If you’ve ever watched a Formula 1 race and wondered what it would be like to drive competitively, you’re not alone. Many people think that taking up a hobby in a motor sport is prohibitively expensive and out of the realms of reality for the regular hobbyist. Whilst you’re not going to achieve the outright speed of a Formula 1 racer, it’s definitely possible to race your own car competitively each weekend for only a modest outlay.
How Do I Start?
Firstly, you need to know what flavours of motor racing are on offer. The two obvious choices are hill climbs and sprints. Both are timed affairs where you race your own car against the clock. Sprints feature circuit racing on a disused airfield or “proper” race track, and hill climbs will typically be done on a closed public road that winds to the top of a hill.
Why Choose These Events?
If you’re new to competitive racing, you’ll probably only have a limited budget. These two disciplines allow you to compete in your own car, and because each competitor races against the clock, there is only ever a single vehicle on the track at any one time. This has the huge advantage that you won’t crash into other drivers!
By racing against the clock, you’re actually only competing with your last time, rather than against the other drivers, so the overall experience is much more friendly and less pressured. It also means that it makes little difference what car you bring, and many drivers choose to race in their daily vehicle!
Once you get the bug for this type of racing, you can enter more specialist, powerful machinery in a bid to complete the run faster.
Things You’ll Need
Firstly, you’ll need a licence. This costs around £30 a year for a beginner and allows you to compete at a basic level. The next thing you’ll need is a club or championship membership. Each event you enter is likely to cost around £80. The only other considerations are that you have a roadworthy car with an MOT and insurance for the event. This really is bargain racing!
As mentioned above, it’s perfectly possible to compete in your standard daily driven car, so you won’t need to hire any expensive body shop equipment to fit roll cages and the like.
The only real piece of equipment your car should have onboard is a fire extinguisher. You’ll need an approved fire proof suit and a crash helmet for your own protection, but apart from that, you’re ready to race!
Have Fun Out There
Remember, sprinting and hill climbing are all about beating your last time. There’s no need to be nervous or feel embarrassed around the other drivers. They’ll all be concentrating on their own times! It’s best to simply get out there, start very slow and pick up the pace with each run. This type of motor sport is a great way to improve your confidence and meet new friends. Good luck!
By Harry Price
Harry Price is a successful author and entrepreneur. He enjoys playing competitive poker and participating in the biggest motorsport events around the world.