Rally NSW Getting Started – Competitors

Getting Started – Competitors

Rallies and rallysprints are run throughout NSW all year round. They range in status from simple club events to fully professional motorsport at the highest echelon. If you’re new to rallying, you should learn more about what a rally is by reading the section on “About Rallying”.

The types of rallies conducted in NSW each year include:

  • Navigation Assemblies
  • Road Rallies
  • Club level rallies and rallysprints
  • NSW Rallysprint Series
  • Hyundai Rally Series
  • Clubman Rally Series
  • East Coast Classic Rally Series – 2WD
  • East Coast Classic Rally Series – 4WD
  • NSW Rally Championship
  • the NSW round of the Australian Rally Championship
  • the Australian round of the World Rally Championship

The best way to get a real idea of what rallying is about is to get to an event! Check out the calendar of upcoming events and choose an event to attend; get the spectator instructions from the event page; grab your mates/family/boyfriend/girlfriend and head off to experience your first taste of this addictive sport.

Make sure you visit the Service Park and see what happens there.  Ask questions about the types of cars that interest you most.  Rallying is a very social sport and people are always open and friendly and happy to share their experience, design ideas, vehicle specifications and passion about the sport.

Check out the media days – ask to get a free ride.   Rounds of the NSWRC provide a Media Day to expose the event to the local media and VIP guests.  A short special stage is provided to give the guests the “rally experience” at pace through the forest.  Most events have a small number of invitations to allow prospective competitors to have a ride and experience the thrill of the sport.  Contact the organisers (via their event page) to request an invitation.

Event organisers are always looking for extra volunteers to help them with running the event. The obligations of an event official are usually minimal, and can range from manning a road closure, spectator point or time control point. As an official, you’ll get either your own private spectator point, or the opportunity to get right up close to the cars, crews and workings of a rally stage. To express your interest in officiating at an event, check out the information on volunteering.

Our youngest rally Co-Drivers start at 16 with our youngest drivers starting as soon as they have their P plates.  Our oldest competitors are in their 70’s – and some are still very competitive.  Experience and skill is what counts in rallying.

Most forms of motorsport are dominated by men, however, there is a growing number of women participating in rallying – and we are very happy to encourage this further!  It’s a great sport and not be considered the domain of any one group.

Although there are many lady Co-Drivers, there are an ever-increasing number of lady drivers.  In fact, there is even a rally for lady drivers only, held annually.

Joining a club helps you meet people who can assist you to get involved in Motor Sport, and is usually a compulsory requirement for entering an event.  Many clubs run ‘Come and Try’ days and some even provide vehicles so that you can experience first hand what motor sport competition is all about.

Check out the list of NSW Motorsport Australia Car Clubs that are actively involved in rallying, and get in touch with any of them.

There are plenty of rally cars for sale and generally all of them are at a fraction of the original cost to build them.  If you are buying a used rally car, invest some time to discuss options with a whole range of competitors or one of the experts who build rally cars as a business.  Don’t just jump in.  The wrong car may cost far more than your budget in on-going maintenance – particularly if it hasn’t been maintained as it should.  The great thing about the rally community is that everyone is happy to help each other.  Ask the members of your new club for advice, or better still, contact our expert sponsors for some professional advice.

If you want to build your own car, the best place to start your rally career is the Hyundai Rally series.  The cars are easy and cheap to build (and maintain) and the competition is very even. This series is a great way to develop your skills and be able to measure your progress against the other Excel competitors.  You start off being way behind a few of them, but as time and events go by, you find that your road-reading skills are developing and you can predict the way the road will change ahead.  Your times start to improve and soon you are matching those same competitors – stage by stage.  You ask for more advice on driving and focus on where to improve, and before long you are beating them on every stage – and doing it safely without over committing.

The Hyundai Rally Car regulations can be found under the section on Vehicle Eligibility.

Alternatively, the Club Rally Car regulations offer the most freedoms for a constructor and these cars are eligible to score points for all rallies up to and including the NSW Rally Championship.  The Club Rally Car regulations can be found under the Vehicle Eligibility regulations.

Although it’s great to partner with someone experienced, it isn’t necessary.  Grab your mate/girlfriend/boyfriend/wife/husband and other competitors will show you both what to do and what to expect.

There’s no pressure to perform.  Just join in and have a great time.  In no time, you will have a lot of experience and be giving advice to others joining the sport.

If you aren’t able to find anyone, contact us and we’ll put you in touch with other competitors looking for crew members. Drivers are often looking for co-drivers to fill in for one-off events or a series.

The Clubman Rally Series (which includes the Hyundai Rally Series) or the Rallysprint Series are the best choice of rallies for new crews.  At these events, the start, finish and service are in the one location, so you really don’t need a service crew.  If you need a hand or advice, there are always others around who are willing to help out.

Motorsport Australia issues a range of different licences to cover every aspect of participation in Motor Sport, ranging from single day licences for people that wish to try out something new, up to full National and International Racing licences.

A Speed licence is applicable to introductory rallies, Navigation Assemblies, Road Rallies and S1 Rallysprints.  The licence application form is available here:

For driving or co-driving in rallies or S2 rallysprints up to the NSW Rally Championship level, a Rally Licence is all that is required.  The licence application form is available here:

You can find the full list of available Motorsport Australia licences on the Motorsport Australia website.