Motorsport is expensive. To deny that is like denying the world is round, or that gravity doesn't exist. Even at F1 level, the notion of drivers paying for their seats has been around for decades. In fact, annoyingly most of the fun sports out there require some funds. Motorsport, shooting, skiing, tennis to name a few. A novice to any of these sports can fall into a trap of over spending and the same applies to car racing. So where does a novice start and how did I come to choose my racing series for next year?
As a total novice to car racing, it was important that I could be part of a single make series where all cars are identical mechanically. There is nothing more demoralising than hitting apex after apex before being overtaken down a long straight by someone who fiddled with their car under the radar of the regulations. If it happens at the top level of the sport, it certainly happens at club championships. As a novice, I believe you should be rewarded with faster lap times and better positions every time you hit the sweet spot of a corner, because let's face it, it won't happen often.
Secondly, I found it important for there to be progression to the racing series. A ladder which you could climb over time is key to providing close, wheel to wheel competitive action. That way you are never completely outclassed whenever you are out on track allowing you to get more out of every race. With a well respected progression ladder comes greater exposure to the public, other racing series and social media all of which are attractive for future sponsors who will inevitably be needed at some point.
And of course, I hoped to find all this at a reasonable price. Luckily some of the top brands in motorsport and the car industry offer great competitive, single make racing series that don't bankrupt you after the first season. One of them is Ginetta, a UK company with a long history that has now become one of the largest racing car manufacturers in the world. They have supported young drivers graduating from karting, older novices, GT4, GT3 and Le Mans Prototype drivers. The ladder is there.
They offer a complete affordable package called the GRDC for the aspiring racer, someone who has done a few track days and now wants to give racing a go in cars. In the price, you receive a road legal Ginetta G40 race car, which you get to keep forever, road tax, ARDS racing license test, 2 test days with tuition, 4 race weekends supporting the British GT(!), mechanical support at each event and a few other perks. Everyone is in the same car and all drivers have only recently attained the National B racing license. Racers with previous car racing experience are not allowed. The car also has a roof which is useful during the British summer.
Having experienced the car on track before, I can say it is the perfect 'my first racing car' which I will explain why after collection, coming very soon. Yes, with the entire package aimed at helping the novice avoiding the early day pitfalls of motorsport it was difficult to avoid signing up.