Have you introduced anyone new to the sport lately?

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David S.
Update by David S. Wallens to the Mazda Miata project car
Feb 8, 2023 | Mazda, Miata, Mazda Miata, Ace Cafe, Garage Rescue Miata, Orlando Roadsters, Trackside Companion

Your assignment: Get someone new involved in the sport.

A high point of last week’s Orlando Roadsters meet–in addition to hanging with friends, seeing Miatas and taking some pictures?

Meeting the new owner of an NA Miata and handing her a copy of our Grassroots Motorsports Trackside Companion.

Why’d we have one over? Because she asked a very important question: How to get involved in autocross and activities like that.

Need one of these how-to guides for a buddy? Just click here.

And, related, enjoy some photos from the meetup. Remember, Orlando Roadsters meet the last Monday of the month at Ace Cafe Orlando. Save us a spot.

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SKJSS (formerly Klayfish)
SKJSS (formerly Klayfish) PowerDork
2/8/23 12:10 p.m.

Absolutely!  My wife and son to start.  Through various conversations, usually when I'm selling a car, I've introduced a few people to Lemons.  Always looking to find new people to bring into the sport.

Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
2/8/23 12:12 p.m.

In reply to SKJSS (formerly Klayfish) :

Good to hear.

Trying to (slowly) bring my wife and two-year-old over to the dark side.

Tom1200 UberDork
2/8/23 12:37 p.m.

I'm working on a coworker she doesn't know it yet but she's an autocrosser.

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
2/8/23 12:39 p.m.

I keep trying, so far I haven't seen anyone I've talked to show up at an event. 

Then there's my most recent attempt when I was trying to explain how street classes work in autocross, before learning that I was talking to the person that helped you build the engine in your Porsche. 

nlevine GRM+ Memberand Reader
2/8/23 12:55 p.m.

Been sending a co-worker GRM articles and talking about track days/autocrossing for a while. He just bought a Boxster, joined the PCA and is looking forward to playing with his new toy this summer!

singleslammer GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
2/8/23 1:21 p.m.

Kind of. My friend came with me to the Challenge in the fall. He had come the previous time I went in 2016 but wasn't really into cars. Then he spent some time riding in the LMP360 at the firm and may be hooked. So maybe Nocones gets to take credit for this one. 

I think I have talked my wife into coming to this year's challenge. Somehow this is what she is cool with doing for our 15 year wedding anniversary!

DirtyBird222 PowerDork
2/8/23 1:59 p.m.

My kids got to go to their first Champcar race with me in December. Their mother had flat out refused to let them go while we were married because "a racetrack isn't a safe environment for little girls." 

Guess what? They had a blast and now my oldest won't stop asking me questions about car classes, she has laid out fuel strategy for us, pit stop strategy, and she's 9. She loves it and can't wait to do more. 

My girlfriend also went to her first Champcar race and loved helping. She was pit mom and helped with the kids. She loved it so much she agreed to go to the Rolex 24 with me and thoroughly enjoyed it. She's also itching to learn how to drive stick in the S2000.

Being into such niche things, we all have to be positive ambassadors to the sport or culture. I used to hate the gatekeeping that transpired in the F-body/LSx community when I was into that stuff. Same can be said for a lot of the overland communities. I also hate when people are treated like poop when they ask a question. 

Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
2/8/23 2:09 p.m.

In reply to nlevine :


volvoclearinghouse UltimaDork
2/8/23 3:10 p.m.

Fun story:

Back in the winter of 2020-21 I was doing some shop cleanup, and decided to get rid of this old GE electric range that I'd had for years collecting dust.  I posted it on FB MP and a few weeks later I get a call from a younger guy who wanted it.  He shows up to my house in this ancient rusty Excursion and he looks like he's not even old enough to drive.  Like, I could easily have been his father.  I was naturally, then, curious why he'd want an electric range that was older than he was, so I ask, and he tells me he's going to convert it into a powder coating oven.  This leads to more questions and us ending up chatting it up in my garage for over an hour about cars, racing (which he'd never done, but was interested about), and other stuff.  Finally I help him load the range into his truck, he hands me the $30 for it (which at that point I was somewhat reluctant to take) and heads off.  

We kept in touch and next rallycross season I invited him to co-drive my Volvo Amazon.  We did a few events together and he really enjoyed it.  Not to mention, he wheeled the car around pretty well.  I helped him fab up some parts for an engine swap he was working on, putting an MR2 turbo mill into a '93 Camry.  Which he's since gotten running and driving.  And last August he joined our 24 Hours of LeMons team and drove two 90 minute stints at Thompson.  He got zero black flags, had no contact, and turned in decent lap times.  He's going to be racing with us again this year.  

It's cool to have someone I can pass along some of my experience and mistakes to, and I've learned way more than I ever thought I'd know about mid 90's Toyota stuff.  laugh

GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/8/23 3:45 p.m.
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) said:

I keep trying, so far I haven't seen anyone I've talked to show up at an event.

Same, I find there are two types of people in this regard: those who just need to know when and where and how to sign up, and those who might appear to be or would pretend to be interested, but will never actually make any effort to show up. Those in the first category tend to either be teenagers or competitors in other types of motorsport.

I have a bunch of middle aged car-guy friends with sweet rides that I have taken to the track as guests (I have a membership). They were mostly terrified of crashing their fancy cars, I don't think any of them have been back. Maybe they started to understand the appeal of the cheap sports cars that I drive into the ground. 

I used to think that you had to start young for it to stick, but I think it's more about equipment.  Affording a Porsche and affording to track a Porsche are different things, and their egos won't let them get into cars that they think high school kids drive. 

Appleseed MegaDork
2/8/23 5:25 p.m.


Brake_L8 (Forum Supporter)
Brake_L8 (Forum Supporter) HalfDork
2/8/23 9:39 p.m.

So many people through Out Motorsports events. It's been really rewarding seeing friends who used to be exclusively into car shows go buy cheap terrible cars (or bring dailies) and huck them around a track, honing their skills and having so much fun in the process. Doubly rewarding when stereotypes and lived experiences wouldn't guarantee a comfortable time at just any event.

If you can get someone to a motorsport event, do it.

Don Fip
Don Fip GRM+ Memberand New Reader
2/9/23 1:09 a.m.

Brought 2 buddies out to TNiA events in 2022.  Shooting for 3 this year!

wspohn SuperDork
2/9/23 11:36 a.m.

I must lack the gene for proselytizing - I never go out of my way to presume to tell people what I think they should be doing with their car/hobby, but if they ask me I am happy to try and explain my views on whatever the subject is and encourage them to consider getting into cars.

I think that when I got into the hobby I came across too many people that took it on themselves to tell anyone that would listen, what they 'should' be doing.   Like "quit messing around with those outdated British cars and buy a real 'Merican icon (usually a Corvette, though Vipers and sedans also featured).  Or the blowhards that stand there looking at your car and misinforming their friends about it because they haven't got a clue about it (I've heard onlookers informing their friends that the Dunlop peg drive knock off steel wheels on my MG Twin Cam were fakes and that the engine in a TVR race car was a Datsun (it was an MG engine with a HRG alloy head and Webers).

It is easy at a show to chat with people that came to look at the cars without telling them what they should or shouldn't do.

fminicooper GRM+ Memberand None
2/9/23 5:54 p.m.

I have a good one here.

I started track days back in 2018 (alone with my beloved FRS) thanks to a friend showing me the path.

After three years and the Covid outbreak we had formed a group of 10 guys hitting the tracks.

Next step was stablish a ChampCar team, 5 of us signed up for that adventure.

We won Hallet in our second race in 2021 and did several podiums.

As the saying goes, Miata is always the answer.

racerfink UberDork
2/9/23 8:23 p.m.

I wanted to try and start a club of some sort at the school I'm currently coaching basketball at.  Things looked real good for a couple of karts to take to the small oval inside the 3/8ths mile oval just up the road.  But, the airport authority that oversees the land the track is on had the bright idea to open bidding up for the land, and somebody bid high, hoping to turn it into an entertainment venue.  It has now sat for nearly two months, with no word from the new "owner".  The local autocross site has been down since hurricane Ian as well.  Maybe it wasn't meant to be.

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