Making the switch from spectator to driver is exciting and probably a bit scary. You may imagine you’re a terrific driver and feel you’re better than most people on the public highways, but racing is a whole other ball game. Your first event is where you will be putting yourself to the test, finding out what you’re made of and deciding if racing is what you want to do. To get the most out of your first time, there are some steps you can take to be prepared and get the maximum enjoyment out of the day.
First off, make sure you’ve got all your licenses, memberships, entries and certificates sorted, that they are in date, and you have copies of everything to take with you. Keep all your documents together in a folder, so you don’t leave anything behind. After all, if you don’t have your paperwork, you won’t be able to race! Be very sure about the rules and regulations of your sport. Check the manual for any sections that apply to you and make sure you conform to all the requirements. If your race suit isn’t to the current safety standard, or your helmet shows signs of damage, for example, you won’t be permitted to race. Motorsport can be dangerous, and no-one is going to give you a break if you get something wrong. The same goes for your vehicle. Double check that every part of the car is legal for racing in your class, and don’t miss things like having approved tires. Depending on your sport and the class you’re in, your car may not be road legal, so you’ll have to take it on a trailer. That means having a decent towing vehicle and a safe trailer, and as trailers may not be used that often, it pays to give yours the once-over in case the tires are soft, or anything needs oiling, and check the lights are working. If you have a trial race, you may not have wanted to invest in anything that extravagant in case things don’t work out, but if you become a regular, it’s worth going online to explore the world of van finance and see what you could get for traveling and towing.
On the day
Arrive in plenty of time, so you aren’t rushing about and getting stressed. Get your paperwork sorted out at the office, and find a scrutineer to check you and the car and give you your approval slip. Put your numbers on the car, make sure you’ve removed any loose items from the interior, and get all your own clothing ready. If it’s very hot, you might want to wait before getting your racing suit on, as they can be very warm! Make sure you’re hydrated, have had a comfort break, and do some deep breathing exercises to keep you calm and get plenty of oxygen into your system. Don’t forget you are surrounded by knowledgeable enthusiasts who will be only too happy to chat about their cars and racing and give you a hand with your car too.
Now it’s time to race, so get your helmet on, get to the start line and have an amazing time!