Driv­ers will need li­cence up­grades to race high-pow­ered ma­chines

Motor Sport News - - Racing News - Pho­tos: Mick Walker

A new rule from the MSA will re­quire driv­ers to have a Na­tional A li­cence if they race a sportscar with a high power-to-weight ra­tio.

From 2017, driv­ers of cars with a power-to-weight ra­tio of 0.34bhp/kg will need to have the li­cence, ex­cept for those in sin­gle-seaters. This will af­fect all GT3 cars and the ma­jor­ity of ‘Cup’spec GT ma­chines but most GT4 cars will es­cape the cen­sure.

A spokesman for gov­ern­ing body, the Mo­tor Sports As­so­ci­a­tion, said: “This is a new safety reg­u­la­tion to help en­sure the com­pe­tence of driv­ers com­pet­ing in cars with a higher power-to-weight ra­tio. The ra­tio of 0.34bhp/kg is de­rived from FIA reg­u­la­tions and should only af­fect a rel­a­tively small num­ber of com­pe­ti­tion cars in do­mes­tic UK mo­tor­sport.”

The new rule will have no im­pact on Bri­tish GT as all driv­ers need in­ter­na­tional li­cences, but some club cham­pi­onships will be af­fected.

The GT Cup Cham­pi­onship caters for largely am­a­teur driv­ers with pow­er­ful sportscars. Se­ries tech­ni­cal di­rec­tor Phil Boland said: “I can’t see the change af­fect­ing us that much. I lob­bied quite hard with the MSA a few years ago to al­low Na­tional B hold­ers into our cham­pi­onship. While the change would ef­fec­tively rule those driv­ers out of three of our four classes, we still have the lower class to cater for them and as long as we have some­where to of­fer then we shouldn’t miss out.

“I can see it be­ing an is­sue for the guys who have gone out and bought a Porsche 911 Car­rera Cup car or sim­i­lar for track days and they now won’t be able to race it un­til they have upgraded their li­cence, but there are many op­tions to up­grade a li­cence.

“To be hon­est it’s good from a safety point of view as the clos­ing speeds with the faster cars can be quite fright­en­ing if you don’t know what you’re do­ing. GT4 is a bet­ter start­ing point for am­a­teurs, and most of those cars come in un­der the lim­i­ta­tion.”

Brit­car’s Claire Hedley wel­comed the move: “This is some­thing we’ve been try­ing to put in place. We have a rule that if you qual­ify you will have to start the car, so the novices wouldn’t be in the car at the start. We think it’s a great idea from the MSA and we’re sup­port­ive of it. You could have some­one with just track­day ex­pe­ri­ence start­ing on pole po­si­tion and there could be such a dif­fer­ence in speed.”

Sports pro­to­types could also be hit by the rule change. The BRSCC’S Open Sportscar Se­ries runs a va­ri­ety of cars, but cur­rently rec­om­mends that driv­ers in its top class have a Na­tional A li­cence.

GT Cup al­lows Na­tional B li­cence com­peti­tors

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