New Joiner Information

Caterham RacingNew racing members may benefit from these notes of things to do, where to go, what to do, what to bring, etc, etc.!!!

Almost everything you need to do or know can be found by looking at:
- our website
- the MSA Blue Book (see www.msauk.org)
- the BARC Graduates regs
but here's some back up:

You've enrolled in the club. You should have a race license. If not, get one! Start off by getting the MSA’s “Go Racing” pack (see here). There are two factors: a medical and an “ARDS” test. Take the race licence application form to your doctor and ask them to check you out and fill in the form (they usually charge something like £80 for this). Then contact any of the UK’s < a href="http://www.msauk.org/site/cms/contentviewarticle.asp?article=789">ARDS race schools and arrange your half day training/test. Don’t panic about it – it’s frighteningly trivial! When you get your license you will also get "The Blue Book". A little light bedtime reading... But do TRY to skim through it. Most of it is obvious and most of it you'll find out by going to a race and talking to and following other drivers. But it will help to have picked up the background first.

Next, join as a BARC Racing Member, here. Membership is for a period of 12 months, not specifically a calendar year, so there's no problem with joining sooner rather than later (other than your cash-flow!). Some time in the new year (watch the forum or Grads newsletters for info) you will need to register for the championship with BARC. This is almost exactly the same as enrolling in The Club. But it IS different, it IS necessary and it IS free! Without it you will be refused race entry. This can be done on-line or you can call or e-mail them (01264 88 22 00, competitions@barc.net) and ask for a copy of the Graduates regs to be sent to you, when available. The paperwork looks like a 20 page set of championship regulations (which it is) but there is a form on the back which you can complete and return to BARC if you choose not to register on-line. When asked for your race number, supply the one which assigned when you enrolled in Caterham Graduates as a Racing Member; BARC will not accept any other number.

BARC will send back a championship registration card for you to keep, and (maybe separately) if you have not yet joined BARC, a membership application form.

Eventually, you'll get a set of race entry forms. Also available “on-line” in 2012. They should be fairly self-explanatory. Note the closing date. Get your entry in BEFORE this or your entry could be declined or could cost you an additional £25.

If you want to “test” (spend several hours thrashing your car around a track, pre-race), book early.

Your car MUST be fitted with a transponder. I think BARC will send you an order form for an MST transponder. The REQUIRED mounting position is the standard position for all Caterham race cars: On the chassis member which supports the steering rack. Mount it in FRONT of the steering rack and in the centre. You can drill a couple of holes in the rack mount, or you could probably just hold it with cable ties.

Check over your car. As thoroughly as you can. If it was raced in Grads last year, talk to the previous owner and get him to tell you that it really IS race-ready and to advise you what to check. If it's new, make the builder assure you that it's got all the right parts to race Classics/Supers/Megas!! If you are taking it to a professional for a check-up (recommended), take a set of regs with you. The acknowledged experts on maintaining and setting up cars for all classes of Graduates racing is our series Title Sponsor, McMillan Motorsport.

Read the regs yourself, very carefully, and check that everything on the car is as it should be. Take very careful notice of the primary clause in the technical regs: “nothing can be modified unless the regs explicitly allow it”. Check the set-up details like ride-height. And minimum driver-in WEIGHT.

Check brake pads and make sure the system is well bled. Get that pedal really firm! Squirt your electrics with something like WD-40 to protect against wet weather problems. Check all fluid and lube levels. Top-up the rad with a proprietary coolant such as Coldstream, NOT water. Check engine, gearbox and diff oil levels. Live axles - OVERFILL the diff. I personally suggest use of one of the proprietary "teflon" oil additives in the diff. Jack up the car and "shake" all the wheels to check that there is minimum play and that all bearings are good. Check for zero "play" in the steering.

Pay attention to the safety scrutineering aspects: belts, extinguisher, cut-out switch, lights. Make sure you have a high-level centrally mounted "rain light" as required by the 2012 regs. If you have a roll-over bar (as opposed to full cage) remember that the diagonal strut is mandatory. Check that you have a set of legal tyres. A spare set is a good idea. Many racers will carry a set of nearly new tyres with lots of tread especially for wet use. Pressures? If dry, start with 24psi (live axles) and 20psi (DeDions).

Get yourself a set of race gear: suit, helmet, balaclava, boots, arm restraints. These are REQUIRED. Full fireproof underwear is optional (except for overseas races). Check the web-site for any special deals which The Club may have arranged. This stuff is safety gear, designed to save YOUR LIFE. Don't be tempted to skimp on the cost of a helmet (“how much would a new head cost?” they like to say).

Our regs require you to use arm restraints. In the unlikely event that you roll your car over, these stop you flailing your arms around and getting them broken! You MUST have these, or you will be thrown out off the grid. Caterham Cars sell them.

Fuel cans are a good idea. Some circuits sell fuel, but not all. And sometimes not on test days. The ability to take 30 or 40 litres of fuel with you is kind of handy. Use metal jerry cans, not plastic ones. Race mileage could be as low as 10 or 12mpg. Average speed should be around 75 or 80mph, so expect to use between 6 and 8 gallons (27 to 36 litres) per hour. 10 to 12 litres should be enough for a qualifying session or a 20 minute race, but testing uses loads!!!! And you will want to keep to the minimum weight so you will not want to go out on track with surplus fuel. Use Super-unleaded. Do NOT use additives - they are forbidden.

What tools may you need? It depends what falls off... Seriously, you should not NEED very much. But a jack and wheel brace are a good idea - also a torque wrench to get those wheel nuts tightened correctly. A modest set of spanners/screwdrivers etc. will make you FEEL better equipped...!! Tyre pressure gauge (get a good one with an easy to read dial).

Forget anything crucial? Don't worry, there'll be plenty of people to lend you anything you need. Except your race license. DON'T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT IT!!!!!

If you are a novice (running on a "B" license with less than 6 race signatures) you MUST show a "novice cross" - details in the Blue Book. I think you can get these from MSAR Racing. Note that you also need a set of scrutineering stickers (also from MSAR) which go on the car to identify the location of towing eyes, extinguisher, cut-out switch, etc.

Decals - the appropriate 2012 championship decals MUST be carried in the stipulated locations. More details later.

Classics, Sigmas and Supers: Identity number plates are a great idea. ie. plates bearing your name, your company or whatever. Good advertising but also a great aid to other drivers to be able to readily identify who is behind them or in front of them - a pair of plates is only about a tenner. Megas are permitted to fit only a rear number plate (optional).

All The Club’s members are extremely proud of their club and it’s friendly atmosphere. So, when you get to your first event, with no idea what you should be doing or where you should be going, go straight up to the first “Graduates” car you see, introduce yourself to the driver, tell them you’re a novice and ask them to tell you what to do - they will be delighted to help!

You have the option of contracting to get “Technical Support” from anyone you care to choose. “Tech Support” means having access to an outfit who will be at our races with tools, parts and know-how to keep you on-track. There are various outfits in this business. One example is our title sponsor, McMillan Motorsport.

Good luck and see you soon!

Regards
Graeme Smith

Chairman, Caterham Graduates Racing Club Ltd
http://www.graduates.org.uk

Tel: 01625 613708
e-mail: chairman@graduates.org.uk

19 Thistleton Close,
Macclesfield,
Cheshire,
SK11 8BE