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How ofter do you wreck your racer?

Old 11-27-02, 01:50 PM
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How ofter do you wreck your racer?

In my ever growing desire for the track; I've come up with another troubling issue. The wreck! How often does it happen? I would assume that during your first few years the majority of the track time will be solo. But in planning for the future, I might pick up some extra fenders and maybe even a hood and bumpers. So how often does it happen? I realize it depends alot on how good of a driver you are but accidents happen and mistakes also. Other drivers can also cause an accident even if you are having a career day. I'm looking for the average track life of, lets say, a front fender. And which part is damaged most often? Do you guys keep extra body panels on hand or just look for them when needed? Or do you pound out the damage maybe? Any track accident info would be great.

On a side note; what about insurance? If I'm hurt on the track in an accident will my regular car insurance cover it? Does regular car insurance hold any water when on the track?
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Old 11-27-02, 04:47 PM
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Some have gone years in club racing with out having to replace any body parts. Others ball their car up three laps into their first race. It is racing... anything can happen.

Because of this I have stuck to Solo I racing (road racing by yourself). You still have to have all the safety equipment (roll bar/cage, fire suit, etc. etc.) and you get to run at full speed at full road courses. The only difference is that you are not swapping paint with other cars.

In two years of Solo I racing I had 2 major offroad excursions and the only damage was to the alignment. And my dad co-drove the car this past year, he started a grass fire that took 10 minutes to put out when he spun into dry grass at Skelly. Luckily he was able to get it started and moving so the car did not burn up.

What I tend to tell everyone is this. Don't race anything you can't afford to push off a cliff. If I roll my car the only thing I am out is a means of having fun. I don't reily on the car to get me too and from work and I don't owe a dime on it.

You insurance would drop your coverage for even thinking of trying to make a claim of damage that happened during a race. I have towing insurance on my car and that is it. My car is covered for up to X number of dollars if it is damaged during transportation to or from a race. Pretty much if it is off the trailer it is NOT covered. Medical insurance is different, it is provided by the club you race with (usually) and my personal health insurance would cover me as if it was an accident on a public road.

The condition of your car mostly depends on how well the people around you drive.

You might want to check out ImprovedTouring.com there is a message board there just for IT racers (a bunch of them race 2nd and 1st Gen RX-7). I have been reading the boards there for around two years and it is rare to hear of someone completely totaling a car.

Good luck.
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Old 11-27-02, 06:50 PM
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In the last two years of racing IT-7 we have had 2 major wrecks. Both where able to be fixed enough in the paddock to return to the track.

Probably, half of the races either we get into somebody or someone hits us. It usually doesn't do major damage. we have been spun and pushed of the track by other drivers. Ofcourse we have also spun on our own too.

It's not just how good of a driver you are. Other people will take you out too.

As far as insurance. Nobody will insure the car but your injuries will be covered by the Race organization. It's part of the dues you pay.

Mike
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Old 11-27-02, 07:44 PM
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Good info guys, thanks! I do not rely on my 7 for daily duties; it is "for fun" only. As far as the insurance part of it, I guess I would need to keep some sort of coverage until I can afford to get a trailer since it will need to be transported. Luckily there is a track very near by my place.

I'm glad to hear that wrecks are not that common. Strange how some can drive on the very edge of traction and not wreck but yet people somehow find ways to wreck in mall parking lots. I guess I will not worry about picking up extra body panels. After watching silkworms vids and a few others; I thought there had to be some bumping going on seeing as how close the competition is.


"That's me; still learning"
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Old 11-27-02, 08:33 PM
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I fully agree with the two thoughts posted, don't take the car on track if it's your daily driver. The nice thing about the 2G RX-7 is that parts are cheap, esp. for S4s, so a junkyard fender or door are fairly easy to find (at least here in Cali).. But if you have a 2000$ paintjob invested and you HAVE to get every bit of rubber off the car and can't stand ANY rockchips, forget it, this isn't the sport for you.. My car regularly looks like it spent the day having pieces of black tar thrown at it.. I wash it, but I don't spend a lot of time on it.. 200$ paint job and $100 of vinyl later it'll be a new color anyway And if you do ball it up, there's plenty of junkyard 2Gs to transplant your engine and parts into..

Now, while wrecks (i.e. someone hitting you) during open tracking (what I'm doing right now) is almost unknown, balling up a car because of a mistake that puts you into the wall happens at least once a weekend I've seen. This is a dangerous sport. You CAN get hurt. You probably saw how close I got to the wall during that spin in the video, 5 MPH faster on entry or a split second later on deciding to go both feet in (clutch and brake), and I'd have tagged the wall. It'd still be driveable probably, but I'd need a new bumper and fender more than likely..

As for insurance, like they said, forget it. Just get a AAA premium membership.. 3 100 mile tows a year free, no questions asked. Over time, you'll want a trailer, but you shouldn't be in any hurry right now, with a street car going out doing open track stuff.

Oh, keep in mind, my sessions it looks like we're pushing pretty hard, and I'm really close, but that's the race license/very advanced group.. 70-80% of those cars are already race cars, and the other 20% are almost always good drivers in their own right.. The beginner groups are MUCH MUCH more controlled, no passing except on straightaways, no late brake passing, instructors provided, etc..

PaulC
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Old 11-27-02, 08:37 PM
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Just to add on, I've been doing this three years with my Trans Am.. Until last fall at Sears Point, I never hit a wall, was never tagged or tagged by any one else, and my TA was in very clean shape...

However last fall at Sears Point, I spun going into the esses, before they cleared out so much of the hillsides, and ran the car up the hill, close to 3000$ damage. I didn't report it to insurance, it's my fault, I'm paying for it..

The same accident with the RX-7 might run me 600$, paint and all

PaulC
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Old 12-01-02, 01:34 AM
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Accidents? Oh yea they happen. Of course it depends on how the grid is laided out. And you out a bunch of the little PITA miata out there with us, it just creates a greater chance that there will be contact.

I am done with Road Racing until I can handle the fact that I have to keep 3-4 cars around just for parts, with all the damage that will occur from time to time. Not all damage will be just throwing on a new fender. A bend chassis it cost you some time on frame aliment rack at $65 per hour.

AutoX seems like a very good way for myself to spend less time working on the car and more time having a life outside of racing.

Let it rain, the best time to work on being smooth, and all the people that have the all HP. Well that is the great equalizer, handling Vs. HP in the rain. I will take the handling, and all the HP people that think they are fast will stick their car in the wall in the rain.

Insurance, hmmm leave that car in the garage, especially if its your daily driver. Also never drive your race car to the track, I love seeing it, but talk about living on the edge of denial.

John
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Old 12-01-02, 07:27 AM
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Originally posted by rhinor61

AutoX seems like a very good way for myself to spend less time working on the car and more time having a life outside of racing.
Life outside of racing!?!?! Blasphemy!!

Mike
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Old 12-02-02, 05:45 PM
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Originally posted by ThePartsTrader
Don't race anything you can't afford to push off a cliff.
I think this advice is much wiser than it first appears.


You know the old racer tale: In order to make a small fortune in racing first start with a big one.
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Old 12-03-02, 09:09 AM
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I heard a story about a guy that did track days with his daily driver BMW. To make sure he didn't get too carried away and crash the car he would write out a check for the value of the car and tape it to the dash board, where he could see it. Every time he would head off to the track his wife would say, "Honey, don't cash the check."
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Old 12-04-02, 02:42 AM
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If you are going wheel-to-wheel racing, it also depends a lot on where you do it. Some areas have a lot of contact and others don't. The track I lived near in Michigan was a tight track and it was pretty common there to bump and get bumped. There were some seriously trashed cars from flips and/or major contact in a large percentage of the races.

-Max
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Old 12-04-02, 09:42 AM
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Originally posted by stinkfist


Life outside of racing!?!?! Blasphemy!!

Mike
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Old 12-04-02, 09:46 AM
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bumping happens. Not like NASCAR bumping (stupid crap..)

I've taken drivers school at Waterford Hills in Michigan, and although I didn't get bumped, it happens. Bumping/Rubbing happens, it's all part of racing. Usually it doesn't cause enough damage to require replacement.

If you crash serious enough though (which isn't too common), you'll probably have to replace the car. Although I've watched a Datsun 280Z go head on downhill into a tire wall at about 70 or 80 and come back on track later that day. It didn't look pretty, but they pretty much replaced everything that was messed up and came back.

Of the 50 or more cars that were there for drivers school that weekend (a bunch of racing rookies) IN THE RAIN, I watched:

- 1 Roll (a Neon, the guy made a mistake and didn't realize it till it was too late, went off track and the wheel was turned too much to come back ON track, and it contributed to the flip)

- 2 Cars hitting walls

A few spins and off-track excursions (including 2 by me, I went off track rather than try to save it and risk flipping). No damage to my car except the fact that because my fenders weren't rolled, the tire grabbed the lip and pulled it down when I went off track, so I had to fix that.

But seriously, get yourself an FB, spare parts are ULTRA CHEAP for them. Look at all the parts cars all over the place.
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Old 12-04-02, 03:51 PM
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This thread has been very informative; Thanks guys! The track that is near me is "BeaveRun." I have no idea if it is a tight track or not since I have nothing to compare it to, nor have I been on it yet. I probably will not get on this track until after a full season of auto-x so that should be plenty of time to dig up a cheap parts car.
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