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Cheap racing

Old 11-10-05, 09:45 PM
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Cheap racing

I was wanting to get started in road racing rx7s. But seeing as how I'm one guy on a budget I would need to be in the most pocket friendly racing available. I was reading around and I believe that ITA or IT7 racing is gonna be the best for that. Am I wrong in this decision? I'm not trying to be generation specific in the car choice, although I feel gen1s are gonna be the best as their a dime a dozen around here. What did you guys do, or what would be your best suggestions for a good cheap class to start out in?
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Old 11-10-05, 09:49 PM
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Whichever way you go, don't try to build a car yourself.
1) You'll spend 3 times what you could buy a ready-to-race car for.
2) You'll probably never finish it.
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Old 11-10-05, 09:59 PM
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So as to what I'm racing really depends on what I buy then huh? But that leads me back to my question basically as to what I should be looking for to buy for a beginner on a budget.
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Old 11-10-05, 10:15 PM
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Old 11-10-05, 10:49 PM
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Thats a pretty helpful thread. Definatly lets me know what I'll be getting myself into. But even still, he raced 9 events, started and ended with a fresh car for 12K. Thats not too bad in my opinion. I mean it is a lil pricey but from the research I've done on other classes that seems to be pretty cheap.
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Old 11-11-05, 01:02 AM
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Nope, last year wasn't bad at all

Once I finish our season this year, (December 3/4) I'll put a similar post together for this year.
I can tell you already it includes a new purpose built motor

Marcus
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Old 11-11-05, 02:33 AM
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This may not be Rotary related in anyway but I think the absolute cheapest form of motorsport would be karting. I have been attending the Jim Hall karting facility in Oxnard and it has been just a blast. The top speed for an 80cc shifter(90mph) is not that high.......
but the cornering speed (1.5g) and acceleration is incredible. Here is a list of the budget you would have to work with assuming you attend a school where you dont need your own kart.

4 days total of Sprint and Shifter lessons - $1,375
(5) Race series Sat.qualify/Sun. race day - $2,950
Lapping sessions (5) - $875
Helmet,suit, shoes, head sock, and gloves FIA/CLK - $600
Gas - driving to the track/sessions - $300
Approx. $6,000 for 1 season (5 months)

4-years down the road I would like to end up in Formula Mazda or Dodge. Just my .02
Good luck!
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Old 11-11-05, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by dest101auk
This may not be Rotary related in anyway but I think the absolute cheapest form of motorsport would be karting. I have been attending the Jim Hall karting facility in Oxnard and it has been just a blast. The top speed for an 80cc shifter(90mph) is not that high.......
but the cornering speed (1.5g) and acceleration is incredible. Here is a list of the budget you would have to work with assuming you attend a school where you dont need your own kart.

4 days total of Sprint and Shifter lessons - $1,375
(5) Race series Sat.qualify/Sun. race day - $2,950
Lapping sessions (5) - $875
Helmet,suit, shoes, head sock, and gloves FIA/CLK - $600
Gas - driving to the track/sessions - $300
Approx. $6,000 for 1 season (5 months)

4-years down the road I would like to end up in Formula Mazda or Dodge. Just my .02
Good luck!
dude if u think karting is the cheapest form of racing then it u havent raced ur own kart....karting is far more demanding the amount of money you have to put in to the kart if u wreck it or if someone crashes you....then tires and brakes all tht stuff adds up i know i have been racing a 125shifter for about 3years now...and if ur a private guy like me tht has a really tight budget then its really hard to compete with some of the other guys tht are out there its crazy....my kart is for sale btw....ill post some pics up in a couple of days.
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Old 11-11-05, 05:16 PM
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Road racing is not for a guy on a budget, unless you are an ex-football player on a budget hehe.

No but really autocross is what I have been doing. It is very affordable. I know that isn't the answer your looking for, but the only answer in this situation is money. Don't you wish you could travel around the country racing for money like in the Fast and Furious?
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Old 11-11-05, 05:35 PM
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Originally Posted by ITS_Rx-7
dude if u think karting is the cheapest form of racing then it u havent raced ur own kart....karting is far more demanding the amount of money you have to put in to the kart if u wreck it or if someone crashes you....then tires and brakes all tht stuff adds up i know i have been racing a 125shifter for about 3years now...and if ur a private guy like me tht has a really tight budget then its really hard to compete with some of the other guys tht are out there its crazy....my kart is for sale btw....ill post some pics up in a couple of days.

It really depends on what class/kart you race. 125cc or any shifter series is equivalent to trying to race GT class cars in SCCA.

I've raced both KT100 Sr Sportsman and Rotax for the last 5 years. Both karts are very competitive at the local level (where I race) and purchased used from people who ran them at Regional level competition. I was regularly up front and often got fastest lap during the race. The KT100 was bought for $2k in race ready condition. The Rotax was bought for around $4-5k also race ready.

A full set of 4 slicks runs about $300 and lasts quite a while. I went through 3-4 sets per season running from about April to Oct racing once a month and doing practice sessions on average 2 weekends per month.

On the kt100 I went through a set of pads maybe once in the 3 years that I raced it. The Rotax went through pads faster thanks to the power I think I got half a season out of the pads.

I posted other costs on the thread Mahjik linked to in the last page. ekartingnews.com has lots of good karting info for whoever might be curious.
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Old 11-11-05, 07:55 PM
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Autocross is really cheap. our club has $25 dues, and $20 per event. Buy some Hankook Rs2s, and go have fun. They're really cheap and stick great. Its a great way to get started, and learn some skills w/ out getting hurt.
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Old 11-11-05, 10:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Turbo1
I like this one "If you can't afford to push the car off a cliff and build another one, without thinking about it, then you can't afford to go racing"
This is a very good quote from the link that Mahjik posted. This quote rings pretty close to home right now.
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Old 11-12-05, 04:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Jrodwnc
Autocross is really cheap. our club has $25 dues, and $20 per event. Buy some Hankook Rs2s, and go have fun. They're really cheap and stick great. Its a great way to get started, and learn some skills w/ out getting hurt.
Autocross has always gotten my attention. But I've never really took it into a consideration so I've never looked much into it. Is it possible to competative in a TII in Autocross?
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Old 11-13-05, 08:46 AM
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Mine is a 87 N/A GXL. I do it for fun, and it is very fun. Next year I hope to do better (experience) and be competitive in E Stock. You can find your class on SCCA's website..they have a link to the Solo 2 rules. Then you can see what you'll be up against...of course this depends on who shows up in your area.
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Old 11-13-05, 09:44 AM
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Autocrossing is by far the cheapest way to learn competitive driving. After a few years you should be able to drive consistently behind the top runners who tweak their cars to perfection.

You will also meet a few drivers who can hop in any car and blow the owner away by several seconds. These drivers are simply on another level than you. You could spend many years to get close to them and maybe never reach that level. If your ego can handle that and you still love racing, you can then move on to the track. (luckily most of those "another level" guys have moved on to national amature or pro racing and you won't meet too many of them at the club racing level)

You can buy or build a track car and if you feel both skillful and lucky, you could try driving it to the track and home again afterward (I chose this route). Very risky but possible in some classes of racing. Otherwise you will need a trailer and tow vehicle.

Club racing like NASA is cheaper than SCCA and in my opinion more fun too.

However rent-a-ride is a legitimate alternative. In the northeast I have good experience with Entropy Racing. They will supply a car and advice for the day or weekend at a rate only slightly more expensive than owning a race-ready car, and much cheaper than your usual first year expenses. I'm sure that NASA could point you to a similar business in your area. And if you change your mind after a couple of events, you can walk away with no lingering debts or equipment to sell off.

ed
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Old 11-13-05, 01:41 PM
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I have a trailor and tow vehicle at my expense. But for now I think I'm gonna give SOLO 2 some thought until I can get up my own car and what not. I never have like the idea of driving someone elses car to the limit. Thanks guys for the help.
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Old 11-13-05, 04:33 PM
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While building your own car is a worthy excersize, there is something to be said for not having to bust knuckles in order to have a fun day at the track. I chose building my own car because it's nearly impossible to make a track only car street legal again.

Try not to let your emotions decide which car to get. Look at maintenance costs and also field size at your local events. It's not as much fun to be one of only a few guys in your class.

I chose the FC Rx7 because I wanted a rear wheel drive car with rack and pinion, independant rear, and a hatchback for tire storage. If I had more experience with FWD I might have chosen a small bore hatchback which would have been cheaper to run and the field size would have been larger. If I had a tow vehicle and trailer I probably would have gone Spec Miata.

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Old 11-18-05, 07:07 PM
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Having done them all except shifter karts, I would say the scale from cheap to most expensive is:

- Autocross
- Solo I / Track Days
- Karts (KT100 or similar class)
- Shifter Karts
- Improved Touring / Regional SCCA Racing / NASA
- SCCA National racing

From there the sky is the limit. There are some other categories to consider, but these are the most common.

Of course, it varies based on type of car (more or less stock to GT or Grand Am)and your goals (just for fun, locally competitive, nationally competitive, etc.). I found you can't define your goals until you have at least tasted autocross vs. karts vs. wheel to wheel in different types of of vehicles.

The fun part is not the destination; it's the journey.

Twenty five years ago we started autocrossing locally. Twenty years ago, my wife and I autocrossed nationally. Ten years ago, my wife and I campaigned road racing nationally, and did the Runoffs three years in a row. Five years ago I raced karts. Two years ago I was competitive in my ITA RX7; today I am autocrossing a Dodge Neon with my 17 year old and having a blast. I am building an EP RX7 and hope to do the Runoffs in 2007.

It's all ice cream, and ice cream is all good!

Don't think too hard; JUST DO IT!

Last edited by 31rx7; 11-18-05 at 07:34 PM. Reason: Additional Thoughts...
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Old 11-18-05, 10:34 PM
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Club racing is great fun!

I must admit - it can be a time consumer - prepping for a race takes weeks in some cases... be ready for that. It will keep you up some nights (Race car Thrash - is what we call it.) You have to be a bit nuts - really.

I like the "rent before you decide advice from earlier posts"... that way you can decice if its for you without all the time and expense.

Btw any Nasa Pro 7 guys reading this --- I would love to talk to you about a National Nasa class email me.

Good luck.
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Old 11-19-05, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by 31rx7
Having done them all except shifter karts, I would say the scale from cheap to most expensive is:

- Autocross
- Solo I / Track Days
- Karts (KT100 or similar class)
- Shifter Karts
- Improved Touring / Regional SCCA Racing / NASA
- SCCA National racing

From there the sky is the limit. There are some other categories to consider, but these are the most common.

Of course, it varies based on type of car (more or less stock to GT or Grand Am)and your goals (just for fun, locally competitive, nationally competitive, etc.). I found you can't define your goals until you have at least tasted autocross vs. karts vs. wheel to wheel in different types of of vehicles.

The fun part is not the destination; it's the journey.

Twenty five years ago we started autocrossing locally. Twenty years ago, my wife and I autocrossed nationally. Ten years ago, my wife and I campaigned road racing nationally, and did the Runoffs three years in a row. Five years ago I raced karts. Two years ago I was competitive in my ITA RX7; today I am autocrossing a Dodge Neon with my 17 year old and having a blast. I am building an EP RX7 and hope to do the Runoffs in 2007.

It's all ice cream, and ice cream is all good!

Don't think too hard; JUST DO IT!
Nice post! I'll be autocrossing with my 16 year old in a few months, done several track days with my now 21 year old (in our 3rd gens). This is truly a sport for all ages. Racing is a great family sport.

I think bang for the buck Spec7 wins hands down. IT7 or ITA next. You can buy a starter car for $3000-$5000, get a junk yard motor and have a blast. Autocrossing is a great place to start. It was hard for me to justify all day at the track(away from the family) for 3 minutes of track time.

Hope to see you in 2007 31RX7.
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Old 11-19-05, 10:57 AM
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The words "Cheap" and "Racing" used together are an oxymoron

The TII will not be legal for SCCA road racing. Don't try and build your own car; buy one, and then expect it to average at least $1000 a race weekend. My GTU road racer averages around $2800 a race costs.

Listen to advice from experienced racers. This is a very, very expensive hobby you are thinking about entering.
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Old 11-19-05, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by speedturn
The words "Cheap" and "Racing" used together are an oxymoron

The TII will not be legal for SCCA road racing. Don't try and build your own car; buy one, and then expect it to average at least $1000 a race weekend. My GTU road racer averages around $2800 a race costs.

Listen to advice from experienced racers. This is a very, very expensive hobby you are thinking about entering.

Specify "ROAD racing".

The racing I do is much, much cheaper. I don't even spend $1000 per SEASON, and that is being extra pessimistic (including cost of fuel to event, for example, yet also not factoring that I'd probably be burning the same amount of fuel going somewhere else on those given weekends).

Road racing has a rather high cost of entry if you're starting out. OTOH, autocrossing/rallycrossing requires merely that you have a roadworthy car, a Snell M-rated helmet, and $25-40 for the entry fee. You can upgrade the car/safety gear if you want, but that is entirely optional, instead of being something mandatory just to get your foot in the door. (Name me ONE road racing series that permits you to run a car without a roll cage, for example) No matter what you are driving there WILL be a class for you. You may not be competitive in it, but as a beginner you need to understand that you are not going to be winning anything right away. Once you accept that, then you can get down to enjoying yourself.

If you MUST get out on a road course, consider open track days or driving schools. More expensive than autox/rallyx but also much less expensive than road racing.

Last edited by peejay; 11-19-05 at 12:14 PM.
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Old 11-20-05, 01:12 PM
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Peejay is giving you VERY good advice.

Most of the people that I know are only able to roadrace for ONE reason. They have such a deep passion for the sport that they are willing to give up their leisure time to work on a car, spend endless amounts of time that they should be sleeping scrounging ebay and sites like Rx-7 club for the parts they need cheap, and take every opportunity to make friends of others who feel the same so they can pool resources to make the impossible possible. It sounds like a cliche, and of course everyone who has an interest in racing is sure they have the commitment to stick with it when they start. After just a year or two of racing they are either hooked for life and will expend ridiculous amounts of money and energy pursuing their passion, or realize that they have other interestes that they will never be able to explore because they are in the garage until 2 in the morning and permanenly in debt to their tire "pusher".

Do yourself a favor, and get out and autocross for a year. You can run just about anything you've got within reason. You can develop some great car control skills at an absolutely bargain price. You can experince the thrill of motorsports, and the pursuit of that ONE TENTH that might be the difference between 1st and 4th place. You will have an opportunity to meet and make friends of people that have some of the same goals that you do, and can help you reach them.

I tell people all the time, that I must REALLY love roadracing - because there is NO WAY a person could expend the time and money it requires if they didn't really, truly love it. Autocrossing is a great way to find out if you really, truly love it without alienating yourself from your family and starting bankruptcy proceeedings!

Good Luck!
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Old 11-20-05, 01:35 PM
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The Cheapest Way to go Racing?????

The real question is what is your goal....
A) Go to tracks and have fun hanging out with racers and helpers, and occasionally getting behind the wheel yourself for some track time?
or
B) are you more interested in seat time only and developing your driving skills?

The first choice is more about being a part of the amatuer racing community, the second choice is about developing personal driving skills.

If ( A) sounds like what you want to do with your weekends, then buy yourself a running Pro-7, ITA, Spec-7, PS-7, IT7 or similar from your local club (NASA, SCCA or similar) from a reputable club member. Don't try and improve the car other than fresh tires and brake pads, anything else is a waste of time and money until you have at least two seasons of competition under your belt. The reason you won't be running up front is NOT the car, its your lack of experience.

If (B) is what you are really all about then I suggest the Derek Daly School in Las Vegas. Most bang for yor buck.
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Old 11-20-05, 05:24 PM
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I guess its more that I want to just race. Seat time as you put it. Right now I know that I dont have the funds and resources to be competetive in a particular series. So for now I'm going to settle on SOLO2. Get some seat time there and see where that leads me. That seems to be the best route from the advice you guys have given me.
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