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Thread: FREE Guide to Racing & Much More

  1. #1
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    Default FREE Guide to Racing & Much More

    FREE Mentor Program and Guide Into Racing

    It’s been a long time in the making, but the new website which contains all of the information from the book I wrote Go Ahead – Take the Wheel and the new mentor program are up and running!

    In addition to the previous focus of helping people get out on the track (whether it be AutoX, HPDEs or Club Racing), I’ll be expanding the focus into more advanced topics. We have quite a few people who are willing and eager to share their knowledge, and know that at least I’m eager to hear what they have to say. As just one example, I’ll be working on an article based upon discussions with Hoosier about advanced tire subjects.

    With this now being a free online resource, I’m quite hopeful getting it into more peoples hands will be an easier process. I really, really need your help with this though. Please take just a couple of minutes and help make others aware it exists. A few ideas include posting a brief “check out this free site and mentor program” on other chat forums (I can post this on rrax & hondatech but not others), mention it on your Facebook or Twitter account, and make your region or club aware of it and ask them to post information about it.

    Thank you again for all of the support you’ve already provided this effort during the past several years. I truly appreciate it and know for a fact your efforts making others know it exists does help people get into the sport.

    Here’s the website: www.GoAheadTakeTheWheel.com

    (replacement for previous sticky)
    Last edited by gran racing; 06-16-2010 at 07:55 AM.
    Dave Gran
    Real Roads, Real Car Guys – Real World Road Tests
    Go Ahead - Take the Wheel's Free Guide to Racing

  2. #2
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    Thank you SportsCar Magazine!
    July 10, 2010 page 12

    Go Ahead – Go Online

    The book Go Ahead – Take the Wheel, a how-to racing resource that has been promoted through the SCCA, is now completely free and available online. “For the active racers, how many times are we asked, ‘What do I need to do to start racing?’ and, ‘How much does that all cost?’ said the book’s author Dave Gran. “It will be great for them to be able to say, ‘Take a look at this website – it has everything you’ll need to know.”

    This resource details everything a person needs to know about getting started in Solo, Performance Driving Experience, Time Trials, Club Racing and volunteering opportunities. The site contains numerous pictures (many more than the original book format did), videos, how-to articles and a chat forum. It also includes actual prices of how much it costs to participate in the various forms of racing, steps on buying and building a racecar, a section covering maintenance and repairs, checklists of the various items a person needs to complete, as well as a section that centers on driving techniques and other related articles.

    The website will also be offering a mentor program for rookies, and is looking for experienced racers looking to contribute. According to Gran, the mentor’s time commitment is fairly minimal – just be available for a couple phone calls when convenient or chat via e-mail.

    For more information or to just check out the website, head to www.goaheadtakethewheel.com .
    Dave Gran
    Real Roads, Real Car Guys – Real World Road Tests
    Go Ahead - Take the Wheel's Free Guide to Racing

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by gran racing View Post
    Thank you SportsCar Magazine!
    July 10, 2010 page 12

    Go Ahead – Go Online

    The book Go Ahead – Take the Wheel, a how-to racing resource that has been promoted through the SCCA, is now completely free and available online. “For the active racers, how many times are we asked, ‘What do I need to do to start racing?’ and, ‘How much does that all cost?’ said the book’s author Dave Gran. “It will be great for them to be able to say, ‘Take a look at this website – it has everything you’ll need to know.”

    This resource details everything a person needs to know about getting started in Solo, Performance Driving Experience, Time Trials, Club Racing and volunteering opportunities. The site contains numerous pictures (many more than the original book format did), videos, how-to articles and a chat forum. It also includes actual prices of how much it costs to participate in the various forms of racing, steps on buying and building a racecar, a section covering maintenance and repairs, checklists of the various items a person needs to complete, as well as a section that centers on driving techniques and other related articles.

    The website will also be offering a mentor program for rookies, and is looking for experienced racers looking to contribute. According to Gran, the mentor’s time commitment is fairly minimal – just be available for a couple phone calls when convenient or chat via e-mail.

    For more information or to just check out the website, head to www.goaheadtakethewheel.com .
    Hey Dave, that's very cool of you!! I know you weren't planning on becoming rich off the book but still very cool!!
    Jeff L

    ITA Miata



    2010 NARRC Champion

    2007 NERRC Championship, 2nd place
    2008 NARRC Championship, 2nd place
    2009 NARRC Championship, 2nd place

  4. #4
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    Yeah, it's no get rich scheme. Will need to have a party once break-even is reached though! I have gained quite a bit of personal satisfaction through this project. It's a great feeling having people tell me that this resource helped them get out on the track.
    Last edited by gran racing; 06-17-2010 at 08:17 AM.
    Dave Gran
    Real Roads, Real Car Guys – Real World Road Tests
    Go Ahead - Take the Wheel's Free Guide to Racing

  5. #5
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    Hey Dave,

    I've reposted your comments on our local regional message board, along with a link to you mentor page.
    STU BMW Z3 2.5liter

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    Thanks James!!! That type of help spreading the word about is so important.
    Dave Gran
    Real Roads, Real Car Guys – Real World Road Tests
    Go Ahead - Take the Wheel's Free Guide to Racing

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    Still working to clean-up the second image resolution but here's a some great, quick ways people and/or regions can help:

    http://www.goaheadtakethewheel.com/scca.php
    Dave Gran
    Real Roads, Real Car Guys – Real World Road Tests
    Go Ahead - Take the Wheel's Free Guide to Racing

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    Grassroots Motorsports Magazine's latest issue (August 2010) has a nice article about the mentor program. Hopefully that'll help make more people aware it's out there and available.

    “Go Ahead, Help Newbies

    Dave Gran, author of the how-to-go-racing guidebook “Go Ahead – Take the Wheel,” has been busy reworking his website, goaheadtakethewheel.com . It now includes a vast resource guide that details everything a budding enthusiast needs to know about getting started in autocross, high-performance driving events, time trials, club racing and volunteer positions.

    The expanded site contains new pictures, videos, and how-to articles. It details current costs for participating in various forms of racing, and it even has a section covering maintenance and repairs as they relate to motorsports.

    Gran is also starting a mentor program. ‘The few regions that have a program, it’s often a matter of a couple experienced racers wearing an ‘Ask Me’ badge,’ he explains. ‘This is a great step. However, people would benefit much more from being able to speak with experienced racers much earlier into the process.’

    The program’s goal is to provide some additional assistance for those looking to get involved, and it’s not limited to driving techniques. The result should be a support network that can answer any possible questions."
    Dave Gran
    Real Roads, Real Car Guys – Real World Road Tests
    Go Ahead - Take the Wheel's Free Guide to Racing

  9. #9
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    Hoping to put some of the books I have in inventory to good use by starting a "Books for Soldiers" campaign. This idea was inspired by a few soldiers, one in particular, that contacted me after including a few extra copies in their order. Here they are putting their lives on the line to defend our country and giving thanks for including a couple extra books? If this simple thing can help give them a distraction even for a little bit while overseas, then it'll be worth it. Information about the idea can be seen here:
    http://www.goaheadtakethewheel.com/b...-for-soldiers/

    If you think this is a good idea, I'd really appreciate you clicking on the share buttons related to the article for Facebook, Twitter, and/or Digg. Or of course any other way you can help spread the word. Hopefully it'll also be another way to get mroe people involved with SCCA.
    Dave Gran
    Real Roads, Real Car Guys – Real World Road Tests
    Go Ahead - Take the Wheel's Free Guide to Racing

  10. #10
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    I’d love to get your feedback about the mentor program as it progresses. What’s working, what improvements could be made, and other ideas you may have to make it better. I believe most of you are familiar with this, but if not information can be found here: mentor program


    Student questionnaire: I want to keep this fairly short and not overwhelm students with too many questions. Really we just want enough information to effectively pair the student with a mentor, and be able to start the conversation. That said, are there any pieces of information that should be added?

    Student and mentor introductions: right now I’m sending an e-mail out to the mentor and student, asking that the mentor get in contact with the student, and include the information gathered from the student from the questionnaire. I also state that if either person is having trouble contacting the other to let me know. It is important to keep my part of the pairing as efficient as possible. (I’ve already fallen behind with this and have a bunch of students not paired up yet. Uggg!)

    I’ve been copied in on some of the mentor introduction e-mails sent to students. Some are great, others could use help. I want to put together a short mentor guide. For now, it would just have some basic stuff to make it easier and more effective. My thought is to include suggestions on what to include in the first contact; possibly a sample. Any other recommendations or better yet, samples from other mentor programs that you’ve found effective?

    Program Update: interest in the program from students is growing especially during the past month as people are becoming aware of it. The SCCA national office and couple of regions have gotten behind the mentor program and website, which has been a big help. As of 9/9, we’re up to 52 students and 94 mentors, with several student applications being submitted each week.

    Thanks again for your help and overall support!
    (This is a cross post from the Sandbox but know several here don't dare to venture over there. lol)
    Dave Gran
    Real Roads, Real Car Guys – Real World Road Tests
    Go Ahead - Take the Wheel's Free Guide to Racing

  11. #11
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    I submitted an application for a student. My Miata is just about ready. Just needs a cage, seat and safety equipment. I'm thinking of doing the spring school here in San Francisco region. Wondering if I should or can afford one of the pro schools also.

    Lots to do before then...

  12. #12
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    Hey Dave, I put a mini banner at the bottom of all pages on the Pro IT Site, www.proitseries.com

    Best of luck!

  13. #13
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    Thanks Matt!!! I appreciate it.

    Alberto, you were able to get in touch with the mentor assigned to you, right?
    Dave Gran
    Real Roads, Real Car Guys – Real World Road Tests
    Go Ahead - Take the Wheel's Free Guide to Racing

  14. #14
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    Some of this is cross posted from the Sandbox.

    We're now up to just over 160 students enrolled, and are continually receiving more students.

    Things are also evolving and I'm trying to learn and incorporate that into the process. The student questionnaire has grown to request more information, and help the initial discussions.

    To help deal with all of the spam filter issues, in my introduction e-mail between student and mentor I've asked that each person add them to their contact list and allowed / white list if possible. Based on what I'm hearing, this has helped.

    Students have been very positive with their feedback of the program; thank you! SCCA national has also been enthusiastic about the program (and overall site). We do continue to struggle making regions aware any of this even exists, even though it's been announced in SportsCar and Inside Line. Communication to regions and members sure poses a challenge to say the least.

    I truly do appreciate everyone here that has volunteered to become a mentor and helped make others aware this support exists.
    Dave Gran
    Real Roads, Real Car Guys – Real World Road Tests
    Go Ahead - Take the Wheel's Free Guide to Racing

  15. #15
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    It's been a year now since the site with all of the book contents has been live. With the large number of pages on the site (150+) I found it difficult to organize. We've been busy working to improve that and just released updates which should be a big step forward. You'll be able to see the improvements on pages under the navigation drop down header "Racing Info" such as Autox, Club Racing, and so forth.

    New sections to the site have also been added.
    • A Volunteering Section which hopefully to help regions recruit more workers. (The video from Butch and the ATL region still needs to be added.)
    • Articles Page - we're working to included much more advanced content for experienced racers and are fortunate enough to have some fantastic resources in the racing industry. Especially the tire technology and tuning discussions I've been exposed to are eye opening to me (Hoosier is assisting with these articles).
    • Classifieds section - in addition to posting here on it.com, there are numerous people eager to get into racing and anxious to find items to purchase. After you post it on it.com, post it on the goaheadtakethewheel.com site too (it's free).
    Thanks again for all of the continued support and to Improvedtouring.com itself for the help throughout the years of this project. It is truly appreciated!!
    Dave Gran
    Real Roads, Real Car Guys – Real World Road Tests
    Go Ahead - Take the Wheel's Free Guide to Racing

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