Talk about a contrast: one week on from the dramatic British Grand Prix being played out at Silverstone in front of a crowd of 120,000, this weekend it is the turn of grass-roots motorsport to star at the Northamptonshire circuit.

Actually, there's a common link between the two events – the volunteer marshals that make the British Grand Prix tick. You know, the ones who bravely ran onto the circuit to recover all those flapping Pirelli tyre carcasses during last week's GP.

Volunteers and first-time competitors will be the focus of Go Motorsport Live at Silverstone this Sunday. Curated by the Motor Sports Association, it is an annual celebration of cheap and accessible ways to get into the sport. The event aims to dispel the notion that you need a EuroMillions win to fund any kind of motorsport involvement, and also to explode the myth that the sport is a closed shop that's impossible to enter.

In fact (and I speak from a modest amount of club rally co-driving experience, and from having marshalled on a wet and windy Welsh hillside) at the grass-roots level the sport is as friendly and accessible as you could wish for. There's a great sense of camaraderie on club events, and even the leading competitors are happy to dispense sage advice (at least, up to the point you start beating them).

At Go Motorsport Live there will be experts from racing, rallying, drag racing, hill climbing and many other diverse branches of the sport on hand to tell you how to get started. Many of the regional and local motor clubs that form motorsport's backbone will be present to discuss their activities.

There will be live action in the form of an Autotest exhibition, as well as the opportunity to sit in on an Auto Solo demonstration as a passenger. An AutoSolo is one of the most straightforward forms of motorsport there is; much like an Autotest, it involves negotiating a tight, traffic cone-lined course without hitting any of the markers. Unlike an Autotest it involves no precision reversing, so is perfect for absolute beginners. It's also possible to turn up and compete in your bog-standard road car.

If you aren't compelled by the spirit of competition, or you've always had a hankering for fetching orange overalls, you can learn how to become a volunteer marshal or get involved in other aspects of event organisation, such as timekeeping.