The Next Step Episode 3

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Episode 3: PRN Readers Respond to Our Newest Correspondent

 

Aaron,
I noticed you mentioned in your last article that you host the Kensai racing days. Sure 245 horsepower isn’t a lot, but then again isn’t the Honda you have like a cage on wheels? I heard that there were several pretty crazy cars at these days- huge horsepower and all kinds of modifications including full-blown race cars. So I want to upgrade from my local track days where I am passing almost everyone but heard Mosport can be intimidating. What would be a good starting point to get familiar with Mosport and sort of ease into that level of racing? It’s not that I am nervous about driving there but want to test the water before diving into the deep end.

Brian K.
Peterborough, ON

 


Hi Brian,
Regarding lapping days at Mosport, there are only two that I am aware of that offer some professional instruction for learning the track and improving your driving skills. The first one being the performance school that I run for Kensai at their lapping days, and the other one is the Dexter days where professional instructors are available for hire. Both use highly credible and accomplished instructors and will give you the perfect start to learning how to drive Mosport safely. As far as there being crazy cars at Kensai days, the truth is it really depends. For the most part the vehicles at our events are relatively tame – I actually tend to see more big horsepower exotic equipment at the Dexter events. All of this pales in comparison to some of the higher-end days I have been to at Watkins Glen or Road Atlanta, where I have literally found myself on the track with IndyCars and LMP1 Sports Prototypes!! Regardless, you can find schedules for both Dexter and Kensai events at www.dexterautosport.com and
www.kensairacing.com

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 Hi Aaron,

It’s awesome to have someone that has made it up the racing ranks offering some wisdom in PRN. The Editors are very knowledgeable but no one has the experience you have. I didn’t see any go-kart experience or accomplishments though. I hear that is where most racers cut their teeth. I’ll keep this short- I missed the go-kart stage as well and am looking to get into racing heavily. Of course I’d like to do it full time but am afraid I have started too late. I’m 21 and have completed Skip Barber School in the U.S., I have a decent race car and am looking to continue on. Pipe dream?

AJ
Winnipeg, MB

Hi AJ,
Actually yeah - I did start with karting but it got edited out of my bio! Rest assured though - starting at 21 is not too late at all. Look at some of the greats - Mario Andretti was winning in Indy cars in his 50’s! My own personal hero and mentor - Randy Pobst didn’t even start car racing until he was 27..... Twenty some years on he is the reigning 2007 and 2008 World Challenge GT champion, has already won a handful of races in 2009 and is honestly one of the fastest drivers I have ever come across. The point is age really doesn’t have that much to do with it. The two biggest factors are: a) your motivation and b) your means.

90min19_optLet start with means. For anyone remotely interested in going racing you need to know up front that racing is a business and like all businesses, it runs on money. Racing costs cubic dollars - as in thousands to hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars depending on the operation. And like most things in life, racing is by no means a meritocracy – having all the talent in the world does not automatically provide the opportunity to race. As one team owner once told me “Being the best driver in the world and one dollar….will get you a coffee.....”

Unlike most sports, in racing it is the participant – in this case the drivers – who pay to put on the show. Someone has to pay for the race car, work shop, truck and trailer to get the car to the track, mechanics, travel expenses to get the mechanics to the track, fuel, tires, entry fees etc. Most team owners are in it to make a profit, and considering prize money in most series is but a pittance of the actual cost to go racing the only way the owner can make money is by passing these costs down onto the driver.

To cover these costs, drivers can win scholarships and piece together business deals that can create sponsorship funding. If a driver has the means, it is then a matter of finding the right team that will allow him/her to develop their skills. Either way, a gigantic amount of work and energy is required – which leads us to the most important factor: motivation. Simply put, if you want it enough, you will be willing to put in the hard work and make the necessary sacrifices to make it happen. It can be done.

Aaron

Since his columns began appearing, reader feedback has begun to flow into Povoledo’s PRN email account. Now that his column has been out there for a little while, we thought we’d take this opportunity to share some of the letters he has received along with a response. We will publish more of Povoledo’s mail in future issues of PRN, so please keep sending your questions and comments to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

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