How To Start Your Own Racing Team - A Speed Chills Guide

You know the situation. You’ve been to Le Mans for the last few years, you enjoy racing games on your Xbox, you’ve got a spare 458 Italia in the garage and a few million in the bank that you just don’t know what to do with.

458_italia

You might even have dreamed about sitting in the cockpit of your unused Ferrari , barrelling through the Porsche Curves and performing that surprise undertake on a flabbergasted Allan McNish.

But you’ve always been too daunted by the idea of setting out on the path of motorsports to do anything about it. Well fear not, Speed Chills is here to help you on your way! Just follow this simple guide and you too could be the next Henri Pescarolo, reaping racing glory in your own fleet of tricked-out motors.

It’s good that you’ve got that FIA-homologated 458 in the garage because that’s what we’ll be basing your racing car on. It goes pretty fast by itself of course, but we need to change a few things to make it both quicker and race legal.

First you’ve got to convince Ferrari to let you use their car. You’ll need an indication of ‘favourable opinion’ from them in order to race their car so it might help if you’ve got a proven track record in GT racing. Once you’ve got that, you can start making changes.

Krohn_458_in_pit

You’re not actually allowed to change that much though, especially not on the outside. You can’t change the overall look of the car except for adding diffusers and a massive spoiler on the back. You can replace moveable bodywork (bonnet, doors, bumpers etc.) with lighter versions, but only if they look exactly the same and aren’t made of carbon. Lowering it is essential, but only down to 55mm, and if your car regularly touches the floor you’re going to get black flagged.

Next you’ll want to rip out all of the bits that aren’t essential, so strip it down as much as you can. Throw out the passenger seat and any useless bits of trim, then put a safety cage in to protect yourself. You can take out the air con too, but you have to replace it with a system that can keep the car at less than 32 degrees, because that’s a nice cool temperature to drive in apparently.

Onto the bits that make it go. You can’t really alter the engine much, only carry out general tune-ups and swap some parts for similar ones, and the same goes for the gearbox. But the suspension, brake system and intercoolers are all OK to mess about with, so take this opportunity to squeeze some extra performance out of the car.

Krohn_458_interior

Obviously safety is an important part of all Le Mans cars, so make sure you put in an FIA approved drivers’ seat and check that you can reach all of the controls from it. Once that’s done, fit it with fire extinguisher and electrical cut-off systems that can be operated from both inside and outside the car, and mark them with a red E on a white circle and a red spark in a blue triangle respectively.

Like your traction control? The FIA don’t, so get rid of it. Same goes for ABS; we don’t want your time at La Sarthe to be too easy, do we? Also as it’s a GT car you definitely won’t be able to see out of the back, so fit a camera in the boot and link it to a screen on the dashboard that lets you see when there’s a hybrid about to fly past you.

Put on the number stickers and class position lights so your fans will know where you are, then glue some yellow plastic over the headlights to show that it’s a GT car at night. You’ll also want to find somewhere to keep it safe because you have to take off all of the anti-theft devices, thereby making Le Mans cars very easy to steal (Speed Chills does not condone theft of racing cars).

Krohn_458

Now for final checks; put it on the scales to make sure it weighs more than 1.245 tonnes and bolt a toolbox to the floor in case you have to fix it halfway round the track. Then all you have to do is test that it won’t get louder than a paltry 110db, though if you’ve heard the Corvettes going past at full speed you’ll wonder if everyone sticks to that rule.

And that’s it! One fully functioning, race-ready GT car just waiting for you to jump into and thrash. Now all you have to do is employ some brainbox engineers and PR people, get yourself a Bronze Super License and hire another two drivers to pilot your beast around Le Mans. Easy!

So there you have it. Our (not very) comprehensive guide to how to start your own race team as long as you already have a 458 and a few million pounds. Obviously there are a couple of other rules to consider, but it’s mainly technical rubbish so you can just gloss over those. We’ll make sure to get a picture of you on the top step of the podium with the sad faces of Audi executives all around you. Just remember where all that help came from, and come along to our bar afterwards for a cold post-victory pint. You’re buying.

(Krohn racing pictures courtesy of Krohn Racing and Regis Lefebure)