Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Motorsport UK - Important Club Changes for 2020

Now that 2019 is on the finish straight you may be starting to plan your events for the 2020 season, so we need to advise you of a number of changes to event permits and competitor licences that will affect the organisation of competitive events next year.

Throughout 2019 we have been evaluating the best strategy for the future of motorsport in this country. The fact is that there are some real challenges ahead and we need to act now, or potentially see a further decline in both licence holders and events. Why should that be something to worry about? The issue is that across the sport we are beginning to see some events, clubs and championships reaching a tipping point where their viability is in doubt.

A large part of this is the lack of promotion and visibility for motorsport, especially at a grass roots level. The next generation are not seeing any form of our sport in their media consumption, and that means we are facing a challenge to bring new recruits into the clubs and events. We need to invest in tools to help clubs be better equipped for marketing and thus build new levels of membership. We need to look after our officials and volunteers with enhanced education and training, attracting new recruits and providing a clear pathway for progression. For those in the sport already we need to provide more reasons to stay; whether it be new innovations and formats, or reductions in bureaucracy and red tape.  And then there are larger threats on the horizon in the form of environmental issues and the changing role of the car in society, and these need to be proactively managed lest we become victim to others agendas.
Motorsport UK needs to be better equipped to meet these challenges, and to make the necessary investment in our future. The reality is that the current economic model for managing the sport is out of date. It has evolved over decades and has many inconsistencies within it and has developed into an often unfair system for many. We also believe that there are plenty of opportunities to broaden the revenues to fund the sport. Already we have created a comprehensive member benefits scheme, to get money off branded products and services. That takes the pressure off the cost of competing. We have already launched the fan focused Trackside member product, and we have other ambitious plans to create new membership tiers. Motorsport UK is generating important revenues from providing consultancy to other ASN’s and events, such as The Safari Rally in the WRC next year. And as we develop new UK properties we will seek to attract sponsorship to help us invest in the future of the sport.

One key improvement for clubs is a significantly increased public liability insurance – now providing up to £100million of cover; in addition to substantive improvements to our members’ personal accident insurance.

The permit and licence architecture is overly complicated and confusing, so we have pared it back to a simpler system, with new streamlined categories that match the new licence types. At a club level we need to make it easier for people to get into the sport, and at the real grass roots we need to make it easier for competitors to get engaged with Motorsport UK. From January it will be compulsory for all competitors in any Motorsport UK event to hold a Motorsport UK licence; thus replacing the Club Card only entry system. But the good news is that this entry level licence, to be called RS Clubman, will now be free.
We have simplified and re-aligned our licence and permits architecture and made it more inclusive of grassroots motorsports. For 2020 there will be four grades of organising permit:

  • Clubman – as before
  • Interclub – replaces National B
  • National  - replaces National A
  • International  - as before
Certificate of Exemption events will continue as before.

Interclub status is going to be the lowest grade for Race, Speed, Stage Rally, Rallycross, Drag Race and Kart Race.

  • Clubman
  • Interclub
  • National
  • International

In addition, the previously mentioned free of charge RS Clubman licence will now replace the Non-Race Clubman licence. This is intended both to introduce a fairer system and to encourage participation at grass roots level by removing a barrier to entry, and shifting the payment from the licence to the permits as we adjust the fees to place more emphasis on pay-as-you-play.

Competitors and passengers previously using their local club membership card alone will now need the new RS Clubman Licence along with their local club membership card. This only applies to Motorsport UK grass roots events run on a Clubman permit. The new free RS Clubman licence will include the improved insurance cover for 2020.

If you organise Clubman status Autotests, Trials, Road Rallies and Cross Country events it is essential that you advise your members of this change.  We have included an email template via the link below and we would be obliged if you could forward this to your members. 2020 licences will be available from 18th November and there will be a dedicated link from the Motorsport UK homepage for applicants.

If you are planning an event in January and/or if your members will be competing it would be beneficial if they could apply for their licences in good time, online, before an event to avoid hold ups at signing on. Competitors can also apply for this licence on the day by completing a hard copy form and attaching a photo. We would also suggest including information on your websites/ Facebook pages and highlighting the changes in event supplementary regulations. To assist you with informing your members about the new RS Clubman licence, please find a post for Facebook and social media in the link below to share with your members.

You may be aware that over the last 20 years or so Motorsport UK clubs have benefitted from a relatively stable insurance market and also any permit fee increases were set at the retail price index.  For 9 of these years between 2010 and 2018, the permit insurance per capita remained static.  Unfortunately the insurance market for motor sport insurance has now changed – globally there have been substantial claims, not just in the UK, which have resulted in the markets hardening, and we have had to renegotiate our cover and in turn this has resulted in increases to the permit fees. The 2020 Permit fees have been set at a flat £5 uplift versus 2019 across all events, we are however confident that the rates are competitive when compared to other countries motor sport governing bodies. 

Below is a link to the organising permit fees for 2020, these have been reviewed due to increased insurance costs and in line with our strategic review.

Motorsport UK is committed to investment in the future of motorsport in the United Kingdom.  From our strategic review we have identified four main areas that require investment, and these are:

  1. Member and club development
  2. Sport promotion
  3. Education and training
  4. Sport development and innovation
Please refer to the link below which explains Motorsport UK’s Investment Strategy and licence improvements for our competitors in 2020. In addition, the link also contains details to the 2020 Permit Prices, Competitors Minimum Acceptable Licences and example Email and Social Media Posts on the new RS Clubman licence for your use.

2020 Organising Permits are now available and the 2020 Yearbook will be available in the first week of December. 

Thank you for your on-going dedication and commitment to our sport.

Wishing you a safe, successful and enjoyable season ahead.

Kind Regards

Motorsport UK
Competitions & Clubs Team