Please read carefully and note the rules regarding trim.
New drivers must first compete in a Classic Trial, or record a Pukekohe or Hampton Downs lap time better than 1:35 or in some other way, prove their competence, before they can be fully accepted into the race series. Drivers who cannot consistently make those times may have their registration cancelled or will be adversely handicapped.
If your car is a fairly standard car and conforms to the classic rules as published, then it can be scrutineered to Schedule AA PROVIDED YOU HAVE A CERTIFICATE OF DESCRIPTION – or COD. If you do not have a CoD, then your car now has to be scrutineered to Schedule A. A COD is not required for this series.
If you are new to the series, you will have to supply a recent photograph of the car – action preferred, but not essential, before your application can be processed. We no longer mail out race regs, but see the calendar page for dates. All race organisers now publish the regs on the Motorsport Entry Website and results on the AMB Transponder website. Check the availability of ‘permanent’ race numbers and note carefully, that with several hundred regulars, the chance of getting a popular number such as 7, 8 or 44 expired years ago, so don’t waste time by requesting one…
Please note that lap and diagonal belts are no longer acceptable, and all cars must now be fitted with a driver’s harness seat belt.
Note that acceptance is at our discretion and numbers may be limited. Preference is given to rare or unusual cars This is an invitation race series so please be aware that if your driving is less than gentlemanly, your car not up to scratch, your bribe money too low, your invitation may well be cancelled. Please note that you now need to register the driver and also the car.
If you have just joined – or are about to, please read the following ‘Frequently Asked Questions. In fact, even if you have been around for a while, you may care to read it!
Car & Safety
Q: Do I need roll over protection?
A: If the car is standard running in AES – no, but strongly advised. In Arrow Wheels, the faster group, then yes.
Q: What if the car is modified?
A: Safety modifications (brakes and suspension etc) normally won’t affect it, but engine modifications mean that roll over protection is required.
Q: What are the rules regarding cage or roll over protection?
A: Far too complex to go into here and not my forte. Read the MSNZ book which you will have and consult a scrutineer. Cages will need to be certified and conform to the submitted drawings. Any deviations from approval documentation could mean rejection by the scrutineer. Roll over protection is now mandatory for the Arrow Wheels Series. This does not have to be a full cage , but the minimum requirement is a roll over bar with rear supports.
Q: Is there any limit on modifications?
A: Not really other than engine must be the same type as originally fitted, (BUT see Targa Cars below). We don’t normally allow dry sump oil systems either as this is getting away from the road car image, but for Arrow Wheels cars, we do accept that there is a good reason for this. We accept that drivers have always wanted to fiddle around and modify their cars – and policing a bog standard series is impossible.
Q: My Targa car is road registered and is a classic car with a classic engine, though not original, can I run?
A: For 2008/2009, we changed the rules and the class structures to allow in Targa cars, as we support the concept of Targa and believe that these cars should not be barred from classic race meetings. However, race organisers have the right to restrict those cars to series races only and bar them from other classes within their race programme. These cars will be assessed by the committee or an ad hoc driver’s panel on an individual basis and will only be accepted if they are road registered and with a current WoF. We do not allow cars fitted with later engines (post 1980) such as a Lexus V8. Car and engine must be pre 1977 and the engine should ideally be from the same country of origin as the bodyshell. Transplanted Japanese engines into European shells are not allowed.
Q: What about replacement fibreglass panels?
A: They are OK as we accept that replacement steel panels are expensive and scarce.
Q: Do I need a Certificate of Description, as some organisers demand it?
A: The CoD was initially voluntary and is still voluntary for our series. BUT if you don’t have one, you will be scrutineered to a different standard. Also, race organisers are within their rights to run race meetings where CoDs are compulsory, but we cannot support those meetings as part of our series. All series races are therefore CoD optional.
Q: What are your rules regarding tyres?
A: Road tyres only (no slicks) and road legal tread at the beginning of the meeting. There are tyres around with minimal tread across the width of the tyre that have been approved by the road authorities as legal. (2014)
Q: What tyres do you recommend?
A: Contact a tyre dealer! Drivers all have their own preferences or budgets. Toyo and Dunlop were the dominant makes, but there are now many others. Tyres must be Dot rated for road use. Please be aware that as races are run, wet or dry, acceptable wet weather performance from the tyres is aconsideration when buying.
Q: Do I need bumpers on the car?
A: No – as long as there are no dangerous protrusions. Car must still look tidy. Fibreglass bumpers are OK too. We accept that many cars ran in period without bumpers and with some cars, all exterior trim is now too valuable to risk damaging on the race track.
Q: What about interior trim?
A: Whilst we accept that the fitting of roll over protection can impinge on interior trim, this is a road series and drivers should make an attempt to trim the interior. Totally stripped out cars are not allowed and are deemed to be race cars. Read the MSNZ book… We used to insist on rear seats too, but have relaxed that if cars have a full cage. The same applies to headlinings. They must still be tidy. Door panels and other interior trim panels should not be bare/painted metal.
Q: What about carpets?
A: Carpets can be removed. Could be seen as a fire hazard.
Q: Seat belts?
A: Essential. Four, five or six point harness are accepted but again, there are controversial rules here for road cars. Full harness belts are not normally allowed on the road without a MSNZ authority card. Beware of the expiry dates on full harness belts. This has been fairly contentious issue but at long last, MSNZ have allowed a five year extension on FIA belts only… SFI belts do not have the extension. Harnesses are now mandatory for both classes.
Q: What about race overalls, helmets, gloves, balaclava and boots?
A: Our preferred supplier is Chicane Clothing (09) 5800 552 and again, read the rule book. Gloves and boots are optional but highly recommended. Helmets must conform to current standards – which are updated every few years. Overalls, if single layer, must be accompanied by fire resistant underwear, otherwise a double or triple layer suit is required. Chicane produce FIA approved suits and most are locally manufactured to the highest international standards. They also have their own embroidery equipment so try them first – please. (Self interest here, I used to own half the company…) Make sure your socks are not synthetic. Wear cotton or wool socks only, definitely not nylon as nylon melts and causes horrific burns. A balaclava is highly recommended too, as burns to the neck and face are disfiguring at the very least.
Q: What is the story regarding neck and head restraints?
A: Highly recommended and Chicane are now importers of neck restraints. A foam neck brace is a cheap support for the neck but their used is not covered by any standards.
Q: How do I get race regulations and entry forms.
A: There are currently three main sets of organisers we deal with. All now use http://www.motorsportentry.com/ You must first of all register yourself and also your car(s) and confirm that all personal and car details are up to date before processing each race entry. Make sure there are no spelling mistakes as what you put into the website is what wil appear in the programme/entry list, so if you accidentally put that your Porsche is 29999cc instead of 2999cc, that is what will be shown. Note also that annually, you will need to update the entry website with your race licence expiry date. If you fail to this, it can cause delays at documentation.
Q: What if I am not sure if my car is going to be ready in time?
A: Enter as early as you can! Most organisers will charge a late entry fee but will refund if you pull out early enough – normally at least two days before the event. There is nothing worse for organisers than dealing with late entries. If you enter too late – and everyone else also leaves it too late, there is every chance that the meeting could be cancelled through lack of entries. The costs of running a meeting these days has rocketed so organisers need to know as early as possible that the meeting is viable.
Q: As a registered series entrant, is my entry to a race guaranteed?
A: NO!!!! There is a maximum grid size at all circuits (Pukekohe is 34 cars, 40 if all marshal points are manned, Hampton Downs 46 cars) and as soon as a grid is full, the entry is closed and extras will be put into other races or placed on a reserve list. This means that you must enter early as our numbers are getting higher each season and for the last four seasons, we have had well over 100 drivers, so if all entered, some would miss out.
Q: Will series entrants of long standing or regular competitors be given any priority if the list is full?
A: Entirely up to race organisers, but late entries will definitely not be given any dispensations at all. If organisers contact us at the closing date and the list is over full, yes, we may well rule on who will be on the reserve list and priority will be given to those who have been around a while AND who enter regularly, or those who cannot participate in other classes such as Alfa or BMW open. Those who race just once or twice a year may have to move aside for those who support the series.
Q: How many races will I get at a race meeting?
A: That will vary according to the organisers. They normally have non-series races as well as series races and may allow you to enter those, but read your entry form.
Q: I notice that there are three races on the programme. Which count for points?
A: Normal structure is a non-points scratch race first. This gives you the opportunity to settle down and adjust your car under normal racing structures. That means your practice times determine your starting position. Fastest at the front, slowest at the back and when the flag drops, (or the lights go out) you all rocket into the distance.
Q: What is the format for series races?
A: At each meeting, just two races will count for points. Both are handicaps which means that the slowest cars go off first, fastest are off last.
Q: Who calculates the handicaps?
A: I do. Next question…. (Bribes in a sealed plain brown envelope, addressed to “Benevolent Breakfast Fund”…)
Q: How do handicaps run?
A: In the pit lane, or dummy grid, you will be told your ROW or group number. (Ask the grid marshal which cars are on the row in front. This will help you.) At the end of the warm up lap, you will line up immediately behind the car in front. (Bumper to bumper at most tracks, but this can change according to local rules.) The starter will despatch each row with a gap of no less than five seconds between them. As soon as the car in front has gone. Move up until it is your turn. (Again, local rules. Taupo for example may run a different system as they use different officials.) Watch the starter and when the flag drops, off you go. Note that going early or late will incur a time penalty.
Q: There are cars behind me as well as in front, so how will the race pan out?
A: Keep an eye on your mirrors, as during the race (6 or 8 laps usually), drivers will be catching you as you are catching those in front. Needless to say, as the race progresses, it gets more and more hectic and by the last lap, there will be people trying to get past you as you are trying to overtake those in front! Don’t try and block those behind you and make sure that if you move off line, that it is clear to do so, as the potential for a big accident is always there. If you finish in the middle of the pack, then you will have had a good race – and that is all that matters. If you really want to win, this is NOT the series for you…
Q: What is the points scoring system?
A: Scratch race(s) – no points. First handicap – 60 points for 1st place, 59 for 2nd and so on. Second handicap race, 100 points for 1st, 98 for second and so on.
Q: Do I still get points for pulling out early?
A: Yes! As long as you got through scrutineering, you get points. If you start the race but pull out part way through, you still get points relating to your finishing position. If you don’t even start the race, for whatever reason, you get the same points as the last placed points scorer, less 5 points.
Q: I gather that not all points count?
A: Traditionally, the scores from the best five meetings will count, so lowest scores will be dropped if you do more than 5 meetings. Most drivers who compete at all meetings will end up with an award at the end of the season. It may be the best six if we increase to eight rounds.
Q: What is the story on the final round?
A: The last race meeting of the season is normally double points. What this does is give those who missed out earlier in the season or who attended all previous rounds but may have had a poor showing, an opportunity to be in contention. Traditionally, the penultimate round may have an adjusted handicap to try and even out the points, making the final round the decider.
Q: What are the awards?
A: Although this is a fun series and there are several trophies, most drivers never ask about their points and it isn’t unusual for drivers to get to the awards dinner, not knowing that they have won! In addition to the overall series awards, there are also several “one make” awards but the top award is for the driver, who, in the convenor’s opinion, displays a great sporting attitude on and off the track and has supported the series regularly. No driver gets more than one trophy…
Q; I believe my 1970 Japanese built car is areal classic. Can I run in your series.
A: No! Nothing against these cars but there is now a series for Japanese Classics
Q: But, I note that you do have Datsun Zs running?
A: Correct. These were allowed in years ago, before the Japanese Classics Series started and we are not going to throw out those who have supported us. We also accepted the 240Z as a true GT car and opportunities to run elsewhere were limited and to a large degree, still are.
Q: I don’t like the driving standards in our own series and like your philosophy, so can I join?
A: Always a tricky one, but what generally happens is that each series has its own philosophy and often a “committee” can exercise a bias that not all drivers agree with, or, driving standards are suspect, or, even though in a classic series, the emphasis is on winning and that disadvantages slower cars. Our philosophy has been successful and does attract the right sort of people but we do generally stick to our core values of pre 1977 European cars. The easiest way to gain acceptance is to run a car that conforms.
Q: But I see a Datsun Z, a Chev Corvette, a Holden Torana, an older Mustang and a later model BMW. Why can they run?
A: It would be easy just to say that we have always made exceptions! Firstly, the Datsun Z was accepted BEFORE there was a series for Japanese Classics. The Chev Corvette is an exception based on the driver’s historical support of our philosophy and a better fit with our open sports cars than closed Muscle Cars, though this may change; a Holden Torana in immaculate road going trim may not be a comfortable fit with V8 Muscle cars – and we are currently looking at expanding our criteria to other 6 cylinder cars.
Q; But you also have newer Alfa Romeos?
A: We totally support the Alfa Series and made a decision to allow newer models in, as it enables two drivers to share a car. Also, as thoroughbreds, we believe that the current MSNZ T & C regulations, unfortunately do not adequately accept thoroughbred cars. We do.
If there are other queries, please get in touch, but it is important that you seek the answers on the website first.
If emailing, please ensure ALL emails have ERC Series in the subject line.
Updated: August 2015