Want to race....
 

Contact any member of the Board if you have questions. Most of us Race, Rally, Solo or Work races, or even tried all four. We are always happy to talk about our experiences and help new members get started. Why should we have all the fun!

Adventures of a member that caught the fever.....

When I decided to try driving the first thing I did was attend a NNJR meeting, met the people, see what this was all about. I decided to be a volunteer race worker first, flagging and communication, before I took the deep plunge into getting on the track lets see what this is all about....

Well let me tell ya, you can't get any closer to racing action than being a flagger! The training I received was on the job. It was so exciting to see such great racing, SCCA Regional and National events have some of the best racing in the world.

After a few events flagging I got the need to drive fever. But I couldn't afford to buy a racecar, a trailer and a tow vehicle. So what to do? Solo!!!! I could use my own street car and drive to all the events. The event was local in a parking lot of an area drag strip, how cool is that! Best thing about Solo is challenging yourself to be smooth and consistent. You learn a lot about car control and how to do things right, plus if you do things wrong (I never did) the fine Solo people are always glad to help and instruct. It is fun, fun, fun and events are held from March till November.

What next? What is this Rally thing all about? Seems interesting. Travel from point A to point B in a certain amount of time and follow directions, how hard can that be? Try it, you too will see the challenge of Rally. You and your partner will have hours of fun! Will you get lost? Will you miss little bits of information and end up miles off course but miraculously end up back on course but 3 miles short?!?!? Try it, you too we be hooked!

Now came the big step, I wanted to see what I could do on the track, what to do? First thing being a flagger is a great way to meet drivers and crew, Most times at the post race party but other times on track after a driver has an unfortunate incident or the car breaks. Ask questions, the only bad or stupid question is the one not asked. Drivers and crew are always happy to talk about racing, a bad day of racing is better than any other day not at the track.

Next step, ask a driver that you befriended if you can crew for him. I did, I saw what it takes to have the car ready and have the driver ready for the race. First time I crewed I basically stayed out of the way, watched and learned, I was in charge of getting the driver water at the end of each session. i watched, listened and learned.

Now the really big step, I want my own car, or do I? Rent or buy that is the question? You can rent racecars from a number of places, Flat Out Motorsports is a prime example of a SCCA member that provides this service. But I wanted my own racecar. Look in the NNJR website and Pole Position, is anyone selling a car? Look on the internet, see what you come across. Once you find something you like, remember that this is a big step, ask questions, talk to other members, ask more questions and then ask some more. Once you are ready there is no turning back, this sport is so much fun you will wonder what took me so long....

Timetable for the Beginning Racer

(I forget where I got this but it helps a lot...)

6 MONTHS - Purchase GCR and applicable rule book for class you plan to race. Study the general rules in the GCR and peruse the rules as you see fit for the class you race (it's your responsibility to be legal). Look at the schedule of events (or last year's) and plan for three schools. Always plan for an extra school or race just in case. Racers always need spares--even races. Look at other divisions for schools if your division's dates don't fit with your plans.

5 MONTHS - If you are building a race car, you should be well under way. If you are planning to rent a car for school, you should contact suppliers for prices and terms. Make the deposit and commit to an event now.

4 MONTHS - Make sure you SCCA membership is current. Join now. Anyone who is going to be crew (in the hot pits) for you must also be a member.

3 MONTHS - Make an appointment with a doctor to get your physical. Contact the license chairman or the SCCA office for appropriate forms. Make sure you have your safety equipment in order according to the GCR and your desire to live. Buy a new helmet (make sure it meets the current SCCA SNELL standards). Sit in your car. Think about sitting strapped in tight for 30 minutes. Can you reach the gear shift? Are the belts in the right place? While strapped in, can you reach all switches that you need to start and shut off the car? Can you activate the fire system? Can you see behind you with your helmet on and strapped in?

2 MONTHS - Make sure you have a trailer to fit your race car and that it will make it to the race track and back (believe me, you'll have enough trouble without highway breakdowns). Make the same assurances for your tow vehicle. Glance over the GCR again and brush up on the stuff that looks like you never saw it before. Consider what rubber you will use at your school. Buy the tires and have them mounted now. There is rarely any tire service company at a driver's school. Finish your race car.

1 1/2 MONTHS - Call the registrar for the school you plan to attend. Make sure that you get the application forms in time. You should have or almost have your Novice Permit in your hands by now. Make sure that your bill is current at the body shop. You will probably need them again when you get back from the school. Finish your race car.

1 MONTH - Call the license chairman if necessary to make sure that you have your Novice Permit in time for the school. Finish your race car.

25 DAYS - Call the chief of TECH for your region and make plans to have your car certified if it is not already. You must have a vehicle log book to participate in SCCA events. Make sure your bill is current at your machine shop. You will probably need them when you return from the school! Finish the race car! Tech will not certify cars in a cardboard box.

23 DAYS - Make sure that your wife or husband actually did mail the entry for the school. You don't want to show up and have them say "Who?".

20 DAYS - Load your car on the trailer. Make sure it will really fit. Make sure your trailer is street legal. Tow everything somewhere (like to get the vehicle log book) to make sure there are no problems. Make sure you have spare tires for the trailer, tow vehicle and race car. Do all the lights work? Especially the lights on the race car required for the certification. Make sure that your bill at the parts store is current. You will probably need them when you get back from the school.

10 DAYS - Put all of your tools in one place and make plans to pack them into the tow vehicle/trailer/race car assembly. You will need them all! Pack them in to make sure that they fit somewhere. Now, unpack all the tools and call all of your friends (if you have any left by now?) - you will need them to help you finish your race car in time for the school.

7 DAYS - Surely you are finished with the race car by now. Pack everything up and put it where you can find it when you need it - you WILL need it. Pack some extra clothes to change into when the ones you are wearing will no longer wipe the grease from your hands. Pack an umbrella and a rain suit - sun screen - warm weather clothes - cold weather clothes - ignore the forecast, they're never right? Get a canopy or cover for the car at night. Consider an alternate career. Your boss may object to your never working on Fridays and Mondays again. Make sure your new job can do without you during October (after all, you ARE going to make the Runoffs, right!?)

3 DAYS - Make plans for extra liquid (of ALL Kinds) in the cooler. Water can taste awfully good after a hot session of RACING. Plan light food during the day. Your stomach will probably not hold anything anyway. Besides, you won't have time to eat in between working on the car, meeting the instructor, working on the car, looking at the track, scratching your ... head, working on the car, listening to your wife (husband) tell you what a stupid thing you have done, working on the car, etc.

2 DAYS - Actually pack up all your equipment for the 'last' time. Load the race car (finish it first!). See your attorney - your spouse will probably file for divorce as soon as you get back from the school. Think about what it would be like if you could actually get some sleep. After all, you have a long drive tomorrow, and a tough weekend ahead.

LAST DAY - Go back and add three days to this list. The car is ALMOST finished and you are ALMOST ready to start loading up. Call your friends again!

FRIDAY - Take a breather. Relax. Drive carefully. It really would be dumb to have a wreck on the way to your first race wouldn't it!?

SATURDAY - WOW! Why didn't I do this sooner?

SUNDAY - Now I understand why we do this! When's the next event!?

 


Go to the SCCA website and wear it out. This site has a ton of information.

 

Last updated: Tuesday March 17, 2009 09:30:07