Dreaming of becoming a racing driver is a common aspiration for many of us. Whether it’s a childhood fantasy or a passion discovered later in life, the journey to becoming a racing driver is both thrilling and challenging. Here we’ll explore the steps you need to take to get on track and start your motor racing career.
Begin with Simulation
To start your journey as a racing driver, you can utilise simulators like SimTrack. These simulators accurately replicate the experience of driving a racing car in a safe environment. They replicate track driving, including the nuances of braking and steering. Tuition from driver coaches will guide you through the core fundamentals of driving a racing car, emphasising the differences between racing and everyday driving.
Transition to Real Life
Once you’ve gained confidence in the simulator, it’s time to move to the real thing. You’ll need to find a suitable car, a race track, and a coach who can teach you the basics of racing on a track day.
Driving a racing car is markedly different from operating a road vehicle. Understanding vehicle dynamics, racing lines, and how to interact with other cars on the track is crucial. Enjoy getting your experience on track with other cars and get to grips with racing lines and how the car handles. Then, it’s time to apply for your race licence.
Apply for a Racing Licence
To compete as a racing driver, you must obtain a racing licence. In the UK, this is done through Motorsport UK, and you’ll typically start with an ARDS (Association of Racing Driver Schools) licence.
When you book your ARDS test, you will receive an information pack with all the details you need for the theory and practical tests. The theory test covers essential racing knowledge, such as all the flags and safety aspects of the cars. After passing the theory test, you’ll undergo a practical assessment with an instructor to evaluate your on-track safety and competence. It’s not about how fast you can go, but rather that you know how to conduct yourself safely on track!
Another prerequisite for obtaining a racing licence is a medical examination by your general practitioner (GP). This examination ensures that you are physically fit to participate in motorsport activities.
Earn Your First Racing License
Upon successfully completing the theory test, practical assessment, and medical examination, you’ll receive your first racing licence. This achievement is a significant milestone in your racing career, marking your readiness to compete on the track. Well done!
Find the Right Racing Path
You have your licence, but how do you use that to become a racing driver? Visit tracks, attend events, and speak with teams and experienced drivers to identify the racing series that align with your interests, budget, and goals. Ginetta is highly regarded in the UK, but there are various options available to suit your preferences.
Gain Experience as a Novice
As a novice racer, you will need to accumulate experience by participating in six events. During these events, you can collect up to two signatures per meeting to speed up the licence upgrade process. Look for championships that offer multiple races in a weekend to accelerate your progress.
Progress to a National License
After completing your novice phase, you’ll be eligible for a national racing licence. This allows you to compete in more advanced events. It also opens the door to international racing opportunities if you choose to pursue them.
Explore Ginetta’s Grassroots Motorsport
Ginetta has a long history of grassroots motorsport programs. We offer a step-by-step ladder for people interested in a motor racing career. These start from the Ginetta Juniors for young drivers, all the way up to the GT Academy for novice adult racers. The Ginetta Junior Championship has a track record of producing top-tier professional drivers. Lando Norris (F1 McLaren), Tom Ingram (2022 BTCC Champion) and Charlie Robertson (LMP1 Driver) all began driving with us.
Becoming a racing driver is a thrilling endeavour that requires dedication, training, and passion. With the right guidance and commitment, you can transform your dreams of racing into a reality. Whether you’re a teenager eager to follow in the footsteps of Formula 1 stars or an adult looking to fulfil a lifelong ambition, the motorsport world offers a pathway for everyone. So, take the first step, embrace the challenges, and experience the exhilaration of life on the racetrack.