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Old 21 Aug 2017, 17:24 (Ref:3760761)   #1
thunders1989
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Starting own race team

Evening

I am after some advice and opinions on starting my own race team.

Before I start I do understand the saying how do you make a small fortune in motorsport - start with a large one!

I know I do not have enough money to fund myself going out racing on a club level. However I wanted some advice on running my own team on an arrive and drive basis, for example a Mazda mx5.

I have space and storage and a good mechanic who can work on a discounted rate.

I would be looking to run it as a small business on the side of my primary job.

What's everyone's thoughts and experience?
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Old 21 Aug 2017, 18:07 (Ref:3760770)   #2
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I run a small kart racing team and believe me if you want to prematurely age, be permanently knackered and on the edge of mental and physical exhaustion then do go ahead!

First do your maths and check that your mechanic really is prepared to work at "discounted rate" - if he does he's either no good or a mug, and you should consider ditching him. Will he be there when the car needs fixing at six o'clock on a Saturday evening, in the teeming rain, so the drivers can be on the grid in the morning? Pay him well, buy his loyalty and charge the money on to your customers.

Next insurance - people like REIS do a good team insurance and it is worth every penny to have peace of mind.

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Old 21 Aug 2017, 18:12 (Ref:3760773)   #3
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Sorry I hit "post" too soon.

Next is infrastructure. Transport for the car, shelter at the race meeting etc. I know you're only small, but drivers are your customers and you need to treat them well. You'll need to be the day before to set up ready.

I run six karts most weekends, and it's pretty hectic but huge fun. The logistics at home in the week are a headache and I couldn't do a proper job at the same time.

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Old 21 Aug 2017, 18:16 (Ref:3760776)   #4
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midgetman has a real shot at the championship!midgetman has a real shot at the championship!midgetman has a real shot at the championship!midgetman has a real shot at the championship!midgetman has a real shot at the championship!
The other alternative is to share the drive and halve the budget. That's different, you're not aiming to make a profit and can still get a drive yourself at a decent rate. Just be sure you have an agreement over what happens if you or the other driver bend it/break it. You need to be very good friends.

Whatever you choose, have a great time. It's really hard work but pretty rewarding mentally even if not financially in the early days. Good luck!

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Old 21 Aug 2017, 18:53 (Ref:3760787)   #5
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Another aspect is that Arrive & Drive customers are often extremely hard on the car - if they trash the gearbox and the brakes in an afternoon it's not their problem (you can't prove it wasn't poor prep or the wrong oil or choice of pad material etc).
Far better to find a fellow clubbie to share the work and the costs with. I've done this a fair bit especially for longer endurance races and it works well.
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Old 21 Aug 2017, 20:05 (Ref:3760799)   #6
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Another aspect is that Arrive & Drive customers are often extremely hard on the car - if they trash the gearbox and the brakes in an afternoon it's not their problem (you can't prove it wasn't poor prep or the wrong oil or choice of pad material etc).
Far better to find a fellow clubbie to share the work and the costs with. I've done this a fair bit especially for longer endurance races and it works well.
Thanks for the pointers everyone. I have limited experience in this however my normal job involves customer service and management.

Ideally I would be looking to run one Mazda mx5 in the BRSCC and maybe club endure.

I am looking at around 10k to start this up does this sound like a reasonable budget?

Midgetman would it be possible to maybe pick your brains on some more of the "business" side of it
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Old 21 Aug 2017, 22:05 (Ref:3760814)   #7
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PM sent

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Old 21 Aug 2017, 22:18 (Ref:3760816)   #8
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Cost everything in minute detail - everything from the sandwich bought at the Kentagon to the costs of insuring a write-off.

When you've done that, double it and add a bit.....

HTH
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Old 22 Aug 2017, 09:45 (Ref:3760889)   #9
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Cost everything in minute detail - everything from the sandwich bought at the Kentagon to the costs of insuring a write-off.

When you've done that, double it and add a bit.....

HTH
and then try to find customers willing to pay the consequent high price to somebody with no track record or references or history. I'd hazard a guess that the majority of teams are started by existing drivers who have been around the block and enjoyed at least a modicum of success and also coped with failure.
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Old 22 Aug 2017, 15:18 (Ref:3760956)   #10
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and then try to find customers willing to pay the consequent high price to somebody with no track record or references or history. I'd hazard a guess that the majority of teams are started by existing drivers who have been around the block and enjoyed at least a modicum of success and also coped with failure.
This thought has crossed my mind. Everyone has to start somewhere though surely?
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Old 22 Aug 2017, 20:59 (Ref:3761007)   #11
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A race team is only as good as its last set of results.

Many teams grow from family teams. The driver does well, wins races, regular podium visitor, championship contender. They then expand into running a second car, or the financial pressures mean driver takes a back seat from driving for a while but still wants to be involved - both ways there is a proven history of success which paying customers are happy to be associated with.

If you don't have the track record of success, it will be hard. You'll have to undercut the opposition due to lack of experience, and hope you get some good drivers to get you the good sets of results from which to build. The driver would be looking for you on how to go faster, so unless you've done it yourself, you'll need to have ready access to someone experienced with the cars in race trim to find those 1/10ths of second.
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Old 22 Aug 2017, 21:08 (Ref:3761008)   #12
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A race team is only as good as its last set of results.

Many teams grow from family teams. The driver does well, wins races, regular podium visitor, championship contender. They then expand into running a second car, or the financial pressures mean driver takes a back seat from driving for a while but still wants to be involved - both ways there is a proven history of success which paying customers are happy to be associated with.

If you don't have the track record of success, it will be hard. You'll have to undercut the opposition due to lack of experience, and hope you get some good drivers to get you the good sets of results from which to build. The driver would be looking for you on how to go faster, so unless you've done it yourself, you'll need to have ready access to someone experienced with the cars in race trim to find those 1/10ths of second.
Ok some good advice there and I completely understand it is a tough proposition to get a customers buy in. Surely there are available race mechanics to hire who can assist in finding those 1/10ths?
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Old 22 Aug 2017, 21:26 (Ref:3761012)   #13
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Yes, you can hire in race mechanics, data analysts and driver coaches but that all adds to the cost of running the team, and in many cases they'll look to the team boss for guidance. A team whose principal has been there and done that has a head start.

If its apparent that you are short of knowledge/experience they may drift towards other teams.
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Old 22 Aug 2017, 22:00 (Ref:3761018)   #14
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Surely there are available race mechanics to hire who can assist in finding those 1/10ths?
Yes, point already made - mechanic change wheels and brake pads.

Data Analysts and 'Engineers' make the car go faster. Buy a subscription to Race Car Engineering and you'll see what I mean.
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Old 22 Aug 2017, 23:09 (Ref:3761029)   #15
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Yes, point already made - mechanic change wheels and brake pads.

Data Analysts and 'Engineers' make the car go faster. Buy a subscription to Race Car Engineering and you'll see what I mean.
I will take a look. However do remember I am referring to something like the Mazda MX5 or BMW Compact cup, i suppose my idea and mindset has lent more towards it from a "fun" point of view as opposed to a "front running" point of view

Last edited by thunders1989; 22 Aug 2017 at 23:18.
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