Rally Racing 101: How to Start
by Hunter HowardGetting into rally racing is simpler than it may seem. You don’t have to go through a long, tedious process to get out on the course and put the pedal to the metal. Let us help you by pointing you in the right direction to start your rally racing hobby. Just don’t forget about us when you’re a champion driver.
Being a driver is going to require three things. The first is time. To be a great driver, you’re going to have to put in real man hours on the track, which brings us to the second requirement — hard work. Being out on the track or in your shop for hours at a time means nothing if you aren’t working on your turns or on your car. The last and probably the biggest barrier to entry is money. Rally racing, like all other hobbies, is going to cost you money.
The difference between other hobbies and rally racing is a scrapbook costs $40 and a rally car costs $40,000. Of course, that is if you decide to own your own car. Some closed tracks allow you to rent cars at a hefty price, but these are not sanctioned races and if damage the car or the track in any way, it is going to cost you a pretty penny.
The next step is getting familiar with the rules, regulations and the overall atmosphere. What you’re going to want to do is go to a race, either as a volunteer or as a spectator. (I would go as a volunteer because not only do you usually get in for little to no cost, you’ll be up close and personal with the teams, drivers and officials. You’re then going to want to review the rulebook here.
Rally America recommends purchasing a car that is already built and log booked for competition. The term log booked is a certification allowing the car to be raced. Building your own rally car is also an option, but is not recommended for beginners because it is more expensive and exponentially raises the risk for error — although you do have an upper hand if you work on cars for a living.
While buying or building your car, look over the necessary safety equipment and pick that up while you’re out and about.
After you feel you are ready, get your competitors license and enter a Rally America Racing event.
One of the best sources for information on rally racing is Rally America’s website, which can be found here.
Now get out there and get ready to rally!