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a question about race cars and jobs...

Old 02-25-06, 09:28 PM
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a question about race cars and jobs...

i'm working at a mazda dealer training to be a tech, but this stuff kind of bores me. i'm more interested in the performance side of the automotive world. more specificly race cars, i think i'd be cool to be on a professional team and build and work on race cars.

i've been searching for this for a long time and havnt found anything at all about how you get into it or if there are any schools that focus on that?

what i'm really asking is if anyone knows how a person would get into this career field or can point me in a direction to find info about this?

thanks

dan
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Old 02-26-06, 03:25 AM
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Many of the people who build race cars are engineers, and many of the engineers who work on race teams have been involved in the Formula SAE student competition through their college.

Good luck,
-s-
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Old 02-26-06, 07:27 AM
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Originally Posted by scotty305
Many of the people who build race cars are engineers, and many of the engineers who work on race teams have been involved in the Formula SAE student competition through their college.

Good luck,
-s-
i wasnt really talking about aerodynamics or designing a race car from the ground up...

i was kinda of thinking of people on factory race teams that travel with the team and work on the cars

maybe i dont know what i'm asking...
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Old 02-26-06, 08:47 AM
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Without experience you are going to need to give your time away or expect little compensation. I will give you a link for a place who rents race cars to customers. They race all over the southeast and may need someone to help out.

If you really want to do this you are going to need to be persistent. Go hang out at the track. Talk to people. Let people know you are looking to get into the business.

You need to realize a few things first though. Money is not the reason most people get involved with motorsports. You will work some LONG hours. When at the track the conditions can be poor.

http://www.robinsonmotorsports.com/

-billy
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Old 02-26-06, 10:27 AM
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The individuals I know that have made it as technicians / mechanics on race teams have used a combination of the following techniques to land on a professional team:

- Worked at Skip Barber or another racing school for experience
- Learned first to be a good technician and mechanic at a dealer or shop, getting their certifications
- Went to tech school or some place to learn fabrication / metalworking / welding skills valuable to a race team
- Got involved with an amateur / semi professional team to gain experience / exposure

As Billy noted, you will work long hours for low pay. Be persistent. Hang out at the track(s). Look at all the different series and sanctioning bodies that run in your area to see where you might get connected - your start might be in stock cars, midgets, sports cars, drag racing, etc.

Your duties will largely be low level tasks ("gopher" stuff) until the team manager / crew chief is comfortable with your skills and trusts you with more advanced tasks.

It is not a life for the faint of heart. For every one guy that is making a decent livng and happy as part of a race team, there are twenty that are struggling with low pay and the impact on thier personal / family lives. Most give it up and go back to a regular job after a few years, and do amateur / semi pro stuff to satisfy their racing fix.

More on the upside, it is a great way to get into the larger field of motorsports. There are all sorts of jobs that relate to the general field of motorsports (manufacturer's rep, sales / support for a vendor, etc.). Some of the folks I know that started as part a of a team are now in different jobs within motorsports.

Good luck!
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Old 02-26-06, 03:47 PM
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heres my $2...

1. theres a lot of stuff you learn on normal cars thats applicable to a race car, although i think the race car bit helped the street car thing, in my case.

2. you might be at the wrong dealer. out of the 5 techs, 2 service writers and 2 parts guys, at our dealership over half race or have raced cars. one of our techs is at the track this weekend, and he's also really good at fixing cars.
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Old 02-26-06, 04:24 PM
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Old 02-28-06, 12:13 PM
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j9 is right, you might be at the wrong dealership. You need to surround yourself with like minded people who enjoy racing or do it as a hobby. I worked as a Lexus tech for over a year. There weren't many people at that dealership who really enjoyed cars or racing. However the shop was big enough that I could get time off whenever I wanted to go racing. They would allow me to work on my car from 5-10pm every night and any Saturday or Sunday I wasn't working. I suggest you stay put for the year and pass all your ASE's. Two years of post secondary school count as one year of job experience with ASE and you could be ASE certified before you know it. I suggest you start looking for other jobs after you have some experience under your belt and have built up a decent resume.
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Old 02-28-06, 02:34 PM
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Yet another racing series. They tend to always be looking for mechs'

http://www.skipbarber.com/careers.aspx

~Mike
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