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Real Costs of racing

Old 11-15-04, 11:32 PM
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Real Costs of racing

So I just completed my first semi-serious year with the race car.

My true costs of racing, assumes you have te following:

A) Truck (2000 Toyota Tundra)
B) Trailer (14X7 open, new beginning of year 2K out the door)
C) Legally built & prepped race car, starting the year ready to go (Pro7 (FB) Built for Norcal NASA racing, brand new)

Firstly, the events & number of hours (in paren. & are estimated) my car ran:
January: Todd Ho Track day/NCDA (2 hours)
February: NASA HPDE @ Infineon (1.5 hours)
May: NASA HPDE @ Thunderhill (3 hours)
May: NASA HPDE @ Infineon (1.5 Hours)
June: NASA HPDE @ Reno Fernley (3 hours)
August: NASA HPDE @ Infineon (1.5 hours)
October: SCCA Super School @ Streets Of Willow Springs (5 hours)
October: SCCA Double regional race @ Buttonwillow (2 hours)
November: Nasa HPDE @ Thunderhill (3 hours)

Total: 9 events (22.5 hours)
Our final expenses, including track accommodations, excluding food) and race car expenses:
Hotels $925
Gas: $1600
Entry Fees: $2200
(We live 20 minutes from Infineon. and camped @ the SCCA events- no hotel costs)
Race car related items:
One new set of Toyo1 185/60/13 full treads - new beginning of the year ($450) <-- Full disclosure I have two set of 185's. The second set ran 1.5 hours total. There is that much left on the 1st set and they will be done.
Mounting, remounting for flipping (flipped twice + initial mount) & balance ($150)
brakes: 1 front set of hawk blues (really a half set of blues & and a half set of blacks ($95)
Front brake hose 6 feet of 3 inch silicone - ($60)
1 set of front tie rods ($50)
1 transmission rebuild first one (Stock 100Kmile unit) lasted 17 hours. death was complete lack of 3rd gear synchro. Replaced with ($40) used tranny, it ran the last 5 hours, 3rd gear synchros are starting to go.
1 case of Ford HD brake fluid ($100)
5 cases of 20W-50 NAPA brand Oil ($85)
5 litres of premix; Motul, spector, other ($100)
220 Gallons of gas ; Shell, Chevron 87 octane ($550)
12 quarts of Redline Gear lube for Tranny & Rear end ($100)
4 cans of Honda Bright (quick detail) ($40)
2 set of front wheel bearings & seals ($80)
1 set of front discs ($50) - rock auto cheapie replacements. Those that died were whatever were on the car whne we bought it.
1 dead 12A. Replaced with junkyard motor ($800) Motor was replaced after the first Infineon event where the car ran 1.5 hours. It died @ the end of day one, so my daily driver Protege5 was brought in as the back up vehicle for day two. It ran 19 hours, so its about $42 an hours to run the motor.

Thus far I have omitted costs from parts bought twice (tires, brake pads), the spares I own (front control arms, strut tubes, rotors calipers, 16 wheels, etc)

Totals:
Truck (17K over 4 years)
Non-race car specifics costs: $4,725
Racecar related: $2,650
Total minus truck: $7,375

Now, the costs to prep for next year:
stianless braided clutch line: $30
slave cylinder (died last session @ Tunderhill yesterday) : $35
Case of brake fluid: $100
Case of Oil: $17.50
5 quarts of gear lube: $45
13*7 rims (for SoCal events): $350
Mount @ balance my used 205's: $60
used 205 to purchase: $260
Tranny Rebuild: $350 (?)
Motor (blowing smoke form worn out oil seals, and hard to start cold): $1500
Alignment & corner weighting: $450
Battery relocation (for Socal events): $100
Proportioning valve + install: $200
new shaved 185s (for Norcal Events): $500
Dyno tune: $500
Canopy (Died @ Thunderhill last time out) $200

total to prep for next year: $4292.50
The total prep cost includes fully prepping to a different specification to run the socal events.

The important line:
Total costs for one year of semi serious racing, starting with a fresh car and ending with a fresh car: $11,667.50

Several important points:

A)My point is not to discourage anyone from going racing, its simply to point out alot of the hidden costs.

B) Next year our costs will likely drop, as we won't be in hotels at all. We will also be racing, which is cheaper than HPDE (at the level @ which we participated)

C)We don't go racing on a shoe string budget when it comes to the car. we skimped on the comfort areas to make the car competitive.

D) Who is ready for next year?

Marcus
Http://www.miller-motorsports.com
#67 Pro7 CSCC/ NASA Norcal/ SFRSCCSA
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Old 11-15-04, 11:42 PM
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That's a very detailed list, very nice to have for comparison purposes. Thanks a lot.

-s-
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Old 11-15-04, 11:55 PM
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Look on the bright side: your full season of racing cost less than a single Grand Am Cup event!
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Old 11-16-04, 12:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Blake
Look on the bright side: your full season of racing cost less than a single Grand Am Cup event!
Don't remind me. That's where I'd like to end up, 5-7 years down the road....

Marcus
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Old 11-16-04, 04:50 AM
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I figure $1000 per weekend to race barring major mechanical items. This inlcudes travel expenses, hotels, entry, ammortized costs of tires and brake pads. When transmissions and engines start breaking the cost obviously goes up. All of that is for a front running ITS 2nd gen.
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Old 11-16-04, 07:08 AM
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Nice to see a breakdown of the costs. Your a brave guy to add it all up.
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Old 11-16-04, 11:25 AM
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Exactly. If I had kept track of all the money I spent I would of quit a long time ago. I quit keeping receipts for the IT car when I got to $10k. I was thinking a couple weeks ago that if I had never gotten in to racing and had put just some of that money away I could have a Ford GT or something like that sitting in the garage right now. Oh well....
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Old 11-16-04, 12:53 PM
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It's amazing how different racers come up with the same approach. I quit keeping track of racing costs after I went past $30,000 in 2 years. Now that I have been racing for over 7 years with the RX7, a ton of the initial costs have been amortized down to almost nothing.

What I budget for is the same as C. Ludwig, $1,000 per weekend to run my RX7. After reading this thread I talked to a number of different guys racing everything from a GT 1 style Camaro to an IT Rabbit and all of us say it costs between $1,000 to $7,500 a weekend in running costs but no one really keeps track.

I bet if I really took a count of the actual costs it would cost around that amount. I don't want to take an actual count as I don't really want a paper trail that my better half could read. Also If I really took a count of what I have spent in total, car, tow vehicle, trailer, canopy, tools, at track support equipment, welding equipment, machining stuff, spares, etc..., I would have a hard time reconciling my fun now versus future financial security or a couple of Vipers, lol. Man, all you have to understand is that racing is just an incredibly efficient way of converting $$$$ into noise.
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Old 11-16-04, 01:14 PM
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"If you have to ask, you can't afford it."

I do believe the crack about racing just being an efficient way to convert $$ into noise is going in my away message.

-=Russ=-
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Old 11-16-04, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Rx7carl
Nice to see a breakdown of the costs. Your a brave guy to add it all up.
Yup
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Old 11-16-04, 01:42 PM
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Laa laa laa... I can't heaaaaaar you...

No idea how much we've gone through in the last few years of learning how to run an ITA car. Dunwanna know... plausible deniability when my mom asks "and you two spent *how* much on racing this year? I thought the costs were going to go down once you got the car built..."

It's just money. If it weren't supposed to get spent, they wouldn't call it money.
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Old 11-16-04, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by 23Racer
Man, all you have to understand is that racing is just an incredibly efficient way of converting $$$$ into noise.

That's the best quote I've heard in a long time. Care if I use it in some sig lines?
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Old 11-16-04, 04:50 PM
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Go for it guys. Use the line for all it is worth. My wife says it to me all the time. Usually after I fire up the car to load it on the trailer. A credit would be necessary, lol.
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Old 11-16-04, 05:50 PM
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I kept a spreadsheet of all my expenses but I haven't kept up with it for the past few years although I do still have the receipts and I intend to add them to the spreadsheet "someday".

My first year for an ITS type club racer was $12,000 for 10 weekends counting every car related penny. The following years have averaged a little over $5,000 per year for 10 weekend seasons. (the average includes two $7,000 years for blown engines)

I do not have a trailer, I drive to the events (and I almost always drive home) but I have been able to land a few club season championships. In SCCA I would probably be mid pack - nothing remarkable good or bad.

It aint exactly cheap but it doesn't have to be expensive.

ed
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Old 11-16-04, 08:48 PM
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I was just sitting around thinking about it last night, (the day after my season ended) as I ponder where to go for the future... Its either Pro7 or Endurance racing for next year, but I'd like to be in Spec Miata the following year, I think...
The Honda Challenge guys appear to be reaching critical mass, and some more support for the series could be a major boon... Alternatively, a 2nd gen ITS car would be some fun, if the E36 gets the lead trophy it deserves.

sigh; so many choices.


Marcus
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Old 11-16-04, 10:39 PM
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Originally Posted by 23Racer
II bet if I really took a count of the actual costs it would cost around that amount. I don't want to take an actual count as I don't really want a paper trail that my better half could read. Also If I really took a count of what I have spent in total, car, tow vehicle, trailer, canopy, tools, at track support equipment, welding equipment, machining stuff, spares, etc..., I would have a hard time reconciling my fun now versus future financial security or a couple of Vipers, lol. Man, all you have to understand is that racing is just an incredibly efficient way of converting $$$$ into noise.

Yep! If I counted everything that it took to make it to the track, I'd be here for days. The equipment, maintenance on the truck, building the car, buying parts twice, etc....
I think its just end of year blues.... I'm already scheming on what to upgrade for next year.

Marcus
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Old 11-16-04, 11:05 PM
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holey crap...


You can race for that cheap! That is better than kart racing and probably more fun. You don;t even want to know what we charge the folks in our series

Were you at Vegas on the 5th?

Last edited by formula-mazda; 11-16-04 at 11:09 PM.
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Old 11-16-04, 11:09 PM
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Originally Posted by formula-mazda
holey crap...


You can race for that cheap! That is better than kart racing and probably more fun. You don;t even want to know what we charge the folks in our series
Don't forget were buying used trannies for $50 and entire parts cars for $150.

What does a tranny cost for a formula mazda?
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Old 11-16-04, 11:50 PM
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I would *love* to go Formula Mazda racing, and in fact, that was part of the original plan, until they changed the pro car...

I haven't been out to Vegas.

CPA - I got jipped, my spare chassis was $250

Marcus
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Old 11-17-04, 09:51 AM
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Doesnt the FM use a VW air cooled bug trans?
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Old 11-17-04, 10:41 AM
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those figure sounds about right for local regional races. I was spending anywhere from $800-1400 a weekend when I used to race SCCA IT class. those were the good ol'times. Now I just go and help instruct with the local driver's ed and run the track for FREE.
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Old 11-17-04, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Rx7carl
Doesnt the FM use a VW air cooled bug trans?
Sorta. Actually, they use Websters, which are pretty much a copy of Hewland Mk9s, which are based on the bug tranny case, but turned upside-down and backwards and packed with straight cut dog gears. Still VW cases though, but not (of course) VW prices anymore.
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Old 11-18-04, 03:08 AM
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Question:

Do the races you're going to have prizes?

Assuming you actually won every time, would you actually be able to make up your losses, or are these simply for fun races?
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Old 11-18-04, 01:45 PM
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Only a few top level professional races have prize money, and the payout on those pro races is only a fraction of the cost of entering and competing the race.
In the USA, only a tiny percentage of people make a profit at road racing; the vast majority of us do it just because we love it.
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Old 11-18-04, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Valkyrie
Question:

Do the races you're going to have prizes?

Assuming you actually won every time, would you actually be able to make up your losses, or are these simply for fun races?
Money in racing does not come from "prizes". The entire team is supported by a group of sponsors and all the expenses and salaries of the team members is payed from that.The sponsor is where the money comes from.

Don't confuse this with the fact that because a car has sponsers on it that the car is supported. Many cases that just is not the truth, or at least not to the extent you would think.

The far, far majority of drivers, owners and crew members spend their own money to go race. They never see that money again but nobody has figured out how to race for free yet
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