So you have a sportY car and want to race it.
Where do you go?
How much will it cost?
What about my car?
How will it hold up?
Which Type of Racing Do you want to do?
1. Autocross - See our full Autocross Guide Here
30-70 second test of driver skill and cars handling ability through a cone course (5-8 passes)
Speeds usually do not exceed 70-85mph
Locations range from parking lots, Airport runways, to on real race tracks
Low cost of entry $35-55
Low risk of damaging your car
Minimal wear on your car with the exception of tires
Must pass basic safety inspection (car has to be in good working order)
Helmet needed (clubs usually offer spares for free)
You must work part of the day (picking up cones etc)
Any car will do but small cars usually excel (Miata, Lotus, BRZ/FRS etc)
Find an Sports Car Club of America Region (Largest Autocross club)
Find other Autocross Events (also might include SCCA events)
2. Drag racing Events
Straight line test of acceleration
Low cost of entry $10-35
Can be hard on your drive train the more sticky your tires are
Usually at least 5 passes depending on turn out and incidents
Minimal safety inspections and requirements
Usually NOT covered by insurance if you crash
If you crash you crash into another car or wall
Drag Racing Websites
WannaGoFast - 1/2 Mile Drag Racing. Expensive but very fun
National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) 1/4 or 1/8mile racing
Use the NHRAs track finder to find a drag strip near you.
3. Track Days
Test of driver skill, car power and handling ability
Depending on type of event it can range from 90mins (High Performance Driving Event) to 36hours (World Racing League)
Expensive: $90-600 (avg $200) and beyond
Best value for racing seat time
Potential Loss of car with no coverage, even if its not your fault. Insurance ranges form $300 and up for a single track day
Very hard on your car. Brake/Tire Wear. Potential of bumping.
Track Day Websites
Recommend you start with a High Performance Driving Event or an event with an Instructor. Usually this is required anyway.
Combination of multiple types of events.
Autocross/Track Day/Car Show/Start Stop Drag Race
Streetable Cars only
High cost of entry
Events are throughout the USA
5. OTHER MISC TYPES
Here are a few other types that are a bit less common but still worth looking into for amateur racing.
Rallycross - Offroad racing with small cars
Drifting - More of a style event than racing. RWD and willingness to punish your car
Texas Mile - Mile Drag race. You need huge power for this
Tail of the Dragon - Similar to Autocross. Its a point to point race in the Appalachian mountains