vehicles within Autograss:
Autograss is a fun sport that lowers the barrier to entry-level Motorsport.
Now is the perfect time to find out more, maybe even start building that race-car in time for summer?
Well worth a go.
Or perhaps just a family day out spectating instead.