Landing a job as a race car driver is a long process that demands passion and dedication. Often race car drivers start in supporting positions on racing teams to break into the competitive field of racing as a driver. Through persistence, training and experience, a prospective driver may get a chance to drive in a race. Following years at the track, find financial backing. In doing so, you may be able to break into the competitive field of race car driving.
Racing Schools instructor Taylor Fletcher advises potential race car drivers to immerse themselves in the sport through every possible avenue. Successful race car drivers often are born into the field and grow up with oil in their blood. You need to be able to live and breathe racing to endure the journey that it takes to become a race car driver if you are not part of a racing family. Read everything you can get your hands on. Find work at the tracks or with a team. Find opportunities to race as an amateur.
Join a local racing club. Participate in every event. Find chapters of the U.S. Sports Car Club of America or the Sports Car Club of America. Participate on any level to make contacts and learn more about the process of becoming a driver. Many local clubs sponsor races for members to drive in with their streetcars. Like a pilot, try to get as many hours behind the wheel in a race as possible to strengthen your credibility and your experience. A solid standing in amateur races will help to land a spot on a racing team or to find your own sponsor.
Look into racing schools that can teach you the basics of car handling and racing strategies. Instructors at racing schools also can share with you the process that you need to follow to become a full-time race car driver. Check out the intensive three-day racing programs offered by schools such as Bertil Roos Racing School or Competition 101. Bertil Roos offers one, three and five-day programs for limited class sizes; the classes teach racing techniques that emphasise passing, drafting and qualifying for Formula One drivers. Competition 101 is a NASCAR school that focuses on professional racing techniques. It works one-on-one with students to maximise their competitiveness.
Buy a car; enter races. Many professional race car drivers also hold full-time jobs to support their passion. A beginner who works on his own car may spend up to £65,000 a year on the car, entry-fees, tires, and maintenance. That's in addition to 30 to 50 hours a week on the sport. Look for a sponsor if you don't have the finances to set up a team and outfit a winning vehicle. A Formula One racing team can cost up to £3 million to put together and maintain for one year.
Develop a relationship with a racing team. Offer to drive for the team. Most contract drivers do not get paid a salary. Instead, they must bring their own sponsorships to the table. Stay in touch with the racing communities through Website forums such as the one NASCAR offers or the North American Subaru Impreza Owners Club. Chat about openings and opportunities are shared with forum members. Driving under contract with a team also gives you exposure to land bigger sponsorships after you win a few races.
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