How To Become A Professional Race Car Driver

No doubt about it, few sports are as full of excitement and adrenaline as car racing. Racing allows adrenaline junkies to drive fast and competitively in a legal and safe arena. Like all sports, the sooner you get into race car driving, the better for you.

But you can also start racing as an adult and still make it to the big league. And car racing is lucrative. The median salary for race car drivers in the U.S. is $44,680, and top race car drivers make as much as $187,200. So, if you’ve decided that car racing is the profession for you, here’s what you need to do to succeed.

1. Drive a Kart First
Start small and try driving a go-kart. Racing may sound like a lot of fun, but it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. Give go-karting a try to make sure that racing is something you’re really interested in. Visit a small go-kart course, like the ones teenagers go to when they have a party. You’ll pay about $30 and will quickly learn if racing is for you.

2. Join Karting Competitions
If you love driving go-karts on small courses, visit the real kart courses as they serve as launching pads for most professional race car drivers. You can also visit your local race track and ask about kart races. Find out if you can join the competitions.

A kart will allow you to race regularly and hone your skills and is a lot cheaper to own and maintain than a race car, so start by racing one. Kart races will give you many opportunities to get behind the wheel and start racing. And the good news is if you start racing at a young age, you can attract the attention of sponsors and teams.

3. Take a Racing Class
Find out from your local race track if they offer racing classes. Do some research and find a class with good reviews. If you’re still undecided about racing, you can take a single-day course before you decide to commit to a full course. A longer, intensive course will teach you the skills and strategies you need to be a good driver. And after you’ve taken the beginner’s course, ask if there are intermediate or advanced driving classes available.

4. Practice
Never race your car on public roads or overspeed, as you could put yourself and other drivers at risk. But there are some racing techniques you can practice in your car. For example, when driving, look far down the road and not directly in front of you. Hit the beginning of an S-curve late, and the apex of a single turn early.

5. Get the Perfect Car
One of the reasons you should choose the right car is safety. Many racers have lost their lives because of choosing the wrong cars, so safety should be your top priority. If you don’t have money to buy a new race car, you can buy a used one or lease one. A lease calculator can help you determine the monthly payments for the leased car.

There’s no problem taking a leased car to the track, just make sure you don’t wreck it. After acquiring the car, get your safety equipment and racing gear. Purchase all the important safety equipment. Also, join the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) to show that you’re serious about racing.

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