View Full Version : Race Alone?

06-07-2004, 08:37 PM
Would you still race if you had to do it all alone? I'm not talking about if you currently have two crew members and then you cut down to just your wife. I'm talking about totally alone. There will be no-one at the track to help you (other then possibly the guy in the next paddock if he takes pitty on you). There will by nobody coming over to your garage to help fix the car during the week or on off weekends.

Completely alone... ok, you can have one dog I suppose to keep you company. Lock him in the trailer while you are on track. http://Forum.ImprovedTouring.com/it/smile.gif

Would you still race? Would you still race a full schedule?

06-07-2004, 08:56 PM
Well, we sort of do that. My brother and I race together, but we live about three hours drive apart, so the vast majority of the work in our garages gets done alone. If my brother decided to stop racing, I'm not sure I'd keep on unless I had some good friends I'd see in the paddock at the events.

Doug "Lefty" Franklin
NutDriver Racing (http://www.nutdriver.org)

06-07-2004, 09:23 PM
You are never alone in NER unless you want to be... So I will race on, although these dam Audi's tend to like attention.

RST Performance Racing

PS: My dad is driving alone to the National at bBeaver Run on the 19th then racing, then driving home... no crew. If anyone wants to join him, I am sure he would like the company... I should suggest to him to bring the dog...

06-07-2004, 09:26 PM
For all the fun I have when I do have a crew, some of my best memories are weekends when I am "alone". I don't worry about entertaining anyone, I have time to socialize with other drivers, and my car doesn't give me much hassle. I do most of the work "alone" as a way to relax, although lately, I just have been too stretched for time. Maybe soon...

-Marcello Canitano
www.SilverHorseRacing.com (http://www.SilverHorseRacing.com)

06-07-2004, 09:45 PM
there are alot of guys who come to the track by themselves but like raymonds said, it ends there.

06-07-2004, 10:02 PM
Originally posted by 7'sRracing:
there are alot of guys who come to the track by themselves but like raymonds said, it ends there.

True, I'm one of them, and there are a number of good friends to paddock with after I get there (until we get on the track, of course. http://Forum.ImprovedTouring.com/it/smile.gif) And occasionally I have a crew member, and my daughters.
G. Robert Jones

gran racing
06-07-2004, 10:47 PM
I got into racing alone but it didn't last very long. Well, in fact I received help form people in this forum during my first school at NHIS. (Thanks again Jake, AL and Steve)

If you are willing to help others, they will inturn be willing to help you. This is one of the most amazing things to me about club racing. I get / give the most help to my absolute closest competitor. Very cool!

Dave Gran
'87 Honda Prelude

Bill Miller
06-07-2004, 11:20 PM
I pretty much do everything myself, and have since I started racing. But, as the others have said, that ends once you get to the track. I paddock w/ a group of 3-4 other drivers when I go to Summit Point. Friends show up, and it's a great time.

MARRS #25 ITB Rabbit GTI (sold) | MARRS #25 HProd Rabbit
SCCA 279608

06-08-2004, 07:52 AM
This is my third year of SCCA and about 9th year of racing and have never had a crew. Work on the car alone, tow alone, etc. However, like the others have said, I've met a lot of great people in SCCA and never feel alone at the track.

I've had to do a lot of learning by making mistakes and it sucks scrambling to get the car on the track or fixed for the next race, but I still have a blast. The more you race, the more people you meet and the less "alone" you are.

Hang in there, don't give up!!

Jeff L
#74 ITB GTi

06-08-2004, 10:21 AM
As far as working on the car, I pretty much do everything on my own. It's a sense of pride and also I know everything was done correctly. I do ask for assistance in "zero hour" scenarios though.

With regard to races I do most of it on my own. I'll accept help when offered but it won't deter me if it's just me. Those of us that start-out alone, I feel, have a one-up on those that don't.

When I crewed for Tom and OPM last year at Sebring, our paddock was next to the PTG M3s driven by Boris Said, Hans Stuck and Bill Auberlan. We got to talking and Club Racing came up. Boris started out in Club Racing. He used to sleep in his car at the track. During enduros, since he was alone, would pit the car, get out, check tire temps and/or change tires, put fuel in, strap in and go. That's determination and it certainly has paid off.

06-08-2004, 10:50 AM
I've raced "alone" for about 8 years. You just have to have a good checklist for packing the trailer, tow rig, paddock setup, car prep, before session checks, post session checks, etc.

At least you know that if a wheel falls off, that your the only one to blame, if the lugs weren't torqued, etc.

Tim Linerud
San Francisco Region SCCA
#95 GP Wabbit (Bent)

06-08-2004, 11:04 AM
In all my years of racing, I only had someone along as a "crew" at my driver's school.

I do EVERYTHING alone, including constructing, repairing, painting and maintaining the car. The tow vehicle is under warranty, so the dealer services that.

This is why I like club racing (and gave up on Pro Rally). You had to have others in Pro Rally--a logistics nightmare!


PS--I enjoy helping others at the track and will always listen to advice.

As a field filler, I often race ALONE!

06-08-2004, 11:10 AM

Someone once asked me why I didn't have radio communications like other racers? I just indicated "no one would be at the other end?"

At the ARRC I was crewing for Vantage Motorsports in the enduro, when a white Porsche 944 came screaming in the next pit with a flat tire. He had no one there to change his tire and proceded to get unbuckled. I changed his tire for him and sent him on his way.

I guess it's tuff to race without any crew....

Tom Donnelly
06-08-2004, 03:24 PM
I have to agree on this one too. I've never been alone once I got to the track. Thats the best part of this sport, your competitors will bust their ass to beat you, and sometime bust their ass to get you out on the track and running.


06-09-2004, 02:16 AM
Generally I race alone (i.e. no crew or helpers or whatever). Once in a blue moon one of the sons-in-law will come. And once my wife went with me (I haven't asked her back -- it increased the work load 50%).

If I get in a pinch, there are folks at the track for the big jobs, but if you maintain the car and do some PM routinely, major mechanical stuff is rare (I do race a rotary after all).
So it hasn't really been an issue.

06-09-2004, 08:31 AM
Originally posted by joeg:
As a field filler, I often race ALONE!

Me to http://Forum.ImprovedTouring.com/it/frown.gif

I have some buddies that help me work on the POS, er the racecar but otherwise, I haven't had crew for the past 2 seasons. Yes, I have friends that show up at the track during the race weekend and they lend a hand but they aren't crew, per se b/c they don't bring beer http://Forum.ImprovedTouring.com/it/mad.gif

OTOH, there is a small group of us (mostly IT racers and their SOs) that meet and herd during MARRS race weekends. We help each other as needed which certainly adds to the experience.

All told - I wouldn't know what to do with crew if I had the option. I've been doing this so long with just me that I know where all the stuff goes and how it needs to be packed.

06-09-2004, 10:42 AM
P.O.S. oh, you race a mazda too? lol my wife and kids go but would I let them touch my car? I dont think so. I do the practice days so anything thats gonna fall off does so before race day, and get my handling issues fixed then I do very little to the car on race days well I used to anyway. in the past I would have the car dynoed the week prior but im going to jet at the track from now on so I'll be a little busier. now there was a guy I knew who used to bring trophy girlfriends to wipe down his car in hot pants and we thank him for that, yes, feel free to do that wayne.

06-09-2004, 11:54 AM
Heh heh... hey, my car looks like an RX7, can I call it a POS too?

I've had to force myself to use crew; certainly do need them, and it was impressed upon me from day 1 that I did, but as a guy who's always worked solo on his cars - and I do everything to my cars myself - it's hard to work in a helping hand. I have to devote 50% of my thought processes to finding them work to do! That said, it certainly helps once you can figure out how to keep t hem working. Last year we changed out motors in 6 hrs (after seizing the first) on a Sat afternoon so we could go back and race on Sunday... so that I'd have the opportunity to put the car in the wall.

Yeah, finding work for them is the hardest part, to keep them busy, interested, and feeling involved. I'm still, 4 years in, grooming my crew cheif, and that's the next big step to teach him - how to organize the crew once I've stepped in the car and put my brain in the cooler (switched off and elsewhere). http://Forum.ImprovedTouring.com/it/biggrin.gif

Vaughan Scott
Detroit Region #280052
'79 924 #77 ITA/GTS1

06-09-2004, 01:26 PM
Yesssss. I long for the "old days" when I drive the car (RX7) to the track, set up shop and raced. You can roam around and talk with others, or just huddle by yourself if you're in the mood. Others do tend to take away your focus and some of the raw enjoyment and emotions.

Then again, it is nice to share your passion with others,a nd see them get excited and involved. It's just "easier" for me to go it alone (until major breakage happens). I gues it's just my limited brain capacity.

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m glassburner
06-09-2004, 02:18 PM
We need to start a support group!!LOL ,SERIOUSLY and possibly park next to each other,so we could help each other !!Hey im all for it!! mike g. http://Forum.ImprovedTouring.com/it/smile.gif

06-09-2004, 04:16 PM
Originally posted by 7'sRracing:
P.O.S. oh, you race a mazda too?

Worse - I race a Volkswagen BUT I use RX-7 brake pads http://Forum.ImprovedTouring.com/it/wink.gif

06-09-2004, 05:02 PM
We're just starting out, but we had been going to the races nearby and meeting the racers before we decided what cars to get. We do have friends that run in our class, with the same cars we have, so we're not totally alone at the track most of the time. Having those folks in our circle that have lots of on-track experience with the same car has been great.

Doug "Lefty" Franklin
NutDriver Racing (http://www.nutdriver.org)