Frequently Asked Questions

A selection of frequently asked questions about the sprint series

The Basics
What is Sprinting?

Sprinting is essentially a driver and car, competing against the clock, on a pre-practised course. Cars will start one at a time, from a standstill at 30 second intervals, so you won't encounter other vehicles to collide with. The average course is approx 1.7 miles long, which helps to keep stress on the car to a minimum. Normally you will be given a chance to walk the course, then drive it behind a pace car, before getting a practice run in the morning, followed by timed runs into the afternoon. Times are displayed after you cross the finish line and results are published throughout the day with an awards presentation once the runs have been completed.

Who can enter?

Anyone with a valid full driving licence is welcome to take part.

Do I need some sort of competition licence ?

Events are run under an independent organisation, a competition licence can be purchased for £5 for the day or £15 for the year. An MSA competition licence is not required for our events.

Do I need to wear a helmet ?

Yes you will need to wear a helmet during the event, open top vehicles are full face only whereas closed roof vehicles can be either full or open face. Helmets are checked during scrutineering, we specify that they must be in a good safe condition and suitable for the activity. We do not enforce any one particular standard as there are a lot to choose from and it confuses the issue, if you are unsure then please ask before the event.

What if I’ve never done any motorsport before?

The diverse nature of the competition means the experience is as intense or as casual as you decide to make it for yourself. Whether you want to compete with the big boys at the front or simply want to have some fun in your road car you’ll find there is always someone in the same position as you. We have tried to arrange the class structure so that there is always someone in a similar position as you to compete against.

Is my car suitable?

All vehicles are welcome to enter (subject to organiser approval), just so long as they meet safety and noise emission requirements. It is a requirement that all vehicles pass a static noise test of 102dba and the corresponding driveby. As a general rule, your car needs to be up to at least MOT safety standards, should be in good condition and well serviced. All vehicles will be scrutineered before signing on to check they are safe and mechanically sound, safety is paramount so please ensure you meet these standards.

Do I need a roll cage?

Convertible and open top vehicles in any class must have sufficient practical roll over protection in the form of roll hoops, roll bar or a roll cage. Kit Car type vehicles must be fitted with a roll cage. The MX5 Owners Club has a deal in place for discounted Roll Bars courtesy of GC Fabrications, see the Roll Over Protection page for more information.

What if I can only make it to one round / Do I have to go to all the venues?

The Mazda Sprint Series welcomes all entrants, whether for the whole season or the odd round. Entries are made on a round by round basis so you only need commit to the events that you want to do but that may impact on your championship standings at the end of the year. There may also be some additional individual sprint events available throughout the year that are their own competition and do not count towards any championship.

So, how much is it going to cost me?

Firstly, the amount you spend on your car is up to you. We usually run tracks of somewhere between 1.2 - 2 miles depending on the venue, and try to go for a minimum 4 runs in total (1 official practice and 3 official timed, schedules should allow for 2 practice runs and up to 8 timed runs to be completed but this is obviously dependent on any delays being caused) - so factor your fuel usage in to that cost. Fees wise, the cost of each round is £139-159 per driver and you pay on a round by round basis, you may also need to factor in your competition licence or helmet hire if you do not have those things already.

What can I win?

For each round trophies are awarded for 1st, 2nd & 3rd overall, each individual class winner will get a trophy providing there is more than one entrant in that class and if there are enough entrants in a class the runner up will also receive a trophy.

Can we have multiple drivers?

You can share your car with another driver if you wish but you will need to enter both drivers as separate entries. The schedule means that it is not practical to share a vehicle between more than 3 drivers as there would not be enough time for each driver to complete their runs without disrupting the day overall.

Am I likely to damage my car?

This is largely down to the individual driver, obviously over the day your car is going to take more punishment than usual in terms of brakes and tyre wear but most of this is down to how you are driving. In terms of accident damage most venues are quite open and have little in the way of ‘solid’ structures to hit, the most likely things to take a hit are the various cones/poles that may define the courses but the aim is to avoid those usually.

The Events
What is the schedule for the day ?

Times may vary between venues but the structure for the day is basically as below :

Scutineering & Signing on - Get the car checked over and drivers signed on for the event.

Briefing - Outlines whats going to happen on the day, procedures, etc.

Sighting Laps - Everyone follows the safety car in a convoy for several laps to see the circuit/conditions.

Practice Run - All competitors are permitted 1-2 untimed practice runs.

Timed Runs - All competitors take part in up to 8 timed runs which determine the results for the day.


Timed Runs - All competitors take part in up to 8 timed runs which determine the results for the day.

Awards Presentation

What is the layout of each venue ?

The airfield courses are set up using the exisiting roads on the venues with cones, blocks, poles, etc used to define track limits and direction changes. The circuits are run largely untouched with perhaps the odd cone to make sure that corners aren't cut.

Will I be penalised for hitting any equipment/leaving the track ?

It is intended that competitors stay within the track limits and do not cause disruption for cars that are following them so if a vehicle is deemed to have gained an advantage  i.e. more than 2 wheels off or they have hit something i.e. cones then their time is not recorded and they are awarded a void run instead. This is because a cone in the middle of the track is likely to interfere with vehicles behind and with potentially up to 3-4 vehicles following on track this can significantly delay the day if those runs are scrapped and reruns have to take place. The intention is that you stay on the track and not touch any of the equipment in place. There is also the side effect that you will benefit the other competitors by allowing them to partake in a rerun and potentially allowing them to overtake you in the results.

How long will I be there ?

Sprint events are a full day affair so you can expect to be at the venue from approximately 07:30-17:30. Events will start with a scrutineering and signing on period followed by a safety briefing at around 8:45 and then sighting laps with the first run starting around 9:30. Runs are completed in order so all competitors will complete run 1 before moving onto run 2, etc. Runs will always cease by 17:00 (if they haven't already been completed) and the awards presentation will take place.

When do I need to enter ?

Entries close on the Wednesday before each event so that we can finalise entry lists, etc.

When does the Book Early Price end ?

Entries at the Book Early Price will last until one week before the event closes at which time the price will increase by £20 per entry. This is to encourage people to enter in good time as experience tells us that most people like to leave it until late, similar events require you to commit to several events at a time or enter several weeks in advance so rather than closing entries much earlier we will impose a financial incentive to encourage earlier entry.

Do I have to be there first thing ?

You are required to attend the one and only morning briefing and it is your responsibility to ensure you attend, if you do not then it is extremely unlikely you will then be permitted to participate in the event.

Can I turn up later and get a later safety briefing ?

You are required to attend the one and only morning briefing and it is your responsibility to ensure you attend, if you do not then it is extremely unlikely you will then be permitted to participate in the event.

Do I need a timing strut ?

The timing is managed by timing beams at the start and finish, these detect when any point of a vehicle breaks the beam so an additional timing strut is not required.

Do I need to display some numbers ?

You will need to display competition numbers on the side of your vehicle throughout the event, these will be allocated and provided for you on the day in the form of door plates. It is required that these are displayed as supplied throughout the event, if you do not wish to attach stickers to your vehicle then we advise you mount them on a magnetic backing so you can easily remove them after the event is concluded.

Do I need to wear racing overalls ?

You can do if you want to but we only require that you wear normal clothes that cover your arms and legs unless you are in a class where flameproof overalls are required, we do however encourage you to be as safe as possible so we would recommend the use of flameproof overalls to all particiaptants. You will need your arms and legs covered at all times in the vehicle and we advise that if you are wearing regular clothes then you avoid synthetic fabrics  as in the unlikely event of a fire they will melt onto the skin rather than burn away.

Can I have a passenger ?

Passengers are not permitted on a competition event.

Can I bring people to watch ?

Spectators are welcome to attend and there is no fee to do so however anyone under 16 must be accompanied by an adult at all times and pets are not permitted on any of the venues under any circumstances. The circuit venues will usually have spectator facilities in place so you can view from several areas but some of the venues i.e. Woodbridge, Blyton Park will generally just have the one area available. Please note that animals are not permitted at any motorsport venue.

The Championship
Do I need to enter the championship ?

You are automatically entered into the championship if you compete on an event (providing you score points)

What awards are there at the end of the year ?

We award trophies for the top 3 overall in the series followed by a trophy for each individual class winner, 2nd in class will recieve a trohpy if there are 4+ in the class and 3rd in class will get a trophy if there are are 6+ in the class.

How are the points calculated ?

Points are awarded based on your overall finishing position on the event with 100 points for 1st overall, 99 for 2nd, 98 for 3rd, etc.

Do we get any bonus points ?

No you don't, we did have that in previous years but in practice it made no difference at all.

When do we get our trophies ?

There is an awards presentation at the end of each event and then at the final round there will be the championship awards presented shortly after the event awards. You will need to attend the awards presentation to collect your trophy, they will not be available after the event.

Can I drop scores ?

Your final championship postition is calculated using your best 4 scores so if you were to take part in the entire series then you would be able to drop two scores.