Car racing is among the most adrenaline-full sports you could take up in your life. It can be exciting and exhilarating, and you can definitely take your hobby even further and make it your career.
However, at this point, the big question “How to Become A Race Car Driver” might be popping in your head.
If you don’t know where to start, a great way to try your hand at race driving is go-karts!
But how to get into go-kart racing for adults? Don’t worry, that’s the first step we’ll have a look at.
Well, don’t underestimate the hard training and long hours of practice that you will have to put into this hobby if you really want to succeed! The best part? While it might seem hard to become a race driver, the benefits that can come from it are huge!
If you are an amateur race car driver, you will have the occasion to live incredible experiences at every race. Alternatively, if you are a professional at entry-level, each race can pay you up to $5000!
That seems easy, right? But what is the real story? Let’s have a look at every step you should consider taking to become a serious race car driver in detail.
How to Become A Race Car Driver
Step 1. Start Go-Karting
While this can seem a hobby for kids, go-karting is indeed one of the best ways to try out your hand a race car driving without the dangers that come with this sport.
Why is this so important? While car racing is undeniably one of the most adrenaline-full sports out there and excites both adults and kids, this is not a sport for everybody.
So, before undertaking all the potential investments that come with car racing, go-karting can offer you the insights you need. It will make sure that you are into the sport without having to spend an enormous amount of money!
After trying out on go-karts, it is time for you to get serious and try driving a real kart. It can seem a waste of time in the beginning.
But this is where all the professionals in the business start. So, don’t underestimate this step. Also, there are often talent scouts at these races, and you might even be noticed!
Step 2. Start Practicing
How can you possibly start practicing if you don’t have any valid license to be a race car driver or can’t join competitions? A real race car driver sees opportunities for practicing in every corner!
Start by checking out the race car driving classes that are often held in your local racetrack. While they might not be every week, you will have the chance to learn some new techniques to implement from renowned instructors.
And now that you have learned the basics, you must know that practice is the key. And how can you practice without a race car? Well, use your everyday car for it!
By this, we are not telling you to start racing in the streets of your town, as that is illegal and extremely dangerous. However, there might be some driving techniques that you have just picked up that could be applicable to your everyday driving.
If you are not sure about the ones that you could implement, speak to your instructor. He will know how to help you!
Step 3. Sign Up For SCCA
Even if you have not heard of it just yet, the SCCA is the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA), which usually has bases in every town or region. Signing up for such a club will allow you to leave your karting history behind and start practicing with actual race cars!
To start signing up for the SCCA, you can do so online. After filling up their form and getting a certification of your mental and physical health status from your doctor, you will be asked to pay their membership fees, which add up to $90.
It is often reduced if you are younger than 24 years old or a member of the United States Military.
The best part? The SCCA holds regular events throughout the country at famous and local racetracks. It will also give you the chance to figure out what specialization you want to go in as they organize anything from auto crossing to amateur races.
Step 4. Buy a Race Car
Now that you have tried your hand at different competitions, go-karting, and auto crossing, and you are sure about a career in the field. The next step is to buy your own race car. However, this does not mean that you have to spend a fortune.
If you are competing in SCCA races, older and much smaller sports cars such as Mazda Miatas or Porsche 914s are extremely common and won’t send you bankrupt.
However, before closing the deal with your seller, don’t forget to get the car analyzed and checked by a professional.
If you have opted for a cheaper or older car, the chances are that this won’t be race-ready. At this point, you should speak to your SCCA chapter and ensure that your car has everything it needs to go on track. It often includes a roll cage and a five-point seat belt.
Now, don’t forget the most important part! Your safety gear and equipment. A professional fire-proof suit and a helmet are a must, but you will also need to consider adding fire-proof gloves, shoes, and a fire extinguisher.
Once you have gathered all this, your SCCA will need to inspect it and confirm that you are ready for your first race!
The alternative to paying for a great racing car is to find a racing sponsor that can pay the bill for you. I’ve written a short guide on how to find a racing sponsor.
Step 5. Start Racing
Now that you are fully geared up, there is not much left to do for you aside start racing. Get informed about the regional and national SCCA events that you could be taking part in and try your hand at racing.
If you can race at least three times within two years, you will graduate from the novice status that you currently have in your SCCA chapter.
It will also allow you to finally obtain a competition license after you have completed the necessary SCCA training. After you have done all this, your Chief Steward will be super happy to sign you off as a professional!
If you have been struggling to find events that you could join in your town, don’t forget to check out the races that are happening in your region. In fact, SCCA organizes races nationwide, and there is always a chance for you to get involved.
Just make sure to complete your first three races within the first two years of your career as a professional car driver.
Step 6. Practice!
While races that you can participate in can come up once or twice a month, there is no reason for you not to practice every day. Why is this important? To become a professional, you must take your training seriously.
Driving a race car is, in fact, a completely different deal from driving a regular car and therefore, might require you to practice as much as 5 times per week.
Aside from practicing on a circuit by yourself, you should be studying car racing, as well as taking advanced classes.
This theoretical part might seem a little boring to you, especially after the pure adrenaline of racing. However, it is just as important as practicing in a car!
Thanks to these lessons, you will be able to always be entirely up to date with new techniques and strategies that will help you achieve the first place in your future races.
Moreover, these classes and personal study can offer you unique insights on competition strategies and professional tricks that you can then practice on the track.
While it might seem tedious at first, you will have a bunch of new exciting tricks to try out next time you are in your car!
Becoming a professional race car driver can be incredibly time and energy consuming but won’t ever leave you short of a new adrenaline rush.
Whether you are checking out this article to become an amateur or you are all in to make this your next career turn, you have exciting times ahead.
However, don’t forget that in this case, practice makes perfect! Have you been thinking about starting a career as a race car driver?
Has this article helped you understand how to become a race car driver? Let us know what you think, or any feedback you might have, by leaving a comment below!