Taking your Arks test at Bayford Meadows.
Step by step guide to taking the Arks test and getting out on the circuit at your first race meeting.
These notes will assist you in preparing for and taking your Arks test plus explain the administration task that you will face when entering your first owner driver race meeting.
Let’s start with the test. The Arks test is designed to make sure that a driver and their equipment is suitably prepared to take part safely in Motorsport UK permitted karting events.
Before taking the Arks test you need to buy the ‘Start Karting Pack’. Visit www.motorsportuk.org/shop to
purchase your pack (approx. £64 which includes the cost of your first licence). When the pack arrives watch the video on the USB stick to learn all the flags and procedures used at Motorsport UK events. Some of the procedures have changed since the video was produced with much of the race meeting administration now being completed online, hopefully these notes will assist you.
Also in the pack is the licence application form which needs to be filled in and a passport size photo of the driver attached. If the driver is under 18 a ‘Parent, Guardian Licence’ will also be required. This is also
covered in this form. The PG will also require a passport size photo. Please fill in the licence application
form before attending the Arks test day and remember to sign it.
Make sure that your Race equipment conforms with the safety standards detailed in the video.
Occasionally new drivers buy the wrong type of crash helmet. You can check that your helmet conforms by visiting page 184 of the Motorsport UK yearbook. https://www.motorsportuk.org/2023-yearbookpublished/. Make sure that your Kart is prepared for the driving part of the test with Black number plate backings on all four sides. (Race numbers are agreed with the club when you join). The kart should be fitted with the correct race tyres for the class. The combined weight of the kart and driver should be slightly greater than the class minimum. https://bmkr.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/Gold-Book-2023-web.pdf
There is a weighbridge at the circuit should you need to check your weight.
You will need to know all the flag signals used in karting and their meanings as you will be tested on the
flags during the test and you must score 100% to pass.
Before taking the Arks test it’s a good idea to get a few test days under your belt to get used to the circuit. Bayford Meadows is one of the most technical circuits in the country so practice is vital before undertaking the ARKS test. Please do not book the ARKS test until you can lap consistently at the dry lap times detailed below. On the day of the test in dry conditions you will be expected to lap within 10% of a midfield grid position. Therefore Junior/Senior Rotax powered karts should be regularly under 52 seconds, Inter Class drivers should be under 56 seconds and Cadets under 60 seconds.
Once you are ready to book your test go to the club website at www.bmkr.co.uk. From the front page click on the race entries/membership/Arks button and then create an Alpha log in. Then click ‘Enter Event’ which will take you to a list of Arks test dates and race meetings. Select the date you prefer/select your class/select a race number (if you don’t have a race number put a 1). You do not need to enter any details in the Chassis and Engine section. Next Submit entry and Checkout. If you have a prepaid ARKS voucher stop the procedure once you have clicked Submit entry and bring the payment voucher with you on the day.
On the day of your test report to the Briefing Centre at 9am with your race suit and helmet and the licence application form. You will be asked to sign on and your examiner will update you on the schedule for the day. The day will follow the format shown in the Arks video which will include a classroom period for the written part of the test and driving sessions for your driving to be observed by the examiner.
All being well you will have passed the test and can now start planning for your first race meeting.
Prior to your first meeting
Firstly you will need to send your licence application form into Motorsports House It normally takes up to 10 working days for your licence to be processed. (Licences are issued for the calendar year so each January you will need to renew your licence) Motorsport UK do offer faster turn around times but there is an additional fee for this service. Please make sure that you sign the back of your licence before attending your first meeting.
Before your first meeting please take time to read our sports ‘Race with Respect’ code which can be found here; https://www.motorsportuk.org/racewithrespect/
You will be a novice for your first 6 events and should display your race number on a black background, the Arks test day will count as your first signature event. The upgrade card will be issued with your new licence and should be presented to the clerk of the course at the start of the meeting. Once you have five signatures plus the Arks test day stamp you are no longer considered a novice and should use the number plate colours of your class. You will need to put a passport style photo on the upgrade card.
Take time to read the current championship and supplementary regulations which can be found on the
club website under the Regulations & Links heading. These regulations will give you a better understanding of how the race days and championships are run and covers such details as timings, race distances, championship points and awards.
Club race weekends take place on the weekend of the third Sunday of the month. The Saturday test day is optional but gives members the opportunity to test in their classes ahead of the race the following day.
For each race meeting you wish to race at, a race entry needs to be completed. To do this visit the club
website and click the blue Race Entries button. This will take you to the Alpha login. Login into the alpha
system or create a log in if this your first time. You will need to be a member of the club to race at the clubs events so click the ‘Buy Membership’ button. You will be asked which class you wish to race in and which race number you wish to use. If your chosen race number has already been allocated to somebody else in the class you will be ask to choose again. Race numbers 1-10 are reserved for drivers achieving top 10 finishes in the previous year’s British Championships for each class.
Now you are ready to enter a meeting. Go to the Alpha system in the normal way and click on ‘Enter
Events’ choose the date of the Club Practice and or Race day you wish to attend. Entries close at Noon on the Wednesday before each meeting or when the grid is full. So please book early to avoid
You will need to upload photos of the front and back of your Motorsport UK licence. If you do not
physically have the licence yet please upload a photo of the licence confirmation email from Motorsport
The system will ask you to confirm your class and ask if you have a transponder. The transponder is used for timing and scoring your results on race day. If you do not have a transponder the club have a small stock that can be hired at a cost of £15. If you wish to buy your own transponder contact Dartford
Karting/Kartstore who stock them.
Next you need to set up your Alpha virtual garage, which will contain all the serial numbers of your kart
and engines. This will be used when filling in your online scutineering declaration before the race meeting.
Ok, so now the pre-event paperwork is done. It sounds a lot more complicated than it is in practice and
once you have done it a few times it’s fairly straightforward.
Once the entries have closed the club will send all competitors the final instructions which will contain the timetable for the day and any special instructions.
At this time you should sign on and do your scutineering declaration for the test day and race meeting via your Alpha account. You will need to declare which chassis and engines you will be using and input the barcodes of the slick tyres you will be using. This can be done up to 8.30am on the morning of the race.
The club restrict the number of slick tyres that can be used in the championship, please check the
championship regulations for further details.
At your first meeting
Arriving in the paddock for your first meeting can seem quite daunting. Find yourself a parking spot and set yourself up. Make sure you have a copy of the final instructions on your phone or a printed copy so you know the timetable for the day.
If you have hired a transponder go to race control at around 8.30am to collect it. Maybe as it’s your first
meeting pop into the briefing centre to check with the secretary of the meeting that you have completed
all the online paperwork.
Traditionally all karts would be checked at scrutineering before each meeting, but Bayford Meadows is part of a Motorsport UK trial which requires only certain classes to be safety checked at each meeting.
The scrutineers are present throughout the race weekend and will visit you in the paddock if they wish to safety check your kart. If you have any questions the scrutineers can be found in the parc ferme area
where the karts leave the circuit after each driving session.
If you wish to check your kart weight before the meeting starts, the scales normally close at 8.45am.
It is important you attend the drivers briefing which takes place in parc ferme area at 8.45am on race day.
The Clerk of the Course will give drivers a reminder of the basic rules and regulations plus any special
issues of the day. Attendance at the drivers briefing is compulsory.
The day then follows the timetable shown in the final instructions, Please make sure you are on the
dummy grid at least 5 minutes before the start of your race or qualifying session.
At the end of each session the chequered flag is shown on the digi-board on the start/finish line. Please do one more lap of the circuit at a reduced pace without overtaking anybody and return to the paddock. Only Bambino class karts should come directly into the pits after the chequered flag.
Results and grids for each session are published online minutes after the end of the race at
https://results.alphatiming.co.uk/bmkr/ once any scrutineering checks or judicial matters have been dealt with.
A basic live stream is broadcast at each meeting which can be accessed from the club website or on ‘YouTube’. There is no commentary at present but the live picture feed and live timing keep viewers up to date with what’s happening at the circuit and is great for friends and relatives who cannot make it to the circuit.
Any incidents on the circuit during the meeting will be reviewed by the MSUK stewards and two club
stewards who are appointed for each meeting. The stewards’ panel will consider any reports, review the
circuit camera’s footage and interview those involved and issue a decision.
If you are asked to attend a hearing please go promptly to the Briefing Centre with your Motorsport UK
licence and your Parent/Guardian if under 18.
At the end of the day please do not forget to collect your upgrade card and return the transponder if you
Hopefully you will have found this guide useful. Some other venues and clubs may have slightly different procedures and regulations so always read their paperwork to familiarise yourself before entering their meetings.
I hope you enjoy our sport.