Topic: Looking for a team @ Road ATL, hoping for a driver spot

Hey guys,

I'm Oleg. I'm 15 right now, but I get my license a week before registration for Road Atlanta closes! I live in Alpharetta/Milton, GA (I see Ed Boligan's cars about once a week!). I may not be the best driver, but I have raced karts that I've built and rented.

My mechanical knowledge is relatively limited to the basics. Well, I know how a primitive engine works, but nothing more than that. Electronics really screw with my brain, but I can wire stuff up when told which one goes where. Luckily, I can use tools. Grinding, cutting, welding and even 3D printing (tEcHnOlOgY) is not a problem for me. I could even weld together the cage if given the piping. Just finished welding the frame of my second kart in engineering class last Friday, and will now be researching how to properly mount the steering knuckles and kingpins.

Despite how plebian my credentials look, I would consider myself to have a little something for driving. The racing line (tad bit early brake, late apex, fast exit, all while maintaining g-force and weight shift smoothly) comes naturally to me, I just kinda see it and feel it out. I sim race a good bit, too, and not the crappy joystick racing, but actual pedals, wheel, and shifter are all there.

The only thing I need to brush up on is how to shift down during hard braking. I struggle to keep it in the optimal RPMs.

Well, that's about it. I guess mentioning that I'm an avid Jalopnik, Road and Track, and Car and Driver reader wouldn't hurt, nor can me taking AP calculus, which has surprisingly actually affected how I imagine some stuff in the world.

Thanks for reading and am hoping to find a fun group.

Re: Looking for a team @ Road ATL, hoping for a driver spot

Oleg,

You may find that most teams are reluctant to sign you up when you won't get a license until right before the race. They will have already had to commit the fees to race before that. And they may be reluctant to take on someone with relatively little driving experience.

I would suggest that you consider offering to crew for a team this year at Road Atlanta. A lot of teams would love help with refueling, tire changes, errand running, checking status/position, and helping with maintenance - even if you are just handing tools to the people underneath the car.  Demonstrating that you are helpful and willing to learn would make most teams more likely to offer you a seat the following year, or be a reference for you to another team if they don't have a seat available.

Keep up with the engineering and physics classes. Engineers are always in demand. And consider posting photos of your welding work - seems like you can always see posts from teams looking for welders & cage builders. If you get good at it then you will always be in demand.

Best of luck in getting linked up with a team. Hope to see you at the race in December.

Re: Looking for a team @ Road ATL, hoping for a driver spot

Stan.
That is fantastic advice.

Oleg, you would be wise to heed it, son.

Good luck