Essential Motor Racing Safety Tips for the Beginner
Written by Charolette Danzig
So, you want to race your street legal car on a racetrack, do you?
Racing is a dangerous business, but the adrenaline rush is super high.
If you are a beginner, we have some essential tips for you.
Cars on racetracks travel at a speed of up to 200mph, and, surprisingly, the rate of fatal accidents in motorsport has been low in the last decade. However, decades ago the fatality rates were much higher and your street legal car does not have the same safety features that are built into the modern race cars.
According to Flow Racers, since 1950 (last 72 years) F1 has recorded a fatality rate of 3% per race, while IndyCar and NASCAR have had a fatality accident rates of 7% and 1%, respectively. As you can see, open wheel race cars are much more dangerous than saloon or touring cars.
If you are willing to risk your life, and you love the adrenaline-pumping experience of driving highly customized cars, then you’ll have fun racing on the tracks.
However, racing presents many risks if you don’t follow the correct safety precautions. With this in mind, as an amateur, take time to learn how to become a safer driver.
Your street legal car likely does not have a roll bar or roll cage in case of a high-speed accident. Hence, know that you could kill yourself as without one your chance of serious injury goes way up.
Also, ensure your opponents know the set safety regulations before starting the race.
Below are some essential motor racing safety tips you should know.
Pay Attention To Your Surroundings
Being aware of your surroundings when behind the wheel is critical to staying safe while maintaining a competitive edge on the racetrack. Since all the cars and drivers participating in a motor race are grouped up in one place at the starting line, make sure to assess the position of racers around you. Ask yourself if you’ll have sufficient space to maneuver if an opponent in front of you brakes suddenly. Also, think about the action you’ll take if the lane ahead is narrow or another racer drives into your lane. Doing so is a sure way of staying safe, and it’s also crucial to improving your performance on the racetrack.
Prioritize Car Maintenance
The condition of your motorsport car has a significant impact on your safety. Because of this, find a reputable mechanic to perform the necessary auto repairs and replacements before getting on the racetrack. Note that minor complications such as damaged catalytic converters and low engine oil levels increase your safety risks during high-performance racing.
For example, a faulty catalytic converter will force toxic gases into the cabin instead of emitting them through the exhaust pipe. Therefore, keep your catalytic converter in good conditions to reduce the emission of toxic gases and replacement costs. Typically, catalytic converters are expensive because they are made of precious metals like rhodium, platinum, and palladium. In fact, there are specific cars known to have pricey catalytic converters. For example, the catalytic converter in the Ferrari F430 is worth $3,770. Since this sportscar requires two of them, you’ll need to spend $7,540 without labor. The second most expensive catalytic converter costs $6,240, and it belongs to the Lamborghini Aventador.
Invest In Racing Safety Gear
Whether you’re rallying, drag racing, or formula racing, consider investing in the right racing equipment. This includes a high-quality driving suit that is non-flammable and comfortable, restraints for neck and head, gloves, helmet, and comfortable shoes. Also, ensure you have a dashcam, roll cages, heat protection, belts, racing handbrake, and angled window nets. Remember that the proper racing equipment is key to enjoying a thrilling track experience with maximum safety.
If you’re a fan of high-performance motor racing, there is nothing quite exciting like the experience of driving customized automobiles on a high-speed track. However, to enjoy motor racing, you must prioritize safety by keeping your car in top-notch conditions. Also, invest in proper racing gear, be aware of your surroundings, and be cautious of your speed.