Wednesday, October 6, 2010

(120) Shootouts and licenses

Now that I've done my car-racing schools, what's next?

Well, the first thing I'm doing is I'm getting my SCCA regional competition license. Basically, since I've done the Skip Barber school I have now met the requirements for a license, and all I have to do is send in my medical exam and my letter of recommendation from the school and I should be all set.

If I didn't go to Skip Barber I would have to apply for a novice permit. To meet the requirements for a full license, I would have to do 4 races and two SCCA schools. By doing Skip Barber, I've skipped that step and I can get my full regional license right off the bat. All you have to do is pass a medical exam, which I've already done.

The regional license will allow me to participate in semi-private test days at any track in north America (test days are race-car exclusive track days, usually with only a few cars on track and only race licensed drivers are allowed to run), and it will allow me to race of course.

Now, as far as my immediate racing future, what's next?

As far as Skip Barber goes, I'm going to be doing a lapping day at Laguna in early November. This is just to get some extra seat time in the car before I go to compete in the 2010-2011 Skip Barber Karting Shootout, which is happening on December 3rd, also at Laguna.

The other interesting thing is that the end of SCCA's season usually involves an endurance race. This particular one is happening on October 15th. Why do I mention this? One of my racing buddies offered me a spot on his team.

Now, this may end up being too tight, since we do have to find a car to race (the car he was planning on running won't be available). But if we can find a car to drive and if SCCA grants me a license within the next 6 days, we'll be racing in a 4-hour endurance race at Laguna Seca in some kind of tin-top car (most likely a Miata MX-5, since there are billions of those in the San Francisco SCCA region).

Hopefully all of that works out and we get to drive. It's going to be tight. If it doesn't happen, then I will probably do a test day or two in the coming months, just to get the experience of driving different cars.

Quick update: it looks like the enduro isn't going to happen. The guaranteed grid spot date is behind us, and we still haven't got a car. If we entered now we might not even get a spot in the race, and the entry fee would be forfeit.

So it looks like I'm going to do a test instead.