blank 11/21/12 09:26AM Amateur Racing License, Racing School, SCCA

Wanna Race ? Join SCCA


SCCA, Racing, Amateur Racing, Getting a Racing License

By

Christopher Brooks

Submitted to MCOA

The world outside your windshield melts in a motion blur as you travel 200 miles per hour down the track. Feel the adrenaline coursing through your veins and savor the smells of burning fuel and rubber—that's what being a race car driver is all about. Future motor sport drivers, here's how to race up the road to competitive racing.

Join SCCA

If you have no prior racing experience, sign up for a membership on Sports Car Club of America's (SCCA) website or with the National Auto Sports Association (NASA). Download the SCCA examination and medical history forms, Novice Permit form, Form MS-L (if you're age 16 to 18) and schedule an appointment for a sports physical.

Upon joining, PopularMechanics.com suggests becoming a corner worker or tech inspector. By being on the track as an insider, you'll have the opportunity to learn firsthand about the sport and see how much dedication and money it takes to live as a career racecar driver.

Paperwork

Gather these documents after joining the SCCA to gain a Novice Permit:

  • Physical examination (no more than three months old)
  • Two passport size photos
  • Driver's license photocopies (both sides)
  • Additional paperwork is required for 16/17-year-olds and in some states 18/21-year-olds.
  • $110 Novice Permit fee

Acquiring a Car

Before signing up for driving school, you'll need to obtain a racecar. The SCCA suggests contacting your local Region's Competition Chairman for help in acquiring a rented vehicle. Consider which class of car best suits your interests and aspirations. Formula 1, Indy Car? Check the quality of the tires; you may need an upgrade to BFGoodrich Tires from Discount Tire or other tire shops. Many cars are available to rent for $500-$2,000. The car will need to be equipped with a window net, roll cage and five-point harness.

Another option is to build your own racecar, though this will cost significantly more time and money. If you do take this route, ensure that you know which of the SCCA's numerous national racing classes you'll tackle and buy the rulebook to meet all regulations.

SCCA Driver Schools

Attend classes at the SCCA or SCCA approved schools. Specific regions hold classes only in the spring, so check to make sure your school offers classes if you're attending outside of springtime. Classes usually consist of six hours of on-track instruction on two separate days. You'll need a certified helmet and gear as well as gloves and shoes. Ensure that your car is fully prepared prior to the on-track sessions. The SCCA advises having a qualified mechanic with you for the races. You'll achieve the novice rank upon successfully completing the school's requirements.

SCCA Regional Competition License

Several professional schools offer a SCCA Regional Competition License upon completion and two regional races. To earn the license, send your completed Novice Permit, physical exam copy and $75 to the Central Licensing Department. From there, prove your racecar driving savvy and complete four regional races for National Competition License eligibility.

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