Racing is one of the most exciting activities you can take part in, especially if you love the thrill of driving customized performance cars like the popular Nissan 350Z, Lancer Evolution, and Hyundai Genesis, just to name a few. Even if you’re not the greatest car racing driver in the world, there’s no reason you shouldn’t have a great time racing on the track with other gearheads.
That said, the excitement of racing doesn’t take away the risk factor. That’s why it’s crucial to keep in mind some important tips when car racing that will help ensure your own safety and that of other competitors and enthusiasts.
1. Buy Proper Racing Equipment and Gear
If you intend to drive a race car — even if it’s your own tuned-up or customized performance car — in a local race track, race show, or competitive race, you need the right racing equipment and safety gear. Ensure you have the safety gear basics, including a high-quality driving suit, non-flammable and comfortable underwear, a certified auto racing helmet, head and neck restraints, gloves, and shoes.
Having the right racing equipment is also necessary, as it ensures a safer and more thrilling racing experience. If you spend more time on the race track, consider the following safety options:
- Belts and harnesses
- A camera for recording your races
- Car racing fire systems
- Easy-to-read gauges
- Proper gear bags and backpacks for your essential tools
- A racing handbrake
- Heat protection and wraps
- A safety-rated racing seat
- Roll cages
- Angled window nets
- A more intuitive steering wheel
These essential upgrades will enhance the safety of your vehicle to keep you safe and secure on the track.
2. Ensure Your Racing Car is in Top Condition
The condition of your performance racing car highly influences your safety during racing, so you’ll want to ensure that your car is well-serviced and in good condition before you head out to the track for leisure or competitive racing. If repairs or replacements are needed, do them early and test the car before your next race or track visit.
If you have a classic car, proper servicing is even more critical, as you won’t be enjoying the latest safety features that you can find in newer racing car models. Remember that a winning combination always comes down to a great driver and a great car. Ensure you have the right racing equipment to maximize your performance driving skills.
Note: Little complications and low fluid levels can prove fatal during high-performance racing, so have a professional check your race car before you take it on the track.
3. Only Race When You’re In Good Health
However powerful your racing car is, the overall performance at the track always comes down to you. Therefore, ensure you’re in good health and tip-top physical condition before taking part in any car racing or motorsport. Sobriety and fatigue are vital factors to consider. Even when under light medication, it’s crucial to get a medical opinion.
4. Be Aware of Your Surroundings
For racing drivers, the start of the race provides the best opportunity to make up a position, as all the cars taking part in the race are bunched up in one place. In such situations, the best racing drivers can quickly map out an accurate representation of the other race cars around them and what they’re likely to do. Situational awareness matters on the track if you want to gain an edge over other drivers.
Does the track narrow ahead? Do you have enough room to maneuver if the racer in front brakes suddenly? Is another car about to come into your lane? These questions are not just about being a step ahead but also about your safety when racing. Being aware of your surroundings helps you anticipate any action or potential danger on the track. Even when racing alone, situational awareness matters at all times.
5. Driving Always Comes First – The Rest Can Wait
Performance car racing requires formidable physical and mental endurance. That’s why any form of distraction when driving almost always leads to fatal accidents. While racing on the track often comes with its own set of rules for safe driving, you still have navigation, communication, and system check gauges to deal with on the track. To avoid distractions, remember that driving always comes first and supersedes all other tasks.
The goal is to drive safely and attentively and avoid anything else that may distract you when driving at high speeds. You must focus on the road while staying aware of what’s going on around you. Ensure you have a keen eye and feeling of how your car is performing and sounding every step of the way, even while enjoying the moment.
6. The Right Speed Matters
Just because you’re participating in a race or enjoying your leisure time doesn’t make it appropriate to speed your car throughout the racetrack — remember that speed can kill. It’s important to familiarize yourself with the speed regulations and the racetrack itself, as this will help you know where and when to increase or reduce your speed to ensure safety. You must also be careful and focus all your attention on the race to avoid high-speed accidents.
7. Avoid Reckless Driving
Unfortunately, around half of all accidents that happen on racetracks are caused by reckless maneuvers. Some of the driving styles most blamed for such accidents include hard cornering, braking, and acceleration. Doing this not only puts you in harm’s way but also your fellow drivers on the race track, even those following every safety regulation. Avoid reckless driving at all costs, even when racing alone on the track.
Take it Easy and Enjoy Yourself
For many performance car racing enthusiasts, nothing beats the experience of high-speed racetrack driving. It provides the perfect opportunity to experience the power of your muscle car engine and get a feel for your customized performance racer. But safety is the number one priority, even when you’re taking it easy and enjoying yourself.
As long as you’re geared up, driving rationally, fully focused, and using a well-serviced racer, you can enjoy every moment you spend on the race track. Just don’t be carried away by the thrill of speed and forget about your own safety and that of other drivers around you.
About the Author
Jordan McDowell is a writer and automotive enthusiast. He specializes in content that helps car and truck owners get the most from their vehicles through aftermarket upgrades.