WHAT DOES IT COST TO RACE A FORMULA VEE?
Most people automatically think that motor sport and car racing is beyond their reach so we thought we would go through a comprehensive list of the expenses if you want to get more involved and buy a Formula Vee.
We will go through the costs of buying a car and getting onto the race grid in an itemized…
Formula Vee’s come in two classes – 1200cc and 1600cc – with 1200cc cars starting from $5,000 and 1600cc cars starting around $12,000, we will assume you want the more popular 1600cc for around the $12,000 mark. If your new car does not come with a trailer you will need to buy one and a basic open trailer will cost you around $3,000 new.
The next thing you will need is safety equipment. Safety equipment standards are governed by Motorsport Australia regulations, so it is important that you buy equipment that is current and compliant.
The safety equipment you will need includes – a forward head restraint compatible helmet these start at around $700, a HANS device or compliant forward head restraint approximately $950 new, a fireproof race suit, fireproof shoes and gloves – these are available as a package and generally start around the $900 mark, fireproof underwear (socks, balaclava and long johns) these are also available as a package for around $400.
This is the minimum level of safety equipment you need to be able to participate in competition racing. This equipment will cost you around $3,000, but remember it is all designed to protect you in the event of an accident. It is also possible to buy many of these items on the second hand market and often these items are available within the Formula Vee community.
Getting Your License...
Before you can apply for a license you must join a car club - the best opion here is to Join the NSW Formula Vee association - it is both affordable and necessary in order to compete in NSW Formula Vee association events.
You will need to get your Motorsport Australia Provisional Clubman License (race license), this can be done by applying to Motorsport Australia and will cost you around $350. You will need to do an online education module and test, undergo a medical normally around $200 (details on application form) and complete an Observed License Test where a certified tester will observe you driving on track in traffic – an OLT will cost around $250.
Before you can go racing you will need a timing device, these are called a Dorian Timer and consists of a transmitter that you fit to your car, these can be hired at most events but you can also buy these new for around $400 or you may pick one up on the second hand market. Once you have this you are ready to go racing.
To enter a race event, you must first make sure your car complies with all Motorsport Australia general regulations and Formula Vee race regulations. If your car does not have them, you will need a set of control tires, currently Dunlop CR82’s, these will cost you $970 and you will probably want to start the season on a brand-new set. You may also have other incidental costs to make sure your car is compliant with regulations, but we will assume for this exercise that your car meets all regulations.
In addition to joining a club (as outlined earlier) you will also need to join the Formula Vee association in your state. In NSW membership is $100 per year and is required in order to race in the association’s championship series.
Race entry fees vary from track to track but will generally be around $400 covering qualifying and three races. You may also want to do a practice day before the race meet, this will cost around $180 and if you would like a carport with power at the track this is an additional $100.
Formula Vee set up and racing costs
Formula Vee 1600cc $12,000
HANS Device $950
Suit package $900
Underwear package $400
Competition License $350
Observed License Test $250
Association Membership $100
Dorian timer $400
New tires $970
To enter a race event this will cost between $400-$500 per round with a championship consisting of six rounds across the year, you may also want to do practice days at $180 and hire a powered carport for $100. In addition to entry fees you will also need to consider travel, meals and accommodation when competing at non local tracks.