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How many total races have you done?


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A couple of different posts got me thinking about driver experience.  How many races has the average Champer driven?  Just races. Not test days or HPDE events or ripping around highway exit ramps. And road course races in a car.  Not dirt bikes or speed boats or drag races.  Although these other forms of racing do play into race-craft, it simplifies the question to eliminate these and therefore the results.  

 

My suspicion is that because a lot of teams are only getting to do as few as one or two races a year drivers are not getting seat time that racks up experience like you would if you get to a sprint race every three or four weeks. 

 

So let’s hear it.  How many wheel to wheel races have you participated in?

 

On a parallel but slightly different question, how many different cars have you driven in a wheel to wheel race?  Again, for simplicity, not test days or HPDE type events.  Just cars in races. 

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246:

156 Race Hours, 48 of those driven by me

10,134 Race Miles

 

146:

254 Race Hours, 70 of those driven by me

15,702 Race Miles

 

Total Races as a Car Owner: 28

 

Rental Cars:

Races: 14

Tracks: 8

Hours Driven: 35

 

Number of hours of formal race driving instruction - 0

Number of racing schools attended - 0

Number of racing licenses obtained - 0

 

Champcar is awesome.

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Over 50...  probably.

 

Lemons and champcar.

 

Average over 5 races a year since 2009.

 

Race weekends or races?

 

Race weekends probably over 50.  Races, probably 75.

 

I can't say that I do 4 hours a weekend. If somebody is faster, we will have them do more stints. 

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RAm1 - 9 mins
RAm2 - 282mins
SB1 - 110mins
*SB2 - 194mins
RAtl - 840mins
*VIRS - 248mins
*RAm3 - 96mins
RAm4 - 54mins
WGI1 - 420mins
*WGI2 - 247mins
VIR24 - 499mins
*RAm5 - 480mins
*RAtl - 470mins
*GM1 - 151mins
*GM2 - 420mins

 

15 Races 

10 Events

 

4,520 total minutes = 75 hours

 

I drove about half that time.  Maybe 10 SCCA sprints prior and rented a couple stints with Black Perl.

 

 

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4 weekends, 7 races.  Spread out between 2015 and 2020.  I normally get 2-4 hours seat time per race.  Only ever run one car in normal wheel to wheel stuff, though I have done a bit of karting and Mini Baja back in college.

Edited by karman1970
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Slightly off topic, but other than HPDE/SCCA stuff a long time ago I have not driven, but I have crewed a ton.

IMSA: 4 races including Daytona, Indy, Road Atlanta and Lime Rock, plus a 24 as a spectator.

Champcar/SCCA:

under 12 hours:                               10 or so

12 hours:                                          20+

13 hours:                                          10 +/-

24 hours:                                           5+

Sprint races:                                    50+

Event director for HPDE events:    50+ weekeends

Crew for Time trials events:            20+

 

I know I am missing some, but those would be minimums. There was a a year of two I spent more weekends at the track working then at home, but marriage and childrens put an end to that. 

 

Thanks Matt for making me think this out.

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My spreadsheet shows 83 wheel to wheel race days but three or four of those are one event parc ferme over two days. So I figure over 75 races driven in on 18 different tracks. 
 

Edit: I show 201 track days total and a bunch more not counted that I didn’t drive in just rode along with some newbie learning to drive. A few years ago I built a rudimentary calculator for Barber and it estimates about 3200 laps there. 
 

With all that said I still screw up regularly on track. Experience is overrated, much like intelligence. 

 

Forgot about the part of the question on cars.  2 SC300's, 4 E30's, 2 944's, 1 E36, 1 Maxima, 1 Neon, 1 Accord.

Edited by Burningham
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6x Toyota MR2
1x 1988 Toyota Celica
1x 1973 Ford LTD
1x 1964 Chevy C10 pickup
1x 1987 Porsche 944
 


as of October 2020
76 races - Chumpcar/ChampCar / 24h of Lemons / WRL

 

Sprints: 7
24/25-Hours: 9
14-Hours: 14
10/12-Hours: 7
and the rest are doubles

I have worked at 105 ChampCar races. 

Hubs broken: 7
CV failures: 6
Transmissions lost: 8
Times SRI hit my car: 3
Most crashes - all drivers: Watkins Glen - 3
                                            Road Atlanta - 2

                                            VIR - 2
                                            Nelson Ledges - 1

Fastest Car on track: a few times
Slowest car on track: Twice (Opel GT)

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Cars:

3 x Saab 900

3 x Saab 93 two stroke, not the modern 9-3

4 x Saab Sonett III

2 x  Sonett II

1 x Saab Sonett V-4

2 x Quantum Formula Saab

2 x FV

1 x C Sports Racer

6 x Miata

3 x Saab 99 EMS

2 x Mazda RX-3

1 x Mazda RX-2

1 X Saturn

1 x Toyota Corolla

2 x Datsun 240Z

1 x Datsun 280Z

1 x Lotus 7

1 x Lotus Elan

1 x Lotus Elite

1 x Alfetta GT

1 x Mini

1 x MINI

 

Driven in 250+ race events, many of which were double or triple weekends; 11 of those 24 hour races.  I have no idea how many races I've worked which started in Timing when 16, which was a very long time ago!  It has been 15-20 race weekends a year for the day job at Michelin over the past 8 years.

 

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Started with a self built Mazda RX2(yes RX2)  Raced that car for 3 years about 4-5 events a year mostly sprints. 30+hrs

Built new car FC RX7 and raced it for 10 years 4-5 events per year mostly sprint races with NASA SoCal. 150-200hrs. 
Bought and personalized 3rd car, E30 Champcar. 1 race in 2020. 8hrs

So the total time racing wheel to wheel. 
Total +-190hrs, 50+ events 

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I have 96 races with my car and 35 top 5 finishes, but about 40+ races with issues. 

Personally I have around 150 race days driving (bio 1, bio 2, Racing Strong, Mod Squad, Tyler, Ergolab, Justin Lee)

I figured I have over 500 wheel to wheel hours myself now and counting.

 

edit- 3 good incidents. Road Atlanta turn 11 spun into the wall side/backwards, Mosport spun in the rain hard into the wall backwards and AMP head on the front straight. Now the wheel base is 1.5" shorter on one side and she has a droopy face. 

 

Yes I have an issue.

 

I used to do 6-8 race weekends a year with my car, but next year my plan is to do only two and fill in with other teams.

 

Great memories.

Edited by MR2 Biohazard
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 I am still a amature. No licences. No previous experience. Bought a car that had ran champ before. Just jumped in and came racing. One car. Two tracks. 3 years. No wins. Mid pack car. Small team. 2 stints per day. 1.5 hrs approx per stint. Just racing 20 to 25 hours of wheel to wheel racing. Some test and tune and autocross not figured. This year was the first year I was not wrapped up in knots at the start. I was relaxed, in control, confident about my car and abilities. It takes some experience to get things going. I really hope the pros with all this time under there belt help out the newbies next to them in the pits. We need your guidance at times. 95% do kinda help but 5% are just pricks about our lack of experience. (One side of my pit is always great but the other side usually experienced 5%) 4 days off from work each race.  Costs me 3k to enter, come race and leave happy. Help us. Dont ridicule us for being beginners. Everyone was a beginner at sometime. Even you. 

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With both enduros and sprints about 165 races, about 250 hours.  Doesn't include practice, HPDE, qualifying sessions etc.

 

Somewhere about 16 or 17 different cars ranging from early 2000's Miatas back to mid 50's Jaguars. 

 

Mr Kinkle - don't ever stop asking.  My personal belief is that this a place that could be better.  First few times out you're just hanging on for dear life trying not to get run over, but then you need some guidance on how to get faster.  The likelihood that you're going to figure it out on your own before you get frustrated or life changes and you're not racing is pretty slim.

 

Wrapped up in knots at the start?  Hell, I used to get butterflies about 10 miles out from the track just driving up to do an HPDE.  I haven't fallen asleep on the grid yet, have come close, but I did once during black-flag-all.  I do still have nightmares about not being ready for my stint and the car comes into the pit.

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Since 2017 I have participated in 1 AER, 1 WRL and 7 Champcar weekends for a total of 17 individual races. 

Roughly 35 hours of seat time, all in the shutupracing E30.

Before that I did 4 HPDE events and a race school in my E30 turbo street car.

 

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On 10/12/2020 at 6:00 PM, 333 Kinkle said:

 I am still a amature. No licences. No previous experience. Bought a car that had ran champ before. Just jumped in and came racing. One car. Two tracks. 3 years. No wins. Mid pack car. Small team. 2 stints per day. 1.5 hrs approx per stint. Just racing 20 to 25 hours of wheel to wheel racing. Some test and tune and autocross not figured. This year was the first year I was not wrapped up in knots at the start. I was relaxed, in control, confident about my car and abilities. It takes some experience to get things going. I really hope the pros with all this time under there belt help out the newbies next to them in the pits. We need your guidance at times. 95% do kinda help but 5% are just pricks about our lack of experience. (One side of my pit is always great but the other side usually experienced 5%) 4 days off from work each race.  Costs me 3k to enter, come race and leave happy. Help us. Dont ridicule us for being beginners. Everyone was a beginner at sometime. Even you. 

 

I have been with ChumpCar/ChampCar from the start. Most of the guys that have participated in this thread were there with us. 
We were the exact same. We all had only autoX and some HPDE/Track days. We thought we were going to rule the racing world on that first Lemons event. 
Boy, were we in for a rude awakening on the long drive home... we really had no clue what we were doing.
But...
We learned. We raced. and we finally started getting trophies. 
There is no replacing seat time.
And don't worry. We will always allow newbs to race with zero experience. It's what we are.
There are a few, like the thread starter that want us to require some sort of schooling. But, the core of us, will never require that. Just get a car, safe it up. And let's go wheel to wheel racing.

ChampCar is (and will remain) the simplest path to real road racing.

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And for those that are wanting some sort of license requirement. Go look at WRL or AER. They may not have the big fields or the cool tracks. But everyone is on the same page when they go into turn one four wide. hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

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Sure you can show up with no experience and come race with us.  As Bill says, it will most likely always be that way with Champcar.  But, I think it would be helpful to most drivers to get some experience on track outside of a wheel to wheel race.  Go to a DE and let somebody talk you through car control.  You will come to a race better prepared to deal with the traffic by knowing what a proper line is, etc.  It's not necessary, but most people will enjoy their race experience more if they know a little more about how to drive a car on track.  You don't need hours and hours, but a DE or two might help some new drivers get up to speed quicker.  I watch guys wander all over the track and think just one weekend with them would help them so much.  Plus it's a good way to shake your car down, or find out if you even want to build it.  I would never belittle getting experience in a controlled atmosphere, I think it should be encouraged but not required.

 

But, once again if you don't want to do that, just come on out and race with us anyway.  People do it all the time and it works for the most part.

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1 hour ago, Burningham said:

Sure you can show up with no experience and come race with us.  As Bill says, it will most likely always be that way with Champcar.  But, I think it would be helpful to most drivers to get some experience on track outside of a wheel to wheel race.  Go to a DE and let somebody talk you through car control.  You will come to a race better prepared to deal with the traffic by knowing what a proper line is, etc.  It's not necessary, but most people will enjoy their race experience more if they know a little more about how to drive a car on track.  You don't need hours and hours, but a DE or two might help some new drivers get up to speed quicker.  I watch guys wander all over the track and think just one weekend with them would help them so much.  Plus it's a good way to shake your car down, or find out if you even want to build it.  I would never belittle getting experience in a controlled atmosphere, I think it should be encouraged but not required.

 

But, once again if you don't want to do that, just come on out and race with us anyway.  People do it all the time and it works for the most part.

I had 50 days on-track before my first Champ race in 2015. Also did a 4-day Bondurant Grand Prix RR course as well as 2-days at Ron Fellows Spring Mountain. 

So 100% agree. 

Edited by Snorman
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