I was lucky enough this year to be able to race in the Radical SR1 cup. This was my first foray into motorsport and because of this I had to start by doing my ARDS test.
The ARDS (Association of Racing Drivers Schools) National B - Comprises of three parts
This was fairly straight forward (apart from being asked to summon up a urine sample out of thin air). My eyesight was checked along with a few basic things like blood pressure. Tick..Pass
- Written Test
I didn't really think about this much until the night before when I had a quick look around online to see what people thought of it. One review I found suggested studying for a few weeks...shit. I approached my last minute cramming with the view that whilst there is a lot of stuff in the book, I had been told; "Everything is on the instructional DVD" (Amusingly this caused it's own problem as neither of my computers have dvd drives any more..) So I sat down to watch the 30 minute video with pen and paper trying to figure out what constituted a worthwhile fact. If you have ever had a look at the section of the "Blue Book" which is required reading there is a tonne of information about regulations such as fire extinguisher placement etc..None of this came up on my test. It was very basic practical questions such as what does this flag mean and if your car sets on fire do you A) Get out of your car in the middle of the track and call your mum or B) Pull up as close as possible to a marshall's point safely out of the way..Not rocket science really and yes the test did mention calling your mum.
- Practical Test
I took my test at Brands Hatch driving the Indy circuit. The practical part involved a few laps with an instructor driving showing me what good clean laps looked like. After swapping seats he then gave me some instruction and pointers for a few laps before ceasing all help and requiring me to drive 4 laps or so completely unaided (we still had a good chat about this and that). I had no problems or moments whatsoever but if you have not done much track driving at all I would recommend getting out on track before your test with an instructor some other time to get used to driving on a racing line and good braking/accelerating techniques. I distinctly remember thinking I was using all the track once only to have it pointed out you could fit a mid sized family sedan between me and the kerb. Anyway, once the practical test was out of the way that was it... license stamped and onto racing!