How to Compete

Sprinting is the safest way to experience your Alfa’s abilities and to test your own. Your Alfa Romeo is probably far more capable than you can imagine. The place to explore this is not on the road. The race track is far safer than any road can ever be. All traffic is going in the same direction and all drivers are switched on. All cars are grouped by time, not potential or class, and all drivers are operating under the same set of rules and are being observed. This is sprinting, not racing. Sprinting is competing against the stopwatch and yourself. A lot like golf, where you always try to better your last result.

Your car can be standard but for:

  • approved fire extinguisher fitted with two separate fasteners on any front opening.
  • helmet to ASA 1698 standard. Helmets should not be cracked or deeply scratched. Painted or stickered helmets are unsuitable unless done by the factory or by an approved person and certificated.
  • Battery location is to be marked by a blue triangle of 150mm sides. Plain blue for battery (lightning bolt triangle is for kill switch on race cars).
  • All forward facing headlight glass to be covered with clear contact or similar, but not red.
  • Your number should be about 180mm high and visible. Fit to left hand side only. A4 size done on your computer is fine. Stick it on inside of the window. If you can display a number on the top left of your windscreen, this will help immensely in form up and to ensure your correct position on the grid.
  • Seats to be secure and seat belt cannot be frayed. Belt must have ADR or E in circle to show compliance.
  • The bonnet must have a second, non-extensible restraint, i.e. two separate systems to keep it down. If it has a catch and a safety catch as standard, it will be o.k
  • Your carbs must have an extra return spring fitted. EFI cars do not require extra springs.
  • A harness is advisable and must be ADR, E (European Approval) or FIA compliant. FIA was once only good for 5 year life, but is now given a five year extension.
  • Car must have the battery secured, have no significant oil leaks, have road legal tyres with valve caps, and wheels must be firmly secured.
  • No loose items are allowed in the cabin or boot.
  • If the car is road registered it will not need tow hooks. If you do fit hooks, they must comply with CAMS manual. Roll over protection is not required but if fitted, must be to CAMS standard and is encouraged.
  • The brake pedal cannot be too low, and all brake lights must work.
  • The steering cannot have excessive play.
  • Headlights must work in dark conditions.
  • Wipers, if fitted, must work on wet days.
  • You don’t require a driving suit and boots although they do provide maximum protection. You must wear non-flammable clothing from wrist to neck to ankle with suitable shoes and socks.
  • You should replace your brake fluid with a minimum of fresh Dot 4 or high quality fluid such as Motul, EBC or Castrol SRF.
  • You should check your car thoroughly to ensure it is as safe as it can possibly be.
  • NOTE!! All requirements for sprinting are listed under Speed Events in the online CAMS Manual of Motorsport.

Once you make the decision to sprint you must:

1. Be a financial member of AROCA.

2. Be a financial member of MSCA which will cost $20. You can download the necessary membership form from the MSCA website.

3. The MSCA form has a facility on it to enable you to obtain your CAMS L2S license which will cost $119 in 2015. There are medical questions on the CAMS form to answer, but you don’t need a medical.

Once you are a MSCA member, you can apply to sprint by downloading the supplementary regulations, entry form and the scrutineer forms from MSCA website. The entry fee is $75 for the day in 2015.

Read the Supp. Regs. thoroughly as they will set out the legal requirements for the day. They also list the various classes in which you will compete in the MSCA competition. Remember that we have our own AROCA SA rules. These rules are published on the Competition pages.

There are two championships you will compete in – AROCA and MSCA. In the Alfa Championship we have classes which support standard cars in under 1600, under 2000, under 3000 and over 3000. There are also other classes for modified cars. I would strongly suggest that you start in your road car with the required safety items. Namely helmet and extinguisher and an optional harness. Don’t start by building a race car. This takes years and is a waste of time. Until you know what you require in handling, stopping etc., there is just no point. You will learn more and have more fun by starting at the bottom. Get into it now, not later.

You will take 2 or 3 years to get yourself up to a point where you may NEED a racing car. Until then you will not stress your well maintained road car at all.

Remember, most of us who have done this for years still don’t drive to our full potential. We rarely take the same corner the same way twice in a row! Try as we might!

On the sprint day you will be required at Mallala for scrutineering from 8.00 a.m. and no later than 9:45 am. Your car must be ready for the track before you present it to the scrutineers and you must also present your credentials at the credentials office to gain your scrutineering sheet prior to scrutineering. To enter the scrutineering shed you drive around to the back and join the queue. If it is your first time, you will be required to attend a briefing in the scrutineering shed at 9:00 am sharp. This will be before you drive on to the track for your practice.

Practice consists of four timed laps from 9:00 to 9:15 a.m. from which your initial starting group will be determined. Your group may change with each sprint on the day according to the time set in the sprint before.

You will require a Dorian Sender unit (for timing) after your first sprint. These are available from the MSCA at a discount price.

There is normally one practice session and 3 sprints of 4 or 5 laps each. This may change on the day depending on weather or time delays.

You will find a lot of help and encouragement from within our club and also other sprinters at Mallala. 99% of the entrants and 100% of the officials will treat you fantastically and give you all the advice and support you will need.

Some entrants are always “racing for sheep stations”. Ignore them! Most treat sprinting as a chance to compete with their friends and improve their own performance. None of us are good enough to be taken too seriously. So come out and join us.

Happy sprinting.

Peter Axford