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Evaluate Your Capabilites Before Going Racing

By Superleggera Subscribe to RSS | December 27th 2011 | Views:
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Building a race car takes more than just throwing money at a project vehicle by buying race car components, slapping them on the car and going racing, expecting to take home the championship on your first season.

Putting together a successful race car takes expertise, a hefty budget and commitment from a team that is willing to solve teething problems and working with only a few hours’ sleep, specially on race weekends. Though there are many who claim that you can race on a shoestring budget, going racing takes more than just showing up in a cheaply built race vehicle. Even if the owner and builder is a genius engineer who can fabricate race car components, going racing involves having support vehicles, a service crew, entry fees, fuel costs, tire costs, food expenses, insurance maybe and other small expenses that all add up.

Whatever path the racer may choose to take to enter the world of motorsports, the first thing that you need to do is to look for a series that suits your inclination, time and budget. In your area, there should be several options to choose from, from amateur autocross or rallycross series to sanctioned drag racing championships that involves racing at several different tracks around the country or even neighboring countries. Having identified your series, choosing your vehicle is the next most important step. A quick and dirty way of entering a series competitively from the start is by buying a car from someone who has built up a car that falls within the regulations of that series. It doesn’t have to exactly fall within the regualtions, because you can add or remove the race car components as the rules require. One of the downsides to a ready-made racer is that it doesn’t give the amateur racer the indispensable knowledge and experience that you get from building a race car on your own. In addition, the car you have bought may already be on its way to obsolescence or not competitive, so undoing the previous builder’s errors could cost you more in the end.

Building up a car for racing allows you to pick and choose which race car components will go into your car. It also allows the owner/driver, if that is the case, to start from a lower class which promotes the fun in racing and can be more lenient with the rules. The entry-level classes are a great way to get into racing because series organizers normally limit the the race car components that you can install in the car. More often than not, only safety equipment and minimal engine and suspension components are allowed. As your skills and competitiveness improves, you can choose to move up a class, where you can install more race car components that will allow you to compete with the better-equipped cars and more skillfull drivers. At a certain point, classes begin to allow lightweight carbon fibre or fibreglass body panels, which give a race car a much improved power-to-weight ratio. Aero devices also begin to come into the picture, in which case a carbon wing will give you the needed downforce while adding minimal weight. By this time, your racing budget will definitely have increased considerably to allow you to buy the equipment you need to be competitive.

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