There are several
things you’ll want
to do before
be it practice,
qualifying, or the
race. First, get
to grid early. Be
ready when the
first call for your
and you’ll greatly
on the grid and
ready to go well
before the five-minute mark will
keep you calm.
On a warm
day – or even a
cold one – your
energy is going
to drag by the
end of the race or
the possibility of
an exhaustion-driven mistake.
depending on the weekend.
Remember that schedule you got at
registration? Keep an eye on that, as it
tells you when your sessions are. Many
tracks use public announcement
systems, but with loud racecars
around, you may miss some of the
If the first session of the day was
practice, there will be a qualifying
session later in the day. There’s no
need to set any records in practice or
qualifying – go as fast as you are
comfortable going. If you are used to
track days, keep in mind that this is
real wheel-to-wheel racing. Point bys
are nice, but not required, and
braking zones are when much of the
passing will occur – so keep your eyes
on your mirrors.
Most regions require you to go to
impound immediately following your
qualifying (and race) sessions. Failure
to go to impound can result in the loss
of qualifying times or disqualification
from the race. Impound is usually
located at tech where you had your
car and equipment inspected, but this
is something you should find out
before heading on track.
If at any time during the weekend
you have a question, don’t hesitate to
turn to the person next to you in the
30 APRIL 2013 scca.com
Make sure that you’re
modest and know that
when you’re new, you
have a lot to learn ”
ANDRE W ROBERTSON
paddock and ask. Everyone at the
event knows what you’re going
through – they had that first race
experience at some point, too. Most
are happy to share tips and pass on
But if you’re afraid of getting in the
WORK SPACE Picking a paddock space near your friends or competitors with like cars can be invaluable in a time of need.
SPEEDING The Spec Miata class is wildly popular; the cars are quick, reliable, and fun to drive.
way of other racers (after all, SCCA has
mixed class racing, which means
multiple classes are on the track racing
at the same time), fear not. Speed and
comfort with driving in traffic will come
with time. For your first time out, your
best bet is to drive within your comfort
zone and keep an eye on your mirrors.
You will probably be lapped, maybe
even by the leaders in your own class.
Don’t be embarrassed by that. Hold
your line, don’t make any unpredictable
moves, and you’ll have nothing to be
ashamed of at the end of the day.