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I have started to take a serious intrest in my car and racing. My problem is that I have little money to do it with. I was wondering if anyone would be willing to share on how they got started, and any advice would be greatly appreciated on how I should get started. And if you think I should just leave it as a dream then feel free to say so.
 

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What kind of racing do you want to do?

all racing costs money, no matter what form, but your preferences and budget really constrain things..

the cheapest and most beginner-friendly forms of racing are Solo II (autocross), and drag racing.

either of those appeal to you? let us know and we can give you more guidance from there. no point in spewing out a novel if you're not interested in it.
 

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Werd. Figure out the type you want to do the most. For road racing get involved with Solo II, then lapping and Solo I I'll breifly describe how I got involved with racing, applied to rally, maybe some drag dudes could talk about that particular pursuit.

How to get started in rally without wasting an ass-ton (approximately 2.2 regular tons) of money

Step 1 - find club in your area. SCCA still does road rally, Rally America does stage rally. People will cross over between both. You don't need a membership to start, but it's good to make contacts

Step 2 - Run some Time Speed Distance (TSD) events. While many people find them boring for the driving, you will learn a lot about how rallies operate. Any potential Navigator/ co-driver you have in mind will figure out really quickly if they are prone to losing their cookies in a car and how much they trust having some loose nut at the wheel while they have no control.

Step 3 - Go marshalling. Working at stage rallies will give you insight as to how timing works, procedures, etc. Again, you will learn a lot, make really good contacts and get to see the cars in places regualr spectators don't get to.

Step 3A - If you are good mechanically, get involved with a team and crew for them. You won't learn as much about rally procedure, but you'll learn a lot about what breaks on rally cars (I'll let you in on a secret - everything breaks)

Step 4 - Co-drive. You can start co-driving for under $1000, and if you're good, you will be in demand.

Step 5 - And this is the most important so listen up:
If, after all that, you want to take the plunge and feel the loose gravel under your tires and the wheel in your hand as you rocket down a stage road then, for the love of God and all that is holy, DO NOT BUILD YOUR OWN CAR!!!!! BUY ONE THAT HAS ALREADY BEEN BUILT BY SOMEONE ELSE AND HAD ALL THE BUGS WORKED OUT!!!! Used rally cars go for a fraction of the cost of building. I've seen some nice ones go for the cost of a cage alone.

And if you think I should just leave it as a dream then feel free to say so.
I personally feel there is no good excuse for people to not go racing, if only at the solo II level, if that's what they really want to do. Don't be that guy that sits on the sidelines and dreams.
"It is better to have raced for a minute than to have spectated for a lifetime."
 

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1900 said:
I have started to take a serious intrest in my car and racing. My problem is that I have little money to do it with. I was wondering if anyone would be willing to share on how they got started, and any advice would be greatly appreciated on how I should get started. And if you think I should just leave it as a dream then feel free to say so.
At 38y/o, I started racing on short tracks, wheel to wheel stock car racing. It's pure stock 4 cyl racing, meaning that all you do is take a car, put a roll cage in it, take out the side/rear windows and go race. I'm slowly learning as I go. I would advise you to take a look at what tracks/clubs are around, go visit them and decide what sounds like what you want to do.

There's a thread elsewhere that talks about starting out in the short track stock car racing, I'll have to dig that up.

Regards,
Michael
 

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In that case, go to scca.org and at the top you'll find a link of "who's in my region" or something..
go there, and find your local SCCA chapter. see when their events are, then show up to one. That's the BEST way to get started. watch an event or to and talk to a few people and figure out what they're doing and why, then the next time you'll be ready to jump in!

Of course, that's assuming your car is up to snuff. for Solo II, your car is usually fine if you can pass a state safety inspection without any hassles. they'll check things like batery tie down, brakes, throttle return, and wheel bearings.
also make sure your interior and trunk are both empty. If you have a stereo, it MUST be bolted in place. no flying sub boxes allowed. floor mats removed unless they're clipped down. remove all change and crap in your ash tray, pull your radar detector down, etc.
 

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Some people say just to show up and run. I found that a litttle stressful since I had no idea what things took place throughout the day. As Matt suggested, you could just show up at an event. Tell people you're new and ask lots of questions. Ask for a couple rides in cars similar to yours. Then drive next event and you'll be more comfortable. Make sure to walk the course many times beforehand and ask people to show you the way.
 

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One other thing you can do is go to My Autoevents.com http://www.myautoevents.com and search Il for events near you. This time of year they have Drivers school and test & tune events that are a great way to see if you like it. If you just show up for a local drivers school (about $25) they will help you learn about the experience. All you really need at first is shoes that are comfortable, an empty car (mentioned before) and the fee for the event or pre-register on the web site above. Folks are used to new people in autocross and they will treat you great if you tell them you are new. If you are close to Joliet, il they are have what they call the learning curve this coming weekend. It looks like Rockford and Schaumberg are other places in Illinois.

Go try one its painless and exhilarating!

Pete :cool:
 

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Pbates said:
One other thing you can do is go to My Autoevents.com http://www.myautoevents.com and search Il for events near you.

Thanks for that! Very useful.

The HPDE event in Joliet is coming up June, first weekend IIRC. That sounds like a lot of fun, I'm hoping to attend!

Regards,
Michael
 
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