How to Enter

The Brighton Speed Trials

Brighton Speed Trials Logo

One of the most common enquiries we get is
How do I go about entering my car in the Speed Trials?

You'll also need a fireproof race suit, a helmet and gloves. These must be compliant with the rules. This is likely to be your greatest expense.

There are two types of entry to the Speed Trials, depending on your licence; National A and National B.

If you have never done any motorsport before, you can only do National B and enter your car in what is called 'The Handicap'. This is limited to 60 cars, and has a wildly varied entry. It is also over-subscribed every year so don't expect to leave this until a month beforehand (or even two...) and get in.

So if you've never taken part in anything like this before, or just drive a normal road car, you are National B, please see the beginners guide below.

As of 2016 Forward Head Restraints are required in all cars, apart from 'Road Going' and 'Period Defined Vehicles'. So people in normal road cars are unaffected.

Brighton Speed Trials Startline
AC Cobra at Brighton Speed Trials


Bike entries for the Speed Trials are taken by the Vintage Motorcycle Club. Please click here for details.

Brighton Speed Trials Aston Martin DB5
Brighton Speed Trials single seater race car
Brighton Speed Trials Caterhams
Brighton Speed Trials Datsun 240Z

Entering the Brighton Speed Trials – A Beginners Guide

So you have never done anything like this before, and you'd like to come and take part in the Brighton Speed Trials. How do you go about it?

It's simple really, but the first time I did it I had to ask lots of questions of people who did it already, and I was lucky enough to know several. But if you don't know anyone this guide is for you.

Simple Checklist

  1. Join the Brighton & Hove Motor Club
  2. Get a Speed National B Licence from the MSA
  3. Get the right clothing
  4. Get numbers and a timing strut for your car
  5. That's it!

So, let's get started:

1. Join the Brighton & Hove Motor Club

This is the easiest step! See our Membership page for joining information, it only costs £20 for a year.

2. Get a Speed National B Licence

The Speed Trials is a Sprint Event run under the rules of the MSA (Motor Sports Association). So you need a licence from them to take part.

Go to the MSA site at, and run through the online application for a Speed Non-Race National B.

I would advise doing it online as it will not let you continue if you haven't ticked everything you should. Back when I did it by post and forgot to tick one box, they sent the whole thing back! This added weeks to the process, so I'd recommend the online route.

Once done you wait a while (so don't leave it until the last minute) and then you get your Competition Licence, accompanied by the all-important Blue Book. More on this later.

3. Get the right clothing

You also need a few other things, items of specific clothing.

You'll need approved overalls (a 'race suit') and an approved crash helmet. You will also need approved gloves.

Do not assume that your crash helmet from your motorbike will be approved; most are not. The motorbike helmet I was using is no longer compliant, which means I needed to buy another helmet purely for car racing. I chose the cheapest I could find at the time, which was the open-face type 'V2 Tour'.

For the Race Suit and Gloves we've partnered with Demon Tweeks who will give 10% discount to anyone entering the Speed Trials. Ask for Craig Couzens, or his direct line is 01978 663029.

4. Get numbers and a timing strut for your car

Your car will need to pass scrutineering for it's class. If your car is road legal and is taxed and MOTed then you ought to have no problems with scrutineering. Bring your MOT, though its unlikely you'll be asked for it if your car is in good condition and obviously roadworthy.

Normally for road cars, the only modification necessary is the fitment of a timing strut to the front. It breaks the beam of light at the start and the end of the run. You can make this from just about anything.

Then you just need some numbers for the side of your car. You can get these from Demon Tweeks or elsewhere. Or you can make them on the day from electrical tape because you forgot them. I have nice magnetic white number boards which just stick to the side of the car; I stick the self-adhesive numbers on these. This saves getting sticky residue on the car doors.

5. That's it!

Well, almost. Next you just have to fill the forms in and apply. You'll be entering the Handicap class, with all sorts of other cars.

You'll get one practice run, and one timed run. You'll be finished before lunchtime which actually makes a nice day as you can spend the afternoon wandering around looking at all the nice machinery and watching them complete their runs.

Doing all of the above will not guarantee you a place at the Speed Trials. You might want to confirm you've got in before you buy all of the clothing…

Entering with a National A Licence

This is a much shorter section than the National B one because anyone with a National A License has sprinted or raced before. Like any Sprint or Race, you'll be in classes. You will be in smaller groups, against more serious machinery, but machinery that is closest to your own.

More importantly, you will get one more run; those in the handicap get one practice run and one timed run. Those in the classes get one practice and two timed runs. While the handicap is over before lunch, the classes run well into the afternoon; its a full day instead of a half day.

You'll still need to have the right clothing and to pass scrutineering, though its worth mentioning that Sprinting is a level below Racing so the rules are less strict. You'll still need a timing strut.

Check the Blue Book for more information, or feel free to ask.

Brighton Speed Trials Ford Cortina