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Getting Started.

Perm97

Member
First a little about myself. Im eighteen years old and done highschool in a few weeks. It has been a lifelong dream to race the Baja 1000. As i dug deeper I realised there are so many more races out there and i would love to do most of them. with that being said what is the best way to get onto a team to help out and learn the ropes? I'm not trying to jump in and say I'm ready for seat time because I "think" i can drive. I just want to work with a team and gain valuable experience. I'm a fast learner and good with my hands. If anybody has any tips or ideas that would be great!

Perm
 

GDRBORETIRED

Well-Known Member
Show up At the shop or at a race and ask "Is there anything I can do to help?" Then do what they ask of you! Do it to the best of your ability. If they don't need you ask if they know someone who can use you.
 

Wendell #527

Well-Known Member
Good for you wanting to get into this hobby/lifestyle/addiction, whatever you want to call it. This question comes up fairly often and the answer is just like GDRBORETIRED said. Start off helping a team. If you walk up and down pit row at a small race and you will find most teams are really cool and easy to talk to. Most of them accept help. You get into it, learn a lot, and co-drive a race or two, and eventually buy or build a car and you're off and running. That's the best way to do it. Go to the MORE shoot out or basically any race. The smaller bodies like MORE have the smaller teams who really need and want help. We always do. The more the merrier. Beware, though, it is very addictive....
 

Ol' Curmudgeon

RDC's resident crackpot
I don't think he means Ontario, CA...how do we get him to a desert racing shop?
 

Perm97

Member
So from what I'm reading my biggest obstacle will be getting myself to a race.
(For reference my house is about 2200 miles from Las Vegas.)
 
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51rcr

Well-Known Member
So from what I'm reading my biggest obstacle will be getting myself to a race.
(For reference my house is about 2200 miles from Las Vegas.)
I did see theres a few teams from up there. not sure where from. sure some of the others point ya there way. One was doing the first timers 1000 thread I think with a full size stock I think. but was from BC I thought. maybe find some ultra4 KOH guys to. Pirate4x4 forums for them.
 

51rcr

Well-Known Member
So from what I'm reading my biggest obstacle will be getting myself to a race.
(For reference my house is about 2200 miles from Las Vegas.)
from where your from maybe some short course. but lots of dirt track racing to. racing is racing and learning what ya can till you can get to where ya want to be sometimes and when ya can. I seen in Bro lites thread in short course area theres some of that in NY
 

GDRBORETIRED

Well-Known Member
It is not really required that you start in the desert. I didn't. I have been involved in Drag racing, Autocross and Circle track racing before getting onto Offroad racing. Early interest in Offroad but Mexico was 1300 miles away. Lots can be learned away from the desert! Stepping stones can get you across the river.
 

Perm97

Member
Alright, well I'm gonna see if I can hook up with some kind of racing team and keep surfing this forum for more good reads. Thanks guys.
 

biffgnar

Well-Known Member
I did see theres a few teams from up there. not sure where from. sure some of the others point ya there way. One was doing the first timers 1000 thread I think with a full size stock I think. but was from BC I thought. maybe find some ultra4 KOH guys to. Pirate4x4 forums for them.
There is a big contingent of U4 guys from BC every year, although BC is no closer to OP than Vegas I think.
 

JDDurfey

Well-Known Member
I will make a suggestion to you...

A friend of mine was introduced to Baja when he was 18. He already had the desire to be involved in racing. He saw very quickly that getting a start in desert racing requires a lot of money and there aren't a lot of the "big guns" that started from the bottom and worked their way up. Many start with money and go from there. So, he went to North Carolina and got a engineering degree with a motorsport emphasis. He is now a shock engineer for a NASCAR team and travels to all the races with the team tuning the shocks and I am sure other things as well. Someday I am sure he will have his own off road race car and team, but for now, he is getting paid to be around the sport he loves, gets to travel all over the country in a private plane and have a front row seat to some awesome horsepower.

Just something to think about...If I could go back and do it over I just might go that route.
 

51rcr

Well-Known Member
There is a big contingent of U4 guys from BC every year, although BC is no closer to OP than Vegas I think.
has to be some or at least rock bouncers from up state NY lots of woods. I look where hes from and its in the middle of the great lakes haha. water sports be better
 

johndjmix

Well-Known Member
My suggestion, go to Mexico and watch Baja 500 or 1000.

The BITD races are good, if you are racing, as a spectator not so much. You will get to talk to a lot of people and gain knowledge but nothing like a week before the Baja 1000.

--John


Dunarri LLC
wildscooterparts.com
coolermods.com
 

Charlietuna

Well-Known Member
I don't know if this is something you're looking to do as a hobby or make a career out of. If it's just going to be a hobby, you've already gotten some good info above. If it's something you're looking to make a career out of, the very first thing you should do is get a Class A drivers license. I've worked on NHRA funny cars, traveling late model and sprint cars and any other number of race vehicles and almost to a man, the owner/crew chief will tell you, they can train you to work on the race car but if you can drive the rig to and from races, that is one of the biggest ways you can help. Plus, if you can't catch on with a race team right away, you still offer something that support vendors, sponsors, etc in the industry can look at and contemplate hiring you.
 

PDANK Racing

Well-Known Member
First a little about myself. Im eighteen years old and done highschool in a few weeks. It has been a lifelong dream to race the Baja 1000. As i dug deeper I realised there are so many more races out there and i would love to do most of them. with that being said what is the best way to get onto a team to help out and learn the ropes? I'm not trying to jump in and say I'm ready for seat time because I "think" i can drive. I just want to work with a team and gain valuable experience. I'm a fast learner and good with my hands. If anybody has any tips or ideas that would be great!

Perm
There are some shortcourse off road racing teams and clubs in your area. Greg and Travis Dinsmore are just down the road from you in Paris, ON. They have been off road racing for a long time in buggies and trucks, and do everything you want to learn about in their shop, fabrication, engine/ trans rebuilding and more. Greg is a wealth of knowledge, and would probably be the guy to get ahold of. Travis is a hell of a driver as well as fabricator. Their website is D-R Transmission & Engine Ltd. - Home I'm actually pretty jealous that you're so close to them, great group of guys. Give them a call, and offer your help, if they don't need it, ask if they know someone that does.

What to expect: Starting out you'll get the crappy jobs, removing and cleaning parts, washing body panels, sweeping up, mainly unskilled work. Do a good job on that stuff, and you'll get trusted with more responsiblilty and show that you are worth training. You probably don't realize it, but it takes a decent amount of time and work to train someone, even if they have basic mechanical knowledge. Simple things like showing up on time, doing your best work(no matter how meaningless the job) go a long ways towards showing that you are dedicated to learning and being apart of the team. IMO, it is a huge waste of time to train someone that isn't dedicated. For example, a good friend of mine would come help on my race truck from time to time. Problem was, it took longer to show him how to do a simple job, than actually do it myself, and then he wouldn't finish it. Only took a couple times of that to stop having him help. You can either be an asset to the team, or in the way, its up to you.

How to prepare: Start by learning shop safety, this is often overlooked and VERY important(search youtube). You can be seriously injured or hurt someone else by not understanding the hazards involved with the tools and equipment. Go deeper than general shop safety, and find videos on the tools you be using, angle & die grinders, welders, presses, mill/ lathe, etc. Hearing and eye protection is extremely important. Around here, our Tech school offers intro classes for welding, auto tech, and machining. These can be very helpful in getting the basic knowledge as well as learning about shop safety. Fix your own stuff, car, lawn mower, etc. This will help you find the work you like to do, and the areas you need to improve on.

Racing groups near you
CORR CORR - Canadian Off Road Racing
CORRA Log into Facebook | Facebook
 

Perm97

Member
There are some shortcourse off road racing teams and clubs in your area. Greg and Travis Dinsmore are just down the road from you in Paris, ON. They have been off road racing for a long time in buggies and trucks, and do everything you want to learn about in their shop, fabrication, engine/ trans rebuilding and more. Greg is a wealth of knowledge, and would probably be the guy to get ahold of. Travis is a hell of a driver as well as fabricator. Their website is D-R Transmission & Engine Ltd. - Home I'm actually pretty jealous that you're so close to them, great group of guys. Give them a call, and offer your help, if they don't need it, ask if they know someone that does.

What to expect: Starting out you'll get the crappy jobs, removing and cleaning parts, washing body panels, sweeping up, mainly unskilled work. Do a good job on that stuff, and you'll get trusted with more responsiblilty and show that you are worth training. You probably don't realize it, but it takes a decent amount of time and work to train someone, even if they have basic mechanical knowledge. Simple things like showing up on time, doing your best work(no matter how meaningless the job) go a long ways towards showing that you are dedicated to learning and being apart of the team. IMO, it is a huge waste of time to train someone that isn't dedicated. For example, a good friend of mine would come help on my race truck from time to time. Problem was, it took longer to show him how to do a simple job, than actually do it myself, and then he wouldn't finish it. Only took a couple times of that to stop having him help. You can either be an asset to the team, or in the way, its up to you.

How to prepare: Start by learning shop safety, this is often overlooked and VERY important(search youtube). You can be seriously injured or hurt someone else by not understanding the hazards involved with the tools and equipment. Go deeper than general shop safety, and find videos on the tools you be using, angle & die grinders, welders, presses, mill/ lathe, etc. Hearing and eye protection is extremely important. Around here, our Tech school offers intro classes for welding, auto tech, and machining. These can be very helpful in getting the basic knowledge as well as learning about shop safety. Fix your own stuff, car, lawn mower, etc. This will help you find the work you like to do, and the areas you need to improve on.

Racing groups near you
CORR CORR - Canadian Off Road Racing
CORRA Log into Facebook | Facebook
Thanks for the great tip. Ill have to get in contact with them. I understand the "shop bitch" part. Ive done it a number of times for different things. I've been in and out of shops my whole life. So i have a pretty good understanding of safety and what needs to be done. Thanks a bunch guys.
 
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