The Northern Off Road Club
NORC is an off road racing club, based around Bradford, although we do have members from all around the country. We meet about once once a month from March through to November for race . Anyone can race but it's probably best to do a bit of Marshalling and Co-driving first.
The racing consits of arriving at a site, normally a farmers field, off road site or a quarry. The course would have been laid out the Friday night or Saturday morning, depending on whether the event is a single day or a two day event. Help is always appreciated to set up and pack away.
Prior to the event starting, all vehicles taking part in the event have to be checked (scrutineered) to ensure they meet the requirements of the MSA blue book ( see below) . The scrutineer will also give the vehicle a Class (see below). Vehicles can be bought for as little as £2000 when just starting out, and can go right up to £120k, but whatever vehicle you have, there's just as much fun to be had, in fact, more so in the cheaper ones sometimes as there's not as much pressure on keeping the vehicle pristine.
On successful completion of scrutineering, registering for the event will be required. This is where you pay your entry fees and register your racing number. Championship numbers are allocated in the order of last years results.
After the drivers briefing there is normally a drive round to familiarise yourself with the course,
The day usually consists of around 6 to 10 runs of a 2 to 6 mile track over the the roughest terrain available. The vehicle with the shortest times overall in the day wins the event.
click here for a membership form
C10 Non leaf sprung petrol 4x4 4301cc and over
C9 Non leaf sprung petrol 4x4 3601cc to 4300cc
C8 Non leaf sprung petrol 4x4 2501cc to 3600cc
C7 Non leaf sprung petrol 4x4 2500cc and below
C6 Leaf sprung vehicles
C5 Single seat vehicles
B5 2 wheel drive vehicles
B4 Diesel powered 4x4
Classes A1, A2 and A3 to M.S.A. Blue Book regulations.
A Beginners Guide to Cross Country Racing (Comp Safari)
So youd like to have a go at Cross Country racing? Well, the best way to start would be to come along to an event and see what happens, talk to the teams (we all love to talk about racing), that way you will get to see, and hear the cars, what the courses are like, and how a days racing works.
Even better, come along and help as a marshal or time keeper for the weekend, then have a wander round the pits in the evening, and Im sure that youll find an answer to all your questions. Just give one of us a bell (numbers on the contacts page) so that youve got a person to look for at the event, and well try to keep you right.
If youre lucky you might find a driver thats short of a navigator for a lap. All you need for a go in the warm seat (the hot seat is on the other side) is a day membership for the club (I think its still £5), and a helmet, these start from about £55, but you might be able to borrow one? But do make sure that it conforms to the regulations (see the scruitineers bit and check the numbers are ok).
If youre good enough at keeping the driver on course you may end up finding a seat for a full event.
The next stage may be when you decide that you want to have a go in the hot seat. Cars can be less than £2000 for something at an entry level, running through £120,000 for a new Bowler Nemesis to do the Dakar rally. But buying the car is just the start. Entry fees and membership are relatively cheap compared to other motorsports. Once youve spent some hard earned cash on the car youll need an MSA competition driving licence a non race clubmans is just £16 for 2008, and with that you get a copy of the Blue Book, which contains all of the Motorsport rules for UK events. Youll find the forms etc on the www.MSAuk.org web site, as well as loads of other info. Club membership is £30 (form in the DOCs section). And the event entry fee is around £70 if you prebook (the big sites might be a bit more, just check the web site). You will also need a normal DVLA driving licence, both bits! (membership/race licence/normal driving licence)
So thats the basics covered, you just need to get you and the car to the event, it has been known for people to drive the car to the event, but if you bend it, will the AA take you home? So youll be looking to buy / borrow / hire a trailer, just make sure that you tie the car down right! All the NORC events this year will run over 2 or 3 days so youll need somewhere to sleep, either a tent or a caravan is the norm, and the catering van can keep you fed and watered.
Hopefully, youve put it all together, and got to the venue nice and early so youve got plenty of time to get everything sorted. Find your self a spot to camp and service etc. Once youre set up youve got 3 main things to do before the start, walk the course, scrutaneering (ask people around you where and when it is), and then get signed on once youve passed. While youre signing on in the club lorry, find out what time the drivers briefing is, and make sure that you go, as thats where youll find out what time everything is happening.
There is normally a parade lap where (for a donation of £5 to the marshals fund) you can have a slow drive round the course. If youre new to the sport its good to do this as youve got a better feel for where the course goes, and what its like.
Again, if youre new to this game, watch the first few cars go off the line and youll see how it all works, then go to the toilet, and get in the que.
Race 1, lap 1. You will be nervous, and the queue for the start line will seem to take an age. But when the light goes green for the first time
.you cant put it into words.
All too soon, youre over the finish, make sure the time keepers have your number and give the thumbs up then its back to your service area for a brew, and a quick check-over for the car, then lap 2, 3, 4, etc. Pace yourself over the day, and if youre not sure of something, ask, most of us dont bite.
Check out the following pictures taken from events
Staffs & Shrops Interclub Event at Little Hereford 25th & 26th June 2011