Purchasing safety gear is the first place you should open up your wallet, even before considering mods to your bike. Get the best quality helmet, armored gloves, boots and a back protector you can afford, look for leathers that are double-stitched, vented and fully armored - used is okay as long as the suit is intact. Don't skimp - remember, it's your body we're talking about here. This is a dangerous sport and serious injuries are not uncommon.
Then, you'll need to prep your bike. If you're going with Learning Curves, you'll find all the prep requirements on Rick's website (www.learningcurves.com
). If I remember correctly, these requirements actually exceed those of NESBA and STT, so you'll be set for track days as well. While you will be able to purchase a racing license from CCS upon successful completion of the L.C. school, you might want to do some track days before entering your first race, especially if you don't have a lot of experience.I would not advise entering a race until you are comfortable with consistently holding your line on the track.
You'll be able to get detailed info on tech requirements and race prep from CCS' website as well (www.ccsracing.com
) along with the class structure.
If you opt to purchase a dedicated track bike and go racing, it seems like SV 650's are everywhere and they can be run in the widest variety of classes. (Easy for me to say, I'm a Suzuki fan). If you have any money left over after purchasing your gear, attending school and doing a few track days, you'll want to get a set of race bodywork (you can remove your fairings for the school and track days, but will need at least a belly pan to race) - stock bodywork is ridiculously expensive to replace. I bought Sharkskinz and am very happy with how they've held up. Airtech is another widely-used brand but I've been consistently told that dollar for dollar, Sharkskinz were a better buy (the less costly Airtech stuff tends to shatter upon impact).
Until you have a considerable amount of demonstrated success on the track, or have friends who own businesses that will pay you to advertise them, you probably will not find much in the way of sponsorship beyond discounted parts.