Focus Fanatics Forum banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,009 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I know this probably sounds like I'm just some stupid kid with a dream, but I'm turning 21 and all I've wanted to do for the last 10 years was race professionally. I know it sounds corney, but it's true. I don't have much money, but I can start saving. I'm really not pickey, If I can make a carrer out of it, I'll be happy. I don't even care if I make thousands of dollars, just a little bit. I'm not really interested in autocross, so what can I do? I understand that this isn't going to happen overnight and I don't care if it takes till I'm 40 years old, I just want to race. So I'm asking for any advice from maybe other racers or anyone who knows the route to get into racing. I'm just hoping someone can give me some insight. Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,262 Posts
Join either/both
NASA (National Autosports Association)
SCCA (Sports Car Club of America)

You can do it slowly by doing HPDE or PDX track days and working your way up to Level 4... OR
You can take a class at a recognized NASA or SCCA driving school

either way you would then need to apply for a provisional license and figure out where you want to compete (Spec Miata/Focus/E30, etc or Honda Challenge)

Mazda seems to have the ladders in place to climb from Spec Miata to GT/Formula/DP racing.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Rabbitccc

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,009 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Wow, thank you for the quick info. +1 rep. Well I read a huge book on SCCA and was very interested and I looked into NASA, looks like you need about 10K to start either. So your saying start small and get my liscense and experience built up bydoing the HPDE's and then Get a provisional license(can you explain this part a little more, not familiar) and then race Spec whatever and then get noticed and keep on climbing. Sounds like a 20 year plan to me. But I could do spec miata in the SCCA before I get my provisional liscense right? and then start there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,009 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Or do you need this provisional liscense before you race in the SCCA? I'll have to look it up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,262 Posts
The quick track (costs more money up front) is to do an approved school. For example, take Skip Barber's Spec Miata course (there are 2 IIRC, basic and advanced). Then you can apply for a provisional license and start racing. However, that assumes you have a car to race and it meets tech, etc, etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,009 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Yeah that's expensive
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,009 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Well. I guess I'll start with the HPDEs. Time to do some research.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,009 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I got till next spring to get ready.
 

·
Resident Curmudgeon
Joined
·
4,360 Posts
As indicated above, the amateur circuit is your best bet with either SCCA or NASA.

Many of the pro teams in the Rolex Grand Am series and the ALMS look to the SCCA for potential competitors.

The Rolex series in particular is friendly toward "Privateers".

I crew for a Grand Am team and I can tell you that it is NOT INEXPENSIVE.

Not including the car, the team owners operating expenses for last year (travel, lodging, meal, logistics, airfare etc.) were over $150,000

I've been racing for nearly 20 years and just now made the plunge into a dedicated track car.

If you do it, do it on a budget and stick to it. If you don't have the moneyy to race or fix the car, then don't race or don't fix the car (mine's been under the cover for nearly 3 weeks now because I can't afford to repair it right now). There will be other races to run.

If you are setting your sites on going professional, here is a reality check for you.

From a recent RACER magazine article.

"To have an audition for a Formula 1 team, drivers begin their careers around age 6 in karts. Parents then must invest nearly SIX (6) MILLION dollars in the development of their child's skills. This is done through kart leagues, driving schools and the F1 driver development program. If the investment is made, and the opportunity given, the first, and usually ONLY, chance to make the team comes around the age of 19."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,009 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Well I follow the Rolex and love it. I wouldn't mind doing that one bit. I understand that to own a team would be expensive as hell. I'm not hoping to own my own team. It'd be nice when I retire as a driver to be able to own my own team when I was 55, but that's a whole other story. So are the chances of making 20,000 dollars a year from a career in racing unrealistic, or could it be done. If I spent the money, made my way through the ranks and won races, is it unrealistic. I'm sure I could get into the SCCA races over time and a little money, but there is no real money to be made in that type of racing. Right? I think it's "BS" that in any other sport all you have to do is be good and get noticed and you could go pro. No spending 50K on a basketball or tennis raquet. But I could be 10 times better than any racer in the world(UNrealistic I know) and no one would ever know it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,023 Posts
As silly as it sounds most race teams look for an already sponsored driver. That means the "driver" brings money to the team. For example, its relatively easy to get on an endurance team (assuming you have some proven driving skills...you don't necessarily have to be one of the best) by paying for your own ride. For some, this is the only way to get exposure. You have to promote yourself, but have to be able to back it up as well. I second the Skip Barber series. Seems like more young drivers come out of this series than any other. No one pays to develop a driver....that's your responsibility.
 

·
I.S.A.I.K.I.
Joined
·
5,413 Posts
Pick up the latest issue of Sport Compact. There's a whole dedicated article interviewing Randy Pobst and several others talking about how they got started in professional racing.

You can also start out in karting to build some experience. Alot more indoor karting places are popping up around the country, so this would be a great opportunity to develop some skills.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,906 Posts
You should find an "open track day" at one of the road courses in your area and go to it and see how you like it.... the big track is alot different than an AutoX.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
762 Posts
I'll throw in my two cents...
If I were you and road racing is what you're into, I would seriously take a look at NASA's time attack program. You'll start off running in the HPDE groups and will have to work your way up to the TT group.

This route will allow you to use a stock car with the least amount of risk and still get plenty of seat time to develop your driving skills. DISCLAIMER(There will always be risk to life and limb and your car in racing).

NASA time attack events are held on the same days as their door to door series, so you'll get a lot of exposure to the other series while your racing. This is a great opportunity to meet other people that have or are trying to do the very same thing you are. Here's a link to NASA's main website...
http://www.nasaproracing.com/index.html

And the FAQ page from your NASA region website...this should answer a lot of your questions.
http://www.nasagreatlakes.com/resources/faq.asp

And one last thing...do consider participating in some autox events. Autox is one of the best ways to learn car control.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
351 Posts
Rabbitccc,
I tried for years to get into the design end of the Ford racing program. I hope it's easier to get into the driving end! I was a Heavy Truck Designer for 32 years with Ford and every year we had to fill out a questionaire that asked if there was any other area in Ford Motor Co. that we would like to work in. I always put the racing program down but,
never heard anything back. I was at the auto show in Louisville in the late 70's and got to talk to Ak Miller, head of the racing program at that time. I asked him what it takes to get into the program and he laughed and told me that if my last name was Ford, it would
help. I hope the driving end of anyone's racing program is not as difficult as this for you to get into! Best of luck!
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top