How to compete in motorsport on a budget

dirt biker racing event

We all know motorsport and racing can be an absolute money pit of an expensive hobby. Here’s advice on how to keep the costs down.

You acquire a car or bike with all the gear, apply for all the relevant licences, buy the right motorsport insurance, sort out travel to and from events.

Then, when you reckon you’re just about sorted, something unexpected then happens or goes wrong wiping out your finances for the next month.

But there are ways of competing and getting involved in motorsport without breaking the bank or getting yourself into the red.

Invest in your passion slowly rather than blowing thousands in one go
Take things easy, especially when you’re first starting out. There’s really no need to go spending hundreds on a car and modifying it for racing straight away.

Pace yourself and work your way into buying equipment bit-by-bit. There will be unforeseen expenses as well, so it’s better to have a bit of cash in the bank to cover those rather than sinking into the red.

You can use your everyday road car for racing
It is possible to use your own car or motorbike for racing. There are plenty of events around the country where in which a standard road vehicle is eligible to enter.

You’ll have to expect a bit of wear and tear on your tyres and brakes, so budget £500 in case anything happens – but this is another option if you can’t quite afford your own wheels yet.

Explore other, more affordable, ways to get involved in motorsport
Being behind the wheel isn’t the only way to enjoy motorsport. If you know you’re not going to have the cash to take part, then look at other options.

Why not try volunteering or marshalling at events? Depending on the discipline, some roles may require you to be licensed – so there may be some costs involved with training.

If you still crave to be inside a car, you should try out co-driving, navigating or being a trials driver’s passenger.

Take part in smaller events to get plenty of practice
Look into track days where you can still get the buzz of taking your vehicle around a track at an affordable price.

Also really explore the grassroots motorsports which are available locally. This is great for getting to know the local community, testing out your skills and not spending a fortune. Stock car racing is also quite affordable, competitive and a particularly great way for newcomers to join the sport.

Invest in a motorhome to keep accommodation costs down
If you are travelling the country to compete in events, then why not invest in a motorhome to stay in? This will certainly be cheaper than staying in a hotel and much more comfortable than camping.

It may seem a lot to spend out in one go. But when you do, you’ll realise it’s a worthwhile investment and wondered why you didn’t buy one years ago. Get saving and see those accommodation costs decrease dramatically.

Combine your holiday with motorsport experiences, lessons or practice days
Whether you’re heading abroad or have opted for a ‘staycation’ this year, why not arrange a driving experience? It may be a track day, lessons or motorsport event – but combining it with your holiday means the funds could come out of the vacation budget… Hint, hint…

A quick Google search and you could be driving a supercar through the Black Forest in Germany, taking rallying lessons in Sweden or tearing up a track somewhere in Italy.

Motorsport involving bikes can be cheaper than cars
If you’re into cars, none of the above alternatives work for you, and you still want to be racing on a track – why not try out motorbikes?

OK, so you may have to sort out licences and get some road experience – but there are less costs with motorcycle racing than cars. It may be the motorsport you’ve been searching for your entire life to be involved with.

Find yourself a sponsor
Use social media to document your motorsport journey. As you progress, improve and make a name for yourself – your social media following will grow and sponsors may become interested in you.

Securing a sponsor is a massive help financially. Whether the backing helps towards just one part of your racing, such as the insurance or gives you security for the whole season – it all goes a long way to fund your passion.

Watch out for those sneaky, hidden expenses though …
You may have everything budgeted perfectly and considered every possible scenario – but there still will be times when suddenly something unexpected goes wrong or comes up.

The price to enter an event may have gone up, a new part for your vehicle costs a fortune or the cheapest room available is three times what you anticipated – so make sure you always have spare emergency funds put to one side.

Besides, if you don’t use the cash, you can put it towards next season’s racing.

Do you have any money-saving tips for motorsport competitors? Leave them in the comments below.

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