Adding a car-to-car and car-to-spotter communication system is something that can both make racing even more fun, and give you a real competitive advantage. Common race radio setups are incredibly expensive, I was able to piece together a full, functioning radio setup for under $150.
6 Reasons why race radios are worth the investment.
6: Adds to the fun:
If you have communication with other cars you can do what you’ve always dreamed of: Quoting Days of Thunder, Top Gun AND Talladega nights.
5: Strategize with cars around you:
The ability to communicate and coordinate strategy to “gang up” on another car can give you a serious advantage.
4: Get Live Results for Qualifying and Race
Having someone in your ear for current lap times and position is a big help for qualifying, they can tell you if you set a good time and how it compares to others in your class. It is helpful to know whether that last lap put you on pole, or if you need to keep trying to catch a competitor’s fast lap.
3: Warning from your spotter:
Your spotter will have a much different view of the track from you, and will often sit in a spot where they can see multiple turns… They will be able to warn you about incidents and yellow flags. Passing under yellow not only has the possibility of being very dangerous, but it is one of the most common reasons for a disqualification. In the heat of a race, even seasoned racers occasionally miss a flag. Having a spotter that can warn of yellow flags directly into your ear may help overcome obscured stations or red mist. It’s not great to win a race because of competitor DQ’s, but it’s even WORSE to lose one if you are on the receiving end.
2: Communication with your crew:
If you are doing endurance racing, having communication lines with your team/crew is a near necessity so you can coordinate pit stop timing/repairs/strategy.
1: Get a HUGE advantage on starts and restarts
This is the #1 advantage I’ve seen with radios thus far. The biggest surprise to me during comp school was just how challenging it was to actually see the green flag drop through rows of other cars. Simply listening for the chorus of wide open throttles can be too late. During restarts the train of cars is sometimes so long that you don’t even have a visual on the starter flag when the track goes green. The jump you can get on competitors can make a serious difference before you get to turn 1.
So, stop waiting, stop putting it off. Get yourself a race radio, now. It is one of the few times I approve of spending money. Check out how I got it done for $150, not the $700+ of the name brand systems.