For an armchair or new motorsport enthusiast wanting to get involved in autoslalom, lapping, time attack, navigational rally, rallycross, performance rally, road racing and/or karting, in Atlantic Canada, you will need to join a club affiliated with Atlantic Region Motor Sports (ARMS) Inc., the governing body for motorsports in the region. Once you’ve done that, you’ll need to pick a discipline. Here’s a brief rundown of each:
RALLYSPORT OR SOLOSPORT
RallySport is made up of three different types of events.
Navigational Rally is essentially a Sunday drive in the country but someone else chooses your route. You rally from hidden checkpoint to hidden checkpoint using detailed instructions at less than 80 percent of the posted speed limit.
RallyCross is one car at a time on a course set up with pylons in a gravel, or snow-covered paved parking lot. The goal is to drive through the course as fast as possible without hitting any. Cars are organized into AWD, FWD, RWD and Prepared classes.
Performance Rally is racing one car at a time on closed gravel roads, usually in the woods and most often on forest company roads, as quickly as possible.
Autoslalom is one car at a time on a course set up with pylons in a parking lot. The goal is to drive through the course as quickly as possible without hitting any pylons. Cars are grouped into classes based on type.
Lapping days involve driving your car on a race track in a controlled environment. These are non-timed practice events, where speeds are generally limited to 80 percent of maximum potential to ensure safety. Passing is allowed, but only in designated zones where the car ahead acknowledges the pass before it occurs.
New drivers are required to attend a Lapping School to learn the basics of car control and flags. In addition, you learn about braking points, turn-in points, late and early apexes and run-out points. Once the instructors are confident in your ability, you are granted a Lapping License to be able to enjoy the fun of driving on a race track.
TIME ATTACK (SPRINTS)
Time Attack is the next step. You get to push yourself and your car to the limit against the clock, trying to put together the perfect lap without having to deal with traffic. It is the perfect way for people to participate in an exciting motorsport competition without exposing their cars to the risks of regular wheel-to-wheel racing. Competitors are required to attend and pass a Time Attack School and acquire a Competition License. Daily drivers and full-blown race cars are welcome, and there is a detailed classification system to provide a level playing field for all competitors.
To participate in Lapping/Time Attack events, you will require a car that’s mechanically sound, a Snell M2005 or better rated helmet and a club membership.
In order to get involved in Road Racing, you’ll need to participate in a Regional Road Race School. ARMS usually conducts one school per year. Once you pass the course, you will be issued a Novice Regional Road Race License and can start competing in ARMS-sanctioned Road Racing events. You will be competing under probation for a minimum of three Regional Race weekends. After that, you will be issued a full Regional Road Racing License. A car that is mechanically sound, a SA2005 or better helmet, club membership and medical exam are required.
Contact one of the two karting clubs to learn about the safety gear you will need as well as how to obtain a kart. You can also attend an event and volunteer and get to know those involved in karting to get the information you need.
By going to www.armsinc.ca, you will find more info about the sports and clubs that organize these events. The forum at www.armsinc.ca/forum is also a good resource that provides lively discussion about various topics connected to racing and upcoming events. Finally, ARMS is always looking for volunteers to help stage events. To learn more about becoming a volunteer go to: www.armsinc.ca/contact_information.htm