The FAQ

Firey Bug Mk2 Golf burnout Jacob Bailey VWSP112 Dennis Cox - VWSP90 P4260340

The FAQ

Please note that whilst we make every effort to make sure that the info below is correct we cannot guarantee it. We have listed some of the most common questions asked. If you would like more information or have any further questions then please Contact Us, Members can of course pop into the forum and ask away there.

  1. What is bracket racing?
  2. What is the VWDRC?
    1. How do the classes work?
  3. What do I need to start racing?
    1. What membership do I need?
    2. What helmet do I need?
    3. What race suit do I need?
    4. Do I need a roll cage?
    5. Do I need a fire extinguisher?
  4. How do I join?
  5. What do I get?
  6. What does it cost to race?
  7. Do I need a race licence if so which one?
    1. Do I need a medical?
  8. Can I choose my race number?
  9. What is the Race number format?
  10. You've missed something out, I've got a question!

What is bracket racing?

Bracket Racing is a way of creating an equal opportunity or level playing field in drag racing. It means both super quick or slower cars as well as expensive or budget cars both have the opportunity to win.

Basically the competitor makes a series of qualifying passes. He or she then decides the average time it has taken to get down the quarter mile and uses this figure as a 'dial-in' time. This figure can be adjusted within class rules as the meeting progresses. With two competitors ready to do battle in eliminations these 'dial-in times' are written on the car (usually with shoe whitener on a window).

As the cars come to the famous 'Christmas Tree' (traffic light starting device) the timekeeper enters these times into the computer. The slower car leaves first and if both drivers run their perfect 'dial-in time' they will cross the line in a dead heat. This of course never happens. A driver may react slowly to their green light or may fluff a gear change. They may have even lost engine power. So it is the driver who can most consistently run to their dial-in and cross the line first that wins the day. However the twist is they must not run too fast which is called 'breaking out' (going faster than their dial in) or leaving the start line before their green light which results in a red light or 'cherry'. Either of these will potentially result in that driver losing the race so long as the opponent hasn’t done exactly the same thing!

It means that the driver is essentially racing the clock as well as the other person requiring skill, knowledge of your car and consistency.

If it all sounds a bit confusing don't worry! It really isn't, and we're all here to help you get to know your way around things.

What is the VWDRC?

The VWDRC stands for Volkswagen Drag Racing Club. It is possibly the largest one make drag racing club in the world! Not only catering for VW’s but the whole of the Volkswagen, Audi Group. (Volkswagen, Audi, SEAT, ŠKODA, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Porsche).

The club was established by a group of enthusiastic racers in 1987 and has gone from strength to strength and is now proud to boast a varied collection of the fastest and quickest VWs in Europe.

As a club we aim to:

  • Promote VW drag racing,
  • Provide members with information, advice and assistance in drag racing
  • Arrange social events and other meetings
  • Race in accordance with the rules of the MSA

We currently have two classes within the club. Pro & Sportsman.

How do the classes work?

There are two classes in the VWDRC - Sportsman and Pro. Both are open to any vehicle that is either powered by a VAG-group engine or that is built around a VAG car/chassis.

If your car is running quarter-mile times of 12.99 seconds or less then you are placed into the Pro class. 13.00 and slower you would run in the Sportsman class.

What do I need to start racing?

First or all you need a car! Most importantly you do not need an expensive pro-race car!

Your regular street legal VW/Audi Group or derived vehicle as long as it is Taxed and MOT'd is a great start and is almost race ready anyway.

You will also need the following, it seems like a lot but it really isn’t.

  • VWDRC Membership
  • SPRC/APIRA Membership
  • MSA license
  • Helmet
  • Race Suit
  • Race Gloves
  • Race Shoes
  • Fire Extinguisher

The regulations may change depending on what you are driving. The details given below are as a minimum
standard. Please consult the latest rule book. Members can of course ask in the forum for more information.

What membership do I need?

You need to be a member of the VWDRC in order to run in the Championship. You will also need to be a member of either SPRC or APIRA in order to run in competition. More details in How do I join?

What helmet do I need?

As with all safety gear, get the equipment that fits correctly not just the cheapest or the one that looks the coolest!
According to the 2014 MSA Blue book, any of the following are suitable:

  • FIA 8860-2004.
  • FIA 8860-2010.
  • SNELL SA2010.
  • SNELL SA2005.
  • SNELL SA2000*.
  • SNELL SA2010.
  • SNELL SAH2010.
  • SFI Foundation 31.1A, 31.2A.
  • BS 6658 Type A/FR**.


*May be withdrawn with effect from 01/01/15.
**May be withdrawn with effect from 01/01/16.

What race suit do I need?

Any race suit that complies with the following standards is suitable, karting suits are not. It is recommended to get the best fitting suit you can so do go and try a few on as not all suits fit the same.

  • FIA 1986 Standard
  • SFI 3.2A/1 (for Elapsed times 10.00 seconds and slower)
  • SFI 3.2A/5 (for Elapsed times 9.99 to 7.5 seconds)
  • FIA 8856-2000

Gloves

Gloves should meet SFI 3.3/5 spec

Shoes

Shoes should meet SFI 3.3/5 spec

Do I need a roll cage?

Well that largely depends on what you plan on driving and how quickly.

If you have a rear engined VW (for example a Beetle/Camper) and you meet one or more of the following:

  • Run quicker than 12.99secs
  • Have a Cabrio, Webasto or altered roof
  • Have a GRP or non-metallic flip front
Then yes you have to have a 6 point roll cage as per MSA General Safety Regulation 4:11

If you run quicker than 14.99 but no quicker than 13.00 you must have a roll bar as per MSA General Safety Regulation 4:10.

For vehicles that have their engines in the front, eg Golf/Scirocco and meet one or more of the following:

  • Run quicker than 12.99secs
  • Have a cabriolet roof
Then yes you have to have a 6 point roll cage as per MSA General Safety Regulation 4:11

Do I need a fire extinguisher?

Yes but only for the pits. You need a minimum of 4kg Dry Powder or alternatively Foam Fire Extinguisher for your pit area. There is no requirement to fit a Fire Extinguisher to your race car.

How do I join?

Joining the VWDRC is easy!

Membership to the VWDRC is just £10.00 for the year and is available to purchase in the VWDRC Shop

In order to race you also need to be a member of either the SPRC (Santa Pod Racing Club) or APIRA (Avon Park International Racing Association). The VWDRC offer a package for racers consisting of membership for the year, including membership of either SPRC or APIRA (whichever you choose) for just £30. Both available through the VWDRC Shop.

You can download the membership sign-up form to print from here. Print it off and post it to us, and we'll get back to you with your details.

What do I get?

Firstly you will become a member of the largest one make drag racing club in the world!

You get membership to the club for the calendar year. You will be given access to the discussion forum where you can ask advice and catch up with other members. You will receive two club stickers. Many of our sponsors and several retailers offer discounts or special offers to VWDRC members, don't forget to ask when you order to get the most from your membership. You will be eligible for the championship sponsors fund.

When you're competing at a some events you're able to get priority entry to the track the day before the general public, no more queueing to get into Santa Pod!

You get invited to our social events and gatherings, great nights out!

What does it cost to race?

One important misconception needs laying to rest.

It is NOT expensive to participate

Once you have the equipment and it is looked after it should last for many years, the only annual costs are membership fees, race license and entry fees.

All that's needed is:

  • A car (obviously)
  • VWDRC membership £10
  • SPRC or APIRA membership £20 (when bought through the VWDRC)
  • An MSA "Non-Race National B" Licence £43
  • A pair of race shoes £100
  • A race suit that conforms to the appropriate regulations from £240
  • A pair of gloves that conforms to the appropriate regulations from £45
  • A crash helmet of the correct type that conforms to the appropriate regulations from £130
  • A 4kg fire extinguisher from £35
  • Race entry fees from £125
  • Fuel £ - dependant on how thirsty your car is!
So for less than the price of a pair of twin carbs you're ready to go! For each meeting you get 4 tickets, these can be distributed to your crew (i.e. helpful friends) to share the cost of the race entry.

Do I need a race licence if so which one?

Yes you require a Motor Sport Association (MSA) race licence you can download the application for here: MSA UK. The minimum licence requirement for the VWDRC is an MSA "Non-Race National B".

Do I need a medical?

No medical examination is required for Non-Race National B licenses.

Can I choose my own race number?

Yes - Provided the number hasn't already been taken. If you happen to choose a number that is already in use then the membership secretary will let you know.

What format do my race numbers need to be in?

The Car and Bike Drag Racing Yearbook(White Book) contains all the regulations for race numbers.

Supplementary Regulation 4.7 states that

Quote:
Numbers must be displayed in accordance with the specific class format; affixed in such a way to ensure their durability and legibility and be of sufficient contrast to their background. They shall be subject to the approval of Chief Timekeeper.

The specific class format is defined in GSR 7.3 which states

Quote:
Any car competing at FIA and/or MSA events must display the drivers Competition number. Numbers must be a minimum 152mm (6-inches) high and 38mm (1 1/2 inches) wide. Class designation letters must be a minimum 76mm (3-inches) high and 25,4mm (1 inch) wide. Drivers competition number and class designation must be displayed in a legible manner in a contrasting colour to the vehicles background colour, or light colour on windows, in a prominent position, and must be clearly visible to the Tower personnel. Class and numbers must be in the form of permenant decals or paint. The use of shoe polish in any form is prohibited.

So there you have it, 6-inch tall, light or contrasting numbers in either decal or paint, No Shoe Whitener.

You've missed something out, I've got a question!

Just a quick question? Then you can of course use the Contact page.

If you want to know the finer details all the information you could ever possibly need is available, the easiest way to get it is to become a member and ask all your questions in our very active members Forum. If you are serious about building a full-on race car please seek advice from the committee members and racers (who are happy to help) so your car can be built to the correct specification and pass scrutineering.