Ever watched circuit racing and wondered, how would I do at that?
The start - The clamour of the grid, the revving engines, the petrol fumes, the racing harness, and bucket seats, the mirrors full of rivals, the fixed gaze to Corner One, the battle with surging adrenaline and… lights out.
Would your nerve hold? Would you make it to the end of the race? Could you even reach the podium?
These are questions many of us will never answer, but that isn’t because it can't happen.
Become a racing driver –
Licence – The first thing you need is a competition licence. The category required by the Volkswagen Racing Cup is a Race National B. A ‘Get Started in Motorsport’ pack can be obtained from the MSA - Motor Sports Association. This includes useful stuff like a dvd on racing and a specimen licence so you can see what you're aiming for.
Test – Book a test at a racing school through ARDS - Association of Approved Racing Driver Schools. The this consists of a written and driving test.
Written – examines flag usage and race procedures
Driven – time with an instructor on track in a road car, during which he will decide whether you pass or fail. The instructor will not be wanting to see how quick you can do a lap, but rather that you can get around the track safely, and without leaving it. Consistency is best, and the instructor will be wanting to see at least two consecutive laps without error.
Medical – You will also need to have a medical with your GP.
Join a club – The club that administers VW Racing Cup is the British Racing and Sports Car Club - BRSCC. They can send out the relevant application forms so that you can become a 'Racing Member'.
Finally, register with the VW Racing Cup, which will entitle you to enter races and receive other benefits, including Channel 4 coverage and hospitality service.
The Volkwagen Racing Cup - Launched in 2000, the Volkswagen Racing Cup is widely regarded as one of the most exciting saloon car championships in the UK and for 2015 it remains the sole saloon support race on the prestigious British GT Championship package.
Open to any model of racing Volkswagen, the Cup has attracted drivers of the Scirocco, Beetle, Corrado, Vento & Golf VR6, the Golf GTI of every generation, Jetta, Polo, Lupo and Bora models. The innovative regulations put all cars into a single class based on power to weight ratios. The idea of a lightweight Polo GTI challenging a powerful V6 Beetle and a torquey TDI Golf for overall victory is a real experience for drivers, teams and spectators alike.
The Volkwagen Racing Cup is a friendly championship, where team spirit and camaraderie in the paddock count for more than on-track heroics.
Format – The double/triple-header race format features seven weekends in the UK, keeping the time and cost commitment of teams and drivers lower than most other series, and provides spectators with a very full day of Volkswagen action.
The finish – The final overtake in the race for the line, the frantic wave of the checkered flag, the cheer of the crowd, the punch of the air, a step on the podium, the champagne spray, the massive trophy for the cabinet...
... well, you never know.
Why not take a look at how it all comes together on All 4?
Highlights from Silverstone on 21st June on Channel 4, then available for 30 days on All 4 On Demand.
Length: 3.660 miles/5.891km