The world of auto racing can seem like an intimidating place. At the highest levels of competition, professional drivers race cars that cost more than $100,000 in parts alone. However, stepping into the world of racing may not be as difficult as you think. There are several different types and levels of racing, ensuring that you can find some way to participate regardless of how much time and money you can invest.
The easiest way to start racing is with autocross. The Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) holds more than 1,200 events around the country, and these events are open to anyone. All you need is a car that has passed a safety inspection and a helmet, which you may be able to borrow at the race.
In autocross, makeshift tracks are laid out with traffic cones, often in a large parking lot or at an airport. You’ll race the course alone, just you against the clock, and compare your time against other vehicles in the same class. You can talk to your local race organizer about how to best prepare for the event, but common advice is to put some extra air in your tires, remove your hubcaps and take any loose items out of the car.
If autocross doesn’t quite cut it for you, wheel-to-wheel racing might be more your speed. You’ll be put on a road course with several other drivers, pitting your skill – and your car – against theirs. Being on the track with other racers does add an element of risk, which is why your vehicle will have to meet strict safety requirements. Here are a few safety features most racing clubs require: Read the rest of this entry →