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Old 04-26-2007, 08:50 AM   #1
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Road Courses

Ok i wanna learn to race on road courses. I drove the road course at Miami Homestead Speedway once for a car show it was a friends car and it was just a bunch of cars going like 30 around the course

Are classes really nesscesary or can a good drive pick it up after a while of taking it slow?

Are their any requirements safety equipment wise?

Also anything else u would like to comment on would be helpful


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Old 04-26-2007, 09:08 AM   #2
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To race you need to get a rule book for your local race organisation and see what it says. There are many safety requirements for a true race car. To do track days the rules are less strict, but it is not true racing, you do things like wave to pass, and you can ONLY pass when someone waves you by ( in the order of safety ). You still get to go as fast as you want.
You will be suprised just how cool and friendly most of the race organizations are. The want more racers and they try to make it easy and smooth.
A driving class or school can teach you in 8 hours what it may take you 5 years to learn on your own, so I highly recommend them.

Just for some feed-back. I roadraced bikes for about 12 years. When I started I was a pretty quick street driver and had good skills. Then I went roadracing and found out how slow I really was !!! LOL. After several years I was invited to be a ride instructor in the "newbie" classes for guys just like I was. REally fast street guys who were so slow to me on the track it was funny ( because boy they thought they were seriously good, UNTIL we took them onto the track ). It was neat to realize that they were just like me.
Its alotta fun, and can become a serious passion. I'm not sure what organizations you have in Florida, but just ask at the track. They will tell you, start with a school and a track day or two. You may get hooked, and you will be amazed what you will learn, and how confident a daily driver it will make you on the street.
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Old 04-26-2007, 09:38 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TKE_Quailman View Post
Ok i wanna learn to race on road courses. I drove the road course at Miami Homestead Speedway once for a car show it was a friends car and it was just a bunch of cars going like 30 around the course

Are classes really nesscesary or can a good drive pick it up after a while of taking it slow?

Are their any requirements safety equipment wise?

Also anything else u would like to comment on would be helpful
TKE -

Probably the best way for you to get started is to hook up with a local car club. SVTOA, and other marques offer track days with instructors. I would check the following links for schedules in your area.

http://www.svtoa.org

http://www.trackschedule.com

http://scca.org - search for Performance Driving Experience (PDX)

There are others, but these will give you pointers to the sponsoring clubs.

A track day in your street car is a good way to get your feet wet without a lot of extra expense in preparing the car. For these types of events, usually the only safety requirements are an SA2001 or better approved helmet (many clubs have loaners) and a technical inspection by a certified technician and then again at the track. Also, be sure to bring an extra set of brake pads as you will probably wear them out after a day or two at the track (depending on which track).

First thing you do is set a budget for racing. Then, STICK TO IT. If you run out of funds, then call your season done and try again next year.

As for classes, as a novice, you will want to look at the lower powered cars first. SCCA ITA and ITB classes are a good start because you can build a race car (depending on how competitive you want to be out of the box) relatively inexpensively. Most "turn key" cars like this will run you less than $10K. I recommend this not based on ability, but rather as a benchmark to gain experience. If you jumped right into a T2 class (STI, EVO, Corvette), not only will your costs be astronomical, but so is the liklihood of disappointment. Guys, and Gals, who race at this level have lots of money, teams, and live only to race. If they wreck a car, they throw it away and get another one. So, they don't care whose fenders they bash to get to the finish line. The ITA and ITB crowd are often one driver/one car crews with the help of other competitors and friends. So, there is an issue of cameraderie there as well.

Another couple of options would be SPEC Miata in SCCA or SPEC focus for NASA. IMHO SPEC focus is the better choice because the series is fairly new and doesn't have as big a following. With the Miatas, you are looking at a VERY competitive series out of the box with as many as 60-80 drivers on track at the same time. Nerve racking at the very least for your first time out. Especially on a tight track.

Keep in mind that before you get to that point, you will need to get licensed. For that, you will need to participate in a school with an approved car that you've either built, bought or rented. Aside from the expense of building/buying a car, the school will run about $400 and a track rental race car will cost you about $1500 for the weekend. You are also liable to replace the car if it gets bent and you may not get signed off on your first time out. $2000 is a lot to spend just to try it and see if you like it.

However, before you go full bore with competitive road racing, I would recommend that you spend at least one season doing AX.

Everything that you do and learn on an AX course transfers directly to the big tracks. Not necessarily the other way around. There is an old saying that "Great autocrossers make great road racers. Great road racers make lousy autocrossers."

AX will also give you an idea of the expense that you will encounter in preparing a car for competition. A typical AX season (may be different for FL since you have better weather and can run almost year round) will cost you anywhere from $1000 per year (if you go with R compound tires) to over $3000 depending on modifications, number of events, repairs (brakes and steering) and travel time (if you have to go beyond local).

Another good reference is Grassroots Motorsports magazine. They always have great suggestions on how to get started on a budget.

Hopefully, my comments aren't discouraging. I just wanted to make sure that you are aware of what you are potentially getting into.

Those are my thoughts. Good luck with it and there are plenty of people on this forum, including myself, who would be willing to advise you on how to get there. I'm also pretty sure that if you do make the leap that you would have a pretty big cheering section.

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Old 04-26-2007, 10:20 AM   #4
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wow what am i getting into lol the only thing is i need to find a road course with open track day HMS is only open to events and Moroso doesnt have track day on their RC i need to look for other tracks lol and i think ima need a better job lol
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Old 04-26-2007, 10:26 AM   #5
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Quote:
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wow what am i getting into lol the only thing is i need to find a road course with open track day HMS is only open to events and Moroso doesnt have track day on their RC i need to look for other tracks lol and i think ima need a better job lol
I was once asked by a racer much older and wiser than myself

"Would you like to have a small fortune?"

Of course I said "Sure, who wouldn't !!"

His response:

"OK, then start with a large fortune and go racing."

Seriously, that's why it is important to set up a budget from the start and stick to it.

Like Viney and I both said, probably the best bet to get started is a track day or with AX.

As for Homestead and Moroso, can't help you there, but I am sure the local clubs have better insight. You may also want to look at Sebring.

Road Atlanta is a pretty good hike, but it would be worth the weekend trip if you can hook up with a club that is running the short course.
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Old 04-26-2007, 10:58 AM   #6
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If there is an active NASA region by you, start taking HPDEs. You'll get an instuctor and classroom time, and you'll start out learninig how to drive fast, and then as you go up the levels, they'll teach you how to go faster, then then how to be competetively fast. From there, you can get a race lisence, so if you want to compete in series events with payouts.

Another option are to run in time trials, with groups like Redline, NASA, EMRA, SCCA. Its not wheel-to-wheel racing, so having a competition lisence isn't always required. But it really helps to have several track days under your belt first.

Or you can just stick to HPDEs and open lapping days, and just have fun, without having to worry about competing against someone.

You have several options.
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Old 04-26-2007, 11:25 AM   #7
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I figured that just to get everything together that I would need to get my Comp license and start in ITA would cost $7,000. That's just

Safety Equipment
Transport to Double School Weekend (need 2 schools to get Comp license)
Rental ITA car (Chuck Hemmingson's old GTI)
School
Gas
Tires
Small Parts Fund (not my car, so needed to be able to pay if I broke something)

So that's $7K just for the first weekend and getting the license....

Track days are a very different proposition, though. Just make sure you can afford new tires and brake pads, and try not to test your limits for a while!
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Old 04-26-2007, 11:32 AM   #8
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I figured that just to get everything together that I would need to get my Comp license and start in ITA would cost $7,000. That's just

Safety Equipment
Transport to Double School Weekend (need 2 schools to get Comp license)
Rental ITA car (Chuck Hemmingson's old GTI)
School
Gas
Tires
Small Parts Fund (not my car, so needed to be able to pay if I broke something)

So that's $7K just for the first weekend and getting the license....

Track days are a very different proposition, though. Just make sure you can afford new tires and brake pads, and try not to test your limits for a while!
You need to contact King Rat Motorsports (Miatas).

Rental race cars are $1500 for the weekend. Includes tires. You buy fuel and an extra $100 per day will get you a full time tech in the pit with you to address mechanical problems. If the mechanical problem is a result of car set up, you aren't liable. If you break something, over the course of the day, you aren't liable. However, you break something as a result of driver error, you pay for it.

I have several friends who went this route and the folks over at King Rat and Meatball racing now that I think about it are all really good people.
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Old 04-26-2007, 11:38 AM   #9
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Most of that wasn't the rental, which was just $800. We have Kraft in town that do the same thing.

Road Racing probably won't happen for me for a good long while. 28, starting a family, buying a bigger house for said new family next year, etc etc etc... Unless I am able to start brokering cars again soon, fender to fender racing will only happen in my dreams.

Also, I won't take any car to a full-size track that I can't afford to write a check for just in case I pile in into a wall.
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Old 04-26-2007, 11:43 AM   #10
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Most of that wasn't the rental, which was just $800. We have Kraft in town that do the same thing.

Road Racing probably won't happen for me for a good long while. 28, starting a family, buying a bigger house for said new family next year, etc etc etc... Unless I am able to start brokering cars again soon, fender to fender racing will only happen in my dreams.

Also, I won't take any car to a full-size track that I can't afford to write a check for just in case I pile in into a wall.
SSSSHHHHHHHH !!!

Don't say "wall" !!!

Next weekend's event at Summit Point will finally have all of my parts.

Have tape will run.
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