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Get Started in Racing

(How do I start?)

(Getting involved with Sports Car Club of America as a driver)

Racing with SCCA is easier than you might think
by Orin O'Neill

Got that need for speed? Think it's something you might never be able to do? Think again!

Who says you have to spend a lot of money to go racing?Bobby Rahal, Michael Andretti, and Lynn St. James are just a few of the many professional racers who got their start in races organized by SCCA Regions. While you can't just show up and drive your family car like you can in Solo events, you will come to appreciate SCCA's emphasis on education and safety... remember, the folks I mentioned all had to do the same thing!



First things first

Get in touch with a member of NWR's Race Team, or call SCCA Headquarters in Topeka at 800 770-2055. You will need a logbook and a medical form, and you will need to join SCCA if you haven't already (click here for a membership application you can print, fill out and mail). Once you get your medical exam and have your passport pix taken, you can take one of two paths:


SCCA Driver Schools

These are organized by SCCA Regions, including NWR. You will learn the ropes in classroom sessions, and six hours of on-track instruction that is usually conducted on two separate days. Passing the school requirements makes you a certified Novice (you'll have big 'N's on each side of your race car), and successful completion of two Regional races under observation gets you a Regional Competition License. NOTE: You will need to supply your own car, prepared at least to SCCA's safety requirements (roll cage, 5-point harness, window net). However, many cars are available for rent from individuals if you don't want to invest in your own car right away. If you already have verifiable racing experience (and that can include circle track racing, too), some of the Novice requirements can be waived.


Professional Driving Schools

Courses offered by several professional schools can result in graduating with an SCCA Regional Competition license in your pocket. These schools aren't exactly cheap, but can be very cost-effective... besides, you could be learning the fine points of racing from someone like Dorsey Schroeder, or one of your classmates could be Jerry Seinfeld (we hear he's very quick...). There are a number of other schools that are accredited by SCCA, and while they can't give you a license, successfully completing their courses can allow you to waive some of the Novice requirements.


What's next?

Once you complete four Regional races, you can apply for a National Competition License. Get a few National races under your belt, and you can apply for an SCCA Pro Racing license, which would let you compete in series such as the SCCA Trans-Am . From there, you could apply for an FIA license, which isn't really necessary for anything SCCA organizes in the U.S., but would allow you to compete in international events.


About building a car...

You could save yourself a whole bunch of time and money by NOT doing this until you get a better idea which of SCCA's 20-plus National racing classes (not to mention several offered by NWR and other Regions) is the one for you. And once you do, buy the rulebook and read it BEFORE you build the car... that way, you won't do something you'll have to undo before you can race. As I said earlier, renting can be a good way to go... especially since you can often just show up with your gear and drive, while someone else gets their hands dirty (it goes without saying-- know who you're dealing with, and check the car out very thoroughly before you hand over the check).


In closing...

Racing can be dangerous, and at all times it is up to the individual to determine if the risk involved is acceptable. SCCA has always striven to make racing civic_at_speed.jpeg (6146 bytes)as safe as possible, and some longtime racers will tell you they feel safer on a racetrack than on a freeway! Many of those same racers will tell you that racing with SCCA is the best way to go. We invite you to see for yourself.



If you don't already have it, you will need to Get Acrobat Reader to read the entry forms, schedules and such that are available on this site.


     How do I start? 

     First things first

     SCCA Driver Schools

     Professional Driving

     What's next?

     About building a car

     In closing









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