The Advice Hub » The Truth about becoming a Professional Racing Driver
Here at the Altima Academy with Mutation Motorsport, we believe that Drivers should progress through the racing ranks based on their raw talent, attitude and determination, not the level of budget they have available.
Think about it, if you took £1million to a Touring Car team, as long as you held the correct Race License you would be in the car tomorrow. Do you think you could do the same thing in any other sport? How much does it cost to play upfront for Chelsea? Or to be a long jumper in the Olympics? Nobody has ever asked, because you need to be a professional athlete to compete in sports.
So why is Motorsport different?
The reason we hear all the time is that “the cost of Motorsport is so high now, that the drivers need to take on that cost, after all, it is the drivers that are getting to race”... ok, so running a football team is cheap is it? Building and maintaining a football stadium, pitch, training facilities, staffing, equipment etc. The players should be paying for that because, after all, it is the players that are getting to play Football... yet the players are paid millions to compete in the sport.
So how does that work?
The answer isn’t ticket sales, or merchandise. It helps, but it’s nothing compared to the revenue that football teams get from corporate sponsorship and marketing activities, and it is the teams that create these partnerships, not the players. So why is the Motorsport model nowadays the other way around? Why do sports teams do everything in their power to get the best athletes available to represent the team, yet in Motorsport anyone that is good(ish) will do, as long as they have the budget available.
(To be clear, we are only talking about Professional drivers looking to make a career in Motorsport, there is a place for Gentleman drivers and those who race for fun, and we understand and respect that).
We are going to let you in on a secret... There are NO Professional Drivers in the British Touring Car Championship. There are NO Professional Drivers in GP3, GP2 or F3 and only a handful of Professional Drivers in F1.
The word “Professional” is misleading in today’s Motorsport world
A Professional is someone who gets paid to do a job, and 99% of Drivers who are labelled as Professional Drivers are actually Professional Marketers, meaning that they are paid to promote brands and competing as a Racing Driver in Motorsport is part of the service that they offer to those brands. In truth, there are only 2 categories of Professional Driver in Motorsport, they are the Pro-Am Professional Driver, and the Factory Driver. The Pro-Am Professional Driver is an athlete who is paid by the Gentleman Driver to race alongside them, their job is to get the best out of the car and the Gentleman Driver in order to win races. The Factory Driver is the Holy Grail in Motorsport, these are the drivers who are the best of the best, and are paid by manufacturer teams in order to win races in the top tier of Global Motorsport.
So how do you become a Professional Driver?
With Today’s Motorsport model, the sad truth is that to get anywhere near being considered as a Pro-Am Driver or a Factory Driver, you need to be spending millions of pounds getting through the feeder Motorsport Championships to a level where Factory Teams and Gentleman Drivers will notice you, and sadly this is where the majority of talented drivers get lost and don’t get the chance to compete for a Professional Drive. The likes of Porsche and McLaren just don’t have the time or resources to scout for talent in the ever increasing lower levels of Motorsport, so they have to limit their scope to the higher levels of GT and Single Seater Competition such as British GT, The Porsche Carrera Cup and European F3.
We are going against that model. Aiming to put the sport back into Motorsport making Drivers Valuable again. This is why we have created the Altima Academy with Mutation Motorsport.
We are bridging the gap.
Between grassroots Motorsport and the Factory Driver through our Driver Development Program. With a truly non-profit team and our unique model, we are able to offer talented and determined Drivers the chance to compete to become a Factory Driver without the £million budget currently required!
Through The Altima Academy model and unique approach, we are able to offer a huge saving to sponsors and partners compared to other sports marketing and sponsorship offerings in Motorsport today, as well as select the Best Drivers and promote Talent in Motorsport, and it all starts with The Watchlist.
Altima Academy Advice Hub 10/06/2019