Sports Car Digest Goes Racing – Part One

Sports Car Digest is going vintage racing. The desire to race began a long, long time ago when we were first exposed by an uncle, a very competitive SCCA Formula Continental and Atlantic driver. This exposure hit home, and it never left. While attending all forms of racing, from Formula 1 to CART and Trans-Am to Camel GT, the one constant was that we would race one day. Typical excuses followed, i.e. money, school, mortgage payments, but no more excuses are allowed. We are going racing…soon. We hope.

The first step is acquiring your competition license, as nearly all racing organizations require a license to race. Fair enough. The typical road to obtaining a competition license requires completion of an approved 3-day racing school, plus passing a medical/physical exam. We completed the 3-day Panoz racing school (now Skip Barber) last summer at the famed Road Atlanta. It went well once we figured out that infamous Turn 12, while insanely daunting, was not as hard as it initially appears. Don’t get us wrong, it’s quite a challenge. However, after a driving instructor went through the turn in a stock 15-passenger van faster than us in the Panoz race car, we came to terms with it. Panoz certificate in hand, we then completed the physical, filled out the SVRA/HSR joint license forms and mailed it in. We eagerly await our competition license.

The next step is figuring out what to drive. Since Sports Car Digest cannot find the right Ferrari 250 GTO or Jaguar D-Type just yet, we have decided to rent our first ride. A variety of shops will facilitate this process, and, most, if not all, provide “arrive-and-drive” trackside services. In other words, the rented car will meet you at your chosen event, prepped and ready to hit the tarmac. Outside of paying the bills, the only responsibility is to arrive and drive, or so they say.

Sports Car Digest is targeting the April 10-13 SVRA Roebling Road Spring Races for our initial event. We are currently interviewing various East Coast-based shops to see which one best fits our needs. We may profile one or two shops that we visit during the process. We welcome any reader comments or suggestions at [email protected] or in the comment section below. Please stay tuned.