“Road Racing is an inexpensive hobby,” said no one ever! Even wealthy “gentlemen racers” complain about the cost of going fast with their exotic race cars, highly tuned motors, and huge sticky racing tires. The concern about costs is no different for the junker/clunker enduro racing crowd. Only a naïve wannabe race car driver really believes a competitive Lemons or Chump series race car costs only $500!
It’s true, road racing with the SCCA can be expensive too. The cash register adds up quickly with racing suit, helmet, head and neck restraint system, fireproof shoes, gloves and even driver’s underwear! Then there is the race car itself, plus tires, fuel, and race event registration fees. Don’t forget the transportation to and from the track, often done with a special truck and trailer, and add in restaurant food and lodging while racing far from home. One usually needs extra tools, jack stands or a lift, and a place to work on the car between racing events. Some drivers do all the work themselves, while others rely on a trusted mechanic’s shop. No matter how the work gets done, the parts and labor can add up!
Club racers are always looking for opportunities to make racing more affordable without compromising on the safety, fun, excitement, and competition aspects of the sport. The sports car drivers’ desire for more horsepower and their related concern about expenses has a parallel in the equestrian community. Linda B. Allen has written in Practical Horseman Magazine about a concept called Horse Leasing. She explains how with this idea a rider agrees to cover a portion of a horse’s expenses, usually half of board at the barn where the steed resides in exchange for a certain, usually proportional, amount of riding time. The horse’s primary owner pays the balance of the bills and maintains a role in providing horse care and partial use. Often referred to as a half lease or share lease, this arrangement generally requires ongoing contact between owner and rider to avoid conflicts, especially with regard to scheduling time spent riding, training, and participating in competitions or clinics.
Consider Share Leasing
One of the more traditional share leasing situations most of us know about is the vacation timeshare. Back in the 1960’s, real estate developers started selling timeshares as a way to give more people access to luxury resort condos. Buying one fiftieth of a half million-dollar beach-front property (2% = $20K) was much more affordable than owning the whole thing yet only vacationing one week out of the year. The most obvious benefit of sharing is reduced cost and access to expensive resources one might not otherwise be able to afford alone. Perhaps more of us should try sharing race cars because the sharing economy works for many other things!