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The One Thing You Need to Become a Race Car Driver

Discussion in 'Tracking & Driver Education' started by LightGuy, Mar 21, 2020.

  1. LightGuy

    LightGuy Three Time F1 World Champ
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    Oct 4, 2004
    31,100
    Texas
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    David
    The One Thing You Need to Become a Race Car Driver

    Edit... PROFESSIONAL race car driver



    https://www.roadandtrack.com/motorsports/a30349106/racers-dont-succeed-on-luckebruary-2020/?source=nl&utm_source=nl_rdt&utm_medium=email&date=032120&utm_campaign=nl19763014&utm_term=AAA%20--%20High%20Minus%20Dormant%20and%2090%20Day%20Non%20Openers

    I have said it another way.... lots of people WANT to be a professional (fill in the blank).
    Others NEED to be a professional.

    Even for those that have the NEED the odds are crazy.

    Burn your bridges.

    But dont be surprised if you crash upon the rocks.
     
    Texas Forever likes this.
  2. Ianjoub

    Ianjoub Formula Junior

    Dec 22, 2019
    416
    Homosassa, FL USA
    Full Name:
    Ian Joubert
  3. Ky1e

    Ky1e Formula 3

    Mar 4, 2011
    1,221
    FL
    Becoming a true professional race car driver requires many things. The sacrifice/commitment as Ross Bentley describes in the article is one of them. You also need talent. You need luck to get the right timing. The luck and timing is to find the right people at the right time to get the right opportunity. You also need lots of seat time. You need everything to fall into place (a good team owner, crew, engineer, car). Money can provide more seat time and exposure but you still need the first three. There are tons of really talented people out there with no rides or inconsistent rides. The factory guys with stable careers is extremely small (literally a handful of guys in USA in sports-car racing).
     
  4. fatbillybob

    fatbillybob F1 World Champ
    Owner Consultant

    Aug 10, 2002
    18,212
    socal
    It is so much easier to become an MD or CEO of a company than a pro driver who earns a living racing. The few who do it are really quite special.
     
  5. Smyrna355Spider

    Smyrna355Spider F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Feb 9, 2008
    3,575
    In my Garage
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    Scott
    I have a hard time saying Lance Stroll is Special. :D

    I do agree those who "RACED" their way into a paying seat earned it.
     
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  6. spicedriver

    spicedriver Formula 3

    Feb 1, 2011
    1,858
    The only difference between "amateur" race car drivers and "professional" race car drivers, is how much money they spend.

    People who think they will get paid to drive a race car are not thinking very hard.
     
    LuigiVampa likes this.
  7. Smyrna355Spider

    Smyrna355Spider F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Feb 9, 2008
    3,575
    In my Garage
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    Scott
    Sorry, but I couldn't disagree more. I run amateur Champcar and Randy Pobst drove with us in Atlanta a few years ago. He was immediately 3 to 4 seconds a lap faster than all the drivers on our team and he had never turned a lap in our car. He also set the fastest lap for the day and our car was not half the race car of some others in the field. Money didn't buy his lap times. Not to say money isn't a big factor because I admit it is, but to say it is the only factor between a pro and amateur is silly and naive.
     
    Texas Forever likes this.
  8. spicedriver

    spicedriver Formula 3

    Feb 1, 2011
    1,858
    Lol. He wouldn't be there without his parents' money.

    I know that racing schools, driving coaches, etc. try to make the claim that all you need to do is work hard to be a race car driver. The truth is, you need money. Big money. Or you won't get anywhere.

    And another thing - without paying drivers, race series would collapse. F1 included.
     
  9. LuigiVampa

    LuigiVampa Karting
    Rossa Subscribed

    Jan 17, 2020
    63
    Full Name:
    Todd
    +1

    There are tons of talented drivers who never get past go because they don't have the funding. My coach is a former Red Bull Junior F1 program driver. He didn't have the backing so now he coaches.
     
    spicedriver likes this.
  10. LVP488

    LVP488 F1 Rookie

    Jan 21, 2017
    3,092
    France
    Most of those who succeed to make a career of driving sports / race cars are actually coaching to make money, some are writing (or making videos) reviews - the number of "real" professional racers (i.e. people making money from race driving) is ridiculously low and even among those, many began with significant family funding.
     
    Texas Forever likes this.

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