Learn to Race
Vintage Racing clubs, require their members to be competent drivers, but are open to many different ways of getting trained as a driver. You can got to a school, do some Karting or track days, or combine some elements of all three. The fundamental skills required are driving the line, good situational awareness, experience with open passing and knowledge of the flags and safety procedures used in racing. Experienced drivers with current licenses can usually jump into the deep end, but novices are usually required to run a few races starting from the back, so they build up experience under less pressure. CHECK WITH YOUR CLUB'S RACE DIRECTOR FOR MORE DETAILS.
Once you have your CSRG medical card, or local club license, you can race with any Vintage Motorsports Council Club
There are racing schools all over the country with two and three day programs that provide you with great training and advice. It is nice, if possible, to attend one at a track you will be racing at, but its not essential. If you lust after an open wheel car, it is a good idea to attend a school that uses open wheel cars. If you have a production car, open wheel cars are fine, as are fendered cars. Below is a list of schools local and convenient to CSRG members.
- Simraceway Driving School at Sonoma raceway uses sophisticated race cars, or you can use your car https://simracewaydrivingschool.com
- Allen Berg Racing Schools is the only school based and operating out of Laguna Seca. Allen Berg was a Formula 1 driver, and runs an open wheel program, with liberal use of data analysis which can be super interesting www.allenbergracingschools.com
- Skip Barber, has been around forever, run at tracks all over the country and teach in open wheel cars and Miatas https://skipbarber.com
- The San Francisco Region of the SCCA runs an annual driving school, usually in February that is open to anyone. You can rent a car or run your SCCA compliant vintage car SCCA School
- Bondurant just outside Phoenix, The Ford Performance School in Salt Lake City and the Prodrive School in Portland, are short flights from the bay area and provide great programs at interesting tracks.
Track days, with the right structure, can provide solid experience for anyone preparing for vintage racing. CSRG requires you to have reached a level with the Track Day program, where you are "open passing" meaning the organization feels you have enough experience to participate at the highest level with them. This usually takes 4-6 days of driving and is great fun.
- Hooked on Driving has lots and lots of dates, you need to have reached group C to qualify for a Vintage race license.
- Track Masters Racing has 12 events in Northern California, you need to reach group B1 or better.
- Speed SF has over 25 events each year, all at local tracks. We strongly recommend you take one of the driver education packages and get to the High-Intermediate level
- Don't want to beat up your street car? Rent a properly prepared race and track day car from Larry Oka Racing.
Karting is such an fantastic way to learn to drive and race, that it is no surprise every world champion since 1985 started in Karting. In fact now drivers like Max Verstappen go right from shifter karts to F1, with just a year in an intermediate class. A good used Rotax TAG kart can run $1500-$2000 and Shifter Karts (not recommended for beginners) start at about $4000. A day of karting runs $60 for track rental and gives you massive driving exercise. Karting school and a few Kart races are great preparation for Vintage racing.
- The Simraceway Karting program at Sonoma raceway, provides you with a school and arrive and drive series. Complete two or three races and you will have solid background
- Race Karts Inc, run by Lisa Caceres, has given many professional drivers their start. Take the school with Lisa and do a few Kart races.
And finally... a few other driver development resources worth thinking about
- Simulator training is a very powerful tool, not just to practice fundamentals, but to perfect racecraft and learn new tracks. You can use home simulators, but they don't come with a coach. We like Tom Pabst at PRS Driver Development
- You can rent or buy racing karts, and get driver coaching from Infinity Karting, Cameron Karting, or Aluminos