For young racers looking to make the step into racing professionally, a singular topic is always at the forefront: sponsorship. Current Idemitsu Mazda MX-5 Cup challenger Aidan Fassnacht dives deep into the prospect of finding funding to secure a racing seat; the first of a four part series - By a Racer, For Racers.
Like many sports, racing has written and unwritten rules. And, just like other sports, it is the unwritten rules that can often get you in the most trouble or lead to the biggest misunderstandings.
There is plenty of confusion about what an annual tech inspection of your race car actually covers. Here is a simple guide to help you understand.
True story: before I became a performance driving junkie, I was a college professor. From my perspective, driving is almost entirely a head game, and maybe this is why a nerd like me is so into it. This might also be why I give a lot of thought as to what goes on inside my head when I’m driving, and now that I’m an HPDE instructor, why I think a lot about what goes on inside the heads of my students while they’re driving and learning.
With the Novice Permit secured and the light reading of the 2014 SCCA rulebook to tide us over until Buttonwillow, we set our sights on procuring the necessary safety gear we’d need for Cal Club Super School. We’re starting from scratch here, so we needed a helmet, a racing suit, gloves, and shoes. We also opted to use a balaclava and Nomex socks as well, though their inclusion is not required by the SCCA. Here’s a look at what we got and why we got it.
Randy holds a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering, and for 30 years has been an automotive engineer at General Motors, where he is a technical specialist in noise and vibration (N&V) at their proving ground in Milford, MI. He has published numerous papers on powertrain N&V, and holds three patents. His first assignment at GM was the enviable task of developing Corvettes for minimized “rough road shake.” Randy sent this week’s feature article on a Saturday evening, right in the middle of driving his Cayman in a 2-day track event at Putnam Park. So you know that he not only knows the theory, he drives the theory.
In this installment of the guide we’ll be diving into the ChampCar series, and what sets it apart from the more traditional sanctions like SCCA and NASA. We recently had the opportunity to run a stint amongst a six-driver team in a ChampCar 24 hour endurance race, held at Buttonwillow Raceway. For a number of reasons, this sort of racing is substantially different from the Spec Miata SCCA sprint racing we’ve been discussing thus far, so we’ll be covering some of the key components that make both ChampCar and the endurance racing format unique in comparison to our previous segments.
We’ve been having such a great time working toward our SCCA Competition License running in the Spec Miata class races that we almost forgot that there’s still plenty of cool events you can do with daily driver. As the weather warms up, autocross events are popping up around the country, so we decided to take the Winding Road Challenger out to the autocross for a closer look at this very fun and accessible way to get involved in road racing.
I think there’s so much to be learned from other sports and other athletes that can apply to performance and race driving. So when Ingrid Steffensen sent me her article about what she observed at a hockey game (and how it related to driving), I couldn’t wait to share it with you.
Now that we’ve acquired the necessary safety equipment, it’s time to get ready for racing school. As you may recall from Part I, we’re signed up for Cal Club Super School, a rigorous two-day course which, upon completion, makes us eligible to race the following day. If you’re never raced before, you probably have some questions about how to best prepare yourself to be successful in the classroom and on the track. Let’s take a look at some of the important steps to take before school starts, and in turn answer some of the questions you’re likely to have before you even have to ask them.
Recently a reader emailed me to ask this: “How do I best manage my emotions when racing?” To answer this question – one that I suspect many drivers would like the answer to – I decided to ask a few drivers whom I respect immensely: Johannes van Overbeek, Tom Long, David Murry, and Don Kitch.
As a young racer I found myself listening to more seasoned drivers discussing rain lines at the track with great curiosity, like they belonged to a secret club. I read and asked questions but found a myriad of answers that never worked that well for me. Ultimately, I determined that my own aggressive research was my best hope for a rain strategy that produced consistent results. I have a short attention span and sports that can’t kill me do little to keep my interest. I guess that’s why I found racing so appealing – specifically road racing.
Michael is a returning driver with a solid record of top-10 finishes in 2019 and finished 6th overall in the 2019 Spec MX-5 SimRacing Challenge season. He’s a hard-charger and is not afraid to put his elbows out and fight for a position. With a single win in the 2020 season, he’s sitting in 3rd, only 8 points behind 2nd place with one regular season event to go.
Oregon’s Jack Sanchez returns to the Spec MX-5 SimRacing Challenge for another crack at the title. In 2019, Jack finished 18th in the regular season which earned him a spot in the Grand Finale race at Road Atlanta; he also has the distinction of being one of the few driver’s that started every 2019 race and that’s what earned him an auto-invite to the 2020 season.
Rob Lebel comes to us with plenty of real-world experience. Having competed in various North American racing series for the past 10 years, he's now…
Is there anyone reading this who does not want to drive faster? Yep, just what I thought. Going faster can be seen in two ways: what can you do to drive faster, and what stops you from driving faster. It’s this second viewpoint that driver coach E. Paul Dickinson writes about this week, getting you to think about what stops you from going quicker. By doing so, you can mentally prepare for what prevents you from driving quicker.
Since there won’t really be any racing on TV this weekend, we thought we’d put together a mix of street circuit races from around 35 years to enjoy while we’re all more cooped-up than usual.
We’ve got a big soft spot for the Sauber-Mercedes C9. Its development story is fascinating, its podium ratio is quite good, and it just looks beautiful. The small, bi-turbo V8 beast was the most successful cars of the 1989 Group C racing season, winning eight races including Le Mans. They scored a 2nd place spot on the prestigious, French podium as well.
It is impossible to watch a NASCAR race without noticing the lightning-fast speeds at which the pit crews change tires on the vehicles during their pit stops. The unforgettable zipping sound of the impact wrenches they use to remove the lug nuts is just one of the highly-skilled duties these professionals use to assure a quick tire change.