Frequent Questions


Handicap racing in large grids is especially challenging. New drivers should have competed in Classic Trial, have recorded a Pukekohe or Hampton Downs lap time better than 1:35 or proved their competence in some other way, before acceptance into the Series. Drivers who cannot consistently make those times may have their registration cancelled or be adversely handicapped.

A COD is not required for this series (but they are encouraged).

If you are new to the series, you must supply recent photographs of the car, both inside and out, to allow the car's acceptability to be assessed.

All new drivers must have an approved ‘permanent’ race number as the Series handicap system relies on unique car/driver combination numbers. With around 100 members each season and some regulars taking a break, there are usually only a few 1 or 2 digit numbers available so inquiry is essential before numbering the car.

All Series cars must be fitted with a driver’s harness seat belt and safety cages are generally required for acceptance.

Acceptance is at the Convenor's discretion. Preference will be given to rare or unusual cars as we like variety. This is an invitation race series - if your driving is less than gentlemanly or your car not up to scratch,  your invitation may be withdrawn.

If you have just joined – or are about to, please read the following ‘Frequently Asked Questions.  In fact, even if you have been around for a while, you may care to read it!

Car & Safety

  • Do I need roll over protection?

    The car must comply with the requirements of MSNZ Schedule A (or AA) as applicable. Safety cages are strongly recommended for all competitors and all currently competing Series vehicles are fitted with them. A car is most unlikely to be accepted, especially in the Arrow Wheels class, without one.

  • What if the car is modified?

    The Series has a strong preference for cars with safety cages. The more a car is modified (or the greater its performance), the less likely it will be regarded as acceptable without a safety cage.

  • What are the rules regarding cage or roll over protection?

    Far too complex to go into here . Read MSNZ Schedule A and consult a scrutineer. Cages must be certified and conform to the submitted drawings. Any deviations from approval documentation could mean rejection by a scrutineer.

  • Is there any limit on modifications?

    There are no strict limits but modification beyond what is allowed by Schedule T&C and use of non-period modifications will reduce a car's likely acceptability to the Series. Cars which perform outside the current Series lap time range are unlikely to be accepted. Engine transplants may be acceptable (within limits). Many drivers like to fiddle with their cars to improve them. Policing modifications in a large group of varied cars is beyond the resources of the Series. Handicapping is relied upon to keep things fair.

  • My Targa car is road registered and is a classic car with a classic engine, though not original, can I run?

    Generally speaking, yes, but subject to the Series discretion. Cars accepted by the ERC Series may not be accepted to run in other classes within the race programme.

  • What about replacement fibreglass panels?

    They are generally OK, subject to acceptable appearance.

  • Do I need a Certificate of Description, as some organisers demand it?

    The Series encourages drivers to get a CoD but they are not compulsory. A car with a COD is almost guaranteed to be accepted but the Series partly exists to give cars without a COD somewhere to race. Cars with a COD may be able to run in other classes at the same meeting. Running the Series as handicap competition reduces the incentive to modify cars which could hold a COD beyond COD standard.

  • What are your rules regarding tyres?

    The Series does not allow slicks. All cars are required to run Road tyres or Treaded tyres as defined by Schedule A. Some tyres with minimal tread coverage may meet the Road tyre standard. See the VIRM issued by NZTA.

  • What tyres do you recommend?

    The Series does not make recommendations. Contact a tyre dealer! As races are run, wet or dry, acceptable wet weather performance from the tyres should be a consideration when buying.

  • Do I need bumpers on the car?

    No – as long as there are no dangerous protrusions. Car must still look tidy. Fibreglass bumpers are OK too. Many cars ran in period without bumpers and with some cars, exterior trim is now too valuable to risk damaging on the race track.

  • What about interior trim?

    Fitting a safety cage or safety rollbar can interfere with retention of all interior trim, but retention of the interior trim is generally desirable. Totally stripped out cars may not be accepted. At a minimum, cars must retain the dashboard, have 2 front seats and covered interior panels. Rear seats may be removed if the cars has a safety cage. Headlining and carpets may be removed. The interior must look tidy.

  • What about carpets?

    Carpets may be removed.

  • Seat belts?

    Essential. Schedule A must be complied with and a car is unlikely to be accepted in the Series without at least four point harness for the driver. Note that full harness is not normally allowed on road registered cars without a MSNZ authority card. Beware of the expiry dates on full harness belts.

  • What about race overalls, helmets, gloves, balaclava and boots?

    Schedule A applies. All Series events are National Race meetings so protective clothing to Standards A or B will be required. Helmets must conform to Schedule A and special standards apply if worn with a forward head restraint (see below).

  • What is the story regarding neck and head restraints?

    Forward head restraints will be compulsory under Schedule A from 1 October 2020, unless the car is an exempt Schedule K vehicle and they are compulsory presently at Hampton Downs. They are strongly recommended but please ensure that you comply with all the associated requirements of Schedule A.

Race Entries

  • How do I get race regulations and entry forms?

    The race organisers of our meetings use Others will generally use an alternative online entry system, such as the MSNZ or Auckland Car Club systems. You must first register yourself and your car(s) and confirm that all personal and car details are up to date before processing each race entry. Make sure there are no spelling mistakes - what you put into the website is what will appear in the programme. Note also that, annually, you will need to update the entry website with your race licence expiry date. If you fail to this, it can cause delays at documentation.

  • What if I am not sure if my car is going to be ready in time?

    Enter as early as you can! Most organisers will charge a late entry fee but will refund if you pull out early enough (read the supplementary regulations!). Early entry with withdrawal if necessary is strongly preferred by the Series and race organisers. Lack of sufficiently early entries can result in cancellation of the meeting.

  • As a registered series entrant, is my entry to a race guaranteed?

    NO!!!! There is a maximum grid size at all circuits (Pukekohe is 34 cars, 40 if all marshal points are manned, Hampton Downs 46 cars) and as soon as a grid is full, the entry list will be closed. Subsequent entries will be put into other races or placed on a reserve list. At popular meetings, the ERC grid has been full and cars placed on a reserve list.

  • Will series entrants of long standing or regular competitors be given any priority if the list is full?

    Entirely up to race organisers, but late entries will definitely not be given any priority at all. If organisers contact us at the closing date and the list is full, we may well advise on who should be on the reserve list. Priority for entry will be given to those who enter regularly. Those who race just once or twice a year may have to move aside for those who support the series.


  • How many races will I get at a race meeting?

    That will vary according to the programme. The ERC Series has qualifying, a non-points scratch race and 2 handicap races (for points). If your car qualifies for other classes, you may be able to enter those races as well. The Series works with the organisers to schedule races to minimise common cross-entry clashes.

  • I notice that there are three races on the programme. Which count for points?

    Racing starts with a non-points scratch race. This gives you the opportunity to settle down and adjust your car under normal racing conditions. Your practice times determine your starting position in that race. Fastest at the front, slowest at the back. For the other 2 races, see below.

  • What is the format for series points races?

    At each meeting, just two races will count for points. Both are handicap races which means that the slowest cars are flagged off first, and the fastest are flagged off last.

  • Who calculates the handicaps?

    The convenor or the designated assistant on the day.

  • How do handicaps run?

    In the pit lane, or dummy grid, you will be told your ROW or group number. (Ask the grid marshal which cars are on the row in front.) Sometimes a group is more than 1 row so be aware when that happens as you must leave with the whole group. At the end of the warm up lap, you will line up immediately behind the car in front. (Bumper to bumper at most tracks, but the rules at Taupo can be different.) The starter will dispatch each row with a gap of no less than five seconds between them. As soon as the car in front has gone, move up as the flags drop until it is your turn. (Taupo sometimes imposes different rules). Watch the starter and when the flag drops, off you go. But make sure you bring the car to a complete stop - moving as the flag drops will result in a time penalty. Leaving early or late will also incur a time penalty.

  • There are cars behind me as well as in front, so how will the race pan out?

    Keep an eye on your mirrors as, during the race, drivers will be catching you as you are catching those in front. Needless to say, as the race progresses, it gets more and more hectic and, by the last lap, there will be people trying to get past you as you are trying to overtake those in front! Do not try to block those behind you and make sure that if you move off line, that it is clear to do so, as the potential for an accident is always there. If you finish in the middle of the pack, then you will have had a good race – and that is all that matters. If you really want to win at all costs, this is NOT the series for you…

Points Scoring & Awards

  • What is the points scoring system?

    Scratch race(s) – no points. First handicap – 60 points for 1st place, 59 for 2nd and so on. Second handicap race, 100 points for 1st, 98 for second and so on.

  • Do I still get points for pulling out early?

    Yes! As long as you got through scrutineering, you get points. If you start the race but pull out part way through, you still get points relating to your finishing position. If you don’t even start the race, for whatever reason, you get the same points as the last placed points scorer, less 5 points.

  • I gather that not all points count?

    The scores from the best five meetings count, so your lowest scores will be dropped if you do more than 5 meetings. Most drivers who compete at all meetings will end up with an award at the end of the season.

  • What is the story on the final round?

    The last Auckland race meeting of the season is double points. The Series now has a later Taupo round but that is scored as a normal round. Double points gives those who missed out earlier in the season or who attended all previous rounds but may have had a poor showing, an opportunity to be in contention. The penultimate round may have a specially adjusted handicap to try to even out the points, making the final round the decider.

  • What are the awards?

    Although this is a fun series, there are quite a few trophies. The Series does not publish the points during the season so drivers arrive at the awards dinner not knowing what they have won! In addition to the overall series awards, there are also several country and marque awards. The top Series award goes to the driver who, in the convenor’s opinion, displays a great sporting attitude on and off the track and has supported the series regularly. No driver gets more than one trophy…

  • I believe my 1970 Japanese built car is areal classic. Can I run in your series?

    Most unlikely to be accepted as there is now a series for Japanese Classics.

  • But, I note that you do have Datsun Zs running?

    Correct. These were allowed in years ago, before the Japanese Classics Series started and we are not going to throw out those who have supported us. The 240Z is a true GT car in the European tradition.

  • I don’t like the driving standards in our own series and like your philosophy, so can I join?

    Always a tricky one. Our philosophy has been successful and seems to attract the right sort of people. The easiest way to gain acceptance is to run a car that reflects the Series preferences. Driving standards are more important to the Series than mechanical purity (so driving an acceptable car unacceptably will result in the invitation being withdrawn and exclusion).

  • But I see a Datsun Z, a Chev Corvette, a Holden Torana, an older Mustang and a later model BMW. Why can they run?

    It would be easy just to say that we have always made exceptions! The Datsun 240Z was accepted BEFORE there was a series for Japanese Classics. The Chev Corvette is an exception based on the driver’s historical support of our philosophy and a better fit with our open sports cars than closed Muscle Cars, though this may change; a Holden Torana in immaculate road going trim may not be a comfortable fit with V8 Muscle cars.

  • But you also have newer Alfa Romeos?

    The Series has always has a close relationship with the Alfa Series and regarded Alfas as thoroughbred cars. Originally, accepting newer Alfas in the Series allowed two drivers to share a car at a meeting. Subsequently, the Series has allowed newer European cars to compete.

If there are other queries, please get in touch, but it is important that you seek the answers on the website first.

Updated: August 2019