CLASS 1—1000cc Production Saloons CLASS 2
CLASS 1—1000cc Production Saloons
The obvious choice for most
The class is
dominated by the classic Mini,
although Peugeots and Citroens
are popular club level choices.
You can spend up to £5k on a
professionally prepared Mini,
but competitive club cars can
cost as little as £500 and even
cheaper alternatives (Eg Nissan
K11 Micra) are being evaluated.
Price guide £500—£5,000
There are various classes run at
local club level to provide
budget racing for those who
don’t aspire to the big National
events. These include 1600cc
STOCK HATCH run at clubs
ranging from Essex to Scotland;
the Sierra-based CLASS 3B in
Kent and CLASS 1A for senior
and junior drivers in Southern
Price guide £300—£1,000
CLASS 2—1300cc Production Saloons
The second of the entry level
classes, with limited engine and
modifica t ion s
allowed. All engines must
breathe through a 32mm intake
restrictor plate. Currently
domint are the Vauxhall Nova
and Nissan Micra; but a wide
range of other FWD or RWD
(including rear-engined) cars
can all be fun at club level.
Price guide £750 - £2,500
CLASSES 3—7 Modified Saloons
These classes cater for all
abilities and all pockets—you
can run a highly developed ―Hot
Rod‖ type car in Class 3, a
lightweight spaceframed rear
engined Mini in Class 5, twin
bike engines or a big V8 in the
crowd pleasing Class 7; a
traditional modified Mini in Class
4 or a wide variety of ―Hot
Hatch‖ machinery in Class 6.
Price guide £1,000—£25,000
CLASSES 8—10 Open Wheel Specials
Regarded as the pinnacle of Autograss racing, these classes also appeal to many drivers entering Autograss
from other forms of motor sport. Professional constructors can provide anything from a kit of components or a
bare chassis to a ready to race car. There’s a thriving market in secondhand cars that will be competitive at
club level, and many drivers will still head down the self-build route. Bike engines dominate Class 8; a wide
variety of 2-litre multi-valve car engines is found in Class 9 and Class 10 has scope for twin bike engines, V6s,
V8s, or turbo or supercharged car engines. Budget alternatives are FORMULA 600, using standard 600cc bike
engines, and JUNIOR SPECIALS (also raced by adults at club level) with basic 1200cc Vauxhall running gear.
Price guide £2,500—£25,000
For more information, please visit www.autograss.net and follow the links to the official NASA website, Autograss
Review magazine, individual club websites and a wide range of specialist Autograss suppliers.
AUTOGRASS is the easiest and most affordable branch of motor sport to get into, either as a competitor or as a "working" club member. It’s a 100%
amateur sport in which all participants are expected to play their part in helping their clubs put the meetings on, and if you get involved you’ll find
yourself part of an unrivalled social scene, which to many people is more important than the actual competition.
GET TO KNOW THE SPORT
Many first time Autograss racers already have family or friends within the sport, and know exactly what they're looking for. If you're completely new to
Autograss, however, pay a visit to one of our race meetings. At most events there'll be an interval during racing when specta tors are welcome to stroll
round the pits, take a close look at the competing cars and talk to the drivers. You'll find everyone involved will be as friendly and helpful as possible.
Enquire at "race control", or approach anyone you see wearing an "official" jacket and you'll be pointed in the right direction to be given all the
information you need.
JOIN A CLUB
If you like what you see, the first stage in getting involved in Autograss is to contact your local club and join up - as a racing member if you want to start
competing immediately, otherwise you'll be made very welcome as a non-racing member. Visit the official website of NASA (National Autograss Sports
Association), or ask for a copy of the free National Fixtures booklet, and there you'll find contact names and phone numbers for all 52 NASA affiliated
clubs in the UK and Ireland.
YOUR NASA LICENCE
The way the licencing system works is that, when you join a NASA affiliated club, you will at the same time be applying for a NASA competition licence.
The licence fee (and public liability and personal accident insurance premium) is included in the club membership fee and, on ce the club's accepted your
application, you'll be given the paperwork to forward to the relevant NASA Registration Secretary. You'll receive your licence and Member's Handbook
(essential reading) direct from NASA.
There are five different grades of NASA licence:
Full racing member (available to anyone of either sex over the age of 16 - enables you to compete, mechanic or officiate).
Lady racing member (as above, but entitles you to race only in the Ladies' classes, plus some Open races)
Junior racing member (age 12 to 16, entitles you to race in Junior classes for 1000cc Saloons or 1200cc open wheel Specials)
Mechanic (minimum age 16 - enables you to mechanic or officiate)
Non-racing member (minimum age 12 - entitles you to officiate or simply join in as a social member - but members under 16 are only allowed to
help in a potentially dangerous area such as the pits or racetrack when accompanied by a responsible adult and at the discretion of the club)
As the licence fee includes your club membership, costs will vary from club to club. Typically a full licence will cost betwe en £50 and £100—most clubs
charge less for Junior licences and only a nominal fee for non-racing members.
For insurance reasons, only NASA licence holders who sign-on on the day are allowed in the pits while racing is in progress.
Once you have your NASA licence it entitles you to travel without restriction to any other NASA club, to race, mechanic or officiate.
FIND OUT SOME MORE
If you want to be involved without actually racing, or if you know you want to race, but aren't yet sure how to go about it, the clubs would welcome and
value you as a non-racing member. If you volunteer to help with marshalling, scrutineering, track maintenance or any of the dozens of other jobs involved
in staging a club level race meeting, you'll quickly learn a lot from the more experienced members, and you'll enjoy the cameraderie and club spirit.
GETTING UP AND RUNNING
Once you've attended a few meetings, you'll have a pretty good idea what class of car appeals to you most (although if you ha ve a prospective Junior
racer in the family the choice is made for you - Juniors can only race Class 1 Saloons or the Junior Special class). In our class guide, on the back of this
leaflet, we've provided rough guidelines to what a typical budget would be to get up and running in each class. In each case the top end of the spectrum
is what a relatively small number of competitors are believed to be spending to succeed at the top level events (others can s pend considerably less to be
just as competitive). The lower end of the range is what you're likely to need to have fun at club level meetings with a safe and reliable car - and quite
possibly win a few trophies as well.
You'll need to decide whether building from scratch or buying a ready to race car is the best way for you - but you will find that most secondhand cars
change hands for figures considerably less than the cost of their components. Either way, asking around among fellow club mem bers is the best way to
source a car or to get help in putting one together yourself. Be aware that cars advertised for sale on internet sites as ―Au tograss‖ are not always what
they seem, so always ask your fellow club members and scrutineers for advice before taking the plunge.
Don't forget the other costs involved in starting racing for the first time, although in Autograss these are considerably less than in other motor sports. A
good quality crash helmet will cost you around £80 - £200. Flameproof overalls are recommended rather than compulsory, but you'll probably want at
least a single-layer Proban race suit (£70 - £100). When the mud starts flying, you'll need to see where you're going, so invest in a set of goggles with a
"roll-off" system (£25 - £50). You’ll also need suitable driving gloves – gripping a slimy, muddy steering wheel without them is not easy! All this
equipment is available from specialist Autograss suppliers such as Vision Plus or Majic Motorsport, whose advertising you’ll find in Autograss Review
Obviously you'll need suitable transport for the race car, and don't cut too many corners with your tow vehicle and trailer o r transporter - make sure
you're safe as most race cars travel much further, and at higher speeds, on their trailers than they do on the track!
RACING TO SUIT YOUR BUDGET
Once you're up and running with a suitable car, your racing budget may be tiny compared with what you'd need to go Circuit ra cing, Rallying, Rallycross
or even Karting. One reason Autograss events are cheap to enter is that all the organisational work involved is carried out v oluntarily by club members.
Therefore you must expect to attend work parties, and help out at your own club’s race meetings. Clubs try to be flexible in allocating jobs according to
individual members’ abilities, travelling distance and other commitments.
Entry fees - at most venues you'll be charged around £5 - £7 a head to enter the field and another £3 - £5 to sign on to race, and that will be it!
Travelling costs - these can be whatever you make them. You may wish just to race locally, with your home club or league, but your licence entitles you
to race anywhere in the country, and if you live in central parts of the UK, you’ll probably be able to race almost every wee k (if you want to) without
travelling more than 50 miles or so from home. For most meetings there’s no need to enter in advance—weather permitting you just turn up and race.
Maintenance/repair costs - obviously dependent on your own level of mechanical skill (Autograss racers are so helpful that it's possible to race having no
mechanical knowledge at all) and the amount of damage you do.
Tyres - some racers throw a new set of tyres at the car for every final, but at club level you'll find a couple of sets of tyres from one of the main
Autograss tyre distributors, Maxsport or Sportway, should last you a season, or you can use certain approved road tyres with a price limit of £60.
THE HIRE CAR ALTERNATIVE
If you'd like to try your hand at Autograss without the commitment of building or buying your own car, a few clubs (notably C oncord Essex in the south
east and Leewood in the north west) have cars available for hire (in Classes 1 or 2) for a day's racing at very reasonable cost. Please contact the clubs
for details of availability.