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Old 05-25-2007, 02:19 PM   #1
rx713bt
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Default How Do I Become a Professional Race Car Driver???

I want to drive 24 Rolex, etc. I've been doing Skip Barber races but I want to move to a team any other suggestions in marketing myself?? I have the financial backing... both parents are surgeons...
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Last edited by rx713bt; 05-25-2007 at 02:26 PM.
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Old 05-25-2007, 02:30 PM   #2
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Well this should get interesting............... How about starting at the club racing level and winning. That's what gets attention of sponsors and team owners.
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Old 05-25-2007, 02:32 PM   #3
greg donovan
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lots of money and eat sleep and breathe racing.
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Old 05-25-2007, 02:41 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rx713bt View Post
I want to drive 24 Rolex, etc. I've been doing Skip Barber races but I want to move to a team any other suggestions in marketing myself?? I have the financial backing... both parents are surgeons...
Nope, you don't have the financial backing.

What is your name? Which Skip Barber races? Regional, National, jsut the classes?

What kind of car in the 24 do you want to drive?
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Old 05-25-2007, 02:44 PM   #5
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I'm 99% sure that Skip Barber Racing School has a feeder series that 'privateers' compete in. Do well there, and you will be noticed by teams in the Star Mazda Series, Toyota Atlantic Series, etc. Do well here, and you'll be in the big leagues next!
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Old 05-25-2007, 03:32 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chiketkd View Post
I'm 99% sure that Skip Barber Racing School has a feeder series that 'privateers' compete in. Do well there, and you will be noticed by teams in the Star Mazda Series, Toyota Atlantic Series, etc. Do well here, and you'll be in the big leagues next!
Everybody in Skip Barber is a privateer there are smaller level regional events and larger national events all run the same car. It feeds into Star Mazda now series winner gets a Star Mazda ride. Toyota Atlantic no longer exists but Champ Car Atlantic would be the next step after Star Mazda, or Indy Pro Series if you like going roundy round. However with the Daytona talk that would be more production based cars and a more logical route would be MX-5 series which would feed to Speed TC and and then Speed GT and those are arguably on the same level as most of the Grandam stuff.
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Old 05-25-2007, 03:40 PM   #7
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if mommy and daddy will pay your way, i suggest you build a car and win races.


if you want to make mommy and daddy proud, get a job, buy a budget racer, and LEARN HOW TO WIN RACES. Support yourself, dont live on mommy and daddys money.
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Old 05-25-2007, 03:43 PM   #8
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Its Easy to be a pro race car driver. all you have to do is Win.

if you win and keep winning you will move up quickly.
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Old 05-25-2007, 03:52 PM   #9
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Born wealthy, or win the lottery. There are plenty of mediocre drivers with plenty more money than talent that still seem to show up at races all over the world every weekend.

Take that money, and spend it.....schools, media/marketing, travel. Then find another source of money, and spend all that too.

FWIW, many/most "pro" drivers have to pay for their drives, very few are "paid". I know a weekend in a decent SPEED WC-GT car can cost $20-$25K to drive, same with Grand Am Cup.
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Old 05-25-2007, 04:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rx713bt View Post
I want to drive 24 Rolex, etc. I've been doing Skip Barber races but I want to move to a team any other suggestions in marketing myself?? I have the financial backing... both parents are surgeons...
Ask at Skip Barber to determine what the next step is.
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Old 05-25-2007, 05:21 PM   #11
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First of all learn the business. Motorsports is a business. If you are coming here and asking this question you don't have the knowledge or the personal relationships to make things progress. Driving skill is only half of the equation. You have to have the networkin and business skills to go out and find rides. With that said, it is as easy as the following.


Put together a car in a competitive class and win.

Win a lot.

Then put togethere a competitive car and team in a more difficult class and win, and win a lot.

Then, if you have won lots of competitive races and championships. Go out and find more money. Lots more. And put together a privateer race team in a meaningful series.

In the said meaningful series do well. Show you can win.

Now put together a program in a meaningful feeder series. After getting some experience. Win. Win a lot.

At somepoint if you really have the talent, and develop the networking and business sense you will find a ride. Talent won't get you very far in a career in motorsports. There as many true talents sitting at home or at desks doing day jobs as their are mediocore talents buying and financing their way into "careers" in racing.

Oh. If you haven't won anything by age 18. And really, won something competitive. You need to have huge sums of natural talent, ambition, and money.
Consider going to the UK and winning the Formula Ford championship. That would be a great start.
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Old 05-25-2007, 05:50 PM   #12
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Sign up for that "Setup" show on Speedvision....
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Old 05-25-2007, 05:58 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rx713bt View Post
I have the financial backing... both parents are surgeons...
Should be good to go!
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Old 05-25-2007, 06:15 PM   #14
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I agree, you need to start winning the races you enter. Start looking around at enduro rides and other teams that sell seat time at races. They are out there and again all you need to do is win.

I wish you luck as I'm trying to fine $800 to buy tires with at the moment so i can fund my racing "career"
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Old 05-25-2007, 06:46 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rx713bt View Post
I want to drive 24 Rolex, etc. I've been doing Skip Barber races but I want to move to a team any other suggestions in marketing myself?? I have the financial backing... both parents are surgeons...
If you have the funding, there is no need to market yourself yet. You can start marketing yourself after you've accomplished some solid results in pro racing. Here's how to start...

Step 1: If you don't have a pro license, application information is HERE.

Step 2: Find a rental ride. Look HERE.

Step 3: Find a driving coach to help get you up to speed in these cars. Start looking HERE.

If I were you, I would do several races in a Koni Challenge RWD GS car. If you are OK with the car and feel like you can take a big step up from there, that's when you start looking at available GT seats in Rolex. A few clean races in GT and it would be easy to secure a seat for the 24 Hours of Daytona. If you have the funding.

Be aware that each of these is a pretty big step up. Depending on your previous experience, you may be on a very steep learning curve for awhile!

Gary
Sheehan Motor Racing
www.garysheehan.com

Last edited by GarySheehan; 05-25-2007 at 10:34 PM.
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Old 05-26-2007, 08:35 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rx713bt
SCCA sucks this year... only 3 runs?? This an't no nationals... what ever happened to 5 runs?? I'd rather spend my money locally where I can do 6-8 runs!!
Probably don't piss the sanctioning body off with insightful quotes like the above, and don't confuse "your" money with your parents’ money

Also, despite a lower number of runs, scampering off to local events with no competition will not do much to make you competitive.

And the most true quote in motorsports:

"If you want to end up with a million from motorsport, start with five."

Last edited by fastfreddy; 05-26-2007 at 09:01 AM.
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Old 05-26-2007, 10:09 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GarySheehan View Post
If you have the funding, there is no need to market yourself yet. You can start marketing yourself after you've accomplished some solid results in pro racing. Here's how to start...

Step 1: If you don't have a pro license, application information is HERE.

Step 2: Find a rental ride. Look HERE.

Step 3: Find a driving coach to help get you up to speed in these cars. Start looking HERE.

If I were you, I would do several races in a Koni Challenge RWD GS car. If you are OK with the car and feel like you can take a big step up from there, that's when you start looking at available GT seats in Rolex. A few clean races in GT and it would be easy to secure a seat for the 24 Hours of Daytona. If you have the funding.

Be aware that each of these is a pretty big step up. Depending on your previous experience, you may be on a very steep learning curve for awhile!

Gary
Sheehan Motor Racing
www.garysheehan.com
Gary,

Thanks for posting this information. I'm sure it will be of help to the original poster, and it is very accurate description of how to get started if you already have some money.

As for the rest of the comments in this thread - who cares where his money came from! Don't be pissed at him just because he comes from a rich family. Sure, there are plenty of people who buy their way onto the racetrack, that have no idea what they're doing when they get there, but there are also great drivers who are lucky enough to have funding to help them get started. I wish I had a huge source of money to persue my racing, but I don't - do I hold it against this guy? Hell no! /rant
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Old 05-26-2007, 10:11 AM   #18
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I personally think you should play a LOT of video games.

They will really help your driving abilities. Then, have daddy write a big check to someone and try to imitate those same moves you did on your playstation in real life.

Don't forget to put it on video and post for us to laugh at.

-Tom
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Old 05-26-2007, 10:39 AM   #19
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Make a solid team in an entry-level GT series, and hire me as your coach and general manager!
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Old 05-26-2007, 11:43 AM   #20
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Read "Speed Secrets" by Ross Bentley. The whole 5-part series.
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Old 05-26-2007, 11:57 AM   #21
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The ALMS has rentals available in GT2 I know. It's more international than the Rolex series. Might want to look there too. Get close to Don and maybe he can introduce you to White Lightening or Penske.

I know I'd be happy just to have the financial backing to get in club racing! Good luck with your adventures!
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Old 05-26-2007, 12:07 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pete_falcone View Post
Read "Speed Secrets" by Ross Bentley. The whole 5-part series.

Six parts now.
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Old 05-26-2007, 12:39 PM   #23
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I would start with a reality check, are you really that good or have the potential to be good enough to win at the highest levels?

I would start by asking the Skip Barber guys to give you a real assessment of your abilities(turn off the marketing aspect of their business for a moment, not slamming them but is is a business

I have known for decades I am pretty competent but not gifted so I stay in autocross and run track days and have fun doing so. I am better at setting up a car than driving it, I am ok with that, I just setup my cars better than most would ever do and this makes me decently competitive. Then when I want to really see how well I have done I put a great driver in the car and I get great satisfaction from seeing what they can do

If you are super talented then my advice is to go for it, Gary seems to have a great plan if you really do have the funding(not many surgeons make that kind of money

If you are not a super talent maybe you could consider building a team up or becoming part of one, bring in a great talent that has no backing, it can be very rewarding in it's own way.

The reason I say this is I would rather see a great talent not go to waste than see an ok talent buy his way to the top and then run in the back of the pack.

Rick
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Old 05-26-2007, 01:51 PM   #24
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I would like to add one thing that some haven't mentioned as of yet. Mr. Sheehan can chime in here anytime. Excersise and staying healthy to be able to compete in an endurance event such as the 24hrs is crucial!!!!! I remember seeing a video of what the F1 drivers go through for their training and it's tough.

Just something to remember.

Jose M.(always looking for a co-drive)
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Old 05-26-2007, 02:18 PM   #25
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This thread carries a fair amount of bad envy in it. Im sure we all wish we had someone to help us fund our racing dreams.

I think objective advise such as Gary's carries a lot of creditability, as I remember one of the drivers for the Subaru Team here in the US used nearly all of his inheretence to buy rides into the pro rally circuit.

Im sure im less than a mediocre driver but if I had the funds I'd be buying rides at every chance I get and spending the rest on coaching from guys like Gary and schools to improve.

Good Luck to the OP!
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