Image Alt

ARDS (Driver Training Courses)


Becoming a racing driver is easier than you think with Castle Combe Circuit and Motorsport UK.

Whether you’re a seasoned track day veteran, a former racing driver, or are starting out fresh, Castle Combe Circuit offers the full racing driver starter package in the form of Motorsport UK’s nationally-recognised ARDS Novice Driver Training Course.

To start things off, you’ll need to purchase the associated ARDS ‘Go Racing’ Starter Pack – available from Motorsport UK – which contains:

  • A Competition Licence application form
  • A booklet outlining the next steps towards your first Competition Licence
  • A Motorsport UK USB stick featuring the Motorsport UK Yearbook and an instructional film
  • A Motorsport UK keyring

For more information and to purchase your ARDS ‘Go Racing’ Starter Pack from Motorsport UK: Click Here

Once you have your Starter Pack, you will need to book and pass your ARDS Novice Driver Training Course at Castle Combe Circuit.

If you are under 60, you will no longer need a full medical, but must obtain a vision test from your optician.

It’s then a case of completing and returning your application form in order to obtain your licence! You will then be able to compete in eligible club-level or championship events.


ARDS stands for the Association of Racing Drivers Schools. It is a Motorsport UK recognised collection of race schools that train and test prospective competitors to ensure their suitability for holding a Motorsport UK competition licence. Castle Combe Circuit run the Novice Driver Training Course, often referred to as the ARDS course. We also offer training for those who have never been on track before. Please give us a call if you are interested in this offer.


The exact format of ARDS course can vary slightly from school to school, but a typical day involves several key stages:

1 – WELCOME BRIEFING The ARDS examiners will kick off by welcoming you and your fellow candidates to the school and briefing you on how the day will proceed. This will also include some guidance on what to expect at your first race meeting once you have completed the ARDS course.


2 – SAFETY There is a USB enclosed within your Go Racing Pack and you should endeavor to watch it before heading to Castle Combe Circuit to do your NDTC. However, safety is always the overriding consideration in motorsport, so expect a good deal of time to be spent covering this vital topic on the day, so that it is fresh in your mind before you go any further.
3 – WRITTEN TEST You will need to sit a 30-minutes written test in a classroom environment. This test will cover the relevant section of the Motorsport UK Yearbook: Section Q, Circuit Racing. It will also test your knowledge of the various flags used to communicate important safety information and instructions to competitors on track; these flags are detailed on the following pages and your knowledge of them will need to be 100 per cent accurate. (Please phone us to book written test).


4 – TRACK TEST Following the written test you will head out on track with an ARDS examiner in a road car. The examiner will evaluate your ability to lap the circuit in a safe and controlled manner, using the appropriate ‘racing line’. There will be other cars on the track a the same time, so you must also demonstrate your ability to circulate among ‘traffic’. Remember, this is not a test of your speed and skill; it is a test of your competency, so there is no need to try and show off!
5 – DEBRIEF The final step is to debrief with your ARDS examiner who, providing hat you complete the course successfully, will be able to stamp and sign your application form, which you can them complete and return to Motorsport UK to receive your first competition licence!


Wiltshire’s Castle Combe Circuit is the West Country’s home of motorsport and by far one of the most exciting race tracks in the UK. The venue has over 70 years’ experience in organising and hosting spectacular competitive events, with seasoned fully-qualified instructors meaning you’re in safe hands.

Dates & Costs

Dates: Mon 26th February 2024, Mon 4th March 2024, Fri 15th March 2024, Fri 26th April 2024, Fri 31st May 2024, Fri 7th June 2024, Fri 5th July 2024, Fri 23rd August 2024


NDTC/ARDS COURSE- £320 (includes Written Test)

WRITTEN ARDS – £50 (call us to book written ARDS test)



Drivers must hold a full driving licence. Arms and legs must be covered at all times (you do not need a full race suit or HANS device). Check out Merlin Motorsport for clothing, helmets and much more: 

Motorsport UK is the UK’s governing body for motorsport. For more information, head over to


Castle Combe Circuit Chippenham, Wiltshire SN14 7EY
+ (44) 01249 479438

Follow Us