If your heart races with fast cars, perhaps you've ever dreamed of driving a race car yourself. In many cases, people start at a young age, although even if you are a little older, you can still get into motorsport. However, keep in mind that before you can participate in a race yourself, you will need to be in good physical condition and learn to drive.
Part 1 of 4: Learn the Basics
Step 1. Try kart driving
These might seem childish to you, but many motorsport drivers drive go-kart circuits to learn the basics.
- You could even participate in go-kart competitions. These, in essence, are versions of motorsport competition on a reduced scale.
- In fact, many motorsport drivers dabble in go-kart driving at a young age. If you can win a race at this age, it will attract the attention of sponsors, which could lead to forays into professional motorsport.
Step 2. Join a local sports car club
If you want to qualify as a race car driver at both an amateur and professional level, this is usually the first step you will need to take. This is because typically these clubs will grant you the license.
- Joining the club may require a doctor to perform a sports physical, for which you may need to get a form from the club's website.
- In some cases, you may need to fill out a newbie permission form, which you can also get through the club's website.
- You may also need to present passport-size photographs, which you can usually find at any photo development store, as well as a copy of both sides of your driver's license and payment of a fee. Check online to find out what your local club's fees and requirements are.
- The local club could also allow you to be part of the team that sits on one side of the circuit, where you can see how everything works from the inside. From there, you could move on to motorsport.
Step 3. Try a one-day course
In many driving schools, you can find single-day courses, by which you can determine if motorsport is something you really want to do.
Step 4. Qualify for a comprehensive driving school
If you are good at kart driving, you might qualify for a driving school. In some cases, they offer 3-day courses for adolescents as young as 13 and 14 years old, although of course they will also accept adults. In them, you can learn the basics of racing car driving.
- Driving schools will teach you concepts such as how to corner, get close to your field of vision, and accelerate and brake correctly on a race track, as well as the basics of passing other cars.
- Your instructor should be able to give you an idea as to when you will be ready to go on a circuit. If you have difficulty with basic skills, you may need to stay in school for a longer time.
Step 5. Learn the basic sitting position
In most cases, new drivers don't think about sitting, but how you position yourself is important. If you crash, you should be leaning firmly against the seat, and it will help you resist the forces of the car while driving.
- Square your body with the seat, which means that you should not lean or turn to either side. You must make sure that all the parts of your body that should be in contact with the seat are. This includes the shoulders, head, and legs.
- Take care that your arms are at the correct distance from the steering wheel. Your wrists should be resting on the top of the steering wheel when you rest your shoulders against the seat. In this way, you will have additional space that will help you make curves without having to separate your back from the seat.
- The legs should be at the proper distance from the pedals. You should be able to press them without overextending your legs, like your arms. Press the pedals with the balls of your feet and your knees should remain slightly bent.
Step 6. Learn to drive
Place your hands at the 9 and 3 o'clock position. This means that you must pretend that the steering wheel is a clock and place your hands where they would be 9 and 3 o'clock. This gives you the most control over the wheel.
- Push when entering curves. Use the hand that is on the opposite side of the curve to push the steering wheel instead of pulling it with one hand. Add control with the other hand.
- Pushing instead of pulling will give you a smoother ride and more control over the car, as well as increase your speed.
Step 7. Understand the basics of making changes
You should only place your hand on the lever when shifting, otherwise you will lose half your ability to drive the car. Also, be careful to only shift with enough force, as pushing the lever too hard will cause you to lose speed.
Step 8. Learn to use the pedals
In racing cars, there are usually four pedals: the accelerator, the brake, the clutch, and the rest pedal. Press them down with the balls of your feet in one fluid motion.
- The rest pedal, like regular cars, is on the left and is a place away from the clutch where you can rest your leg.
- The clutch is located to the right of the rest pedal. When cornering on a race track, you should shift into a lower gear using your heel and toe. As you brake through the corner, you should press the clutch with your left foot and shift to a lower gear with your right hand. However, you should also rev the engine as the car will have lost speed. Keep the ball of your right foot on the brake and lightly push the accelerator with the heel of your right foot. As you return your right foot fully to the brake and release the clutch, you should shift this foot to the accelerator as you increase speed to exit the curve.
- The brake is located to the right of the clutch. If you want to brake, you must first apply steady, gentle pressure. Then press and hold the brake until you feel it start to vibrate to be sure. As you slow down, gradually release pressure on the brake so that you can turn to come to a technical stop.
- The throttle is on the far right. When exiting a curve, you must be careful to increase your speed gradually. If you accelerate too fast, you could lose control of the vehicle.
Step 9. Learn to handle curves
To handle curves, the best way is to draw the simplest line between the entry point and the exit point. The farthest point you will get to on the curve will be the tip.
- To be able to make the curve as quickly as possible, you must enter it on the outside of the circuit, cut through the inside of the curve and then go to the outside of the circuit.
- Basically, this is like cutting the corner off a piece of paper in an arcing motion.
- When making a curve, you must have a reference point. When doing practice laps, you should choose a reference point for when you corner, for the tip, and for the exit. In this way, you will remain constant throughout the entire race.
Part 2 of 4: Register and Prepare for the Races
Step 1. Get the money for the race
It is very expensive to enroll in a race, so in order to participate, you will need money. If you are good enough, you could get sponsors or you could also sign up as part of a team if the team recognizes your talent and pays you the entry fee. However, you must have already established yourself as a talented motorsports driver for these options to be viable.
However, local races will cost much less. For example, you could end up finding a local career at a cost of a couple of hundred dollars a day
Step 2. Buy or rent a race car
You will need to have your own race car, even those run by your local sports car club. If you don't want to buy a car right away, you could rent one, though keep in mind that renting is also expensive.
You can find out where to rent a car by checking with your local club (specifically, the competition president)
Step 3. Buy racing gear
You will also have to take into account other expenses, such as your suit and your racing helmet. These can cost thousands of dollars if they're custom, but you should also be able to get a lot cheaper. Before signing up for a race, your local sports car club may need to approve your equipment.
Step 4. Read the welcome pack
It specifies exactly what you will need for the race, the time you must report, and any other classes you must attend beforehand.
Step 5. Take a mechanic with you
You must have someone who can maintain your car during the race (as in all races).
You can simply check with a local garage and hire a mechanic to accompany you. You could also get one by contacting your local sports car club
Step 6. Understand what the additional costs are
By signing up for higher quality races, you will need to have spare parts (enough to build two more cars), a large number of sets of tires because you will burn them frequently, and a ton of fuel as you can consume up to 80 liters per 95 km (21 gallons per 60 miles).
Step 7. Prepare to train
You must practice rigorously and constantly, as with any sport. In the case of some drivers, they get to practice up to 7 days a week.
Racing car drivers' training consists of spending hours on the track, but they also hone their skills using simulators. You should also be prepared for some physical training, such as running, lifting, or swimming. In this way, you will be in an optimal physical state
Step 8. Take some time to visualize
While you wait for the race to start, visualize a complete lap in real time in your mind. This will help calm you down and prepare you to drive.
Part 3 of 4: Moving Up Beyond Your Rookie Status
Step 1. Finish your education at a driver's school
In order to be more of a newbie, you will generally need to take classes at your local sports car club.
In order to compete professionally, you must be in a higher category than novice
Step 2. Compete in three races
Generally, after applying to be a rookie, you will have two years to participate in three races.
Step 3. Get a signature for your rookie permit
Generally, after the third race you participate in, your rookie permit will need to be signed by your chief supervisor to show that you have completed the required number of races.
Step 4. Print the application for a license to compete
Look online for the procedure where you live, but you can usually find this application on the website of your local sports car club.
Step 5. Fill out this application
Through this application, you will be able to have a full license to compete. You will also need to pay a fee along with the application.
Step 6. Mail the application
Generally, you will also need to submit a copy of your physical with the application.
Step 7. Hone your skills
You will improve more as you participate in more races.
Step 8. Win races
To get into professional careers, it is best to start winning local races. If you have a talent for participating in professional competitions, sponsors will notice. Unless you have enough money to participate in professional careers (which usually cost more than $ 100,000 including equipment and registration fees), you will need sponsors to move to a professional level.
Part 4 of 4: Staying in Shape
Step 1. Prepare for stress
Keep in mind that your body will have to withstand the pulls of the g forces and that you will have to withstand very high temperatures inside the race car, which could reach 60 ° C (140 ° F), so, in order to handle it, you body must be fit.
Step 2. Understand what awaits your body
Crashes are common when driving race cars, so you'll have a better chance of surviving them the more fit you get. Likewise, motor racing affects the shoulders and back, which is why many racing teams are massaged during breaks.
Step 3. Eat well
You must eat in a balanced way, including proteins, vegetables, fruits and whole grains in your meals. Before a race, you may need to eat more carbohydrates to build your energy.
Step 4. Stay hydrated
You should drink a lot of water, especially during a race. In some cases, drivers also drink energy drinks that contain little sugar.
Step 5. Stay slim
You need to stay in shape, as the extra body weight will slow the car down.