Ernest Hemingway: “There are only three sports: bullfighting, motor racing, and mountaineering; all the rest are merely games.” Racing cars is substantially more dangerous than ball sports and carries with it the risk of getting maimed, paralyzed, and burned alive. The consequences of stepping out of bounds on a basketball court are very different from a race track.
It takes a very long time to get good at any sport. Whether your goal is to make 80% of your free throws, hit a topspin second serve, bowl a 700, etc., it takes years of practice. Auto racing is no different except that track time and instruction are typically much more expensive. Furthermore, you may have to unlearn bad habits like driving one-handed. Auto racing is one of the most difficult, expensive, and dangerous sports. The very least you can do is to make it as safe as possible, and this starts with safety equipment.
What do Ayrton Senna, Dale Earnhardt, Kenny Irwin Jr, and Scott Brayton have in common? Basilar skull fractures. If your body is restrained with a harness and you’re wearing a helmet, a sudden stop could give you a basilar skull fracture. Although some amateur racing series don’t yet require SFI 38.1 neck restraints, all the pros are wearing them these days, and you should too.