What is a Motorkhana?

Motorkhanas are motor sport events designed to test the acceleration, braking and handling of cars and the skill and judgment of drivers. Most importantly, motorkhanas provide fun and enjoyment whilst practising and learning car control. Oversteer and understeer will be found in abundance, but at safe speeds under controlled conditions. The word Motorkhana seems unique to Australia and New Zealand, but similar events are known as Autotest in the U.K., Autocross or Solo in the U.S., and may be known as Autokhana or Gymkhana elsewhere.

A day’s event consists of a number of tests, generally selected from pre-determined layouts. The surface may be sealed (bitumen), or unsealed (grass or dirt). Cars compete one at a time, always starting and finishing in designated “garages”.  Markers are witches hats or stakes with coloured flags atop, and time penalties are incurred if the markers are hit, or if an incorrect method is used.

Six to twelve tests make up the day’s competition, with winners being those drivers with the lowest total times, including any penalties. Different sizes and types of cars are separated into classes, meaning that more than one driver can take home a trophy.  At many events, special awards may be offered to encourage novice, junior or female drivers.

How do I get involved?

The best way is to join a Car Club. For all events, you will need a Motorsport Australia Speed Licence, available through clubs. Then it is just a matter of finding out what events are on, either through your club or our Calendar. 

Contact the organisers to find out how to enter, which can be done on the day at the event for most Club events.

Do I need a specially prepared car?

Both everyday road cars and purpose-built “Specials” can be used in motorkhanas. At most events, classes cater for varying types and sizes of vehicles. Cars must comply with basic safety requirements, but no special equipment is required. Obviously, steering, tyres and braking must be in safe condition, and the vehicle should be reliable. Tyres are about the only part of the vehicle likely to suffer any wear, and some competitors use a spare set of wheels and tyres for competition, especially on a bitumen surface.

How much does it cost?

Membership of a Motorsport Australia affiliated car club costs between $30.00 and $100.00 per year, and the minimum Motorsport Australia Level 2 Speed Licence costs $130.00 for the same period. Junior licenses of the same level are only $35. Motorsport Australia and most clubs have reduced rates for junior members under 18 years.

Entry fees per event range from about $30.00 for club-level events up to about $100.00 for the Australian Motorkhana Championship which is contested over one weekend each year.

Where are events held and when?

Motorkhanas are held wherever suitable vacant land can be found. Most club events are held on grass or dirt surfaces, typically sports arena car parks or paddock areas. These surfaces are also used for some State Championship events, the remainder being held on bitumen car park areas, as is the annual National Championship Event (AMC).

In most states of Australia, club events can be found on most Sundays between February and early December, and State Championship events are held every four to six weeks. Check our Calendar for details of coming events.