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Hi Tim,

First I would like to say to you that these courses are very nicely put together and the quality is very good and totally worth the money.

I'm a 21 year old "junior" race engineer in a endurance racing team from Romania on a 991 GT3 Cup and also on some other more clubman-spec cars from the team. (Peugeot 106, Dacia Logan Cup etc) I'm now at my very beggining of my career,building experience, and basically I'm a sponge for knowledge since I'm still in university and this is more like a hobby that pays a decent amount of money too.

My questions are not really related to the courses but related to the career and maybe give me an insight of how this type of career would evolve since I dont know any race engineers that experienced like you, like how to find the racing team we will be working on and stuff like that. Motorsport field is quite different to other fields and I would like to know more of this.

If you are willing to help me get some knowledge and enlighten an aspiring full-time race engineer please let me know.

With huge respect,

Tudor

Hi Tudor,

Thank you for the compliments on the courses, I hope you are getting a lot of value from them! It sounds like you are already working on some good projects and getting a good grounding in racing.

I'm happy to share my experiences and advice with you. I still remember well the feeling of not quite knowing how to break into the industry! I moved this forum post from the Data Analysis Fundamentals forum to the Off Topic Discussion are because it fits quite well with the question of another RaceCraft member that came up recently. I wrote some advice to him there and I encourage you to check out that post: https://www.racecrafthq.com/forum/off-topic-discussion/show/college-vs-experience

If you have any other questions that come up after reading that other thread, please feel free to keep asking them here as well!

Tim

Hi Tim,

Thanks for your response.

After reading the thread I have a few questions,but thanks for clearing out a lot of stuff for me, like the "personal connections and recommendation" idea.

My biggest question it's more of a concern let's say. Due to the fact that Romania has a small racing scene, that is evolving however and by the time I leave the team I am currently working at maybe there will be a bigger community, but what if I won't find anything in my country? What if I need to move in order to have bigger opportunities in countries with a much more bigger scene like UK,Germany,Italy or even USA? (which I would be fine with, but that would be a huge step) When you were working outside the country, such as BTCC, how did it go? Were you living in UK or you were taking flights each race? And how it is being a race engineer full-time? Can you do other stuff besides that,like working for two teams or stuff like that?

Of course Romania's race community will get bigger,it grows a lot year by year and I have seen people jump from Logan Cup and Peugeot 106 to GT3 cars and Radicals and doing very good (this is also what my team did,they started with 106s tuned to ~150hp and 850kg) but maybe that is just me thinking like pessimistic.

Thanks for your attention and dedication in replying to everybody on this forum.

Tudor

Well, I would say that even if the racing scene in Romania is not very big, you are still in a stronger position than where I started. There is some racing at a decent level in New Zealand (where I grew up), but NZ is extremely isolated from the rest of the world. At least in Romania, you have much better access to the European racing scene!

I have had many different working situations throughout my career. I have been a full-time race engineer based at the workshop and only concentrating on a single car. I have also done the opposite working as a contractor and flying race to race working for maybe 3-4 teams all in different series during the same season. Some of these times I have been based in NZ and commuting to Europe and UK or the US for race weekends. Look up the travel time for this trip and you will see it is not an ideal commute πŸ˜‚

The travelling situation will depend a lot on the type of series you're working in. In sportscars and endurance racing, it is much more normal to be a "weekend warrior" and just fly in for each event. The other reason for this is because in large series like WEC for example, each event is in a different country anyway, so everyone is travelling a lot regardless of where they live. In things like touring cars, and especially when you are working in smaller series with smaller budgets, people tend to stay more local.

I think overall, you are still in a good situation. Travelling for race weekends is normal when you are not a full-timer. Being a freelancer is a great way to work in different series and start making contacts. Your position in the world is actually pretty good compared to some others!

Tim

Thanks for the heads up on the... lets call it "location privilege".

I'm also studying industrial engineering in robotics and I'm in the third year and I have been in the university's FSAE team as a chassis member since my first year at this university, but like you said on the other thread maybe these days it's not valued that much anymore (however in Romania it is, since there are only 5 FSAE teams in the whole country and maybe this was one of the reason the team choose to hire me for the next 3 years)

I was thinking,and I'm still considering, going for a master degree in race/motorsport engineering in another country such as Italy. But you opened my eyes on the fact that the experience and results are valued much more, besides that what would be the point in going to another country, spend 6 figures and 1 year just to get a paper that just proves what I have been doing for the past years. Am I wrong? I would like to hear your opinion on that too.

PS: I have some questions about connecting the Racecon software to the Bosch MS4.6 ECU of that 991.1 GT3 Cup through the MSABox, but I will do another thread on a more related topic later πŸ‘€

Well, you already have an advantage over many who wish to work in the industry - your english is very, very good, and many teams are based in english speaking countries!

Have you investigated whether there is an option for studing by correspondence, or 'distance learning', as some universities offer such options - especially in the current COVID environment? It may be worth discussing it with your team, or teams, as some of the more enlightened may be willing to have you take time away to study.

Hi Gordon,

Thanks for complimenting my english, I'm actualy at a special class at my university where all the courses are in english so on a daily basis, besides parents and friends, I'm talking more english than romanian! πŸ˜‚ And as a another fun fact, when I started learning about car parts 7 years ago, I did it online, so I knew car parts only by their name in english rather than in romanian and I still do this today πŸ˜†

I'm still thinking about the master degree because that will happen in one and half years. (best case scenario)

If the master degree won't be happening in another country I will definitely do it in Romania.

If you are looking to work in a high level of race engineering, then the reality is you need both the experience and the "piece of paper". In saying that though, while motorsport masters degrees can be helpful (especially for those that haven't actually worked in racing before), they have become so common that they no longer differentiate anyone. I have also found the quality of the graduates of these courses to be quite variable.

My personal opinion is that a bachelor's (or equivalent) degree in mechanical (or similar) engineering, backed up by real-world experience in the best compromise. If I had two people looking for a junior engineering position in one of my teams, one with an A+ in motorsport masters and the other with a few years of on-track experience there is no competition, I will take the guy with experience every time. On-track doesn't need to be engineering either, working with the mechanics, tyre guy, whatever.

That's just my perspective though, I'm sure others would feel differently.

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