A little background on me - I'm a married, 40 year old technology professional. We live in the San Francisco Bay Area.
So how did I get into this crazy activity you ask?
I have been into cars all my life. I spent my youth playing with Match Box cars, remote controlled cars and bicycles, snow boarding and other fun, adrenaline filled activities. When I turned 18, I started participating in High Performance Driver Education events (HPDE) with various organizations including NASA, BMW CCA - and anyone else that would have me. I kept doing these events over the years in my mildly modified street cars over the years but always thought that I would eventually go racing. While my friends were screwing around on the street and getting into trouble, I was doing track days and autocross and having fun and learning about driving and car control.
In my late 20s, I started racing karts with my buddy Marco. This was when I still lived in New York (Long Island) and the kart track in Westhampton was still there. Marco is a fellow automotive enthusiast and we had done track days together for years until he finally talked me into racing karts. This was an incredible learning experience. This is by far the best bang for the buck racing out there. I stopped doing track days during this time since wheel to wheel racing in identically spec'ed race karts was far more exciting than track days. This further fired up my desire for continued wheel to wheel competition but that had to wait thanks to the events of 9/11 and its affect on life in NY.
Eventually, I got married and my wife and I moved out to California. Here I started doing track days again and finally decided to take some of my savings and pursue my dream to race cars.
So I faced various questions:
Which car to race with?
SCCA or NASA?
How do I get started?
How much is this going to cost me?
Can I afford it?
There were some books, websites and forums that helped me to answer these questions. I will happily elaborate upon the answers that I came to if you, the reader, would like me to. But for now, I will end this post by summarizing that I decided to race a Miata in Spec Miata with SCCA and will probably race with NASA as well.
Some excellent references that helped me to take the dive include:
- David Wheeler's book "Go Ahead Take the Wheel" whose book and website can be found here: www.goaheadtakethewheel.com
- Grassroots Motorsports magazine and website grassrootsmotorsports.com
- The various people I have met on the track and spoken to at races
Now I will move on to my next blog posts to catch up on the activities of the last 2 months getting my racing license so I can finally do something with the car - Race!