BUGATTI OWNERS CLUB
The Bugatti Owners’ Club has prepared these notes in order to answer queries which are received from
time to time from those contemplating a first time entry into the sport of Speed Hillclimbing. These notes
are intended as a guide only and the Club cannot accept responsibility for any particular interpretation
which individuals may place upon them. It should be understood that the regulations issued by the MSA
can be varied from year to year so any reference made to such regulations in these notes are subject to
variation without notice being given by the Bugatti Owners’ Club.
NOTES FOR NOVICE HILLCLIMB COMPETITORS
HILLCLIMBS IN GENERAL
There are many hillclimb venues throughout the country and a list of these is included on the MSA
website, please visit www.msauk.org It is suggested that, as a first step, you should select an event and go
along as a spectator to see what happens. Next you should determine which of the MSA recognised Clubs
is likely to suit you best. Most of these Clubs run a Competitions Section and the Competitions Secretary
of the Club which you choose is the person best able to help you with any queries which you may have.
You may also decide to attend one of the Hillclimb Schools operating under the supervision of AHASS, the
Association of Hillclimb and Sprint Schools. Details of these can be obtained by telephone to the Drivers
School Secretary on 01242 679796 or by fax to 01242 677001. These Schools are open to all, no special
qualification is needed, the only stipulation being that the car which you enter must comply with current
MOT regulations and that you hold a valid Drivers Licence. This forms an excellent and practical way of
taking the first step into the sport and is highly recommended. Attendance at a School will enable you to
find out about all the many aspects of hillclimbing. At this stage there is no need for you to apply for a
competition licence but this will become necessary if you subsequently decide to take part in any
competitive event. The procedure for this is given in the paragraph “Entry Procedures” below.
ELIGIBILITY OF CARS
In broad terms any car licensed for use on the public highway can be entered for a competitive hillclimb
event, although certain restrictions will apply in respect of cars covered by the MSA definitions of Sports
Libre and Racing Cars. Reference is made below to the Competitors Yearbook, which is issued, with all
Competition Licences and this publication will give full details of eligibility for all the several classes into
which cars are divided. As a guide the Bugatti Owners’ Club publishes a representative list of classes for
Prescott Hillclimb events is attached to these notes.
Before seeking an entry in Speed Hillclimb Competitive Event it is necessary for the Driver to be a
member of an MSA recognised Motor Club. If not already a member of such a Club, it is helpful to select
one that promotes its own Hillclimb or Sprint events as not all of the smaller clubs receive invitations to
these events. An MSA Competition Licence is also necessary. This is obtained by application to MSA
Ltd, Competition Licence Department, Motor Sports House, Riverside Park, Colnbrook, Slough, SL3 0HG.
You should apply for a Non-race National Grade ‘B’ licence which entitles you to enter an eligible vehicle
in Clubmans or National ‘B’ events. With your licence you will receive a copy of the annually published
MSA Competitors Year Book (the ‘Blue Book’) which gives full details of all regulations. It is suggested
that particular attention be paid to car eligibility rules relating to the Grade ‘B’ licence holders.
Entry Forms and Supplementary Regulations relating to particular events are obtained by applying to the
If your entry is accepted you will receive an acknowledgement from the Club together with Final
Instructions, entrance tickets and any other relevant paperwork. Please be aware that most events are a one
day event. However, Prescott and other National events are also held over two days, practice one day and
competition runs the next day. You need to be present on both days.
GRADING OF LICENCES
A Non-race National ‘B’ licence can be upgraded to Speed National ‘A’ after the licensee has obtained the
signature of the Clerk of the Course at four Clubmans or National ‘B’ events, during a period of two years.
These signatures acknowledge that a level of ability, satisfactory for experienced drivers, has been shown.
One attendance at a School approved by AHASS will count as one signature subject to the applicant
passing a brief examination and being satisfactorily assessed by a Registered Instructor at the School.
PREPARATION OF THE CAR
It is your responsibility to ensure that your vehicle is in fully serviceable condition. It is equally your
responsibility to ensure that it complies in every respect with the MSA Regulations applicable to the Class,
which you intend to enter. An MSA Scrutineer will inspect your car on the day of practice before the event
and will only be allowed to run if it complies with the regulations. There may also be a separate test for
noise. Road cars with normal exhaust systems are unlikely to fail this test but if your car is fitted with a
non standard system this should be checked. The onus is upon you to comply with the noise regulations.
As a general guide the maximum permitted noise levels at Hillclimb venues, measured at 0.5m and at a 45
degrees from, the exhaust outlet, at an engine speed of 2/3rds of maximum revs, is 110 dB(A). Make sure
the car is clean, that tyres are in a satisfactory condition, only those tyres included in list 1A of MSA GR R
3.1.1. are permitted in the road going classes. Racing tyres must be in a condition considered safe by the
You will need a timing strut fitted to the front of the car. This must be of solid material, matt black finish,
254mm high x 51mm wide, mounted clear of any sideways obstruction and positioned so that the bottom is
not more than 200mm from the ground and the top not less than 454mm from the ground. You are advised
to obtain suitable competition numbers before the event, as these are not always available on the day.
Advertising is permitted on the car provided that it does not interfere with the identification of the
competition number, is not offensive and if it is on transparent material the depth of the display must not be
more than 50cm. There are various aspects of Regulations applicable to different classes, too numerous to
mention here, so reference to the ‘Blue Book’ is advised, also fellow competitors are usually willing to
help with advice.
An MSA Log book is required if you are competing in a car other than one registered for the road and
competing in the event in road legal condition. A Log Book will be needed if the car has an engine of
greater capacity than that with which it was originally constructed or if the engine has been since equipped
with forced induction.
ARRIVAL AT THE EVENT, SIGNING ON AND PREPARING FOR PRACTICE
Try to arrive early enough to enable you to have adequate time to walk the course. First locate the space in
the paddock which has been allotted your number. Park your car there and before unloading, report to the
paddock office, taking with you your Competition Licence and Club Membership Card.
You will be asked to ‘sign on’ and you will be given a programme and a card for initialling by the
Scrutineer after he has inspected your car.
Find out if there is there is enough time for you to walk the course, and if so, do so at once. (The alternative
to this is to arrive well before the paddock office opens, this will give you ample time to walk the course at
your leisure). Return to you car and remove everything which is not required while competing. Make sure
there are no loose items in the cabin/cockpit area, that the timing strut is correctly fitted, tyre pressures
checked, fuel, oil and water levels correct, spare wheel removed, and competition numbers in place on the
sides of the car. At some events extra numbers on the front of the car may also be needed. Depending on
the venue you may find that the Scrutineer comes to you or it may be necessary for you to locate a member
of his team. In any case your neighbouring competitors can often tell you what the situation is. When the
Scrutineer comes to your car open any covers to engine and other compartments and be helpful with any
information you may be asked to give. It is not necessary to have the car raised on jacks unless specifically
requested by the Scrutineer. As well as the car and its equipment, he will inspect your overalls, helmet and
seat belts, all of which must comply with current MSA Regulations. With everything passed he will initial
the card which you were given when ‘signing on’ and give you an official sticker for you to place in a
visible position in the car.
You should then return to the Paddock Office, show the initialled Scrutineer Card and ask for an allocation
of Practice times. This may be done verbally or by means of a ticket. (This is the Prescott procedure but at
other venues there may be some alteration, so ask when you sign on). Return to your car and make a
further check that all is ready to go. Stay with, or near, your car and await instructions which will be given
either over the public address system or by a paddock marshal indicating that you should be ready to be
called forward to the start. When you are in the queue waiting to move up to the startline, put on your
helmet and fasten your seat belt. If you are in a closed car, close the windows but do not lock the doors.
Do not attempt to warm up tyres by spinning the wheels anywhere except in the designated area
immediately before the start line, usually immediately after a yellow line across the track. When you arrive
at the line, position the car as instructed by the startline Marshal, check that you are in the correct gear and
wait for the green light to show.
You do not have to start immediately the light shows, so pause while you get the engine speed correct.
Then Start. Use your first run to assess approach speeds, gear change points, braking points, cornering
speeds and as soon as the run has finished and you are back in the paddock sit in the car with a plan of the
course in front of you and, while the memory of your first run is fresh in your mind, analyse your
performance. Mark the plan where you consider you went wrong.
Times will be shown on a time board, which is normally located in the paddock.
You will have at least one more practice run and then two competitive runs in the event, so continue to
analyse all these carefully and aim to achieve a progressive improvement.
If you make a false start, provided that the rear wheels have not crossed the start line a re-start is permitted.
For your second practice run and the runs in the event the procedure is just the same as before except that
for practice you may have been called forward in practice time order whereas for the competitive runs this
will be strictly in programme order. You will be expected to be ready just as soon as you are called, if not
you could have to forego your run.
Some Clubs will have printed results ready very soon after the end of the meeting. If you have time, it is
helpful to wait for these, as they will give you the chance to compare your performance with the rest of
your class. Results are normally available on the promoting clubs website within a day or two. At some
venues there is a prize giving ceremony at the end of the day and drivers always appreciate a good
attendance by their fellow competitors on these occasions.
NB. Remember that if you are driving home in the car you have competed in it is important to remove
competition number before you leave.
Your entry fee provides cover for you against third party legal liability while competing and limited
personal accident insurance as detailed in Appendix W 2.2 of the MSA Year Book.
Throughout an event or an attendance at a School you will be expected to take all reasonable precautions to
ensure the safety of yourself and all others concerned. Re-fuelling should be done with care. If a fuel leak
should become apparent this must be attended to effectively before running your engine. Smoking in the
paddock can be a danger to all. Do not attempt to work under your car without proper support for the car,
the ground can sometimes be soft and uneven.
Paddocks are often congested places and manoeuvring cars can be difficult. You will not be popular with
your fellow competitors if you behave carelessly.
In the unlikely event of your car catching fire while on the track, stop and get out immediately.
We hope that these notes will have helped to give you some understanding of what is involved in the
sport of Hillclimbing. We shall be happy to have the opportunity of welcoming you in due course
either to the Prescott Hillclimb Drivers School or as an entrant to a Prescott Competitive Event.
If you still have unanswered queries please do not hesitate to ring the number below:
The Bugatti Owners’ Club Ltd., Prescott Hill, Gotherington,
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL52 9RD.
Telephone 01242 673136/679796.
Fax 01242 677001.
A Modified Production Cars up to 1400cc
B(i) Modified Production Sports Cars over 1400cc up to 2000cc -Roadgoing (see note 1)
B(ii) Modified Production Saloon Cars over 1400cc up to 2000cc
B(iii) Modified Production Sports Cars over 1400cc up to 2000cc (Racing)
C(i) Modified Production Saloon Cars over 2000cc
C(ii) Modified Production Sports Cars over 2000cc
D Hill Climb Super Sports Cars
F Sports Libre Cars up to 2000cc
G Sports Libre Cars over 2000cc
H Racing Cars up to 600cc
I Racing Cars over 600cc up to 1100cc
J Racing Cars over 1100cc up to 1600cc
K Racing Cars over 1600cc up to 2000cc
L Racing Cars over 2000cc
M Racing Cars manufactured between 1972 and 1985 inclusive
N(i) Classic Saloon Cars built up to and including 1971
N(ii) Classic Sports Cars built up to and including 1971
N(iii) Classic Racing and Sports Racing Cars built up to and including 1971
O Bugatti Handicap