Think of Rallycross as a combination of Rallying and Circuit Racing. There’s plenty of close, sideways, wheel-to-wheel action all the way, with cars often going four-abreast into a corner and no-one backing off…
The sport was devised in 1967, and soon became massively popular with TV audiences, especially during the 1970s. The fathers of current Formula 1 drivers Jenson Button and Alex Wurz were both rallycross competitors and, by coincidence, both competed in Porsche-engined VW Beetles.
How does Rallycross work?
Up to eight cars at a time go wheel-to-wheel on a circuit that is part asphalt and part gravel, with the winner being the first person to reach the chequered flag. The races are usually short, lasting a maximum of three minutes, so events often comprise 60 separate races.
The flagship series is the Monster Energy MSA British Rallycross Championship but there are plenty of other events and series to get involved in, such as the BTRDA Clubmans Rallycross Championship, at venues across the country.
So how do I start?
As with all forms of motorsport, if you’re thinking of having a go, get to some meetings first and chat with some of the competitors. You should also have a look at RallycrossUK.com, which has an 'About Rallycross' section that details the history of the discipline and the different classes you could compete in.
You will then need to join your local Rallycross club, which you can find using the Go Motorsport club search function. As you’re aged 16 or above you can then apply to the MSA for a National B Competition Licence with no medical required.
What kind of car do I need?
There are many classes of Rallycross, and which one you choose to compete in will determine the spec of vehicle you need. For example there is a championship for RX150 buggies and others for BMW Minis, Suzuki Swifts and ‘hot hatchbacks.’
The top class, to which the MSA British Rallycross Championship title is awarded, is the Supercar category, which features modified and highly powerful cars that can accelerate from 0-60 mph in under two seconds.
What equipment do I need?
Because Rallycross is such a high-speed discipline you will need MSA-compliant safety gear such as a helmet, fireproof overalls, gloves and boots.