So your just getting into racing?
Well so am I. Bet you thought it was gonna be easy! So did I.. Bet thought you could do it cheap! So did I! And I bet you thought you could take your cheesy street skills and they would be enough! So did I ! After all this time watching (and hopefully) learning I think I am kinda ready. But probably not.
I will say the hare-brain idea that I could throw a bike together on the cheap and then go out and mix it up with 2 year novices is long gone. I probably will have many thousands into this before I turn a lap. Even my old F3 is going to be a expensive little starter bike. And if I did like like most of the other guys do and buy a late model bike and gear it up for racing I would be a lot more in debt than I already am. It ain’t cheap to race and the newer the equipment the more it will cost. I remember what I read the other day on one of the club forums. Some guy said.. “Wanna win a small fortune racing? You got to start with a larger fortune and be ready to spend it all!” Ain’t it the truth!
And my skills are minor! I know I have none…. I rode dirt years back but that ain’t gonna be enough to flatten the learning curve. Sure, I have ridden for years on the street. But there’s no comparing the two. Competition driving is so unlike street driving. Everybody I have talked to and everything I have read tells me that. On the street you spend most of your time trying to avoid cagers and cops, trying to watch the road signs and keeping from getting hit. You can’t gain riding skills when your spending all your time worrying. Sure every once in a while you catch some fast sweepers and find yourself on an empty stretch too pour it on. Mostly your on defense…
But on the track.. and this is assumption talking, not experience… you are getting the chance to learn your bike capabilities… you own skills and expel the bad street habits while you learn the track and how to master close competition riding. Watching these guys I will say that The tools of the trade are more than a fast bike. Nerves of steel are nice but it helps to have a healthy respect for the tracks. There is so much you have to remember, grid spots… tech rules, the forms and where to put your frigging stickers so your eligible for contingency money. But the one thing you better keep in mind is to forget the money… if it comes great. But chances are you ain’t gonna be doing a lot of taking. It be more of a giving thing.
So why am I going over this crap? It’s not like I haven’t said this all before or that anyone else hasn’t said it before either. Well I have been following a post on another site where some fairly new rider..(not as new as me for sure) was bitching about possibly getting bumped to the expert class next year. The guy was concerned he wasn’t going to be winning class championships or placing on the podium if they forced him to expert. That’s great! Here’s some guy who has skills and instead of dicing it up with like skilled riders he wants to be slamming lesser riders so he gain a little contingency cash and put a champ number on his bike…. what a chump!
I don’t know about anyone else but I’m sure I fell in love with racing not cause I thought I was the next Ben Spies and Josh Hayes or I was gonna win a bunch of races but because nowhere else could I get the chance to ride my sportbike like it was meant to be ridden and maybe, just maybe get to mix it up and hone my new skills against some better riders. If I knew I was like a strip steak sitting on menu beating out nothing but meatballs I don’t think I be so proud. I’d want to get across the street to that fancy restaurant and get on the classy side. At least then I might get confused by someone as a t-bone.