How Students Can Get Into Motorsports

If you love speed and the thrill of driving, motorsport might be just a thing for you. It can become a fulfilling hobby or a full-time career for some. College is a good time to start with it. This guide is all about how students can start in motorsports.

What You Need to Know Before Committing

First of all, there are plenty of different types of motorsports. Some are more open to beginners, while others are less inclusive. They also differ in terms of rules and investment one needs to make. It means not only investing your money but also time.

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This might come in handy as motorsport requires dedication and training if you want to give it a chance. As for types of motorsports, they can include racing or not. The most well-known and popular ones are:

  • Open wheel racing (like Formula One, Formula E, or IndyCar Series);
  • Enclosed wheel racing;
  • Autocross;
  • Rallycross;
  • Track days;
  • Go-Karts;
  • Time trials;
  • Drifting;
  • Road racing;
  • Rally.

There are also many niche options like motorboat racing or even lawn mower racing. So the choice is quite big. The difference is in the type of vehicle, rules, and amount of money you are willing to invest. Also, students might choose what is closer to their liking.

How Easy is It to Get into Different Motorsports

Like any other sport, it depends on the level you want to pursue and the type of competition. The hardest to get is professional racing. But if you are interested in an amateur or hobby level, it is much easier.

For instance, autocross is the cheapest and easiest way to start. The usual event costs about $50 to participate in, and you can ride your own vehicle. Often you get to compete with the clock and set a new speed limit for yourself. Students will need a car, a safety helmet, and some motivation to win; that’s it. It is also the safest type because there is only one car on the track.

Rallycross is also pretty affordable and costs approximately the same $50 per event. Usually, the events take place in the field and involve a lot of dirt. Students will need a car in good condition and a helmet. Overall, it is pretty safe but it can cause more wear to your vehicle because of different obstacles like stones or ruts.

Track days are beginner-friendly as well because you can use your own car. Here you get to explore road racing tracks and learn how to do fast laps and different maneuvers. But it is more expensive as one event might go up to $200-300. Often students get to work with an instructor and have a couple of hours on a track.

Go-Karts are pretty fun and open to beginners. Students can rent a kart or buy their own one if they have more money to invest in the sport. It would be reasonable to start with renting and commit to a purchase only when you are serious about it. You also will need a bit more safety equipment. Events differ in price and might cost anything from $100 to $1000.

Drifting is quite a popular type of motorsport and requires minimal additional equipment (a helmet is usually good to go). Here the focus is on the style of driving, control of the vehicle, and maneuvers. So it is better to start with an instructor. You can use your car and participate in events that cost around $200-500 a time.

Road Racing is one of the most exciting ones for many drivers. It can be quite expensive, but the cost depends on the type, event, and vehicle requirements. Beginners usually start with budget endurance or club racing. Overall, it is better to join a professional organization to get access to various vehicles. This one is also expensive in terms of taking care of race cars and safety gear.

Students can join college or student motorsport leagues and organizations.

How to Start in Professional Racing

If you try different types of motorsports and decide to go to a higher level, you might want to get into professional competition. Here are several steps to take:

  • Save some money for the gear, courses, and vehicle tools;
  • Get experience in go-karts (it is the most popular option) and acquire safety equipment like a helmet, gloves, rib protector, and suit;
  • Participate in track days;
  • Get a race license;
  • Enter competitions, championships, or series. This depends on the type of racing and your experience.
  • Prepare the vehicle. It is great if you already have an appropriate car. But there are also options to go for “arrive and drive.” Some teams and series offer this opportunity to drivers. In such a case, you get a car provided and ready for this particular race.

It is important to know that the licenses depend on the country of residence and the type of motorsport. For beginners, it is important to learn not only the rules but also to practice a lot.

In Summary

Whether you want to pursue motorsports as a hobby or as a career, college is a good time to start. The earlier you get in, the better it is. Students might begin with easier and cheaper types of motorsports to build skills and find what they like before committing to an expensive racing vehicle. 

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of


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