How to Compete
What you need to know to get started in Caterham Motorsport.
How to Compete
If you’re starting out in Motorsport, the Academy Championship is geared for you.
Do you want to become a racing driver? Are you looking for a one-make series where the cars are exactly the same and it comes down to driver talent? Are you a complete novice? Then the Academy series is for you. Even if you did your ARDS test but have never actually used your race license then you are still eligible for the Academy.
However, if you have held a Kart license before then, unfortunately, you cannot participate in the Academy. Why? We want to ensure that there is a level playing field throughout our grid.
The Academy is the best place to start your journey to become a racing driver. You have a dedicated coordinator who is always on hand to offer you help, support and advice. The Academy is structured so you can get the best out of your experience and introduction into Motorsport. The first time the Caterham Team will see the 2019 Academy drivers is towards the end of 2018 at the Academy Seminar. Caterham goes through in detail the journey drivers are about to embark on (with top tips to help them along the way).
You are not allowed to have team support in this series. Caterham Support is included within the price of the Academy. Therefore, if anything goes wrong on your car while you are at the circuit the Caterham team will be on hand to help fix the problem. This does not include the cost of parts.
BECOME A RACE DRIVER
If you are not eligible for Academy go to Roadsport – Upgraded Academy Car
Roadsport is the next step for our Academy drivers. Therefore, anyone new coming into the Championship must have done less than 5 races (we check with Motorsport UK). Drivers that wish to enter Roadsport must speak to the Senior Coordinator as it is at their discretion due to the Championship only being for invited novices. You are not allowed to have team support in this Championship. It is mandatory to use Caterham Support this is to keep a fair, level playing field while keeping the cost down.
If you are not eligible for Academy go to 270R – Upgraded Academy Car
Seven 270R is the third step on our ladder. At this point drivers have 20 races under their belts. If you wish to compete in this Championship then you must contact the Senior Coordinator who will ask you a series of questions. Taking into account your ability and driving experience the Coordinator will advise you of the most appropriate grid. To join this grid we recommend you have done more than 5 races. You are allowed team support in this Championship. Alternatively, you can have Caterham Support (please see support page as to what this entails).
If you are not eligible for Academy go to 310R – Upgraded Academy Car
Seven 310R is a very mixed yet experienced grid. 2017 was the end of an era as we said good bye to the Supersport spec car and welcomed the 310R grid. This is a very popular Championship and in 2018 Caterham suspended their registrations due to the high demand to race in one of our most competitive Championships in the UK. There is a priority system for the 310R grid, therefore, if you are interested in entering the 310R grid you must contact the Senior Coordinator and register your interest as soon as possible so you can be put on the waiting list. You are allowed team support in this Championship. Alternatively, you can have Caterham Support (please see support page as to what this entails).
Premiership Championship – Buy a new car
Seven 420R is THE most competitive Championship Caterham run. However, don’t let this put you off. The racing is close, fast and exciting with many of the drivers going onto compete in higher series e.g British GT and Blancpain. The skills and experience you gain and learn from driving a 420R can set you up for pretty much any race car. We even have professional drivers enter the Championship as, like the rest of the Championships, the regulations are so strict there is very little you can to do to the cars, bringing everything down to luck and talent. You must hold a National A licence to compete in the 420R series and a competition spec 420R as per the Seven 420R Technical Regulations.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you transport my car?
One of the difficulties that may face some Academy drivers, especially those that live in city centres, is where to keep an Academy car and especially a trailer (if they choose to tow their car to events). Caterham offer a transport and storage solution to remove this headache. Your Academy car will be securely stored at Caterham and transported to and from each competitive event. In between times, it will be given a check‑over by our race technicians to ensure that it will arrive ready to race. Away from events, your car can be made accessible in order for you to enjoy it on the road or at a trackday. More details on the transport and storage service are available from our aftersales team.
Do I need to bring my own lunch?
Racing makes you hungry and we like to make sure you are as comfortable as possible! Our dedicated catering team provide a buffet lunch at every event in the Caterham race centre for the drivers and their partners. In addition, hot and cold drinks, plus a biscuit or two to dunk in them, are available all day on the Saturday / Sunday.
Do I race all weekend?
Academy drivers – we do our best to only put your race on the Saturday but towards the end of the year we tend to split you over Saturday and Sunday. Roadsport/270R/310R/420R – The majority of the time you will Qualify on a Saturday morning, Race on a Saturday afternoon and then do a second Race on the Sunday.
Do I need to insure my race car?
Did you know that it is possible to insure against damage during racing and practice? Race insurance has no relation to your road insurance. There is no fault in race insurance either, it simply covers you for damage regardless of how the accident happened. You cannot claim off someone else’s race insurance. Race insurance is not cheap and you can expect to pay around £2,000 or more for a season’s cover, with a typical excess of £2,000; so you essentially are insuring against a single significant accident. Is it necessary? Well that is a choice only you can make. Of course, the overwhelming majority of drivers make it through the year relatively unscathed! However, if you are one of the unlucky ones, you will be thankful of having cover if you choose to take it, but there are many more drivers who have spent a lot on insurance and never claimed.
Do I need an instructor?
The ethos of the Caterham Academy is for novices to enter and enjoy their first season of motorsport racing. However as competitive nature takes hold, and the will to win grows stronger, some participants invest in professional driver tuition to help achieve their winning motivations. Driver tuition can be both positive and negative to individuals. On the positive the basics can be taught on finding the apex and perfect racing line, or how late to brake on the approach to a corner. On the negative, a driver can become over-tutored and arrive at a race meet with pre-set mental instructions which can result in a driver over thinking the race & track which inversely leads to under performance. During the past 20 years drivers who have received tuition have been witnessed finishing both at the front and the back of the grid so we leave it to individuals to make their own choice on tuition. However, if it is desired, then our trackday partner BookaTrack.com, offers sessions from as little as £50. The advice we do share, is to spend as much time driving your car (which is road legal) between races as possible. This will allow for the driver to become familiar with all of the characteristics and ultimately gain confidence in how their car handles, which will lead towards quicker racing results.
Do I need a Team?
In Academy and Roadsport, team support is prohibited to ensure that competitors have a level playing field of technical ability and knowledge at a circuit and there isn’t the perception of someone having an advantage. Caterham provides a central support facility manned only by specially selected, skilled Caterham technicians. The fully equipped team perform trackside accident and breakdown repairs, supported by a stock of ~£100k of parts. This service is provided free of charge to Academy, is mandatory for Roadsport drivers and available as an option to drivers in all other championships. Excluding teams is peculiar to Caterham racing. Consequently, there are a number of myths that have grown up around the subject, leaving some individuals concerned that they may not be competitive unless supported by a professional outfit. This is not the case. Whilst a race team does have more experience and knowledge than individual drivers, the technical regulations of our cars are specifically written in a way to minimise variables; for example, spring rates and dampers are fixed. The nature of a Caterham means that once a car has been set-up for a particular driver’s style, it will only vary a little from circuit to circuit, if at all. Therefore, driver-run cars can enter these championships on an equal footing. However, at this level the teams do provide a valuable service of convenience. For a number of our drivers, being able to arrive at a circuit knowing their car will be fuelled, checked and ready to go is essential. These competitors may not have the time, ability or space to be able to look after a race car themselves and without the teams services they simply wouldn’t be racing Caterhams.
At a Glance
Caterham Motorsport Championship Ladder
Race Support Services
Professional Race Support Options