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Thinking about getting into racing

Old 10-29-04, 11:49 PM
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Thinking about getting into racing

First off i would like to say that i am not very knolledgeable about racing. My total expierence involes mazda's rev it up and riding shotgun at thew local auto x.

Now on to my questions. I was wondering where would everyone recomend starting out? In auto x or road coarse. My main goal is to either run an FB in ITA or to run an FC in ITS class. I was wondering what it would cost to build a car that would be slightly competitive in either of these classes. Now i understand that no matter how good my car is i would be the main thing slowing it down so race school is a must. I understand im kidda of jumping all over the place here but im very seriouse about this. Any help would be highly appreciated.

Thanks guys
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Old 10-30-04, 12:16 AM
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I personally would start out in auto-x... Best place to learn car-control without wadding your car into a ball...

NASA (as well as some others) do alot of track-days, where you can go out on a track with instructors and get a feel for being on a road course without really running wheel-to-wheel.

Then, when you think you're ready for road racing, yeah, you have to go to school to get your license.

As far as running IT-classes, it would probably be cheaper to buy a currently competitive car than to build one on your own... The current Grassroots Motorsports magazine has a good article on buying used race cars.

Good luck!!!
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Old 10-30-04, 08:26 AM
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here is a basic truth that almost always holds true for racing. Figure up what you think you will spend, and then double it. If you have to start counting pennys, forget about it. If you can't afford to throw the car off a cliff and build another one, then forget about it.


Auto X however is a whole different story, which is easily affordable, decent fun, and like he said above, shouldn't wad up your car. I'd definatly start there.
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Old 10-30-04, 09:42 AM
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Firstoff - face up to the fact that without a lot of experience on the track, *you* will not be competitive. At this level, it is as much (if not more) the driver than the car. If you go out there with the "I must be out front" attitude, then you are setting yourself up for a world of hurt.

If you are interested in the club racing scene, goto http://www.improvedtouring.com/ and read up. Unfortunately, FBs are not competitive in ITA. Some regions have formed up an IT7 class to let these cars compete with themselves. There has also been discussions about moving FB's to ITB, but don't hold your breath on that one.

The current "hot" car in ITS is the E36 based BMW. There are some FC drivers who do very well in this class, but that is more a testiment to their driving skill than anything else.

ITA/IT7 cars seem to be running from $3.5k to over $5k. You will need to factor in the cost of your safety equipment (helmet, full suit, gloves and shoes), a trailer (do you have a tow vehicle?) and consumables (tires, brakes, fluids, etc). ITS built FC's can run from from under $8k to over $25k depending on the builder and the condition.

There is also the possibility of a Spec-7 class (think ITA but with fewer mods allowed) depending on which region you live in.

Hope this helps,

-bill

Last edited by wrankin; 10-30-04 at 09:45 AM.
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Old 10-30-04, 12:12 PM
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Listen to these guys, they speakth the truth. Buy used, dont build, thatll save you a bundle. Where are you located? A real location would help us put you in touch with people in your area to talk to. Turbo1 is being optomistic. I think its more like quadruple what you think youll need to spend. All the little stuff adds up quick. A tow vehicle, trailer, pit equiptment, and on and on. Start with Autox and save $ and keep your eyes open for a used built racecar.
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Old 10-30-04, 07:56 PM
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Hey guys thanks for all the feed back. Its been really helpful. By the way I live in Birmingham, AL, literaly a 10 minute drive away from Barbers Motorsport Park This is what triggered my intrest in racing. Seeing all those cars racing out there just sparked something. Now i know a buch of RX-7 guys around here and one guy that was going to build an ITS FC but ran into money issues. If anyone knows someone around here who runs IT races could you please help me. I've got a lot of questions. I'm going to do a lot more research but thanks again for setting me i the right direction guys.
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Old 10-30-04, 10:10 PM
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Last edited by Eagle7; 10-30-04 at 10:13 PM. Reason: Added second URL
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Old 10-30-04, 10:52 PM
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Autocross is the cheapest way to hone your skills.

After a few years of that you can test the waters with a few time trials or track days to get the feel of higher speeds without going to a full racecar.

It is cheapest to buy a used race car as the next step if you already have a tow vehicle. Stick with club racing (like NASA) because they seem to have less on-track fender banging.

However it is possible to save money by building your own street legal racecar. It's not easier but it is possible. Your car will be a bit slower than a full racecar but you can work on your driving skills for a few years until you can run a whole race with consistent lap times.

In my opinion, once you can run consistent lap times in a race, then you can start to look at perfecting a real racecar. I've been able to keep a 10 race season down to about $5,000 - a lighter car like a Miata can be cheaper to run and people have told me that the Miata is the easiest racecar to drive well.

(did you notice all the times I said "couple of years"?)

ed
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Old 10-30-04, 11:12 PM
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great links man, thanks
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Old 10-31-04, 07:27 PM
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There is only one SCCA race in 2005 at Barber, and it will be in July.

Road Atlanta is not too far away, and they have many, many SCCA races every year.
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Old 11-01-04, 04:53 PM
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A slightly competitive ITS Rx7, hmmm...

with careful shopping:
$2000 car
$1000 roll cage & installation, belts, window net, and fire extinguisher
$1000 wheels & tires
$2000 shocks, springs, swaybars,coilover kit, camber plates, rear camber adj link, toe eliminator bushings
$500 header, presilencer
$200 water & oil temp gauges (very important)
$200 radiator
$300 transponder

So a rough guess of $8000 after miscelaneous costs and mistakes for an almost street legal racecar (no cat, no air pump). Or you could probably buy a track only car for $6000 (plus trailer, plus tow vehicle, etc.)

Not counting fire suit, helmet, shoes, etc.

That's about what I spent for my street legal ITS car (plus two engines in the first three years when I didn't get the radiator and cooling right)

ed
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Old 11-02-04, 04:08 AM
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I agree with the Auto-X comment. I started off wanting to race and ended up getting into Auto-X, it's affordable, a good place to meet people and pick up tips on racing and meet contacts.... learn about new events and overall have a great driving experience and it's only around $20 for the day.
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