MSA - Motor Sports Association
The Motor Sports Association (MSA) is the official governing body of motor sport in the United Kingdom. As a governing body for motor sports, the MSA is largely responsible for the governing and administering competitions of major motor sport disciplines organised in the UK. The MSA is recognized by the Fédeération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA), the world governing body of motor sports and an international association representing the interests of motoring organisations and motor car users around the world. The MSA is based in Colbrook, Berkshire, and is led by Prince Michael of Kent, who currently serves as the association's president.
Prior to the early 1970s, motor sport in the UK was organised by clubs affiliated with the Royal Automobile Clubs (RAC) and its predecessor the Autombile Club of Great Britain & Ireland. These organisations represented the interests of motorists as well as organised motor sport events to ensure safe competitions with a common set of rules. Rules were agreed upon by participating clubs and competitors, while competitions were overseen by the RAC's Competitions Committee.
In 1975, the Competitions Committee was replaced by the RAC Motor Sports Council. The Council acts as a Sporting Commission and is governed by FIA statutes. It is responsible for the governance of motor sports in the UK, improving safety of the sport, regulating motor sport through the enforcement of FIA regulations, and establishing National Rules of Competition. It is also responsible for dispute resolution and judicial matters related to motor sports, as well as developing the sport and individual disciplines.
The RAC Motor Sports Association was formed in 1979 to oversee motor sports in the UK. The MSA includes more than 700 recognised motor clubs across the United Kingdom. The MSA works with clubs to ensure consistency, fairness and safety in various motor sport disciplines. These clubs represent over 200,000 members in the UK. The association and clubs are organised around 13 Regional Associations.
In addition to acting as a governing body for motor sports in the UK, the MSA represents international and national issues that relate to the governance of motor sports. The MSA is involved in FIA Specialist Commissions and is represented on the FIA World Council at the international level. The FIA is the world's motor sport governing body. It makes and enforces rules and regulations related to automobile competitions through the International Sporting Code. It also organises the FIA World Championships, including Formula 1 and FIA world Rally Championship events. Through its international activities with the FIA, the MSA influences motor sport governance and represents the interests of the UK. It also helps shape the direction of motor sports internationally.
Role and Responsibilities
The MSA governs and administers motor sport races and competitions in the UK. They are also responsible for setting technical and sporting rules of motor sport disciplines. Rules are outlined in General Regulations, which guide the conduct of motor sports and national competitions in the UK. The General Regulations are established and amended by the Motor Sports Council. The MSA describes the Motor Sports Councils as a 'parliament' for motor sports, while the association itself is the 'civil service' for the sport.
Officially known as the Royal Automobile Club Motor Sports Association Limited, the association administers various aspects of competitive motor sports in the UK. Among its duties, the MSA oversees the licensing of competitors, volunteers and officials at thousands of annual events held across the UK. Major competitions include the British Grand Prix and the British Rally Championship. The MSA estimates that it administers 34,000 licence holders, 10,000 volunteers and officials, and 5,000 events each year.
Disciplines governed by the MSA include car racing, karting, rallying, cross country, rallycross, autocross, autotests, hill climbs and sprints, drag racing, and trials. The MSA does not oversee some motor sport disciplines in the UK. These disciplines include motorcycle and side-car races and competitions, which are governed by the Auto-Cycle Union (ACU). The ASU is the governing body for motorcycle sport in Great Britain, while Northern Ireland is covered by the Motor Cycle Union of Ireland. The MSA is also not responsible for competitions featuring banger, hot rod and autograss racing.
The MSA is headquartered at Motor Sports House, Riverside Park, Colnbrook, SL3 0HG. To contact the association, call +44 (0)1753 765000. Additional contact information is available online, including email addresses for queries related to competitions, club administration and development, safety and other technical issues. For more information about the MSA, visit www.msauk.org.