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How Do I Get Started in Sidecar Racing?

So, you‘ve been to East Fortune or Knockhill and watched these lunatics ripping around on strange three wheeled machines and, more importantly, having a bloody good time doing it!

I fancy some of that”, you think. “But how do I get started? Am I too old /young/fat/skinny/unfit etc..etc..? Will I enjoy it? Will I make a fool of myself? Is it possible?

And the answer is - yes, it’s possible. Anyone can race sidecars as a driver or passenger if they are prepared to make the commitment and put the work in.  And the good news is that the SSRC is here to make sure you are made welcome, encouraged and supported all the way through your journey into this wonderful sport. Sidecar racing is open to people of all ages and experience. Getting started is simple but involves a number of stages and requirements. Hopefully this short guide will give you all the info you need to take the plunge.

First, you'll need a licence from the sport’s governing body – the Scottish Auto Cycle Union (SACU).

Before applying for a SACU Competition Licence you must be a member of an SACU affiliated Club.

You can join the SSRC, at a cost of £25 for the year, by completing an application form which is available by clicking on the “application button further up this screen. You can also get one by contacting one of the Committee.

All competition SACU licences must now be applied for using the SACU GoMembership Rider’s Portal

Click on the button above "How to apply for an SACU licence" for detailed instructions.

The SACU will then let you know the date of the next available training day (getting exciting now, eh?). This will take place either at East Fortune or at Knockhill Racing Circuit. The SACU run classroom training sessions and practical training during the year and you will be required to attend and successfully complete one of these before being allowed to race. The combined training day cost is around £40.

The classroom session covers the basic rules of racing and focuses on track rules and the recognition and understanding of the various flags used to control the race and ensure the safety of the competitors. There is a short multiple-choice test and, once this is successfully completed, you will be ready for your practical assessment.

For this you will need one-piece leathers, gloves, helmet, boots and a dog tag (metal, engraved with your name and date of birth). All must be in good condition with no rips or tears. Gloves and boots must be all leather and helmet should be less than 2 years old and have an ACU approved gold stamp on it. A back protector is recommended if one isn't already built in. The practical assessment is carried out by an experienced driver and passenger on an accompanying machine. They will assess whether trainees have a sufficient level of competence to ensure that they are no risk to themselves or others on track. For passengers who have no confirmed driver the SSRC will liaise with the SACU to provide an experienced driver to take you out for the assessment. The assessment is performed in controlled conditions under the watchful eye of the SACU steward who will then either award you with your licence or advise you of any areas of improvement required prior to re-assessment.

Worry not! The majority of trainees have already received plenty of advice and support from friends and/or club members and pass with flying colours!

And that’s it! Licence in hand you then pose for lots of smiley photographs and rejoice that you have just become a novice sidecar racer! You will then be required to wear an orange vest or T-shirt over your leathers until you have collected 10 signatures for completing races at two different tracks.

After that the only limitation is how hard you are prepared to work and how far you want to take your adventures in this fantastic sport. At club racing level it is fast, fun and competitive but with a fantastic, relaxed atmosphere off track with a great bunch of likeminded people. My only advice is don’t wait! Do it now – you will never regret it!

And remember – if you have any questions or concerns before you decide to go for it then contact the SSRC and we’ll provide answers and advice wherever we can. Don’t be shy – it’s what we are here for!

Good luck and I hope I’ll be racing with you soon.

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24 October 2017
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