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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just read this article from TrackdayMag.com about making the jump from track day to racing and found it pretty interesting. How much of this article holds true? I only do track days from time to time so I don't know much about the racing scene, but I want to race at least one season some day. Any stories you guys have good or bad that relates to this article?

Making the Jump from Track Days to Racing
 

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Some parts very true, some I don't agree with so much. For example, if you are turning faster laps in your regular track day session than racers are in a race, then you might very well be right. You just might clean up in the races. I personally have never been able to get within 2 or 3 seconds of my race times in regular track day sessions, no matter how hard I try. You put it in a different gear in an actual race, at least that's the case for me. It is expensive if you want to be competitive as there is no way you're going to be competitive running around on street tires that last you 6 track weekends. Race tires are $400+ per set and you would be lucky to get 1 weekend out of them.
 

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very good article, to the point and very much spot on..

I dont race but i have many friends who race and who are getting into racing...

The struggles, frustration and the happy times are real.

The sponsorship portion is spot on. I know girl who races, last season is her first real race season. Now this season she's in a struggle for money and looking for sponsors but she getting very little response when she sends her race resume in.

I was told it was $400 a race for CCS, not sure how true that is, but that's expensive.

I myself one day like to find myself on the grid and do a few races. I definitely won't be looking for sponsorship help. I end up getting help from 2 companies but i wont hold my breathe expecting the support. But when I feel I'm financially ready, then I'll just the gun but I will stick with my trackdays learn from the guys who are racing.
 

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It's certainly not $400 for race entry fee. Entry fee is the cheapest part about racing actually, it's all the rest of it that adds up. I was spending over $2000 per race weekend and my entry fee was only $60 for the actual race (actually times 4 so $240 for the entire weekend for race fees). I almost made back in winnings what it cost me to enter. Here's CCS entry fees:

Class & Entry FAQs CCS/ASRA
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yeah I never really took into account all that other stuff that has to do with racing besides the cost of it. It's something to think about. Doesn't mean I won't try racing, but I will think twice and ask myself if I'm really ready to take that next step. For now I'm content with trackdays.
 

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BUT, other than tires (which actually is a significant part) and race entry fees, just doing a regular track weekend is just as expensive, assuming your bike already has race fairings. Here's a breakdown of what I will be spending this year for a weekend which will be less than in past years:

Club membership (1 time yearly fee of $10)
Race license (1 time yearly fee of $25)
Track Day entry fee for an average weekend (~$350) (I don't actually have to pay this as a Control Rider and Race Clinic instructor, but I use up a lot more tire because I have to run more sessions)
Race entry fees for the weekend (1 race per day, total $120)
1 set of race tires - $450
Hotel for the weekend - $150
Gas to and from an average event - $200

So that's about $1300. But as you can see you can easily spend most of that just for a regular track weekend, so I disagree about racing being all that more expensive. If you are a really fast track day guy you'll be running race tires anyway. Now, obviously you can share some of those expenses with friends who go with you (hotel, gas, etc).
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
luckily I live 45 minutes from the track, and I volunteer my time as a corner worker and get paid in track time. So the cost is not that high for me. its still pretty expensive though.
 

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My cost was assuming you traveled to other tracks to race. I am in a small club and we do about 6 or 7 events per year, 2 or 3 of which are 15 minutes from me the rest are somewhere around 4 to 6 hours away.
 

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Spot on.

I would be a little skeptical of *any* track day rider who claims to be beating the amateur winning times, mostly because it is an incredibly small percentage of riders who can ever get that fast without having competition to drive them.

Racing is absurdly expensive. A track day can be done for under $400...gas, travel, and all (assuming you dont need tires). An average race weekend costs me about $1500+ if it is a local track. You can certainly race cheaper, but as the article states if you want to win, you have to pay. it is expensive to run at the front of the pack...and I am not even there yet.
 

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I agree. If you are a novice track guy and really want to do it on a budget you can.

For example my track days go as such (i am novice)

No tire warmers - $0
no hotel. sleep in car - $0
1 track day - $200
gas for travel - $50
gas for bike $25
gatorade and snacks - $25


Admittedly so, I am a cheap ass sometimes. But my point is if someone wanted to they could do it cheap. hell my first track day I literally rode my bike there with supplies in a backpack.lol
 

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Spot on.

I would be a little skeptical of *any* track day rider who claims to be beating the amateur winning times, mostly because it is an incredibly small percentage of riders who can ever get that fast without having competition to drive them.
I actually think this is becoming more and more common. Maybe it's just my area, but track days weren't very popular 10 years ago and racing was one of the only ways to get track time. Now that track days are more common, I've seen more than a handful of riders do track days until they were beating top novice lap times, THEN start racing.

Having said that, I've never seen a track day only rider be even close to top expert times.

Racing is absurdly expensive. A track day can be done for under $400...gas, travel, and all (assuming you dont need tires). An average race weekend costs me about $1500+ if it is a local track. You can certainly race cheaper, but as the article states if you want to win, you have to pay. it is expensive to run at the front of the pack...and I am not even there yet.
Agreed. I raced 7 races last race weekend (which, granted, is more than most people do) and spent $345 on entry fees and $700 on tires (1 front and 2 rears). Another $90 for a half day of practice on Friday. This doesn't even include gas for my bike, generator, and car to get there and back.

I wish this hobby was cheaper :( I'd love to be able to do it more regularly.
-Cody
 

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slightly off subject but urious form those who kow racing better than I do.

Why dont more people do endurance races? Seems like you would get much more track time for your expense.
 

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Well, Endurance races cost a lot more. More laps = more tires. Also, we're all fat and out of shape these days. ;)
I don't know for sure, but I've always heard it's a better bang for your buck. Yes, you go through more tires, but you also split costs across several riders.
-Cody
 

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I definitely hear a lot of stories from a buddy who used to do it all the time. He loved Endurance racing. I just don't have much endurance these days. Our races are considered "mini endurance" races at only 25 minutes long. That's long enough for me. It's almost too much to get up off the couch these days. :)
 

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My org, LRRS which is CCS in New Hampshire does one 3 hour endurance race every year, and you can bet your ass that I am in it as often as I can. It really makes it a true team sport, but more importantly because you get to have a pit crew you can also involve the non-racers (friends, family) that come up to support you. They get to lend a hand and be a part of the action. For all the support they give, even if I come in last place it is a win in my books.

The smiles on their faces having contributed to the race effort is everything to me.

Our regular 'endurance' races are 25 minutes (same as TDH) and I am in one every weekend. Not only the track time but also because unlike a lot of the old codgers like me, I am not that badly out of shape and I typically get faster as time goes on where they drop off. I usually do pretty well in these races.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Yeah I wanna try an endurance race too. It seems like a heck of a lot of fun. How expensive do endurance races tend to get?
 

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Yeah I wanna try an endurance race too. It seems like a heck of a lot of fun. How expensive do endurance races tend to get?
If I remember correctly I think the entry is $350 for us...2-3 rear tires, 1-2 fronts so thats $600-$1000 and about $50 in fuel if we run spec pump fuel. We usually run a 3 or 4 man team it divides the cost so it isnt too bad overall
 

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the bad thing in endurance teams is, who's bike is it, who pays how much when it gets crashed, maintenance ect...? I have saw a few groups of friends destroyed over this type of situation.

the big thing is if you like track riding, and you want the next level "rush"... take the riders school with a racing organization, and sign up for an event or two, and see how you like racing. for most type A people, and competitive people, there is nothing to compare racing too. you need that extra "drive" to push yourself, riding, and technique to the next level.

for those types of people... the adrenaline over load waiting for the gate, or the flag to drop on the start, is better than any drug or sex you can imagine. competition drives achievment.

ski
 

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I enduranced raced with a friend of mine. He tallied up the cost to run the weekend (race fee, tires and gas) and we split it evenly between 3 or 4 riders. At the time I didn't have my own race bike so it was great. I got to race without the upfront cost of the bike. I got plenty of track time for about $250 a weekend.

We did a full season in 2009 and won the Motoseries Light weight endurance class on an SV650. It was an extremely close championship with three teams having a chance to win the championship entering the last round. The other teams were another SV and a Paul Smart Ducati. The Ducati had a decent HP adavantage on us and they were straight up faster than us in the dry. However they did blow a motor to DNF one round. We also won one round in the rain. All the other rounds they beat us, but we usaully kept it close (i.e within a lap after 3 hours)

It was some of the most fun I've had racing. That year was pretty much the last year that Motoseries had good participation for the endurance series.

I would do it again...in fact I have another friend planning on running endurance with SOAR in Ontario, Cananda this year. I told him I would be up for a round or two with him. Still waiting to see how serious he is about it.

I think the hard part when you own the bike is finding 2 or 3 other guys to ride that you trust with your bike. You also want to be competitive so you want guys that can go fast too...not just guys that won't crash.

We spent a lot of time and effort working on pit stops and strategy. We were consistently faster in and out the pits than our competition and minimzed how many stops we made in three hours. By the end of the season we were doing 45-50 minute stints, where a lot of other teams were only going 30-40 minutes.

Anyways, now that I am back to just racing my own bike, I pretty much focus on the individual endurance race (40 minutes). I volunteer on Saturday as instructor/control rider for either the track day school or new racer school, so I get free track time on Saturyday and usually enter one sprint and the 40 minute race on Sunday. So my typical expenses are one rear tire per weekend and around $200 in fees plus gas for the bike and traveling. I have a small RV I pull to the track so I don't have to spend $ on a hotel and have a full kitchen which helps keep food costs down. It's also really nice to roll out of bed 10 minutes before riders meeting if I want to sleep a little longer LOL!
 
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