GETTING STARTED IN MOTORCYCLE RACING WITH THE BELFAST & DISTRICT MOTOR CLUB
This document provides information about how to get started in motorcycle racing in Ireland generally but provides specific information for potential new competitors who would like to apply to become a competitor through the BELFAST and DISTRICT MOTOR CLUB. You may already have discovered that the world of motorcycling is a very friendly place and while Northern Ireland is not unique in this it is certainly true that it is one of the best places in the world to enter and enjoy this wonderful sport as a competitor. The Belfast & District Motor Club is the oldest club in the Motor Cycle Union of Ireland (Ulster Centre) and our Constitution states that we shall endeavour to:
• Assist in the making of and administration of rules to govern and control the sport and pastime of motorcycling;
• Promote motorcycling in its different forms;
• Protect and safe-guard members of the Union as far as possible in the exercise of all their legal rights as motorists;
• Protect the interests of Irish Motorcyclists by entering into relations with the governing bodies of motorcycling.
The rules and regulations which govern the sport in Ireland consist of four further documents (as below) which are used to govern and control the sport:
• Motor Cycle Union of Ireland (Ulster Centre) General Rules
• Motor Cycle Union of Ireland Constitution
• Motor Cycle Union of Ireland General Competition Rules
• Motor Cycle Union of Ireland Standing Regulations (for Road Races and Short Circuits and Pre 1973 Classic Racing).
Together these documents provide important information that a competitor should try to familiarise themselves with to ensure that he or she is able to gain the most from the sport and the competitions they choose to enter.
These documents are available in the ‘MCUI‘ section of our website or on the MCUI (UC) website – mcui-uc.org.uk
The Club Secretary or Competition Secretary is usually the first point of contact but of course you are free to contact any Club member. You can be assured of a warm welcome and an immediate offer of assistance and guidance on how to become involved in the sport. This would usually commence with an invitation to attend the next Club meeting where again you will be warmly welcomed and have opportunity to discuss your plans with people who will be able to give you the advice you need.
COMPETITION LICENCE APPLICATION FORM:
To be a Competitor you must apply for a Competition Licence. Club members will be able to provide advice about the various classes and types of licence that you would be best suited to (this may be age related). A medical examination is required and the appropriate form should accompany the Licence Application form you receive from the Club.
Before the commencement of each racing season the MCUI organises two or three novice assessment/training days at a short circuit track. In the Province of Ulster these are hosted by the MCUI (UC) and are usually held at Kirkistown Racing Circuit and/or Bishopscourt Racing Circuit, both of which are in Co Down. At each session Competitors will receive instruction on flag signals, what they mean, and what is expected of Competitors. A number of training professionals will be on hand to provide help, advice and instruction both on and off the track. Information on where and when these are to take place will be available on the Club and MCUI(UC) websites. On successful completion of these steps your application with appropriate fee should be sent to the MCUI (UC) Licence Registrar whose address is on the rear of the Licence Application form. Once approved – the Licence Registrar will reply returning a Competition Licence which will identify the category of Competition you are eligible to enter.
ADVICE ABOUT MACHINERY:
The value of information available from the members within the Club is incalculable – once your licence application has been progressed, should you wish, you will find that there is an abundance of willing help and advice available to you on every imaginable aspect of the sport.
Each Competition Class has their own set of race numbers and each competitor must register with the MCUI Number Registrar Mr. Ivan Davidson Ph. 028 91815918.
SCRUTINEERING OF MACHINERY:
At every race meeting your machine will be inspected to make sure it is in a raceworthy condition, if it is found to be unfit you will not be allowed to race until the machine can be made raceworthy, and the meeting will not wait for you. So it pays to do meticulous preparation, for the safety of yourself and other Competitors. Advice is always readily available through other competing Club Members and the Club also has several Members who are accredited Scrutineers.
OBTAINING RACE ENTRIES:
Race entries are available from the Competition Secretary of each Club promoting a Race Meeting. It is advisable to contact each Promoting Club’s Competition Secretary at the start of the racing season and request you go on their mailing/emailing list. This information is available in the annual MCUI handbook and usually on the MCUI(UC) website. Entries usually close 14 days before the event so get it in on time and with the entry fee or you risk being disappointed as numbers on grids are regulated very strictly.
At every race meeting Competitors are required to sign an Insurance release form before competing. At Ulster Centre events Scrutineering is done prior to signing-on but at Southern Centre events you sign-on before you scrutineer.
Most race meetings in the Ulster Centre take place on a Saturday although there may be exceptions in some seasons. Get to the venue as early as you can. Most venues will be open the evening before the event to allow Competitors to get set up. Some scrutineering and signing-on may take place at this time, so be prepared. Always try to be pleasant to and listen to what you are being told by officials. If you do something to breach rules or instructions they are the people who decide whether you race or not. Yes you’ve paid your money but that won’t wash. All the people involved with the organisation of an event are volunteers and give up endless hours of their time so that you can go racing. Please and thank you can open an awful lot of doors, impoliteness may find them slammed closed.