SO YOU WANT TO RACE CARS? Excellent!! Let’s get started…
A guide to everything you need to know and do is right here. Racing with Cascade Sports Car Club (CSCC) and the International Conference of Sports Car Clubs (ICSCC) is easy!
For starters, there are several classes of cars to choose from, everything from budget minded classes to the not so budget minded classes. Racing cars is not as expensive as many might think, especially if you choose one of the budget minded classes such as Spec Miata. Race cars are typically either purpose built for racing, or they were originally street cars, and then are modified to race. Allowable modifications vary depending on the class. Some classes allow extensive modifications where as others allow little more than the addition of safety equipment. For an outline of car classes follow this link: Quick Guide of Classes
What kind of car should I race?
This depends on personal preference. Some racers turn their street car into a race car. Some racers have a car in mind that sounds fun to race which they purchase and then modify into a race car. Some competitors prefer purpose built open cockpit or open wheel race cars. Many prefer to find a race ready car and purchase it. As a general rule, most any car can be made into a race car and there is a class for it to race in.
Can I rent a race car?
Yes. In fact, some people rent different cars before they decide on the class and car they like. Some people know right off what they want to race and bypass the renting route altogether, whereas some only rent and never buy one. Weekend rental rates are typically $500 to $1500.
How much do race cars cost?
Prices vary, but some race ready cars can be purchased for under $5,000. Continue reading for an example of the costs associated with building a race car. The average price range is $5,000 – $20,000, but can be significantly higher depending on the type of car you choose.
How old do I need to be to race?
You must be at least 18 years old and possess a valid driver’s license.
Once you have chosen a car it must meet the minimum safety standards. You will also need to have the appropriate driver safety gear. Section 11 in the ICSCC Competition Regulations will cover all of this and more. Read the entire section as everything required to pass technical inspection is in there. Below is a quick guide for you.
CAR: Must have a roll cage, a race seat, 5 or 6 point racing seat belts, a window safety net, a fire bottle or fire system, and a timing transponder.
Average Cost: Roll Cage – $3,000; Seat, harness, net, fire bottle – under $1,000; Timing transponder – between $100 – $300 per year.
DRIVER SAFETY GEAR: Helmet, balaclava, fire/race suit, racing gloves, racing shoes and socks.
Cost: Driver’s safety gear listed above – starts at around $650. Some of the suppliers have put together “starter packages” with all the necessary gear. This can be a very cost effective way to get started.
Many clubs will also require a HANS device (head and neck restraint system). The cost for these can vary depending on what helmet and harness system you choose.
Ok, so now you have a car or have one lined up and you have the required driver safety gear. The next step is to get your Competition License. Here is how!
- You must complete a driver’s (racing) school. CSCC typically offers three or four throughout the year. Cost is about $250. Once you satisfactorily complete a driver’s school, you will receive a certificate with an “Allowed to Apply” stamp.
- Download the ICSCC Competition License Application. There is a checklist at the bottom of the application with all the necessary forms that will need to be sent in.
- A physical examination is required. Download the Medical forms from the ICSCC website. There will be two forms. One form is for your doctor to fill out and the other is a medical history form for you to fill out.
- Join an ICSCC Member or Affiliate club. We recommend joining Cascade Sports Car Club!
- Contact the ICSCC License Registrar. License_registrar@icscc.com They will be able to assign your four digit ICSCC Competition License number. They will also be able to assist you in reserving a guaranteed car number if you’d like.
- Pay your Competition License fee online on Motorsportreg (MSR). Currently license fees are $90 for 1 year or $180 for 2 years. Send in your paperwork (checklist at the bottom of the License Application) to the License Registrar.
- Wait to receive your Novice Competition License and get ready to begin your racing career!!
Click this link: “ICSCC Novice Program” for more detailed info. Also read Section 3 on licensing. This section describes the different licenses, the physical examination schedule, and more.
NOTE: If you have prior racing experience, talk with the ICSCC License Director (different from the ICSCC License Registrar) about different options that you may qualify for like an “Observation License” or Novice race credit.
Below is a quick guide to popular sections of the ICSCC Competition Regulations:
Car Classifications – Sections 13 & 14
Entering a race – Section 6
Races/ Events – Section 7
(Note: The best way to register for an event is to reference the information on the ICSCC website under the “Events & Results” tab)
Entry fees typically start at around $350 for the weekend
Best contact info:
Car Classifications – firstname.lastname@example.org
For other questions or race information contact the sponsoring clubs race registrar or race chairperson. You usually can find all that contact information on the race announcement.
CHECKLIST FOR GOING RACING!
- Secure a Race Car
- Purchase or rent appropriate Driver Safety Gear
- Apply for your Novice Competition License once you complete a driver’s school, join a club, complete the required medical forms, pay your license fee
- NOW IT’S TIME TO GO RACING!!!!
What To Do On Your First Race Day
We’ve prepared this checklist for first timers who are competing in their first ICSCC road race. We highly recommend that you download it by clicking this link and take it with you for reference on your first race day:
RACE DAY REFERENCE SHEET
You’ve gone through all the licensing requirements, gotten yourself and your car prepped and now the big day has arrived…. Race Day! The content contained here is designed to help you navigate through the workings of a race weekend from the time you arrive at the track until the time you leave for home.
Arrival at the Track:
1.When you first arrive at the track you will be asked to sign a release waiver at the gate/entrance. Since you’ve already gone through one or more drivers training days at a race track, you should already be familiar with this process. Tracks vary on where and how you enter and sign in, so pay attention to the first person you encounter (probably at the entrance gate). Ask them where the correct paddock entrance is and if there are any special instructions on where to enter and set up.
2.Once you have signed the waiver, proceed to the paddock and find an open space where you will pit. Typically, the paddock space is open – meaning pit spaces are not reserved. At most tracks your space is limited to two spots. One for your race car, and the second for your support vehicle. The support vehicle can be a car/truck or a trailer. Most tracks have a designated area away from the paddock where unused trailers can be parked after your race car is unloaded. Be polite. Be flexible. The last thing you want to do is get off to a bad start with your fellow racers and pit marshals before the weekend has even begun. The racing community is very friendly. You never know who is going to save your weekend by loaning you a tool or a supply that you desperately need, but seem to have left back in your garage just when you need it… Also, make friends with the pit personnel that are working the race. Bring them a coffee. Introduce yourself. Ask how they are doing. Every one of them is volunteering their time so you can be on track having the time of your life. A little respect can go a long way. This is also a good time to ask if there are any specific instructions on how and where to line up for technical inspections, pre-grid, etc. You never want to be that guy or gal who holds up the festivities because you lined up in the wrong queue…
Your next stop is to check in at Registration. Registration is usually in the tower or in a tent. If you are unable to find it, one of the pit personnel you just made friends with will be able to assist you. Make sure you have the following things before you line up at the registrars table. Registration can be hectic, and again, they are volunteers, so be prepared & be polite.
1.Your Driver’s license
2.Your Competition license
3.Your race cars logbook (If you don’t yet have a log book, find the race steward and ask for one.
4.Your payment method if you have not already paid online. If you have registered online, you will simply show your ID and verify your registration details. It would be a good idea to have your receipt – even on your phone – to clarify should there be any questions. You can pay at the track with a credit card, or if the card is on file they will be able to bill it, but it’s wise to have the card with you in case it needs verification. There may also be small additional charges such as a transponder mount, or you want to add another event to your schedule.
5.If you need to rent a timing/scoring transponder you will pick this up at registration. There are 2 different types which use different mounting brackets. If your car already has a bracket, know what type it is. If you’re not sure snap a photo with your phone and show it to the registration person. They’ll know. If your car does not have a bracket, you’ll need to purchase one. Once installed you will only need to rent the transponder for future races. If your car already has a transponder installed, know its serial number and confirm that it is recorded properly. You really don’t want to lay down your best ever hot lap only to not have it recorded and scored properly.
6.You will likely be asked to sign another waiver (as a driver) and will be issued a wristband. Be sure that your printed name is legible. The wristband should be worn all weekend. You will need to show it each time you go onto the racetrack. The wristband will also enable you to enter/exit the racetrack facility without having to sign the waiver again for the rest of the weekend.
7.Pick up a weekend schedule. It will have all the times that your group(s) is on track. Make sure you go out in the correct group.
8.You will be issued a “Tech Sheet”. Follow the instructions for Tech Inspection below. If you already have an Annual Tech Inspection then reference the “Express Tech” option listed later.
9.We highly recommend you register online before the deadline to avoid late fees. This also makes going through registration faster. The Registration process is now complete!
Next is Tech Inspection.
1.Fill out your “Tech Sheet”
2.Take your tech sheet, your car, driver safety gear (driver suit, helmet, balclava, gloves,etc) and your vehicle Logbook to Tech Inspection. If you do not have a Logbook, find a Race Steward who can provide you with one (providing your car meets the required safety standards).
3.Check with Registration or one of your new friends in the paddock who can direct you to the tech inspection lane. Once your inspection is complete you will be issued an event Tech Sticker. Place this sticker on your race car where it is visible to Pre-Grid officials. Most drivers attach the sticker to their windshield, side window, or roll cage. ** Note ** We recommend getting an Annual Tech Inspection. This will allow you to bypass Tech Inspection for the remainder of the current season. We also recommend an Annual Gear Tech. These two annual inspections will allow you to utilize “Express Tech” which is typically located next to Registration. With them you can simply fill out your Tech Sheet and present it at “Express Tech” along with your Logbook and Annual Gear sticker (affixed to your Competition License) and you’ll breeze right through.
4.Check the event schedule for Registration and Tech hours. You really don’t want to miss racing because you didn’t make the deadline for tech.
You are now ready for the track! Here is some information for Novices and drivers who have not yet raced with ICSCC.
1.On the morning of the first day of the race weekend there is a track tour. This is highly recommended for drivers who have not previously driven the track. YouTube videos do not prepare you for live conditions.
2.Check the schedule for the Novice meetings with the ICSCC License Director. The meetings are usually held at the License Directors tent, but this can vary from track to track. If it’s not obvious, ask one of the Race Marshals or at registration. The Race Marshal will then direct you to all the necessary information for your first race. If you are a novice or observation driver, the License Director is your main point of contact.
3.**Important** Read and observe all the safety rules when driving in the pits / paddock. This means no speeding.
A few notes about the schedule:
1.Confirm what group you are in. Bear in mind that most race groups run more than one class at a time, so be sure you’re aware of when and with which group(s) you will be running.
2.Note the time of the Drivers meeting. You must attend. Don’t miss it!
3.Note the times listed on the schedule. The start time is the time cars are released from pre-grid. The end time is when the checkered flag falls.
4.**Important** For races only, you’re required to be in pre-grid at least 5 minutes prior to the start time. If you’re late you will lose your grid position and will be lined up at the back of the grid and not by how well you finished in qualifying runs.
Finally, after all this fun is over, comes time to pack up and head for home. If you have rented a transponder be sure and return it to registration. Be a good neighbor and deposit all trash in designated containers and leave the paddock as clean (or better) than you found it. After you have hooked up your trailer and loaded the race car, it’s time to pull out of the paddock. Notice that with some tracks the pits and paddock are in the center of the track and there can be limited track crossing times -usually between sessions or after the track has gone “cold”, so plan accordingly.
We hope these guidelines have helped, and welcome to your new race family!