Monday, January 24, 2022

NMS Announces Professional Racing Team

F1, we're coming your way!

After I win the bazillion dollar lottery, NMS-Racing plans to announce their entry in the first step on the road to Formula 1. What brought this about? Glad you asked!

You see, the 2022 season of Formula 1 will be starting soon (AKA: first race in March) and AGAIN, none of the 10 teams have asked any drivers from NMS to step up and compete at the highest level. Well, since all those "pros" are obviously missing out on some great driving talent on the NMS squad, it looks like we're just going to have to get to F1 on our own. We could BUY a current F1 team, but yeah, that would be really expensive. How to do it more cheaply? Here's our plan:

Below the top rung of F1 is the cleverly named "F2". Below that? Yep, "F3." Below F3? Shoot, there's F4, so we'll just start there! Lucky for us, F4 has racing around the world, and even here in the good old USA! By doing a little research (that means GOOGLE) we've found a website and all kinds of basic info on how to get racing in F4! You can check it out yourself, just go to F4 USA CHAMPIONSHIP LINK 

How hard can this be?

The governing body of motor racing on planet Earth is the FIA, and they started F4 in 2014 to provide a "low cost" entry to single seater race cars for kart racers ready to move up. With a minimum age of 15, the NMS drivers certainly meet that requirement (ok, we meet it chronologically, maybe not maturity wise.) The US F4 website says that annual running costs range approximately from $120,00-$200,000, so you can see why we need that winning lottery ticket just to get started! Now, if you win the entire season of F4 you will likely get a big incentive and prize money to continue your career, but realistically there's not going to be a lot of prize money in this level of racing. 

One handy part of that website is the information on the actual big cost of racing, which for starters includes the approved Ligier race chassis at $55,495 each; the built in the USA Honda engines you can lease at only $7,100 per year; and two sets of Tennessee based Hankook tires per weekend at a very affordable $1,200 a set. In addition to the basic racing car, of course we'll want to both be driving, so multiply all that by 2 for both of us. Oh, and since stuff happens, throw in two extra of the chassis and engines for spares. The good news here is that by purchasing the chassis, and then leasing the engines for 3 years, after 3 years you own the engines. In other words, the more you spend (and the longer you race) the cheaper it gets! That's some classic racecar logic right there! Check out the F4 Buyer's Guide for more info at F4 BUYERS GUIDE LINK   Total cost so far: $265,080

Now that we have a car, we'll also need to pay for memberships in the Sports Car Club of America, get a pro license for each driver, get credentials for our huge 2 person crew, throw in the $2,000 per weekend per car entry fee (times 6 weekends), chassis registration, and various other fees. OK, on top of the car, we'll need a bunch of other items such as brake fluid, brake pads, rotors, maybe 3 sets of each per weekend. Oh, and there are about 6 racing weekends per season. At least there were 6 weekends last year, the website says the 2022 season will be announced soon. Some of the other things on our shopping list would be race suits, Nomex fire-resistant underwear, helmets, shoes, gloves, tools, gas, Head and Neck safety device, and a transponder for each car. Total cost so far: $341,380

F4 car at the 2019 US Formula 1 weekend, COTA, Austin Texas

Next, we'll need to get TO the races, so let's estimate $200,000 for  a shiny big truck to haul the cars in a trailer, with another $30,000 for a 2 car enclosed trailer. Oh, and throw in some gas to haul it all to the 6 tracks and back home to NMS in SC. Based on mileage to the race tracks from NMS-South used in 2021, that comes up to 7,236 miles of towing. At maybe 10mpg, and say $4 a gallon of gas, we'll budget $2,895 in towing gas. Plan on some more hauler truck tires and trailer tires, but we'll worry about that when it happens! Hey, let's throw in some tools to work on the cars so that we can leave all our current tools at home. Just for fun we'll estimate this at $10,000 to include tools and storage, fuel jugs, pit carts, radios, and essentials like that. Add in some pro-level team and crew shirts and hats while you're at it. Total cost so far: $582,180

One more expense will be food and lodging. Sure, we could sleep in the trailer and save a bit here, but why not race in style and sleep in a real bed! Let's say $60 per person per day for food (that's a LOT of peanut butter,) maybe $150 per night for hotels, times 2 drivers and 2 crew members, times 56 person/nights and that is around $18,015.  GRAND TOTAL SO FAR: $600,195

While this is just an estimate, and I haven't won the lottery YET, well, it sure sounds like a lot of fun! Shoot, we could easily lower that cost by camping at the track, and then we'd be way under $600,000!

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