Navigation Trials are as much a test of map reading and direction-finding skills as they are competition driving. Each competing car carries two people, consisting of a driver and a navigator. At the start of each event, competitors are given a list of grid references from which they must plot out the prescribed route on a map, which can be anything from 96 to 193 kilometers in length.
The crew must then travel the route adhering to a strict average speed limit of 48kph for the entire event. Along the route, there are manned time controls where you must check in. Penalties can be gained for various reasons. such as arriving early or late at the controls, or for approaching from or departing in the wrong direction. The purpose of the exercise is to complete the entire route, maintaining the average speed and picking up as few penalties as possible. Navigation Trials take place under cover of darkness.
TYPES OF VEHICLES
All standard road going saloons, sports cars, certain "jeep type" saloons that comply with the road traffic regulations are eligible subject to maximum engine capacity of 2000cc. 2 and 4-wheel drive cars are permitted. Cars may be modified slightly in accordance with Appendix 33 Article 23 of the current Motorsport Ireland Yearbook, but they must comply with The Road Traffic Act.
WHERE AND WHEN
Navigation Trials run between September and March in the border and Munster regions. All events must start no earlier than 9.01pm. View the Motorsport Ireland calendar of events for details on each event.
View Events Calendar
LICENCE REQUIREMENTS AND STARTING AGE
A Road “National B” is the minimum licence requirement to drive in a Navigation Trial. You must also hold a valid Road Traffic Act driving licence. Drivers must also hold IRDS insurance cover which can be applied for through Motorsport Ireland. The minimum age for navigators is 16 and a navigator can compete on a Rally “Navigator” or higher-grade licence. Competitors under 18 years of age require written permission from parents or guardians. A first-time licence costs as little as €50 if you are a member of a Motorsport Ireland affiliated Motor Club.
Apply for a Competition Licence
HOW TO GET STARTED
If you are interested in getting started in Navigation Trials, the first step is to contact Motorsport Ireland by phone on (+353) 0 1 677 5628 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Motorsport Ireland annually publishes a Yearbook containing all the rules and regulations for Irish Motorsport with Appendices 33-34 catering for Endurance Trials. Many clubs that run Navigational Trials also run navigation classes. These are highly recommended for newcomers to the sport as they provide invaluable assistance with pre-event and car preparation.
SPECIAL EQUIPMENT REQUIRED
To aid you on a Navigation Trial, your car should be equipped with the following; Precision tripmeter, maps, romer, map enlarger/magnifying device (“potti lamp”), digital clocks, red warning triangle, fire extinguisher, tow rope, quick operating jack, extra and bright reverse light integrated with reverse gear selection only.
You do not require any safety gear, such as helmets or overalls. However, you should bring the following on an event in case of getting lost or breaking down: Bright coloured warm jacket, small food pack, umbrella, torch, and waterproof boots.