Many car enthusiasts dream of working in a pit crew for a professional auto racing team. These team members are crucial in making sure the car is prepared for a race and completing speedy repairs and replacements during a race. Whether you want to work for a NASCAR, Formula One or Indy racing team, the competition is stiff. There are a number of ways you can become qualified to work in this exciting sport, including attending school and practising your craft.
Take basic automotive repair courses at a local community college or trade school. These courses will provide you with the basics about cars, such as changing tires and checking the oil.
Enrol in classes at an auto repair school that provides certification of your education, such as an Automotive Service and Repair Certificate. Classes will be easier because you have some basic knowledge of cars from your community college courses. At an automotive repair school, you'll learn more advanced techniques such as computer diagnostics.
Work at a local racetrack, helping amateur drivers. This may involve volunteering for an unpaid position, but the experience will be extremely helpful. You'll be able to work with the driver to prepare the car before a race, and help with minor adjustments during pit stops. It's also helpful for learning about the rules and regulations associated with pit crews. For example, in most cases only a certain number of pit crew team members are allowed outside the pit wall at a time.
Attend Crew School in Asheville, North Carolina. This school is a commonly-used training program for aspiring pit crew members. At this school, students attend a variety of classes to learn about mechanical and fabrication tools, car maintenance, race preparation and pit stop training through a variety of hands-on and classroom experience. The courses are typically 14 weeks and costs about £8,125.
Work on specialising in a certain area. Some common positions in a pit crew include a gas man, tire carrier, jack man and wrench man. Depending on your talents and interests, you can focus your training in one of these areas. Physical abilities play into this as well. For example, a jack man typically needs good upper-body strength; a gas man would ideally be somewhat tall.
Approach the racing teams for whom you'd like to work once you feel your training is appropriate for the job. Demonstrate your skills by giving a resume of your experience and education along with recommendations from past crew leaders with whom you've worked. It's also helpful to use connections you've made through your education to get the chance to try out for a pit crew team.
Because pit crew members are out on the track during a race, this job can be hazardous. Most crew members are expected to be able to perform under pressure and without being distracted by the dangers around them.