Starting out in racing
Posted 12 December 2011 - 10:51 PM
I'm new to this site but I have decided to start a blog about my alternative Journey into racing. Now I have been looking into various costs,championships and options this is not a build a race car buy a trailer go racing blog I am taking a slightly different approach.
First off a little about how I got to this point.
I started out in 2004 by buying a westfield, an early 89'se a change in circumstance's meant I sold half to my Dad and we then decided to do some trackday's. We did this for a little while then decided we needed a bit of competitiveness to spice things up a bit. So we entered the wscc speed series (sprint and hillclimb championship) and began developing the car. This is it in 2006 having a small excursion at Prescott me driving
The car was well used a bit tatty but as a race car should be. Then it got to the point a serious amount of money would need to be spent. So at this point an opportunity to buy a 600cc Jedi came up. This started out like this..
And ended up like this...
Doing a bit of this
I had quite a bit of success in the car, but the desire to go circuit racing was too great, so at the end of 2010 I put the Jedi up for sale. I have then been taking a year out, after 5 years of competing it's needed!! To chill out see friends save money. I didn't have a complete year off, helped Dad out developing his new westfield and kept my face visible in the paddocks. (the importance of this is massive). Also did a bit of club100 endurance Karting and got fit. If you want to realise your not fit..do club 100!!!
So now the racing. I've got to know a few people who circuit race over the years by taking part in the mazda and ginetta scholarships that were run by speedworks in '05 and '06 making the final in the mazda's and being reserve in the ginetta's. This is one of the best thing's I have done to gain contacts.
So I have spent the last year weighing up my options and talking to all the people I have got to know. I considered buying a car and running it myself but I just don't have the time or the space. So i started talking to people about doing arrive and drives. Now this would seen an expensive option but actually it's not that bad it really depends on the series you want to race in and how competitive you wish to be.
So I looked at Locost (my fall back in case it all goes wrong.....always have a plan
Ma5da MK3 CUP
Monoposto (really rather cheap)
Initially I was set on Jedi's but we just couldn't come up with a deal I could afford, so Locost seemed a winner on cost.
But then I had an idea that makes this a bit different. I just started working at a new company for a someone I've known for a while the business is doing well so I thought what the hell if you don't ask you don't get. So I approached him for some sponsorship. He said do me a proposal and I will take a look.
So I put together a proposal for a fully sponsored arrive and drive in Mk3 ma5da cup, I included everything corporate day's promotional work everything. So armed with my presentation I sat in his office. He began scrolling through and then got to the cost. Now I won't tell you how much but it's a reasonably large number (always good to go in high!). and he said............
Posted 12 December 2011 - 11:53 PM
Welcome to the forum Rob. I await the episode in this saga.
Posted 13 December 2011 - 01:20 AM
Posted 13 December 2011 - 09:01 PM
Well he said.......NO ha ha to be fair this was as expected. The number was north of 20 to give you some idea. Besides would be a rubbish story if he said yes!!
So like all determined people this did not put me off, so another idea was required.
The sensible option is to buy a car as owning a car significantly reduces the cost. However I still have the problem of no space and no ability to transport a race car oh and no time to run it myself....or desire to give up that much time.
Oh and I nearly forgot I still don't have enough money to buy one!! So some lateral thinking is required.
I must note at this point we are now in the present. I have the idea but it is yet to be fully executed although pieces are in place.
So I now need in order of priority
someone to run it
a way of buying the car
a way of paying for the running of the car.
I had been offered a new build car to be run by a team but the cost is a little higher than i would like. There are plenty of cars for sale, but I really don't know what I am getting.
I have now made a good contact who can sell me a car and do a very good deal on running it for me for a season I wont say which car but its a good one. I have an idea on how I can buy the car (a loan but not as you know it) but i still need money to run it.
Now the Boss said no, but it wasn't a flat no. So back to the boss with a new proposal this time with a more realistic approach, a pared down promotion budget and the corporate day's removed (this can be added back later if needed). So basically asking for team fees, entry fee's and champ registration.
This time he said...........YES not to all of it but to just over half!!! awesome. I can fund the other half myself but this got me thinking.
For his help, he gets to come to events, sponsorship on the car (pretty pointless imho), but as I will in theory own the car, it can be used for promotion, competitions if he wishes. whatever he can think of.
Oh yeah I didn't explain what you get for the team fee's. So for a flat weekend rate you get
The car stored
Valeted after every event
plus all the setup info from the previous year as they ran the car.
Not included is tyres and fuel but we are going to do a deal plus I have a rough idea of cost.
Now sorry for the vagueness around figures but they are quite far from standard quoted prices. And I haven't fully done a deal yet.
So I have someone giving me half the money i need to run the car, but I was thinking they are just going to write me a cheque!! That must feel pretty risky for the cheque writer....I mean I could just go blow it all on hookers and beer!!
I need to make it legit. So I need to set up a company. There are several reason's this is a sensible Idea.
1. It feels more legit to potential sponsors
2. When you buy a race car you don't get anything to prove you own it, all you do is register it with the MSA. So if the company owns it I can record it as an asset. (this is important as someone else will be looking after it for me)
3. If I kill someone in it (god forbid) it limits my liability.
4. I won't have to worry about the tax on the sponsorship money, the company will be non profit.
5. Next year I plan to do my instructor license so I can put any money earned into the company (probably only get about £50) and have it directly pay for the racing. Again avoiding the tax.
6. I have a paddle shift in development that can go through it too and again help pay for the racing
7. It only costs £20 to set up a company
I have another couple of companies to approach about some more sponsorship now too, 1 I know will give me free brake lines but maybe some money. Another is a massive long shot but i'll only be asking for a couple of k.
So now back to buying the car. Well now I have the company idea, I need an investor, I have a person in mind. (this is the bit where I am fortunate, but If I wasn't I could always get a loan). Now this will be an investment not a loan. I won't be paying them back anything in the first year but in the second with the other activities this can be paid back. I'm not suggesting for 1 minute I could give them the money back with sponsorship hence the other activities.
I wanted to share this as an alternative idea, I will keep the thread updated with progress.
P.S if it all goes wrong I will be racing Locost anyway
Posted 14 December 2011 - 01:41 PM
Posted 02 January 2012 - 11:13 PM
Posted 04 January 2012 - 01:13 PM
Well to update
The Xmas period was a little tough I couldn't raise enough cash to buy the car I was after so have been in limbo trying to decide what to do. It looked like I may have to go racing locost instead which would mean no sponsorship and self funding the season which would be very tight on the old finances.
After much deliberation I decided to give the guy I was talking to about the MX5 Cup a quick call to pick his brain (love motorsport, everyone is soo friendly)
We had a good chat about options and costs, he then advised me that his director has his car for sale, it raced in 2010 and was an engine development car, but hasn't turned a wheel in 2011. Also it's significantly cheaper. Such that I could scrape together enough cash to buy it. And assuming I can do ok I can increase the value by a couple of £k.
This is also good news as the deal I struck on running the other car would be carried over, the only down side is it needs a rear suspension change to get it up to spec and make it competitive. Oh and it will need a respray as the current colours are erm interesting. Hopefully I can get this thrown in with the price.
So I'm off to see the car next Friday at autosport.
I love autosport gives me an opportunity to catch up with people i know within the industry. I will be seriously pimping myself out to try and find someone to give me some more money
In other news, the paddle shift cad is almost complete. The reason ours is different is it's a rocker design that allows you to shift up or down with the same hand if desired. Using the switches as used in F1 so super reliable. Its designed as a bolt on system that fits between a quick release boss and a 3 bolt wheel as used on single seaters. We are initially aiming at the hill climb market. I have a friend building a super light 1000cc single seater (circa 220kg!!) that we will be building a prototype for.
we will be scouring autosport to check no-one else as beaten us to it.
(oh this is relevant as it will help pay for 2013 )
Update to follow next week.
Quick update, decision needs to be made on the car by midday tomorrow!!!! Ahhh.
Posted 05 January 2012 - 01:56 PM
So deal is done on the car. Deposit to be paid today, car will be at Autosport on the BRSCC stand if you are going. You can't miss it.
It will then leave Autosport and be delivered to Blendini Motorsport on Sunday.
About the car
It Won the championship in 2010 run by Blendini. It then sat Idle for 2011 as the owner was struggling to afford to race it. It was used as the base car to set up the ECU's run by the other teams so is quick and has everything required to meet the regs in 2012.
Lets hope its as good as it appears
This has now kick started all other activities. A company is being setup as I write called Wayward Motorsport. (little play on words there)
Now the hunt for sponsorship begins.
To say i'm a little excited is a massive understatement
Now what colour to paint it??
Posted 05 January 2012 - 02:48 PM
Posted 18 January 2012 - 11:07 PM
Here she is in all her techni-colour glory. Shield your eyes folks
So Autosport was worth a visit, if you went the car was there but not where it was supposed to be. But actually in a better spot!!
In other news I have 3 small sponsors so far. And managed to get a Graphic company I know to supply vinyls at a very favourable rate in return for some advertising
I actually quite like the car in it's current colours after seeing it in the flesh. It may change based on sponsor requirements.
The hunt for sponsors continues.
Watch this space.
Posted 19 January 2012 - 09:59 AM
Odd Q aside (apologies if i've missed this) but do you have your ARDS license yet?
Posted 19 January 2012 - 10:44 AM
The answer is not yet!! Crazy eh.
Having an NHS issue in that they can't find my records hopefully be sorted next week then I can book a medical.
Being a bloke I never go to the doctors so haven't been in about 6 years and can't remember where I was registered before.
ARDS test itself is almost impossible to fail, so i'm not worried and as long as I have the licence by the beginning of April all is fine. I have a licence number already so I can register for the championship and rounds.
On that subject a speed national A licence is £86 a Race national B is £65. so a hillclimb/sprint licence for which you don't do a test is more than a Race licence! Work that one out.
Posted 19 January 2012 - 11:25 AM
Posted 20 January 2012 - 09:44 AM
I did see your car on the american Trailer stand look realy good.
good luck and im bloody jelous.
Posted 13 February 2012 - 06:31 PM
So it's been an interesting couple of weeks.
Spoke to the general manager of a local Mazda Dealership this week about what we can do with possible sponsorship opportunities. Nice guy and listened to what I had to say, considering I cold called him!! He is having a think so we shall see, but the Mazda owners club want to have my car at a technical evening, also they want me to go along to one of there meets to speak to them about how I got into racing etc.
I said yes expecting just an informal chat in a pub.
Then I got an email asking me if I would like a projector and microphone!! I'll be talking to around 50 people. Best get writing my presentation.
I wrote a letter to Farnel (the rep suggested it) and Relentless figured it was worth a shot, will be chasing those up next week. And I lucked into meeting the MD of a local recruitment consultants who is coming into work to see me as he knows some people who may be able to help me out. Result!!!
Next stop is some cheeky promotion at southern manufacturing show on Thursday as I am helping out on my companies stand, not strictly allowed by the show organisers but I can be subtle.
Got to start work on the website next, so watch this space.
PS Still no race licence. eeek getting close now.
Posted 24 February 2012 - 10:54 AM
if you have are you coming to the test day at silverstone ?
Posted 07 March 2012 - 01:11 PM
So to update......... On Sunday I went silverstone to do my race licence. Had a really good day, they have 2 options when you do your ARDS one is the half day where you drive for 15mins take the test and that's it I believe. The second and the one I did is a full day, the only reason I did was that the half day's were full.
It only cost £100 more (Half day is £299) to do the full day but you get a lot more in return. We started out with an excellent class room briefing, this was by far one of the best I have ever had, very informative with good explanations and dispelled some of the frankly scary things people latch onto with regards to track driving. Next up was 15 mins in a Renault Megane 260. I can say I'm not a fan but they are quite quick. We were split into pairs and given an instructor who would stay with us and even by our examiner for the test which is an excellent way of keeping it consistent and inspiring confidence in the examiner and the pupil. The track on the day was very very wet with a big river across the back straight and some standing water formed on the braking into copse which focuses the mind and caused a couple of people to spin.
After this we had a session in a skid pan car with the hydraulic ram things? What great fun that is, Cant recommend it enough. I think that it should be mandatory for everyone to do it before getting their road licence as it is a useful tool for teaching car control.
Next up was lunch which was provided, followed by the dreaded written test. They do show you the video just before you take the test which helps. On the test you have to get every flag question correct and are allowed 1 mistake on the other section of what are common sense questions.
Now its time for the practical test, 15 more minutes with some instruction and the 5 laps with the instructor saying nothing and assessing you. I passed after 4 laps and got all A-B marks, which was good considering the conditions, it snowed at lunch.
Then its off to play in some Caterham's doing some drifting and donuts (which I cannot do for the life of me!!) then they leave you hanging on until the end to find out if you passed the written test.
Which I did, thank god. So I now have my licence. Also everyone else passed as well from a class of 20, which is fantastic. Also apparently quite unusual.
I'm back up to Silverstone on Monday the 12th to take part in the Ma5da launch day. Due to budget restrictions I am limited with testing so this is my only opportunity to learn the car before the start of the season. I am praying for mixed conditions, but we shall see.
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