Autotests are one of the most basic, simple and cheapest forms of motorsport even the great Colin McRae cut his teeth at autotests, his first ever competitive event was in a little red mini and he even won the 1984 West of Scotland autotest championship so proof if any were needed that this is the place to start!!
Border Ecosse has run autotests for many years at various venues around the borders in closed public car parks, old airfields like at Charterhall and grass fields thanks to generous farmers, even the Sunday market car park at Kelso race course has been used as a venue.
A simple course is made from various cones and a drawing of each route is given to each competitor at the start, you then walk the course to learn the route and maybe watch a few cars on the ‘test’ before having a go yourself. Normally you will get two runs on each ‘test’ and your best time from the two goes forward to create a total at the end of the day. 5 second penalties are added to the time for hitting any cone on the route or failing to stop astride of the finish line. The person with the lowest time wins.
Once joined to our club a days autotesting costs only £10 a very small price to pay for a good days fun. Even rally and autocross drivers in the club regularly compete finding the competition at times very close so if you’re a junior, lady, gentleman, mum, dad, granny or grandpa there is a place and a competitor for you at any of our events.
Stuart Bruce a club member in the late 90’s won the Scottish Autotest Championship in an old Subaru pick up proving that the best machinery or budget is not vital at this discipline however that’s not to say it is not a discipline that some take very seriously and give us all something to aspire too!!
2009-2010 has seen a good upturn in autotesting in our club with a number of events held in a car park at Newtown St Boswells and events planned for Charterhall as well. We have a good number of juniors who compete from the age of 14 with the aid of a parent or adult in the passenger seat it is a great way to learn car control and discipline in a car from a young age.