If you have thought of getting into racing...

Steve Levin

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...this is the time of year to start getting prepared.

All around the US, SCCA competition driving schools will run in the early part of 2010, just before the club racing season begins. In California, that will be in early March, in the northern part of the state at Thunderhill Raceway Park (near Willows, CA), and in the southern part of the state, at Buttonwillow Raceway Park, near Buttonwillow, CA.

If you are just interested in general, we will be testing at Buttonwillow on Saturday December 12th and Sunday December 13th. Feel free to come out to the track, chat, sit in the cars, etc. If you are truly serious about getting into racing, we can probably get you on track for a few laps as well.

Don't just sit on the couch and watch racing. Go racing!

Steve
 
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I'd love to get into a miata series or something. I have no idea what the first step even is though. I have read some on the SCCA site before and left more confused than when I got there. Bottom line though. I would love too.
 

Clegko

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Already signed up for a few days at the local SCCA track, Hallett Raceway. It's gonna be a bloody blast.
 

Steve Levin

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I'd love to get into a miata series or something. I have no idea what the first step even is though. I have read some on the SCCA site before and left more confused than when I got there. Bottom line though. I would love too.

Yeah, the SCCA isn't the most helpful website.

Your first step will be driver's school, which can be done in any race-legal car. Miata's are very popular, of course. Great bang for the buck!

On the car side, people do generally one of three things:

1) Rent a car (Miatas out here can run about $400/day to rent, plus any major crash repair. So try not to hit things :) )

2) "Arrive and drive" -- this is where you own your car, but you have a shop that takes care of it, services it, hauls it to and from the track for you. If you race a lot it's cheaper than renting, and you get to keep your car set up just how you like it.

3) Do it all yourself. Bring your car to the track, take care of it, etc. For the mechanically inclined this is the cheapest way to go!

So once you've figured out how you will address the car issue, you just have to get ready to go to Driver's School.

You'll need to join the SCCA (you can do this on the website). Then use the website to find your local region (for example, for the SF Bbay Area, it's http://sfrscca.org). That will get you the local contact you can email/call with questions. And you'll need to get a doctor to sign off on the fairly simple medical form that says you are okay to race. You will send that form and a driver's school entry form in to the SCCA with your check for Driver's School (usually around $500).

You will also need to buy or borrow the safety gear. Driver's suit, nomex underwear, helmet, shoes. You can spend as little as $500 on all that to an upper limit of..well...a lot if you can afford the best quality (which is typically no safer, just lighter. Everything has to pass the same safety requirements)

If you contact the SCCA region office for your area, and just say "is there anyone I can ask a ton of questions of" they will probably take your phone number and have a volunteer driver give you a ring. Racers will talk about racing and help folks get started. We love that :)

If you are on the West Coast I can get you in touch with the right people to help mentor you through Driver's School, no worries.

Steve
 
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pfrocker

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I wish but money is tight right now. It looks like it will at least take $1500 to get started. Maybe when I graduate and get a job, I'll start racing on weekends.
 

Steve Levin

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Just thought I would bump this thread as we get past Christmas.

Southern California is running a 3 day event which is the SCCA's 2 day driver's school (which includes 2 races on the second day) and then on the 3rd day, a real, full race day where you get to take your shiny new Novice License and practice, qualify and race with everyone. The entry fee for the school and the 1 race day is $725, I believe, and that represents a ton of track time and fun over the three days. Even if you never think you'll continue onwards, you can make it a really cool once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Steve
 

Clockwerk

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Already signed up for a few days at the local SCCA track, Hallett Raceway. It's gonna be a bloody blast.

Just noticed this thread, what are you running at Hallett? I'm there pretty often taking pictures.
 

Dogbert

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Just renewed my SCCA subscription. Autocross and time trials are in my future this year. :thumbup:
 

Clegko

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Just noticed this thread, what are you running at Hallett? I'm there pretty often taking pictures.
Just doing track days with a few friends, is all. I'm too poor do any serious racing, otherwise. :(
 

EyeMWing

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I'm going to be getting into this as soon as I can get another car in the driveway and weld a cage into the ZX2.

In the mean time... What do you think about the SCCA PDX events? I know they aren't part of the licensing path, but the car entry requirements are a lot lower than the actual racing schools and they're a lot cheaper than regular track days at the same tracks. (I'm over in the Washington DC Region - so Summit Point and Shenandoah are my home circuits).

Autocross (both in the DC region and the Susquehanna region) is also in the cards for this formative year.
 
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Steve Levin

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PDX events are definitely worthwhile. Track time, just learning the basics without pressure to "be the fastest guy on the timing sheets" or "beating the other guys" is a great thing.

The most important thing to to be constantly critical of your skills, and relentless in your pursuit of perfection. Do those things, and you will get fast soon enough.

I'd be the first to tell you that I have at best an 'average' feel for what a car is doing, and probably lousy innate skills of car control. When I started, there were several people fast than me that could seemingly not drive the line, be wild and out of control, yet still put in better lap times than I could. But over the span of a couple of years, I kept getting faster and faster... and they didn't (and in more than one case, they hadn't been getting faster in a while, since they had been racing for many years). Now they are just a distant memory in my mirrors -- I outqualify them, outrun them in the race, and have lapped them on a couple of occasions.

By the way, I think before I spent the time and effort of prepping the ZX2, I would really look to getting a Miata. You can get ones that are no better and no worse than your ZX2 fairly inexpensively, and there's a ton of aftermarket support for it (and if you take it racing, you'll have a lot more similar cars to compete against)

I know a couple of folks in your area; when you get closer timewise let me know and we'll hook you up and they can give you some local feedback.

Steve
 

Dogbert

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Steve Levin, what are your thoughts on Redline Time Attack vs. NASA Time Attack?
 

EyeMWing

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The ZX2 is actually getting race-prepped for a banger-racing enduro series - it's just a stepping stone to get seat time and learn the fundamentals, and will be replaced with something decidedly more RWD (but equally girly)
 

Steve Levin

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Steve Levin, what are your thoughts on Redline Time Attack vs. NASA Time Attack?

I'm far from an expert on it, but it seems that Redline is really semi-pro in a sense; there's a lot of serious money and press coverage there. NASA is just another club racing organization; their time trials are folded into their race weekends (including the lower tier HPDE), whereas Redline is a day where it's nothing but hardcore time attack cars in different classes. There's no real "learning" or anything...it's all very serious.

IIRC, it's also very tuner-centric, as I don't believe Corvettes are allowed at all. Mustangs are since they have OHC engines. :)

Steve
 

reb

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Steve - are you still racing SRF's ? I'd love to talk with you about the rental program you used.

I'm a new user, so can't send you a private message.

-reb
 
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