Starting a new team doesn't...
Starting a new team doesn't necessarily mean you will be working at the highest levels of the sport. For the most part, however, the process is very similar at all levels, with the exception of the scale. The key is for everybody to pull or push together for the good of the team. We win and lose as a team.
The act of starting a new team can be a formal or an informal process, and there are some common steps for either method. For many Saturday night racers, the process usually starts with an individual or two deciding that racing is in their future.
The formal development of a team, however, can be an evolutionary process. For the most part, the formalization of the team is often not an intentional act, as many racers start their teams as an act of necessity, developing as an offshoot of what was once a one-man operation in a garage or backyard.
There are typically three fundamental reasons for starting a race team:
*Just for the fun of racing*As a stepping stone to another series or type of race car (type of car or series may force wholesale equipment changes)*As a driver development tool or forum to help young drivers
First, let's look at three different teams that are using the same series to accomplish different goals. Then, looking deeper, we will see that the general process for starting the team is similar even though the long-term intent is different.
For The Fun
Most Saturday night racers start their teams simply for the enjoyment of racing. Starting a team at this level is usually a very loose, highly unstructured process, with the majority of the team typically comprised of unpaid volunteers. Team members may get their entry fees paid and a small share of the purse if they win, but for the most part they are unpaid volunteers. Like the driver, they are there for the joy of the sport.
There is a minimum of specialized equipment, and not a great deal of money is spent on traveling since there are few out-of-town races. The genesis for this type of team is usually a very small core group or a single person who wants to go racing. It requires going to the nearest local track and spending some time looking at the various classes and seeing what fits into their wants and their need for speed. This undertaking can be supported by the racer himself, at least at first.
When building your team, remember...
When building your team, remember that even at the highest levels it is still a team and it's important that everybody works together-even if it means doing some of the less glamorous jobs.
This is how ASA Speed Truck Challenge rookie Andy Allen started his race team. His brother was racing in the ASA Speed Truck series and Andy had some limited experience racing motocross. He liked what he saw in the Speed Truck series after going to some races with his brother. He started to look around at some used equipment and found a truck that suited his needs and made the jump. He has a pretty lean operation: a basic trailer with just enough spares to fix some minor failures, and not a great deal of tools. Andy has made a limited number of starts, but he is having fun. This is a classic example of a family funded team with minimal outside sponsorship. According to Andy, he has no aspirations to make the jump into racing as a career. He is quite happy to be doing the racing he is doing right now, and he's having a blast just racing for the pure fun of the sport.
As A Stepping Stone
Sometimes racers have ulterior motives or loftier goals and objectives fueling their desire to race. They may use the local track or a regional series as a place to gain valuable seat time and learn as much as possible about racing. They then use that knowledge to help them move forward through various racing series. They never intend to stay at the local or regional level, but use the local track or a regional series as a placeholder while they gain experience, age, and hopefully notoriety so they can move on to a more professional series.
This is like going to school in that you gain experience and develop a skill, but you do not get a diploma. If you want to be a doctor, an engineer, or a teacher, you need an education, and racing is no different. As you run in various series and at various tracks, you gain valuable perspectives and develop required driver and setup skills. This is a learning environment for drivers and aspiring crew chiefs.