Hitting the racetrack is a dream for many. If you’re finally ready to take the plunge and hit the racetrack, you have to make sure you’re ready. After all, a small problem can turn into a deadly issue when you’re driving at high speeds on a race track with other drivers.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that racing a car is as simple as putting the pedal to the medal. Make sure you’re prepared to race safely with these tips.
Make Sure You Have the Right Car and Parts
Any car can go fast, but not all cars can go race cars fast! Before you hit the track, make sure you have the right car.
If you want the chance to win, you have to drive a car that can go from 0 to 60 quickly and has enough power to go well beyond 60 miles per hour. Fortunately, there are models that are readily available, and they can be purchased at relatively affordable prices. A few options include the Ford Mustang, Dodge Challenger, and Chevrolet Camaro.
Once you have the right car, you have to be willing to modify it for the racetrack. That might include installing high compression pistons, cylinder heads, and safety equipment.
According to MAPerfomance, BBS racing wheels are a good choice because they can reduce the weight of your vehicle without compromising strength.
You Need to Work Out
You know you need to work out if you’re planning to run a marathon or you want to do any other sport, and it turns out, you need to work out if you’re driving a car too.
Racecar drivers may not be running or swinging, but driving at fast speeds can be hard on your body. Racers deal with extreme G-force, and with long races and turns on every lap, a racer’s neck, shoulders, and core all need to be in tip-top shape.
Before you get into the car, research how other drivers work out and spend some time in the gym getting yourself ready for the race. That way, you have enough stamina to make it to the finish line.
Wear a Professional Uniform With a Helmet
Although you’re sitting in a car, you need to work out, and you have to think about what you’re going to wear. People in the stands will see you getting in and out of your car. Not to mention, you’ll want to wear clothing that is comfortable. You don’t want to feel like you have to unbutton your pants in the middle of a race!
Even more important is wearing a helmet. A helmet will ensure you protect your head in the event of a crash. While you’re at it, wearing fireproof gloves, shoes, and a suit are good ideas too.
Join a Drag Racing Club
If you are interested in racing a car, you probably already interact with others with the same passion. However, that doesn’t mean you know when and where all the races are!
If you want to be well-informed about all the races in the area, and even races across the country, you should join a drag racing club. A local club enables you to connect with other racers in the area, while a national club can help you learn more about races that are taking place all across the country.
Study the Rules of the Race Track
From NASCAR to the Daytona 500, every racing series has its own rules and regulations. It’s important to know the rules and regulations you’ll be dealing with before you hit the track.
A few things you’ll want to learn include:
- How staging lanes works, which includes finding a pit space
- The details of the registration process, which includes how to pass a technical inspection
- What each of the racing starting lights and flags mean
- What to do after you cross the finish line
If for any reason you don’t feel confident with the rules of the racetrack, or the track itself seems a little too intimidating, you always have the option not to race. Check out a few runs to get your bearings and you can always sign up for a race later.
Practice Without the Pressure
There’s a lot of pressure and nervous energy when you hit the race track. You won’t be able to handle all that high-pressure energy if you haven’t had the chance to practice.
That includes finding time to drive at high speeds on the race track, but it also means practicing good driving techniques while you’re on civilian roads too.
Practice techniques like:
- Focus as far ahead on the road as you can instead of on the car in front of you
- Think about where you want the car to end up instead of where it is
- Brake with your left foot
- Pull down when you turn instead of lifting up the steering wheel
- Keep your hands at nine and three at all times
Take Drag Racing Lessons or Undergo Professional Training
If you really want to be prepared for your first race, you should consider taking drag racing lessons. You’ll get time to practice on the track with a seasoned racer who can provide you with personalized pointers and tips just for you.
Learning how to drive safely is just as important as getting practice driving at high speeds, but you may want to undergo additional training. For racing, that means training your eyes. Proper training can prevent your eyes from becoming strained during long races, and it can also help you improve your reaction time, enabling you to prevent accidents and find ways to get ahead of your competitors on the track.
Your first race is going to be memorable. You just want to make sure that it is memorable for all the right reasons! Make sure you’re completely prepared for your first race by following the tips on this list, and you just may find yourself beginning a lucrative and rewarding new hobby.