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F500.org - The Formula 500 Racing Web FAQs (frequently-asked questions)

Category: Main -> Getting Started in F500 Racing



Where do I race a Formula 500?

Formula 500 is a SCCA National class. F500s race at all SCCA Regional, National, Solo I (time trial) and Solo II (autocross) events. Nationally there are over 60 national races, 250 regional races and hundreeds of Solo time trials.

A complete schedule of all of SCCA races may be found by following these links:

Road Racing

Solo (Autocross and Time Trial)

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Who can race a F500?

Almost anyone.

To compete in SCCA road races you must have an SCCA competition license. To earn an SCCA license, you must be 16 years old, and complete an SCCA drivers school. The SCCA drivers school includes 6 hours of on-track instruction plus several hours of classroom training. People with prior racing experience or graduates of professional race driving schools such as the Skip Barber school or the Jim Russell school can usually receive a waiver for all or part of the SCCA school.

Note: Even if you have loads of racing experience and can qualify for a SCCA Competition license, it's worth going through the SCCA school. It's very inexpensive and you get lots track time and helpful coaching, critique and feedback from experienced instructors.

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Isn't auto racing very expensive?

Yes, auto racing can be expensive, but Formula 500 is the most affordable open wheel road racing class today. Tightly controlled specifications in F500 are designed to keep costs reasonable and within reach of the amateur racer.

A brand new Formula 500 costs about $18,000 complete. Used cars range from $5,000 to $15,000. If you only want to run regional races or time trials, a $5000 car will get you on the track. A nationally competitive used car normally goes for $10,000 - $13,000.

Tires cost about $500 per set, and a set will last up to 6 races. Entry fees range from $100 - $200 per race weekend, depending on the type of event. Fuel for a race weekend will cost about $50. Engine maintenance costs about $500 per season if you do your own engine work. Since Formula 500 engines are very easy to work on, many racers do their own engine maintenance. If you prefer to have your engines professionally built, your maintenance costs will be closer to $2000 per season.

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Isn't auto racing awfully dangerous?

There is a certain element of risk in any form of motorsports. However, F500 is one of the safest open wheel racing classes around. The mild steel space frame chassis of a F500 is exceptionally strong and is designed to protect the driver in the event of a crash. The cars feature foam filled fuel cells and onboard fire suppression systems to protect against the unlikely event of a fire. Drivers are required to wear Nomex fireproof driving suits, gloves, shoes and socks. Full coverage Snell SA rated helmets are mandatory. Arm restraints to keep a drivers arms in the car and out of harms way in the event of a rollover accident are also mandatory.

Injuries in F500 are very rare, and when the do occur are usually relatively minor. Since F500 is an SCCA national class, SCCA enforces strict safety and conduct rules at all F500 events. In the unlikely event that you are injured at a race, there is a full medical facility staffed by race physicians, ambulances with advanced life support and emergency response teams stading by at the track ready to aid. SCCA also provides the best medical and liability insurance to all drivers and crew, with total benefits of over $1,000,000.

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