If you follow Formula 1, you’ll know that motorsports are on-trend at the moment, meaning people of all ages want to start racing. There’s no denying that motorsports provide a thrill, but the racetrack can be a dangerous place for beginners. So how do you follow your dream of becoming the next Lewis Hamilton without putting yourself in danger?
Besides the risks of getting into a racecar or mounting a motorbike, winning on the track is no easy feat. Just like any other sport, racing requires hours of practice and dedication to succeed. It’s not just a case of putting your foot on the pedal and going along for the ride.
With safety in mind, here are ten steps to follow if you’re looking to get into motor racing but don’t know where to start.
Choose Your Sport
You probably already know whether you want to ride a motorbike or drive a racing car, but that’s just the start of it. There are a few different varieties of motorcycle racing, including road racing, endurance, track and drag racing. For car racing, you have a wider selection to choose from, including NASCAR, Formula One, Formula Two, endurance, drag racing and rally racing. Get yourself acquainted with these different forms and decide which you want to try.
Get Physically Fit
Most people don’t consider that they need to be physically fit to keep up with the demands of being a racer. Although driving doesn’t require fitness in the same way that running or other sports do, racing is still a demanding sport. Get yourself in peak physical health before you start racing, as the long days on the track and the bumps and collisions can take their toll.
If you’re looking to get into racing, go-karting is the ideal place to start. Go-karting is an inexpensive and safe entryway into more extreme motorsports, and it will still give you that thrill that you crave.
If you already own a racing vehicle and you’re desperate to start practicing, begin with a short track or road course to get a feel for it. Just make sure you are fully licensed to drive the car or bike, and you’re wearing the appropriate clothing before you begin.
Go to Racing Events
Learning a new sport takes practice and perseverance, but you will also need to know the game before you even start. Spend some time going to motorsports events and researching successful drivers on the internet. Going to events will also connect you to other people in the community, but you can also find like-minded enthusiasts on Internet forums if you’re not able to attend regular races.
Get to Know Your Vehicle
To understand how your racing vehicle works, you’ll need to work on your mechanical knowledge. Knowing how to repair your bike or car will be a great advantage to you when you’re on the track, and when you’re traveling to and from events – imagine if your vehicle breaks down on the way there and don’t know how to fix it. Use the internet to help you get to grips with the basics, but don’t rely on the first site you find.
Tradebit is a top-rated, trusted provider of motorcycle repair manuals and racing car repair manuals for thousands of makes and models. The collection is vast, so you are bound to find your vehicle there.
Learn the Ropes
You shouldn’t rely on the internet to tell you everything you need to know about racing, which is why it’s a good idea to attend a racing school and take some driving lessons. Depending on the state you live in, a formal racing education from professional instructors might be required for you to get a license. Even if it isn’t essential, it’s still an invaluable way to gain experience.
Join Racing Communities
The best way to get into motorsports is to get to know other racers. Be open about your lack of experience and don’t be afraid to show your passion. The motorsports community is usually very accommodating of new racers, and as long as you respect their rules, they will welcome you with open arms. You could also volunteer at events to embed yourself in the community and get an insider’s perspective.
Get a License
You will need to apply for a racing license to become a certified driver. Depending on where you live, there will be different racing organizations with varying requirements. Some, for instance, will require a full medical exam before they deem you fit to practice, and others you will have to pay a substantial fee. Search online to find out how to become a licensed motorsports driver in your state.
Sign Yourself Up
Once you’re certified, you can start signing up for races and events in your local area. Bear in mind that although you now have a license, your vehicle will still require an inspection before each race. You will need to contact the organization hosting the event to find out what the inspection covers, so you make sure your vehicle is ready.
Get the Gear
It goes without saying that you can’t step onto a racing track without the appropriate safety gear. The required clothing will depend on your vehicle of course, but there may also be stipulations set by the track staff. Typically, you will need a helmet, a racing suit, a jacket, gloves, and possibly even underwear.
Contact your local events organizer and find out what clothing you need to compete. They may be able to recommend a company you can hire the uniform from so you can avoid the expense of buying it all at once.
Motorsports is a thrilling competitive sport to get into, but it does require time, dedication and practice. Rather than trying to get onto the track right away, spend some time honing your skills and play the long game. That way, when you do start racing, you’ll make a real impact without putting yourself in danger.