How to Get Involved in Racing.
It’s much easier than you would think.
For many years, I thought I needed a purpose built race car to go racing. Then I didn’t have anyone to go with. Then my job got in the way. Well all those are just excuses. All excuses I gave myself, instead of going racing. For many years I kept feeding the excuses to myself then, the Pandemic hit. I had extra time away from work. I was tired of not going racing, so I went. I signed up with a local SCCA chapter online, and just went and did it. It was a blast. I have never had so much fun in a car. Before I knew it, I was addicted. I raced all summer long and traveled decently far for events. I even ended up placing 3rd in my class for the season with the local SCCA chapter.
For anyone, and I mean anyone that really wants to go racing, You just have to go. Maybe you don’t want to do the actual racing. Maybe you just want to watch, or even help out with the event. Go out and do it. Stop giving yourself excuses, and go. I use motorsportreg.com to find local events that I would be interested in going to. This helps me plan it out with work and friends. I’ve never encountered a bad experience when out racing either. Everyone is very encouraging and helpful. I am sure outside of the SCCA things might get more intense, but there will be people to help no matter what.
If you plan on racing, there are some things you need to consider. First is the car. In any motorsport event the vehicle will need to pass tech inspection. That way the event holder knows you and other around will be safe. Second, you may need to bring some items with you. You can check with the event staff prior to the event on what you should bring. Usually a lunch, water, tools, and maybe a chair, would be a good idea to bring along. Also you may consider buying a helmet. They also need to be inspected to make sure they are up to date with safety.
You don’t need a fully built race car either. If you are just starting out I strongly recommend using a car in factory trim if possible. However, being an enthusiast I know that may not be possible because we like to modify everything. Thats perfectly fine if your vehicle is already modified. Just be aware that most sanctioned racing will have different classes. You may end up in a top class with rookie driver skills. And yes you will have rookie driver skills. But do not worry about making mistakes, you will get better with seat time. That I promise.
Getting involved with racing doesn’t necessarily mean you have to race. Just being a spectator is being involved. Providing support for racers makes a huge impact. Without spectators, there would be no sponsors. Without sponsors hardly any racing would get done. I love to attend a local race when possible. Sure I would like to be the one out there but unfortunately I haven’t hit the lottery to where I have a vehicle for every type of racing there is. Right now I only do autocross, but I try and attend dirt, oval, formula 1, and drag races each year. The money they collect from spectators not only help pay the drivers, but also help keep the venues open. Without venues there won’t be safe places to race.
The other way to get involved is to volunteer or work the event. This usually gives you the best way to get up close to the action also. You will see first hand how everything operates behind the scenes. All events need staff to help the spectators and drivers stay in the right direction. A big plus if you are wanting to get started in a certain type of motorsport, you will see exactly what you need before you actually go racing. Not all events are able to pay staff expenses, so you may just have to volunteer. But the knowledge you gain from it is worth a days work in my opinion.
So there you have it, different ways you can get started in racing this year. You don’t need a fancy race car, or be apart of a world traveling team. Leave the list of excuses at home, you won’t need that either. You just need yourself. You just need to get out there and go. It doesn’t matter what you drive. It doesn’t matter if you want to get involved with Autocross, or dirt, or drag, or circuit, or anything, go out and just get involved and make a difference in motorsports.