Autotesting is one of the oldest disciplines in competitive motorsport in Ireland. It is also one of the least expensive branches of motorsport.
Each event consists of a number of tests (usually 10 or 12), that involve competitors carrying out a sequence of vehicular manoeuvres, as instructed in the test diagrams issued by the organisers.
These manoeuvres include circling of pylons, "throwing" the car on the handbrake, crossing of lines and driving through slaloms, both forwards and reverse, in either first or reverse gears. Each driver is timed on each test and times are totalled to give results in each event. Whoever is quickest through the tests of the day is the winner.
TYPES OF VEHICLES
Because the tests involve maneuvering cars against the stopwatch, smaller cars are more suitable than large ones, although there are eight different classes for various types for car. Minis and Specials based on Minis are the most popular, and there are also classes for larger saloons, for sports cars and for standard road going cars.
WHERE AND WHEN
Autotesting takes place throughout the year all over the country. Particularly competitive areas include Dublin, Cork, and Kerry with the National Autotest Championship (Hewison) taking place between August 31st and the following March 31st.
View Events Calendar
LICENCE REQUIREMENTS AND STARTING AGE
A Clubman category "National B" grade licence is required for Autotesting. A Road Traffic Act driving licence is not needed, nor is a medical certificate. The minimum age is 16 years. Competitors under 18 years of age require written permission from parents or guardians. A first-time licence costs as little as €50 if you are a member of a Motorsport Ireland affiliated Motor Club.
Apply for a Competition Licence
HOW TO GET STARTED
If you are interested in getting started in Autotesting, the first step is to contact Motorsport Ireland by phone on 01-677 5628 or email email@example.com. Motorsport Ireland annually publishes a Yearbook containing all the rules and regulations for Irish Motorsport with Appendices 90-91 catering for Autotests.
SPECIAL EQUIPMENT REQUIRED
Very little special equipment is needed. Most drivers use a knob on the steering wheel so that they can steer with one hand while leaving the other hand free to use on the handbrake and gear lever without losing time. Some classes have restriction on what types of tyres can be used and roll over bars are compulsory on all open cars.
No special clothing or safety equipment is required. However, the fitting of an operable fire extinguisher is strongly recommended.
Learn about our Autotest Championship