9th November 2019, 08:14
Racing Career at 19?
Hey, how's it going?
I have a life long dream to turn racing into a career. This dream started back when I was around 1 or 2 were my first words were "uncle's car". Then I started go-karting at around the age of 7 in Brasil. This, unfortunately, was put to a halt because I moved to the United States. This itch was still with me so I got a job at an indoor go-karting place. There I found my talent. I was beating guys with four times my experience with no problem. At the end of my year racing indoor, I was at the top 10 times of the track. Then... college happened. With the social/parental pressure of going to college, my hands were tied. I still live and breath racing. I go to the occasional autocross but money is tying me to going as much as I'd like too. This brings me to where I am today. I wake up resent my life and go to class. Every day I think about what I could of become if I didn't stop racing back in my early days. BUT NOW I'm done living like this. I will follow my dreams and passions. This brings me here and I have a few questions. I know that returning to go-karting would be my best option. Sadly I do not have any outdoor go-kart tracks near my college or my house. I also DO NOT have financial support from my family as they cannot afford it. Although of course, I am willing to get a small job and fund myself that way.
Can anyone help me figure out the next step?
Am I just too old to make it a career? (not talking about F1 but enough to have a comfortable living)
What series should I look into?
Should I look for sponsors?
Should I contact teams?
9th November 2019, 13:26
When I think about people who started their racing career late, I always recall Damon Hill, who according to Wikipedia started racing only in his early 20s. His Formula 1 racing career started in 1992 when he was 31, which is amazing. I mean, by 31 years old, most of F1 drivers are already out of this sport, only the best remain. But he _started_ in F1 at this age, and oh boy he did very well, considering the handicap of his age. Every F1 season from 1993 to 1998, he did something very remarkable. He completely lost his game in 1999 when he clearly was either way past his prime or too mentally tired. It's entertaining to fantasize about what he could accomplish if he started racing let's say 10 years earlier.
This is just my few cents of encouragement for you.
Last edited by zako85; 9th November 2019 at 13:33.
14th March 2020, 11:44
Hi, not sure what your current status is, so forgive me if the above has changed.
The main question is, do you have money? If you are serious about this you will need money.
I would say forget karting at this age, you need to look at either a clio cup series, or a single seater series (formula renault), something entry level.
Forget about the fact you were quicker than others, who have been doing it longer than you, that's irrelevant. As soon as you go into any real series everyone is very close together and it comes down to strategy instead of outright pace.
I hope it works out for you but it's difficult. Money is required, to attract sponsors you need to have some proof that you have potential. I see a lot of kids with the money which allows them to build their "portfolio" if you don't have that it's difficult.
Sim racing is probably best for you in all honesty, especially if you don't have the cash.
19th March 2020, 02:59
The virus is likely to change a lot of things especially for those involved in motorsport. What the future is for motorsport is anyone's guess at the moment.
Depending on what part of the US you are in might dictate your options.
There have been a few that have made nascar careers with fairly humble beginnings.
The nascar racers often start on dirt tracks (used to be around 700 dirt tracks in the US - though dirt tracks in the US are closing due to finances and other issues).
There are a few films/ books that show how people got started in motorsport or how to attract motor/sports sponsors etc Perry McCarthy - book title - 'Flat out, flat broke' . French guy/ Ivory Coast and Australia - having a go at the Dakar Rally - while maintaining a normal day job. etc Dream Racer - https://youtu.be/9_Gqmes3mag
De Burlin - Belgian paraplegic drove a polaris buggy solo this year in the Africa Eco Race - https://youtu.be/0_UxMj2xB10?t=251 racers have to overcome many obstacles to take part in their chosen sport/ adventure.
Look for the driving scholarships in the US - there are some 'win a race car drive for a season' type talent competitions. You might need to go to a race school or just use a sim prior to the tryout. etc
Most put their college type career first and get that out of the way before ever taking part in motorsport.
'Chelsea Angelo Racing' just did a facebook livestream on the challenges etc of her motor racing career in Australia. She did mention 'networking' as one way she gained sponsorship. Also her carting and simulator time etc.
Last edited by Zeakiwi2; 19th March 2020 at 09:18.
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