Trials Rules


    1. This list should be read in conjunction with the technical rules. In the event of a conflict, the technical rules will prevail.
    2. Events run by Challenge South West are normally for individual vehicles (unless otherwise stated), each of which may carry one driver and one crewperson providing they are accommodated in securely fixed seats and wearing approved seatbelts or harnesses. All drivers must have current UK driving licences.
    3. The driver and crewman entered for an event may swap/share the driving and navigating roles providing both have full driving licences.
    4. All vehicles entered must comply with the technical rules of the Club as regards construction and equipment.
    5. Horns will be used to notify of an emergency. On hearing horns competitors should attempt to assist/locate the problem and notify a marshal.
    6. Vehicles do not have to be Taxed & MOT’d etc but may still enter and compete if they are fully road legal.
    7. Vehicles must carry a first aid kit and fire extinguisher (of the type specified in Technical Regulations no 3)
    8. All items must be securely stowed within a vehicle.
    9. A blanket speed limit of 15mph covers all sites and any vehicle exceeding this may be disqualified from the competition.
    10. Terra Tagging events are not set out as winch challenge events and winches are not required. Should they be used for vehicle recovery in the event that a recovery marshal vehicle is not available the following rules apply:
      • Any winch must pass scrutineering to be used even for self-recovery purposes
      • Wire Cable is no longer permitted for use at any CSW events.
      • Winch sails must be used with all winch lines when crossing a track and should be positioned on the line in the centre of the track.
    11. The use of gloves is compulsory when handling all winch/recovery equipment.
    12. There must be no damage or removal of any object within the competition area (i.e. trees, fences, gates, walls etc.).
    13. Tree strops (not choked!) must be used at all times to prevent damage when using a tree as an anchor point. Competitors must not attempt to use an anchor point already being used by another competitor.
    14. ‘Clear for winching’ must be called out clearly prior to every winching operation if there are spectators present. Competitors must ensure that winch cables are never crossed.
    15. In the event of a breakdown, repairs must be carried out on a suitable ground sheet or preferably a proper oil absorbent mat. Never spill fuel or oil or drop litter. In the event of any spillage prevent it from spreading and inform a marshal.
    16. All competitors will obey the organisers / marshals instructions. Their decision in all matters is final. Event organisers may also include any site specific rules as appropriate to the site or conditions.
    17. Intentional outside assistance (spotting or physical help) which may contribute to a team gaining points is not is permitted while competing. Any team found breaking this rule may be subject to disciplinary action or automatic disqualification.
    18. If you feel at any time that the severity of the terrain is beyond your capability you must stop. You will not be forced into a situation you consider to be potentially dangerous and assistance will be provided if required.
    19. The person entering the event as driver shall remain as the driver throughout the event. If the crew is found driving the vehicle while competing, that team will be disqualified from the event. s) No additional passengers (other than 1 crew member) allowed in or on a vehicle travelling between sections, stages or punches unless otherwise stated.
    20. Your punch card is very important. You must take care of it at all times, as if the card is detached from the attaching cord without authority then all punches scored to that point are lost. If the card is becoming unusable, you can approach a marshal to ask for a replacement and in this situation the old card will be removed for you and a new one fitted, all punches on the old card being retained.
    1. In the event of an infringement of these rules, if possible there will be one verbal warning given before a penalty is charged. If a penalty is charged every effort will be made to advise the competitor at that time. Remember that the rules are there for the protection of yourself and others.
    2. The organisers or marshals may award penalties to, or disqualify, a competitor without first providing a warning if the act carried out was deemed by the organiser or marshal to be severe or dangerous enough to warrant such a penalty or disqualification. Any and all decisions of this nature shall be notified to the event organiser as soon as practicable. Disqualification decisions should be notified to the event organiser and confirmed immediately. For other penalties, competitors have the right to appeal to the event organiser in the case of extenuating circumstances or other excuse and his or her decision on such an appeal will be final. All decisions shall become final in any case on completion of the event.
    3. We strongly recommend new members seek advice before carrying out modifications but as a minimum we recommend getting their vehicle checked by a club scrutineer prior to an event.
    4. Breaches of safety standards will be noted and if not resolvable on the day may prevent you from competing. Continued breaches of safety standards after being notified WILL prevent you from competing and may result in disciplinary action and lead to membership cancellation with no refund.
    5. Competitors are not allowed to smoke while competing.
    6. We reserve the right to carry out random Alcohol testing in the mornings on two day events. This will be for both drivers and navigators. Any competitor failing a morning after test will not be allowed to compete until they can pass a retest. The organiser’s also reserve the right to do spot tests at any point during a competition. Should any competitor exercise their right to refuse a random alcohol test the organizer reserves the right to disallow that competitor from continuing with the competition and this may also lead to disqualification from the competition.


All Competitors MUST carefully read these rules and regulations and make sure their vehicle complies with the requirements. In the event of any queries please contact a CSW official for advice. Breaches of safety standards will be noted and if not resolvable on the day may prevent you from competing.

It must be noted that these regulations are not exhaustive and although CSW are not affiliated to the MSA many of the regulations are the same and often refer back to the MSA Blue Book. A copy of this book may be viewed online at www.msauk.org. We recommend before making any alterations to any vehicle that you also check the Technical Regulations specific to Cross Country Events in the current MSA Blue Book. These regulations shall be deemed to be correct in the event of any conflict between these rules and the MSA Blue Book.

    1. Driver and crewperson of all competing and recovery vehicles must present their vehicle (in a clean condition) to the scrutineer for inspection prior to the start of an event. After such time the scrutineer may inspect any late arrivals as/when time allows!
    2. Vehicles do not need to be taxed or MOT’d. Road legal vehicles will still be allowed but there will be no separate classes or prizes.
    3. All vehicles must be presented for scrutineering in a clean condition including tyres with a minimum tread to be road legal.
    4. All drivers must hold a current UK Driving Licence unless otherwise stated in the Supplementary Regulation of the event.
    5. Competitors will be immediately advised if their vehicle fails scrutineering, and be advised of all reasons for failure. Competitors will be given every opportunity to rectify any defects prior to commencing the event. Should a vehicle be prevented from competing due to failing scrutineering, no refund of any entry fees will be made.
    6. Should any vehicle be presented with what is considered by the event scrutineer to be a safety critical defect, or indeed be lacking any item of safety critical equipment, then it will not be allowed to complete in that event.
    7. Should any vehicle be presented at any three consecutive events with the same minor defect(s), then the vehicle shall not be allowed to compete in that event.
    8. All decisions to prevent any vehicle from competing shall be ratified as soon as practicable by a second member of the CSW committee, at which point the decision will become final.
    9. Any club member so wishing can request that their vehicle be assessed by a club scrutineer to give an indication of the vehicles compliance with club rules and regulations. Such requests will be granted at the discretion of the club.
    All vehicles must have the following minimum recovery equipment
    1. Suitable recovery/tow points (identified in a contrasting colour) to the front and rear of the vehicles. Standard factory fitted towing/lashing points will not be deemed as sufficient. Unless of forged construction (e.g. tow ball) all recovery points shall be of closed loop construction that cannot be pulled straight. We strongly recommend as a minimum 19mm/3/4” solid bar welded internally as well as externally to a substantial mounting point.
    2. One long recovery strap / rope at least 4.5 meters in length looped at each end.
    3. Winches if fitted and presented for self-recovery use must comply with the following regulations:
      • Winches must be securely fitted to the vehicle.
      • The recommended minimum capacity of winch is 6000 lbs rated.
      • If an electric winch is fitted it must be fitted with a battery isolator switch.
      • Synthetic ropes must be in good serviceable condition (wire cable is no longer permitted for use)
      • The loop at end of rope must be spliced.
    4. All winching equipment must be in a serviceable condition and be rated to be compatible when configured with the pulling capacity of all winches if fitted.
      *Ratings of equipment, recovery points and winch ropes must be suitably upgraded to be compatible with any uprated/high capacity winches where fitted (examples of uprated fitments would include increase in motor/pump size, fitment of twin motors, reduced diameter winch drums etc which increase the pulling capacity of your winch.
      If you are uncertain please contact a member of the committee for advice.
      We recommend as a minimum:
      • 2 endless or tree strops
      • 1 snatch block.
      • 2 bow shackles CE marked.
      • 2 pairs of appropriate gloves (not woollen).
      • One Winch sail per winch fitted. The sail must not be permanently attached to the cable or hook or permanently rolled up.
    1. A fire extinguisher containing AFFF extinguishant and of at least 2 litres capacity is required. The minimum rating must be 34b and the extinguisher must be carried in a position easily accessible to both vehicle occupants.
    2. All vehicles must carry an emergency first aid kit suitable for a minimum of two people.
    3. All items must be securely stowed on or in the vehicle when competing.
    1. The vehicle must be fitted with brakes that are operative and capable of stopping and holding the vehicle as required.
    2. A functioning independent parking brake system must be fitted.
    1. The vehicle must be fitted with sprung suspension between the wheels and the chassis unless originally manufactured otherwise.
    2. Suspension movement must be controlled to avoid fouling of wheels and tyres on chassis or bodywork.
    1. The vehicle must be fitted with bodywork including a driver and passenger compartment isolated from the engine, batteries, gearbox, hydraulic reservoirs, transmission shafts, brakes, road wheels, operating linkages and attachments, petrol tanks, oil tanks, radiator, water header tanks, brake reservoirs and catch tanks.
    2. There must be a protective bulkhead of non-inflammable material between the engine and the driver/passenger compartment capable of preventing the passage of fluid or flame. Gaps must be sealed with GRP or with putty that completely closes the gaps at all times. Magnesium is prohibited for bulkheads.
    3. The vehicle must have a complete floor of adequate strength and rigidity supported within the driver/passenger compartment.
    4. The vehicle must be fitted with a bonnet or casing of metal or solid non flammable material covering and surrounding the main engine structure that is secured by fasteners of adequate strength and have a positive locking action and a fixed support, strut or strap that holds the engine covering in open position. All moving parts must be covered.
    5. The vehicle must be equipped on all wheels with mudguards, which present no sharp edges and cover the complete wheel (flange + rim + tyre) around an arc of 120 degrees. This must be achieved with a continuous surface of rigid material uninterrupted by any gaps, holes, slots or vents. It must extend forward ahead of the axle line and the tyre must be obscured when viewed from above.
    6. The bodywork must provide a minimum uninterrupted transverse cockpit opening of 810 mm.
    7. The vehicle must be fitted with doors or bodywork giving side protection to the driver and passenger.
    8. If the vehicle is fitted with driver/passenger doors, hatchback doors, sliding doors, opening boots or tailgates, these must be secured in the closed position during competition.
    9. Tailgates may be removed.
    10. The load carrying area must be separated from the passenger compartment by an adequate barrier.
    11. There must be an effective means of ventilation for closed cars.
    12. All recovery equipment must be stored securely in or on the vehicle.
    1. Any batteries in the driver/passenger compartment must be enclosed in a securely located leak-proof container.
    2. Batteries must be securely fastened and terminals protected from short circuiting. The battery earth lead must be identified by a yellow marker if not readily distinguishable.
    3. The vehicle must be equipped with an effective horn or other audible warning device emitting a continuous tone.
    4. It is advisable that the vehicle be fitted with a circuit breaker (fitted to the positive side of the battery), that cuts the engine and associated electrical circuits and be easily operable by the driver whilst in his seated position.
    5. For electric winches if fitted there must be further circuit breakers that isolate the winches from all other electrical circuits and are easily identified and operated from inside or outside the vehicle by a competitor or marshal.
    6. All electrical cut out switches should be clearly marked and easily accessible.
    7. All vehicles must have fitted working brake lights
    1. All fluid carrying lines or tubes carrying coolants through the driver/passenger compartment if non-metallic are to be internally or externally metal braided hydraulic hose and covered to prevent the occupants of the vehicle coming into contact with the hot surfaces. Such lines, tubes or coverings should be painted red.
    2. Any radiators, cooling hoses, expansion tanks or reservoirs should be covered or be fitted in a position where if burst the hot fluid cannot come into contact with the occupants of the vehicle.
    1. The exhaust system must be isolated from the driver/passenger compartment (e.g. beneath the floor or secured in casings of solid material).
    2. No part of the exhaust system is allowed to protrude laterally beyond a plane through the outer track of the front and rear wheels, or to the rear of the bodywork more than 150 mm.
    3. If all enveloping body is fitted, supplementary protection must be fitted to exhaust systems that protrude outside the bodywork.
    1. All vehicles should conform to a maximum permitted noise level. The current requirement is a maximum permitted sound level of 108dB with the engine running at 3/4 maximum speed, the sound level meter at a height of 0.5 metres above the ground (± 0.1 metre) located at 45° to and 0.5 metres distant from the exhaust. Continuous noise testing may take place during events and competitors will be advised of excessive noise. WARNING: Temporary silencers, bypass pipes and the inclusion of temporary parts to achieve silencing requirements are prohibited. Officials may refuse to carry out noise checks on vehicles utilising temporary parts in exhaust systems.
    1. All fuel lines passing through the driver/passenger compartment shall be protected and, if non-metallic, be formed of internally or externally metal braided hydraulic pressure hose.
    2. Tank fillers and caps must not protrude beyond the bodywork. These must have an efficient locking action to reduce the risk of accidental opening during an accident and ensure closing after refuelling.
    3. All engines must be equipped with a positive method of throttle closing by means of external spring/springs so that in the event of failure of any part of the throttle linkage the throttle(s) are sprung closed. Vehicles which are fitted with electronic throttle control as standard original manufacturer’s equipment are exempt from this requirement.
    4. The use of fuel additives and octane boosters and aviation fuel is prohibited.
    5. If using LPG gas, conform to the Construction and Use Regulations and also the LPG Industry Technical Association Code of Practice No. 11.
    6. Air vents must be at least 250mm to the rear of the cockpit and fuel caps and be of the sealed type to prevent spillage.
    7. Tank guards are recommended to prevent potential spills caused by damage from the terrain.
  12. ENGINE
    1. Engine mountings must be secure.
    2. No vehicle may draw induction air from within the driver/passenger compartment. Air intakes must be either forward of the front bulkhead/windscreen or piped through to the rear of the vehicle to draw outside air from behind the rear bulkhead.
    1. Any oil lines passing through the driver/passenger compartment must be protected and, if non-metallic, be formed of internally or externally braided hydraulic pressure hose.
    2. Oil coolers and filters must be fitted in a position where in the event of failure the hot fluid cannot come into contact with the occupants of the vehicle.
    1. The vehicle must have a full circumference full diameter steering wheel unless originally manufactured otherwise.
    2. Steering movement must be controlled to avoid fouling of wheels and tyres on the chassis and bodywork.
    3. Hydro steer is allowed but we strongly recommend a system that utilizes a mechanical link.
    4. All steering joints and couplings must be in serviceable condition with no excess wear.
    1. The vehicle transmission must be outside the cab compartment, beneath the floor or secured in casings or covers of solid material.
    2. The vehicle must be equipped with an operable reverse gear.
    3. Vehicles with automatic gearboxes must be fitted with a starter inhibitor which allows the starting in park/neutral only
    1. Windscreens (which must be fitted) must be of laminated glass or plastic of a minimum thickness of 4mm. Plastic side screens, where fitted, should also have a minimum thickness of 4mm unless fitted otherwise by the original vehicle manufacturer.
    2. The use of mesh screens instead of a windscreen will not be acceptable and will need to be covered or replaced with a suitable sheet of plastic to afford protection from branches entering the cab. Temporary screens of this type must remain for the entire event and be replaced should they get broken. We will accept a small letterbox sized slot in the plastic to allow minimum vision in event of water or mud covering the screen. We would also advise competitors in such cases to carry sufficient water and cleaning material to maintain clear vision.
    1. There must be two securely mounted seats that must not tilt unless it is a production seat fitted with a suitable locking mechanism preventing its independent operation and the top of the seat cushions when not compressed must not be less than 150mm below the top edge of any adjacent body sides or doors.
    2. Approved seat belts or harnesses must be used.
    3. The maximum time for the driver/passenger to get out of the vehicle should not exceed 5 seconds.
    1. Safety belts must be worn at all times during competition whilst the vehicle is in motion. They must be complete units as fitted by the manufacturer or sourced from a recognised manufacturer and fitted in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
    2. The minimum requirement is a three-point belt comprising one diagonal shoulder strap and one lap strap, with three anchor points on the chassis/body shell or rollover bar of the vehicle on either side and to the rear of the seat.
    3. Four point comprising two shoulder straps and one lap strap with four anchorage points on the chassis/body shell or roll over bar of the vehicle. One either side and two to the rear of the seat. Where fitted the whole harness must be worn and not just the lap belt!
    1. The vehicle shall have not less than four road wheels and tyres (excluding the spare) which are fitted with tyres that are compatible with the wheels and acceptable to the organiser.
    2. The use of tyre chains is prohibited.
    3. Tyres must conform to current road use regulations. The use of open tread tyres or dumper tyres is prohibited.
    4. Tyre size must not exceed 40” physical diameter when inflated to a minimum of 10psi measured horizontally on level ground.
    5. A spare wheel is not a mandatory requirement but, if carried, must be securely fastened.
    6. Wheel spacers may be used up to a maximum of 30mm in thickness.
    7. Portal axles are now permitted in club events unless otherwise specified in the event regulations.
    1. It is strongly recommended that all vehicles be fitted with MSA specification roll over protection.
    2. No vehicle will be allowed to compete without some form of rollover protection, although a manufacturer’s correctly fitted hardtop or Truck-cab shall be deemed sufficient.
    3. Vehicles with soft or open tops must either:
      • Fit as a minimum a roll hoop to current MSA standards and both Driver and Crewperson must wear crash helmets complying with current CSW regulations on helmets.
      • Fit as a minimum a roll hoop to current MSA standards with the addition of a hard panel above the cab seating area. The hard panel should be of solid flame retardant material and may be made removable but must be permanently and securely fixed for the duration of any event.
    4. THE STRENGTH AND SECURITY OF THE MOUNTINGS OF ROLLOVER PROTECTION ARE OF PARAMOUNT IMPORTANCE. Roll over bar materials should comprise cold drawn seamless carbon steel, minimum yield strength 350N/sq.mm. An alternative material is BS1387 medium weight blue band, minimum dimensions being 44.30mm x 3.2mm. For full details of current MSA specifications please refer to the current MSA Blue Book.
    1. Helmets whilst not currently compulsory for Terra Tag events are strongly recommended (for both driver and navigator). We strongly recommend helmets to the standards specified in the current MSA Blue Book but will however also accept crash helmets that are suitable for use on the road to the following specifications:
      • FIA 8860-2004
      • SNELL SA2005
      • SNELL SA2000
      • SNELL SA2010
      • SFI FOUNDATION 31.1A, 31.2A
      • BS 6658 TYPE A/FR
      • BS 6658 – 85 TYPE A
      • This means that if your helmet is fit to be used on the road on a motorcycle then this WILL be acceptable but this may be withdrawn in the near future.

        For the present we accept helmets to the standard: ECER22-05 but this may be withdrawn in the near future. (TYPE B IS NOT ACCEPTABLE)

        Please protect your helmet from external damage by using a helmet bag or similar, chips within the outer laminate of the helmet may make it unsafe and unusable.

        Regulations as detailed above are the MINIMUM required.

        Version 3 amended April 2016