Motorkhana is an easy to access form of motorsport catering to drivers young or old, whether beginners or veterans. Cars need only meet basic safety criteria to be eligible, including working seat belts and brakes, no leaking fluids, and generally mechanically sound. This may include road registered vehicles through to purpose-built motorkhana specials, though extensively modified or purpose-built vehicles do need to comply with some more extensive rules.
NAMSC's motorkhana events are typically held in the car park or on the skid pan at Hidden Valley. They comprise of courses laid out with witches hats, with start and finish gates. Drivers are given maps of each course and attempt to finish the course as quickly and efficiently as possible. Time penalties are incurred for knocking over witches hats and wrong directions. Generally courses take between 20 and 45 seconds to complete. All courses are designed to be completed using first gear, with more complex courses also using reverse gear.
Motorkhana events are not about high speed or big power,but rather focus on driving technique. For this reason they provide excellent driver training, whether for young drivers becoming familiar with their car and how it handles or experienced drivers looking to hone their skills. As these are relatively low speed events they are a perfect introduction to motorsport, reducing the risk of injury to the driver should something go wrong. It is also for this reason that a passenger is allowed in each vehicle (provided the passenger seat is equipped with a seat belt), so motorkhana can be better enjoyed with friends and family.
NAMSC runs a range of motorkhana events throughout each year:
Come & Try Day
At the start of each year, a Come & Try Day is held for first time entrants to have a go at motorkhana and for regular competitors to practice before the competition rounds commence. As no competition occurs, there is a greater opportunity for entrants to chat with each other and share tips and tricks and go for passenger rides, whether as a student or teacher or even just for fun.
NT Motorkhana Championship series
For around ten years, NAMSC has run a motorkhana point score series originally based at the Hughes Airfield and moving to Hidden Valley when the WWII landing strip was cut-off from public access. This series has grown in popularity, regularly attracting 25-30 entrants. First time entrants are always welcome, with discounted entry options available for those coming to try a NAMSC event for the first time who may not wish to compete, just to give motorkhana a go. For the serious competitors, there is a perpetual trophy awarded to the person with the highest points at the end of the year, as well as a range of other awards for regular competitors, and trophies for first, second and third at each round.
First held in 1955, the Rejex Rally continues today as a two day event held each Picnic Day long weekend. In 2015 it celebrated its 60th Anniversary with a record attendance of 77 competitors. The event generally travels from Darwin down the Stuart Highway, stopping at various locations for motorkhana courses - basically a big motorkhana event with some non-competition transit sections between courses. A diverse range of cars and drivers attend, including vehicles from the 1910's through to the latest models. The Rejex Rally is an iconic Territory event and continues to grow in popularity each year.
Introduced in 2014, the Megakhana is a two day event created as an alternative major motorkhana event to the Rejex Rally. Instead of travelling between locations, the Megakhana spends two days based at Hidden Valley Motor Sports Complex. The Megakhana event comprises three categories: Precision, Power, and Pace. Precision makes up around half the event, with a range of tight and technical motorkhana courses used to display driver ability. Power focuses on acceleration and braking tests that demonstrate vehicle capabilities. Pace comprises short sprint style courses which better balance driver and vehicle ability, as well as providing a taste of what entrants in NAMSC lapsprint events enjoy.
To enter NAMSC motorkhana events, a minimum CAMS Level 1 licence is required, with entrants wanting to be eligible for inclusion in competition results requiring a minimum CAMS Level 2 Non Speed licence and valid NAMSC membership.