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Real Costs of Racing, season 2

Old 12-28-05, 10:37 PM
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Real Costs of Racing, season 2

As promised last year, I've totalled up my costs for Season 2.
For reference, my thread last year is here:
https://www.rx7club.com/race-car-tech-103/real-costs-racing-368675/

Thie year, we aimed slightly higher thna last year.
We wanted to:
Race a bunch
Get my brother fully licensed
Race in the 25 hours of Thunderhill.

We started this year with my trusty Pro7. Our real costs to prep the car for this year (estimated list included in old thread)
stianless braided clutch line: $30
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
Proportioning valve + install: $200
Dyno tune: $500
Canopy (Died @ Thunderhill last time out) $200

I also purchased a new set of scales, $1K as the one time outlay was going to be less than paying to have it re corner weighted after every couple events....
We left off lastyear after our last event believing the tranny or clutch hydraulics were dead. This was incorrect. Our tranny issue was the c$%^y redline fluid and the hydraulic issues were the result of old fluid. Poor prep on my part.

Our dyno tune found a bunch of power in the car (17 horse), but included a full rewire and new distributor. I let the vendor do the tuning, a well known Rx-7 shop, and it made great power, but I couldn't drive the car. It wa a dog until you hit 4500 or 5K, then it ran like a raped ape to 7500. We ended up retuning the car ourselves, YMMV- beware.

Our event log for 2005:
January: Todd Ho Track day/NCDA (2 hours)
February: NASA HPDE @ Thunderhill (2 hours)
March: SFR SCCA SChool @ Thunderhill (6 hours)
March: CSCC SCCA Race @ BRP (1 hour)
May 14th-15th NASA HPDE @ Thill (2 hours)
June 25-26 NASA Race @Thill (2 hours)
July 9-10 SFR [email protected] Thill (1 hour)
Sep 3-4 CSCC SCCA race @ BRP (2 hours)
Sep 10-11 NASA Race @ thill (2 hours)
*October 21 SCCA EnduranceRace @ Thill (5 hours)
October 29-30 NASA Race + endurance race @ thill (5 hours)
November 12/13 NASA Race @ BRP (4 hours) (ran two classes, 4 races)
*December 3-4 NASA 25 Hours of Tunderhill + test day (1 hour)- (28 hours)

The asterisks are events run with the new (ITA) car, detailed below.
Total hours by car:
Pro7: 30
ITA: 33

Now, to the fun stuff.
The old JY smoky motor blew up (Rookie driver was not watching the oil pressure gauge in the BRP race in March, as expected in last year's thread)., and we elected to buy a "pro" built motor.
The consumables for the pro7:
Motor 1800
Assorted motor related costs (clutch/pressure plate , 2nd gen oil cooler + install ( thanks Carl Byck!), etc.) 700
oil 4 cases: $100
trans/ rear end fluid: 200 (swepco 201, 4 gallons)
gas: 300 gallons *280 per gallon: 840
tires (one new set): 560
balancing: $100
spark plugs: $50
pads (2 sets Front, 1 set rear): 300
Rotors (6 fronts): 300
Wheel bearings & grease seals: (6 sets front):200
Wheel studs: $30
New brake lines (one failed Sep10/11): 100
total consumables for the pro7: 5280
Entry fees for this car only: 4100

total excluding towing for this car: 9,380

ITA car:
This car was purchased July 25/26 and shipped out here the begining of August.
This car sent out for an extensive rebuild. I'm omitting most of those costs, as they are not applicable to consumable costs. The parts list is extensive and top of the line. We just ran out of time to get the car sorted for the 25 hour.

We spent the following cash prepping the car exclusively for the night enduro:
defroster: 50
lights: 400
wiring: 50
3 sets of tires: 1650
pads/rotors: 300
spare struts:350
total to prep car: 2800

Total consumables not already accounted for:
Entry fees for the 2 enduros: 1900
Gas: 1000
Total cost for ITA car consumables this year, (including cost to run the 25 hours):
5700

total cost so far: 15,080

Towing costs:
timing belt for truck: 920
Brakes for truck: 500
gas (25K miles): 5833 ( 2083 gallons*2.80)
oil: 100
total towing cost: 7400 (ish)

Total cost to run 1 car for 30 hours and a 2nd car for 33 hours:
$22,480

Ouch.

Total costs to prep for next year:
Pro7:
Belts: 200
motor tune up: 100
transponder: 600

ITA car:
Bodywork & Crash damage: 300
Paint: 500
exhaust: 800
clutch & hydraulics: 700
rear diff: 1000
Suspension improvements: 1500
transponder(s): 600
EGT probe: 50
brake hydraulics: 200
motor tune: 100

Pro7:900
ITA: 5750

Marcus
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Old 12-28-05, 11:51 PM
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forgot to mention, I excluded food and living costs from this year's tally.
Food was a major cost for the 25 hour....
Living? We camped all year with two notable exceptions, two BRP races which my parents joined us at. Feel free to add $200 if it makes you feel better :-P
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Old 12-29-05, 02:27 AM
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Racing sure isn't cheap! Even if you're TRYING to get by on the cheap.
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Old 12-29-05, 02:33 AM
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Actually - for as much racing as these guys got in - it was cheap! I have always kept all of my receipts for my racing and associated develpment but ma afraid to add them up in this fashion becasue I might find out that I can't afford it!!!!!! I want to speed into oblivion with my blinders firmly in place! Good info Marcus - might as well give people the straight scoop so they can see if they REALLY want to race.
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Old 12-29-05, 09:14 AM
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Without doing the math, about $1500 per weekend.... just about right on. Most realistic people claim an average of about $1000 per weekend w/o damages for an IT car.

Thanks for the info!!!
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Old 12-29-05, 12:50 PM
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I raced on a Grand Am Cup team 3 years ago, that is what we spent in One weekend if we did not have any problems. Average 15,000 a weekend, had airfare for 7, motel , food, drinks, clothing, rental cars, entry for 9, wages, parts, damage, towing, fuel for race car and truck, towing expense, time away from work and family, plus all the work to get it ready for the next race, oh what fun!

You forgot to mention though you are not writing one check for the $1000 a weekend at one time. It is spead out and it does not really hurt all that bad If you are good with your money, most can do it pretty easy. It is rough when you have a wreck and there is a increase in cash to recover parts and paint.

Plus, you chose to do 2 enduros, how much money did you recover from your other drivers to drive in the car? I have a customer that rents his car out every race weekend to his friend and actually races for very little cost. They run different run groups and are both responsible for there own damage. It isn't for everyone I know, but can help out those people that can't afford to race by themselves!

Last edited by cagedruss; 12-29-05 at 12:56 PM.
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Old 12-29-05, 08:28 PM
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Great job Marcus. It tales alot of guts to add it all up.

I agree with Boz that this will bring a little reality into some of these discussions. What newbies need to realize is that this does not include original build $$, and that it can all be gone in the blink on an eye.

One question, you list new transponders as items for next season. Why are you replacing, and why so expensive? Last I looked they were $325.00.
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Old 12-29-05, 09:22 PM
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Bos- agreed, we did a lot of racing.

Scott- Yep. its about spot on, inluding the towing expenses, which most people don't include...

Russ- one co-driver is my brother, who covers most of the cost of the tow rig. The other Enduro (25 hours) We were at $1200 a person, so I recouped the equivalent of $3600 from that. I'm all for renting a car out, if I can find a reasonable person to rent to.

Paul, I'm doing it for the newbies. Everyone ays they want to race, adn most ignore the real costs. The new transponder (10 hours old) on the ITA car failed right as qualifying started for the 25 hour. We stole the one off the Pro7 to run the race, but in the subsequent off track excursion that ripped up the front end, it was torn loose. It spent the next 13 hours bouncing of the tire, brake duct and frame. I'm ordering new ones for both cars, and will run a dual transponder system on the ITA car, with one brand new one, and the potentially beat up one.


Marcus
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Old 12-29-05, 11:13 PM
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How dare you come here and crush so many dreams of racing on $500 a year!

I prefer the old fashion way of making a small fortune in racing...

I think this should be made a sticky to show everybody what is involved in even a low key racing effort that is just for fun. So many people think,"I want to go racing but what's the best shocks for under $300?" or something like that. This will show just what a hard road they will have and how much money just goes away quickly.

I have no interest in knowing what I spend as long as I have enough fuel in the truck to make it home from the race!

For the two or three people that don't know how to make a small fortune racing, you start with a large fortune and know when to stop!
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Old 12-30-05, 08:47 PM
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damn! and here i was looking into an ITA car for this season. that is a scary bill. thanks for documenting it.
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Old 12-31-05, 12:36 AM
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I remember buying my original transponder and thinking it was an insane amount of money to require a racer to spend - and that was when they were still under 300 bucks!

It IS possible to get a fair amount of racing for not that much money (by racing standards!). I heard that there were guys making a serious run at a championship at the SCCA runoffs who had spent between 80,000 and 400,000 dollars. Not for the year, but FOR THE RUNOFFS!!!!! I guess I am doing OK, because by doing my own work where ever possible and starting with a dirt cheap car, I have probably spent less than 30,000 total in the last 5 years. Including a cheap old motorhome, and enclosed trailer, three motors, safety gear, gas, spares, tires, and entry fees. Don't get me wrong, 30K is still real money in my circles, but by racing standards, it's nothing!
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Old 12-31-05, 10:22 AM
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Totally agreed!

From my persepctive, the important things to consider:
A) We raced 63 on track hours this year. That's more than most race in 4 years. For example, if we race the local SFR SCCA region events only chasing an ITA champsionship, we would race about 11 hours, + test days. That lowers the costs significantly.
B) I included the towing costs. Most people when they talk about budgeting, forget that part.
C) The motor adventure cost me ~$3k. If I wasa normal person, that motor would last me 5-6 years [motor builder quoted 75 hours of (ab)use] Becuase we run so much, it will likely get a fresheing mid-season.
D) Depending on your goal - I bet I could run a full ITA season for the less than as my Pro7 car ran last year.

Bos- As usual I agree. 30K is very real money. One of my friend went to help crew for an FP MG at the run offs. He was amazed at the difference. 40-80 is about right for some folks.

The transponder pisses me off. That was a new transponder, mounted identically to my other car, which has been through hell and back in terms off offs, and vibrations The new transponder worked al lthrough the test day, thne failed one lap into qualifying. We tested it the nest morning and it failed again. I've got a green light and no reading by the tower. It was less than 10 hours old. Frustrating, and expensive.

Marcus, who just blew this year's budget by ordering a HANS device.
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Old 12-31-05, 11:10 AM
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wow! my typing is poor.... sorry!

M
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Old 12-31-05, 11:20 AM
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One more point I left out.. my expected budget for this year....

We are running 8 planned events.
The WERC series, (6 NASA 3 hour enduros)
The 25 hours
Once SFR-SCCA Weekend (4 races, 2 classes, 2 drivers - for licensing)

We will also likely run some test days, as I try to get the suspension sorted on the ITA car. I am a strong proponent and testing and learning in competition, but I don't have the budget this year.

Our planned consumable costs so far:
Entry fees: 2400
One set of 185/60 tires for the Pro7 (600)
5 sets of 205/60/13 tires (3K)
6 rotors: 600
4 sets of front pads: 400
wheel bearings: 400
Fluids: 350
Towing costs: truck: 3500 (Gas and misc.) Trailer: 1000 (tires, brakes, hubs)
Budget for consumables: 9300

Marcus, who just realized his budget is the same as last year when you figure repair costs... I wonder if I could take up knitting? :-P
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Old 12-31-05, 12:00 PM
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Knitting is dangerous, with those big needles swinging around! No thanks
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Old 12-31-05, 02:14 PM
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Here's one for you Marcus. When we were down to run the 25 in the silver Datsun, we were hit by a Porsche in the 8th lap. Smacked the rear wheel, and gave us 15/16" of uncorrectable toe-in in the right rear. As you can imagine, that put a lot of stress on the car, hurt us bad down the straights, and fatigued off ELEVEN wheel studs by the end of the race, but by far the worst problem was the scrubbing on the tires! We could only get one stint off the rears as the car crab walked it's way around for the remaining 24+ hours. Wanna talk tire budgets? I think we went through TWENTY-EIGHT Goodyear and McCreary slicks in order to finish that race! That adds up in a hurry.............
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Old 12-31-05, 07:39 PM
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That's painful.
Where did you get 28 good year and McReary slicks?

I knew you had talked about the lug stud issues before, I guess I never put 2 & 2 together about the tires as well...
Here is good shot of the two cars together:
http://www.flickr.com/photo_zoom.gne?id=71299360&size=l

Marcus

Last edited by NasaPro7; 12-31-05 at 08:08 PM.
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Old 12-31-05, 07:44 PM
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We loaded everything we could carry into the trailer, so we had about 30-32 tires available. Didn't expect to use them all though! Some already had a heat cycle or two on them, but it's $3000+ bucks in tires no matter how you slice it!!!!!

That's a sweet picture! Cool to have them both in frame like that. Can't wait until next year - hope I can afford to go again!!!
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Old 01-04-06, 07:08 PM
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That is a chunk of change but you guys did get to race a ton! I could only imagine how much fun it is to have 60+ hours of track time/yr!

I drive my car to the track to the NorCal events and I figure my expenses are something like below since nothing has broken yet (knock on wood) and I could always drive home.

Weekend costs for about 2.5 hrs of actual racing time:
$279 weekend entry fees (NASA TimeTrial class)
$100/weekend for gas
$50 gas to drive there/back to the event
$60 Redline motor oil
$80/night hotel
$20 weekend food
$40 misc
Total: $629

Consumables for the year:
$1200 x 2 sets of race tires/yr
$200 mount balance 8 tires
$600 for 1 pair of Alcon rotors
$400 (2) sets of Ferodo DS3000 pads
$100 1 set rear pads
$350 Transponder
$400 rebuild LSD
$40 brake fluid
$100 header gaskets
Total $4500

2005-2006 upgrades:
roll bar $1200
CF hatch/FAL glass $500
adj rear spoiler $TBD
corner weighting/alignment $300
misc $1000
Total $3000+

I'm now a little shocked it costs me nearly $10K to race 5 weekends driving my car to the track and having no real problems! I'm sure I've left out lots of little costs too.

This hobby/addiction sure isn't cheap.
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