Getting Started in ClubSport
ClubSport events are competitions held usually on a road, circuit or paddock, where competitors compete against the clock for the time taken to complete the course. The event format/type can be an autocross, a motorkhana, a bent sprint, a dual sprint, a hillclimb or a sporting trial. Drifting competitions are also run under ClubSport Regulations in New Zealand. See below for more information on the types of events run under MotorSport NZ ClubSport regulations by car clubs around New Zealand.
Competitors may compete in some ClubSport basic events without a competition licence. For ClubSport advanced events, competitors must either have an M Grade or higher grade licence. In some instances, it may be possible purchase a temporary M Grade licence on the day for that event (excluding drift events).
To obtain an M Grade licence, competitors must first be a member of one of our member clubs. Once you have a current club membership, you’ll need to pass the M Grade licence test (see Licences), and complete the licence application process through the MotorSport Online system.
A Motorkhana involves the competitor maneuvering their car through a tight test as quickly as possible – one car at a time – on either dirt or bitumen surfaces. This usually requires sliding and spinning the car accurately while maintaining speed through the test course. Some reversing is usually included. Each test takes from 15 to 60 seconds to complete and is defined by flags. Hitting flags or going the wrong way incur time penalties which are added to the total time. A day’s competition – an event – usually includes 8 to 12 tests. Vehicle speed rarely exceeds 60 km/h (37 mph) but the tightness of the tests ensures the driver is kept very busy.
An Autocross is a timed competition in which drivers navigate, one at a time, through a defined course on either a sealed or an unsealed surface. It is a form of motorsports that emphasises safe competition and active participation. Autocross differs from road racing and oval racing in that generally there is only one car on the track, driving against the clock rather than other cars. As an entry-level motorsport it provides a stepping stone for drivers looking to move into other more competitive and possibly expensive forms of racing (such as rallying, rallycross and circuit racing). Autocross courses are typically one to two kilometres long and tend to place demands on car handling and driver skill rather than on engine power and outright speed. Courses may be temporary and marked by traffic cones or be permanent tracks with approval by a motorsport body.
A Hillclimb is a sprint up a hill, usually on gravel or tarmac. These are popular events for most clubs.
Sprints can be straight, bent (where the course has bends), street, or circuit sprints (on a permanent motor sport circuit). A straight sprint is in effect, a drag race, but a bent sprint can be either once over a course, or several laps of a track. All these types of event can be run on closed roads or proper race circuits. Cars run either one at a time, or two at a time, if the course is suitable (in which case the event is referred to as a dual sprint). Sprints have generally more stringent safety and licence requirements than an autocross and these requirements can be found in the MotorSport Manual, Appendix 1, Schedule L and in Appendix 2, Schedule A.
There is also various types of Trials available for drivers to compete in. These range from Sporting Trials in which competitors negotiate a precise off-road obstacle course on hilly and undulating terrain defined by marker pegs, designed to test driver skill, Car Trials which are main route is over public highways, roads and streets. Competitors must follow a set of written instructions and the marking of the competition is primarily for adherence to the correct route and maintenance of the prescribed time and/or speed schedule. If competitors make mistakes they will traverse a different course and travel a different distance, and finally Regularity Trials which can be either Historic or Modern cars where the competitor nominates a lap time and then over the course of their time on track are required to continually lap as close to that nominated time.