The Need For Speed
You know you've got it a funny little feeling in the pit of your stomach. You've worn out your DVD of The Fast and the Furious. When you hit an exit ramp, you lean into the turn, trying to find the smoothest, fastest, and most importantly, safest driving line. You're not sure what you should do about that funny feeling you get when you hear the sound of a high performance engine revving up for a spin.
We here in the Ohio Valley Region of the Sports Car Club of America ("OVR/SCCA") are here to help you fulfill your need for speed, legally and, most importantly, safely! We suggest that you read this article first, and then go back to click on the underlined words (hyperlinks) for more information.
First, you need to decide how you want to fulfill your need for speed. Are you interested in precision driving just you against the clock? Do you want to experience the thrill of wheel-to-wheel driving competition? Do you have a teenage driver in the house who needs to learn car control techniques and learn how to be safe, alert, and confident behind the wheel?
Consider stopping by one of our monthly meetings (we call them "socializers") to talk with several of our members who autocross, road race, or work at the races. You can learn a lot from talking to an experienced competitor or worker from how they got started, to what they do today, to their dreams for tomorrow's racing ventures. You'll find lots of people willing to help you at a socializer, and you'll make some great new friends.
Another consideration when deciding how you want to fulfill your need for speed is budget. If you are on a limited budget, you may want to start out autocrossing, which is precision driving through a course set up with pylons (also called "Solo"). There are many different classes for many different types of cars, and while you are competing against other people in a class, you are usually the only person on the course it's just you against the clock. There is no wheel-to-wheel contact in autocrossing, and the speeds never exceed legal freeway driving speeds. You can even use the car you drive to work every day! The entry fees are $20.00 for SCCA members, and $25.00 for non-members. We have a very busy autocrossing schedule from April until October, so we can keep you really busy! Because our events are so popular this year, we may have to start enforcing entry caps (limiting the number of entries), so we strongly encourage pre-registration for our events by going to www.dlbracing.com.
If you have a little extra money to put into your "speed" venture, you may want to invest it in your autocrossing car on things like softer autocross specific tires, sway bars, adjustable shocks, a five-point harness to hold you firmly in your seat, or lowering springs, just to name a few. Some modifications change your car classification, so be sure to get a copy of the Solo Rules, which are available from the or our .
Or, you may decide that you want to get right into road racing to feel the thrill of racing down the back straight at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course with a pack of other racers heading for the turn into the Esses. For purposes of this article, we will talk about three levels of racing: regional (over 30 different classes); national (24 classes), or Pro. You can buy or rent a race car, or build one of your own from the ground up it's up to you, your level of determination, the amount of spare time you have on your hands, and your budget.
Regional classes are the best and least expensive way to get started, and you will need to do two regional races after you have completed two SCCA driver's schools (or other SCCA-approved road racing school). There are many regional races throughout the Central Division, and even a Regional Championship Series (with trophies!), and you can be out racing every weekend if it's in your budget!
National classes provide a more competitive level of road racing, and drivers compete within the Central Division for divisional class championships and try to qualify in the top ten in class in each of the SCCA divisions for the opportunity to race for the national championship at the Runoffs® in September each year.
Racing in the SCCA gives you good training to move on to professional racing series, like SCCA TransAm or World Challenge, or CART... the possibilities are endless it's all up to you and your driving skill and determination!
For more information on getting started in road racing, please contact our .