Guide for Parents of Young Racers

  Ten Tips by Greg Rice Tip #1 - Your child will very likely never make it to F1.   Tip #2 - Your child will very likely never make it to Indycar.   Tip #3 - Every race team operator on the "Road to Indy/F1" will try and sell you on their team as the best way to get your child to F1 or Indycar.   Tip #4 - You will pay a premium (200-300% extra) to race in the "Road to Indy/F1" ladder Series. That means that when your child does not make it, more than half of your money spent will have been spent on all the extra nonsense that had nothing to do with developing your child's ability to drive a race car competitively. Tip #5 - Of the hundred or so young drivers in North America, who are actively chasing that dream, only about 5 of them have any chance of "making it". The best teams will find those few drivers and offer real deals to get them racing for their teams. Tip #6 - As a parent, the most important thing is that your child has fun and becomes a good person. I do not believe that the environments in many of these teams is conducive to this premise. Tip #7 - Rather than spending that extra 200-300% to have your child be drivers 10-100 on that dream-chasing list, have them race more often in the lower profile series in North America. For the past 40 years, Formula Ford, now known as F1600, has been the primary training ground for professional formula car racers in the world. Race three times as much, or spend 1/3rd the money, and let your child race, race, race. If they are good enough to actually "make it" then they will be recruited for the very best rides with the best teams in the "Road to Indy/F1". Tip #8 - There are good professional F1600 teams in the different regions of the US and Canada. The best ones are in the Formula Racing Promotions F1600 Series.  Many teams can run your child in the FRP F1600 Series, conduct extensive testing programs, and do other racing in SCCA Club Racing events. This is the best value for your child. Your child will test, race, and develop their racing skills without cleaning the track for Indycars at a premium price to you. Tip #9 - Very few people in racing will tell you what I am telling you but it is the best advice anyone will ever provide to you and your child. I have no doubt that your child would rather be chasing the "Road to Indy/F1" but you are the adult and it is your money. You need the best value for the money you have to spend. You owe it to your child and family. Tip #10 - The argument that having 25-35 spec cars on the track at the same time is the best training ground for young drivers is a complete fallacy. When those cars have wings, it is even less so. I can tell you, with complete honesty, that every driver below position P-8 is just banging, crashing, and spending their parents money replacing several thousand dollars worth of wings in many sessions. The only people benefiting from 25+ spec car grids are the parts suppliers. I would say spectators who like crashing, but the reality is that few spectators are watching when these cars are on track. What makes me qualified to provide this advice? I run a race team operation that can provide full service for any formula car series in the USA or Canada. I have done so and been to events in every series that you might consider. I am not seeking teen age drivers but have adult customers who have chosen to race in the FRP F1600 and F2000 Series. My drivers have won races in both Series. We race in the FRP Series because they provide the best value in the small formula classes. It is all about quality track time without all the Indy or F1 nonsense that just drains the race budgets of young racers. I am not seeking your business .... unless you, as the adult, would like to get behind the wheel. I am trying to help the racing community by helping young drivers and their parents make smart decisions that will let them race more often, or longer, or just have more fun. When that happens, we all benefit!
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