Carl Meek & James Lovett - Build Diary for Westfield
ARDS Race License


April 11 2008 - ARDS Race License
The ARDS test (Association of Racing Driver Schools) is the test required in order to get the National 'B' racing license from the MSA (Motor Sport Association).  Once passed, you can enter race events and attend Test Days at race tracks.  Test days differ from Track Days in that there are no novices - every person there has a race license, and the strict track day rules are removed.  For example, overtaking is unrestricted.

I arrived at Brands Hatch for sign-on at 5:45.  An evening track day was going on, with some pretty fast cars blatting around.  Just myself and one other guy were doing the license, and the instructor talked us through the process.  We were to do the practical test first in order to make best use of the daylight.

He said that the aim of the driving test is to show competency and not speed.  They are looking for a good understanding of racing lines, turn-in points, apex.  Also looking for mechanical sympathy, heel & toe technique, good mirror work, etc.  The car in use is a Williams Megane, nothing special but quick enough.  We were told not to take the car about 4500rpm, and just to use third & fourth gears.  I was really nervous, feeling that i was driving within unusual parameters rather than just driving the way I drive and relaxing.  Once out on the track, the instructor talked me around the track for a few laps before going quiet and doing the assessment.  I think it was about 5 laps of assessment.  My driving was awful, i missed turn-ins and apexes like there was no tomorrow, got the breaking wrong, used the wrong gears, and just generally drove like a fool.  Thankfully, he gave me 85% which is an easy pass.  We then did the written test, which was childsplay, and i got 100% in that.

Just a case of sending off the paperwork and i'm done!