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First off I'm 24 years old, I have followed racing on my own since I was 17 and no one in my family of 60 people know a thing about cars. I went to school for mechanics, I work at a private shop as a mechanic specifically on Porsches and we provide track support for race enthusiasts at Porsche club events, I love everything about racing but the problem is I wasn't born into a wealthy family so I have virtually no seat time driving race cars. My question is, now that i finally make a decent living on my own and I want to get involved in racing even at this late age, where do i begin? If there is one thing that I have an abundance of it is the drive and the passion for motorsports.

Answer
Hi Dan- - -(Great name !)

Your best bet would be to join your local district of the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA)  Go to www.SCCA.org  and look over the site, then look for a district near you , contact the governor, and start attending meetings. During the season they will keep you fairly busy all summer.  Of course here in Florida, our last race weekend is Thanksgiving and is our biggest race of the year.  

And you can start right away. You will be able to attend races and participate as a volunteer doing some small jobs around the track, and work up to working on a corner, or as a grid person, timing and scoring of a doaen other specialties. It takes a lot of folks to put on a race.  This , of course is NOT race driving, but it's how you get to know the people and search out opportunities.  SCCA also offers driving schools that run you ragged, and after two weekends will issue you a  novice license and allow you to race.  

There is a lot of activity in the north during the summer though , all over the Northeast, Midwest, and great Lakes regions.

Also you can start to read about race driving , and techniques used.  My favorite book is pretty datedd, but well written for beginners.   The Art Of Motor Racing, by Bob Bondurant.  Bob raced in Formula One, SCCA , and dozens of other organizations, and still runs a racing school in Phoenix. Az .

At your age and with your lack of experience, a professional driving job is not real likely, or at best is several years away ans would require tremendous effort and hard work,  so you can aim high and maybe make it into the lower ranks, Or you can become an amateur racer and shoot for National Championships in SCCA or other organizations.

I keep mentioning SCCA because they are by far the largest body of racers in the country and have a wealth of knowledge and experience in all facets of the sport.

If you have further questions, or if I missed something, feel free to write again - - -I'm glad to help

Sincerely

Dan Liddy
Sarasota, Florida  

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Dan Liddy

Expertise

Anything concerning race cars, 20 years competition experience, Senior Competition Driver Instructor , car builder, mechanic, welding, fabrication, tuning , engine modifications, set up, suspension design. Specializing in Datsun/Nissan products. Please submit questions about RACE CARS ONLY. No street cars, no video game scenarios Thank you.

Experience

I have been racing for 20 years, I have been the Central Florida SCCA Regional Championship points for 5 years running, and won the championship in my class 2 times. During my first start in the 60's I won many solo awards and the State Championship Drags. I serve as a senior instructor for SCCA, and have taught in Mercedes AMG events at Daytona, and Dodge Viper Days at Sebring International. I have been in the thick of the competition for all of my career. At one time or another I have driven race cars at speeds nearing 195 MPH. It's quite a ride !

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