Annual Racing Budget

Acquiring a racecar is only one piece of your racing budget. As part of creating your budget, you also need to take into consideration the other costs associated with racing. Items such as clutches, wheel bearings, and axles, in addition to many other items may need to be replaced from time to time. As stated throughout the resource, there are several factors that will impact your annual racing budget. A few of these items are as follows:

  • The car you are racing – how hard is it on equipment including tires? My car is very hard on the front tires. A friend of mine who drives a Toyota MR2 can get at least twice as much use on the same tires as my car.
  • Different tracks will impact wear on tires and brakes differently.
  • The tires you are using. For example, the “fast” tires last me approximately three race weekends compared to tires that sacrifice some speed for longevity, which last approximately six race weekends.

While there are many expenses that you don’t have control over, there are also many that you do. In the beginning of your racing career in particular, make your decisions based upon what will provide you the most racing and seat time. In order to give you a very basic idea, I have included a general summary of my racing costs during a “typical” season. This budget was based upon participation in six races and instructing at four high performance driving events. When you do your first year’s budget, don’t forget to also include the two competition licensing schools. The car I drive is front-wheel-drive, 110 stock horsepower, and weighs approximately 2,500 pounds.

Sample Summary of Primary Costs:

SCCA membership fees Membership dues: $60
Regular competition license: $75
Regional dues: $20
Annual tech inspection: budget $20
Racing event entry fees (6 races)*: $1,500
High performance driving event entry fees (instruct at 4 events): $0
Toyo RA-1 (6 shaved 205/60/13): $714
Shipping: $54
Mounting and balancing: $90
Front (replaced once every 1 ½ years): $59
Rear (replaced every 2 years): $22
Gas for racecar (races and HPDEs)**: $494
Engine oil (changed twice a year): $40
Oil filters (2 per year): $12
Racing brake fluid (flushed twice a year): $24
Fuel filter (replaced once every 2 years): $7
Spark plugs (replaced once every two years): $15
Windshield wipers (replaced once every two years): $12
Transmission fluid (replaced once a year): $20
Gas for the tow vehicle***:
Lime Rock Park, CT (7 events): $150
Watkins Glen, NY (1 event): $134
New Hampshire International Speedway, NH (2 events): $143
Hotel rooms: not applicable (we camp)
Lunch: we spend no more money than otherwise to eat lunch
Dinner: included at the worker appreciation party

Total: $3,665

A 6 event season keeps me very busy! This is especially true in the climate I live (New England) where there are less than 7 ½ months for racing. As stated throughout the resource, the amount of money various people can budget for racing will vary dramatically. The above-stated costs will also vary depending on the club and region racing with, tire budget, proximity of the track(s), and so forth. You also need to budget for repairs that may be necessary.

For items noted above that are replaced in a time frame greater than one year, the costs shown are the amortized amount per year.

* Or 4 races and 2 competition licensing schools at an average cost of $250
** 13 gallons x $3.80 per gallon x 10 events
*** 15 mpg for the truck when towing; $3.30 per gallon (87 octane) = $0.22 per mile175