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Road racing for noobs
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dejablu311
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2005 2:33 am    Post subject: Road racing for noobs Reply with quote

Someone mentioned starting a thread for the noobs like me so i will do it.

I have alot of questions so i guess i will get started.

I am currently signed up for a tech inspection for a THSCC. When i pass this will i then be qualified for BMWCCA events or will i have to get a seperate sticker for those?

Since i am signed up for both BMWCCA and THSCC events will i have to bring different forms? Which ones do i bring to which track?

As for the driver class system, does experience with one group gain points with the other? ie when i complete the THSCC event will i still be a novice at the BMWCCA event and so on as the year progresses?

If i complete a school for either group at the level of advanced do i win a prize? Is this what i have to do to qualify for club racing?

I'm sure i will think of more questions as time progresses.
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EvanM5
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2005 9:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll give it my best shot, someone correct me if I'm wrong.

Quote:
As for the driver class system, does experience with one group gain points with the other? ie when i complete the THSCC event will i still be a novice at the BMWCCA event and so on as the year progresses?


You don't gain "points" so to speak, but you gain one more event that you will write down having been to. All clubs do this a little differently, thus after 3 events one club may move you up a group, while another may still say "hey, we've never seen you run, so you'll be green this time". If that happens wrongly you can also be bumped up a group mid-event if your instructor thinks best of it. Each club may interpret the number of events or experience you have differently, but it DOES count from one group to another. For instance, if you've been in the advanced group for a year with multiple clubs and go to run with a new club, they are not going to put you in novice.

Quote:
I am currently signed up for a tech inspection for a THSCC. When i pass this will i then be qualified for BMWCCA events or will i have to get a seperate sticker for those?


Not sure, but I would imagine this depends entirely on the club. If you don't have an official logbook like David or such, I think most clubs would want you to fill out their papers but some may overlap. Any BMWCCA guys know the official answer to this?

Quote:
If i complete a school for either group at the level of advanced do i win a prize? Is this what i have to do to qualify for club racing?


Not sure what you mean by complete a school. At a normal "Driver Education" as we've all been discussing you get a T-shirt, maybe dinner on saturday, and a lot of fun. I don't even think there are "prizes" for club racing. Did you get anything for your 1st place in IP at Octoberfest Dave? Razz

To qualify for club racing you have to get licensed with the organization you want to race with. I think the typical requirement is to attend a couple actual racing courses vs just doing HPDE (high performance driver education) track days. There is no "You must have 20 advanced HPDE sessions" or anything like that to race... although I'm sure the more experience the better.


Quote:
Since i am signed up for both BMWCCA and THSCC events will i have to bring different forms? Which ones do i bring to which track?


More than likely. There is a registration for each event where they take your information, you sign a waiver and so on. I believe each club is going to want their own papers signed for legal reasons. Again, in Dave's case where he is club racing on a very regular basis I don't know if there's some sort of "pass" for this, or if he has to fill out the paperwork each time.

From what I've seen, a couple weeks before any given event, you will be emailed or linked to a packet that you need to download and print out. This will have the forms that are required for you to have when you show up.
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David W
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2005 9:51 am    Post subject: Re: Road racing for noobs Reply with quote

edit: i noticed evan beat me to a response so some of my info may be repeating what he said (or contradicting it Wink )

first off, welcome! nice M3, i look forward to seeing at/on the track...

dejablu311 wrote:
I am currently signed up for a tech inspection for a THSCC. When i pass this will i then be qualified for BMWCCA events or will i have to get a seperate sticker for those?

the thscc tech inspection is for their annual tech sticker...once you have your thscc annual tech, all you need for thscc events is to get the event tech done (at the event)...keep in mind, its always good to go over (tech) your car (either get someone to do it or do it yourself) before each thscc event....its your safety afterall Wink

you will need to get the car teched for bmwcca (and any other) events also, you might be able to get your bmwcca tech form filled out when you get your thscc annual tech but you usually have to have the car teched for DE's within a certain time period before the event (specified by that particular organization)...thscc is the only org that i know of that does annual techs for DE's, most groups require a tech for each DE

Quote:
Since i am signed up for both BMWCCA and THSCC events will i have to bring different forms? Which ones do i bring to which track?

yeah, different clubs use different forms...you will typically get all this info with the "student packets" (maybe mailed, emailed, or you might have to download it)
Quote:
As for the driver class system, does experience with one group gain points with the other? ie when i complete the THSCC event will i still be a novice at the BMWCCA event and so on as the year progresses?

you will usually list all of your previous DE experience when you apply for DE's....each organization will place you in a group based on your experience and their experience with you (if you have done any events with them)...you will be a beginner/novice for your fist several events...

Quote:
If i complete a school for either group at the level of advanced do i win a prize? Is this what i have to do to qualify for club racing?

you win the prize of being a better driver Wink
there are no prizes, awards, etc for DE's...its all about learning how to drive better
doing DE's can help prepare you for racing but are not required...it's usually the path that club racers take (certain clubs like bmwcca and nasa like for you to come up through their DE programs before they give you a license)...there are many racers (especially in SCCA) that had zero track experience when they went to their licensing school...pretty scary....

Quote:
I'm sure i will think of more questions as time progresses.

bring it!

btw: DE/HPDE = driver's education...high performance driving schools with in-car (and classroom) instruction....its not racing and not a racing school
road racing = wheel to wheel racing requiring a racing license and lots of safety equipment....
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Last edited by David W on Thu Dec 22, 2005 9:53 am; edited 1 time in total
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EvanM5
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2005 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Let me add one more thing, since you seem to be curious about actually getting up to the club racing level.

If you're already well aware of this just ignore it, but it was a slight surprise to me.

It's near impossible to have a street drivable, let alone legal car that you can club race. All clubs now seem to be requiring a FULL cage, not just a roll bar. This makes the car unsafe to ever drive w/o a helmet, and would be simply ridiculous to drive on the road anyways. Which means you also need a trailer, and a tow vehicle. I had initially thought you could get a 2nd car, put a roll bar in it, and keep it vaguely drivable - but definitely not. The club racing thing is pretty hard-core, doesn't seem like it would be feasible unless you really make it your lifestyle.

More realistically HPDE's, and Time Trials which only require a roll bar (not full cage) can be done with a lot less committed to them.
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David W
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2005 10:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

evanurs4 wrote:
Not sure, but I would imagine this depends entirely on the club. If you don't have an official logbook like David or such, I think most clubs would want you to fill out their papers but some may overlap. Any BMWCCA guys know the official answer to this?

most clubs dont give a crap about my logbook(s) and still make me fill out their DE tech forms...no biggie...thscc is unique in that (1) they offer annual techs (similar to racing orgs) and (2) they'll give you an annual tech sticker if you have a current racing logbook

Quote:
I don't even think there are "prizes" for club racing. Did you get anything for your 1st place in IP at Octoberfest Dave? Razz

there are some very small prizes for winning club races (stickers, plaques, gift certificates maybe)

Quote:
Again, in Dave's case where he is club racing on a very regular basis I don't know if there's some sort of "pass" for this, or if he has to fill out the paperwork each time.

nah, i still have to follow the rules/procedures that everyone else does...
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David W
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2005 10:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

evanurs4 wrote:
It's near impossible to have a street drivable, let alone legal car that you can club race.

true to some extent but many bmwcca stock class, specE30's, scca touring classes (T1/T2) and some others are still street legal/"driveable" (except for having a cage which you mention below)...there are still some people that drive their race cars to the track buts it becoming more rare...

Quote:
All clubs now seem to be requiring a FULL cage, not just a roll bar.

pca stock class is the only class i know of that allows you to race with just a roll bar....personally, i would never race without a full rollcage (including side impact protection)...
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911junkie
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2005 11:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think everybody has made great points re: your questions so far.

I think DE's are a great way for you to explore the limits of your car in a safe and somewhat predictable manner. Somewhat of a noob like yourself, I can attest to the fact that one of the most important things to work on is awareness.

Take example, be aware that your driving a very powerful (=expensive?), high performance vehicle. And you are excited. There are going to be a bunch of other power, high-performance vehicles (probably expensive too...) on the track, and they're excited as well. That can be a great situation if everybody is aware...but unfortunately, there is always somebody who is not.

The main point is to make sure that you are aware of what's around you, and have fun! Make sure not to skimp on safety equipment (basic things, like helmet...). If you are serious about taking it to club racing level, then your certainly going to need to spend some time getting that car prepped.

I think your going to have a great time at the track! Just make sure to listen to the instructor and remember a golden DE rule : slow in, fast out. I've seen way too many cars in the paddock with more than a few dents. (And why is it always an m3 guy?? Wink) I know that's mean.... Twisted Evil

Looking forward to meeting ya and seeing ya on track!
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David W
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2005 11:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

suck displacement, biatch wrote:
I've seen way too many cars in the paddock with more than a few dents. (And why is it always an m3 guy?? Wink) I know that's mean.... Twisted Evil


lol, don't make me dig up pics of bent p-cars at DE's Wink
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SP
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2005 11:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

a very good informative thread fellaz.

let's sticky this one.
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dejablu311
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2005 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

awesome. Thanks for all the replies.

I wasn't sure if the various orgs that have DE's kinda communicate with one another to help the drivers out. I mean i would think that there are people in every org that have been to other orgs' events and know what the strengths and weaknesses are and base the level of experience on that.

So the competition licenses have nothing to do with DE's. The orgs simply like to see that you have been to many DE's before you try to go for a competition license. Also the experience will prolly save your neck when you are forced into that level of racing.
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dejablu311
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2005 1:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

suck displacement, biatch wrote:
If you are serious about taking it to club racing level, then your certainly going to need to spend some time getting that car prepped.


Yeah i have talked to an SCCA event chair because i wasn't sure what I would need and he said i would need to get a physical and have a full cage and yada yada. I already knew a long time ago that i wasn't going to take the M out road racing. too expensive. I just thought that maybe i would need that stuff for the schools but for the actual events. I was just wondering for down the line.
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David W
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2005 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dejablu311 wrote:
So the competition licenses have nothing to do with DE's. The orgs simply like to see that you have been to many DE's before you try to go for a competition license.

for club racing, it depends on the club...i know bmwcca and nasa like to see a good amount of DE experience before they issue a license...scca is a different story, if you spend the dollars and go to one of their racing schools you get a license, no prior track experience required...

pro racing usually just takes (more) money...

Quote:
Also the experience will prolly save your neck when you are forced into that level of racing.


there are 2 schools of thought here: get some track experience and then go racing OR if you want to go racing, then go racing and dont waste time with DE's....

i think its a good idea to have DE experience before you go racing, mainly because the skills you learn (car control, recory, etc) become second nature...so when you're racing you dont have to really worry about the actual driving part (hitting your marks, etc), you can focus on racing with other cars...also, imo, having some track experience makes it easier to become comfortable
with pushing the car hard 100% of the time (possibly with other cars inches away)...

having said that, in making the jump from DE's to racing, i'm having to unlearn some of my DE habits (taking the DE line, not being aggressive enough, etc)....so i can see some merit in the argument to start racing immediately...

hope this helps...
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David W
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2005 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dejablu311 wrote:
Yeah i have talked to an SCCA event chair because i wasn't sure what I would need and he said i would need to get a physical and have a full cage and yada yada. I already knew a long time ago that i wasn't going to take the M out road racing. too expensive. I just thought that maybe i would need that stuff for the schools but for the actual events. I was just wondering for down the line.


scca schools are (typically) race schools, not DE's

for most race schools, you'll need all the required safety equipment (car and personal)...
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911junkie
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2005 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

David has had the experience of going from DE's to racing. I hope to somewhat mimic his path, although I am not entirely sure if racing is for me or not.

However, I do beliieve the skills that you learn at DE's do make you a better driver. On the street as well as on the track. So there is definitely some good coming from attending DE's.

For me, I attend DE's because it's one of the safest and most predictable ways to take a car to the its limits and beyond. It simply cannot be done on the street without risk to yourself, your car, and the others that are around you (read: innocent victims).

I think for me going to DE's gets the "speed factor" out my system, as well as welcoming the challenge to be a better driver. I am very excited about learning about how a rear-engine holds the road, how to listen to the chassis and the suspension, and how to react when the car gets unsettled. Basically, I want to a better driver. And with that experience may come the decision to race competitively in a club program or similar. But anybody will tell you, DE's don't come close to wheel-to-wheel racing, no matter what you think. (Although I have seen some red groups get pretty dicey...
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EvanM5
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2005 2:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I cannot imagine going racing without DE experience.

I considered myself a good driver, I had raced karts many many times, I knew what lines should look like, and how to drive my car. And then I went to the first DE, and realized how incredibly difficult it is to actually drive a car the way you think you can.

I would not be anywhere near close to comfortable in a wheel to wheel race, nor would I want to be racing in the future with someone like me on the track. That just seems plain stupid.

Racing is an entire skill and mindset of it's own, completely regardless of "driving a car". It seems like car control would HAVE to come first in order to be safe out there.
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