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914Driver
914Driver MegaDork
10/14/14 2:20 p.m.

Plan B:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FOFswyHcvzs

racerdave600
racerdave600 SuperDork
10/14/14 2:40 p.m.

Buying the car is the cheap part, it's everything surrounding it that's expensive.

I met a guy once that ran an old Yates (Ricky Rudd) car in vintage racing. I think he had about $30k in the car and it was turning some smoking times around Road Atlanta. Now there were only about 5 cars in his class, but he was having a blast. If you want to go fast and have fun, there's probably not a cheaper way, as everything on the car is easily replaceable and cheap. Even if you wreck it, you can replace parts, re-skin it and go.

Years ago I had an ITA car, and although I built it instead of buying, it was still only around $10k. Now, its pretty easy to spend that in a season on everything else if you aren't careful with your money.

Giant Purple Snorklewacker
Giant Purple Snorklewacker MegaDork
10/14/14 2:55 p.m.

^^ Another point ... my race car is an M3 competing in BMW CCA I-sport and NASA GTS2. It cost me about $12k to DIY the build from a POS 95 M3. Others pay as much as $30k to have one built for them.

Now... that isn't too expensive for a stock engined car that can lap the Glen at 2.12 or NJMP Lightning at 1.14 all day and be expected to stay at the pointy end of the IS field if the racing gods are shining upon me but that isn't the real cost.

EVery February I spend $2500 for 2 sets of Hoosiers mounted, $500 for enough pads (bulk discount) and then whatever else I need (rotors, tie rods, wheel bearings, windshields... etc) to freshen the car up. Call it $3500 if nothing major is crapping out. Every race weekend costs an entry fee of $350 to $600 and the car consumes about $1.25/mile in fuel. A sprint weekend is 150 miles, an enduro is lots and lots more. The towing uses a good bit of fuel too. My shortest pull is $160 round trip and my longest is approx $500. Trucks and trailers eat tires... the list goes on. Don't forget mistakes cost bodywork and they happen. Mine is a reliable race car. The faster modified stuff consumes engines and drivelines... winter for some of my more affluent addict friends is a time of retarded spending.

So, based on that math - I outspend the cost of the car in "everything else" every two years in one of the cheapest classes I can get into with a competitive tin top. You can do it cheaper if you don't want to win... but then... you can't be a racer and not want to win.

No sane person does this. Get yourself a nice, affordable heroin habit.

Ian F
Ian F UltimaDork
10/14/14 3:14 p.m.
Giant Purple Snorklewacker wrote: No sane person does this. Get yourself a nice, affordable heroin habit.

Pretty much... and why I've decided to go back to DH racing for a couple of years... Even spending ~$6000 on a new bike and gear (since my current stuff is over a decade old)... and probably budgeting $500 per race weekend (tires/hotel/travel/food), it'll be cheaper than car racing.

Of course, the trick will be making it through two seasons without injury, since with the reduced costs I move the damage risk from the car to me.

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
10/14/14 3:16 p.m.

Do you have to be in it?

No?

Radio Control.

Giant Purple Snorklewacker
Giant Purple Snorklewacker MegaDork
10/14/14 3:29 p.m.
Ian F wrote: Pretty much... and why I've decided to go back to DH racing for a couple of years... Even spending ~$6000 on a new bike and gear (since my current stuff is over a decade old)... and probably budgeting $500 per race weekend (tires/hotel/travel/food), it'll be cheaper than car racing.

You may have noticed I bought a "new to me" bike recently. There is a plan ... might be time to see more of north america than just race track paddocks, airports, hotels and office buildings.

t25torx
t25torx HalfDork
10/14/14 3:36 p.m.
Appleseed wrote: Do you have to be in it? No? Radio Control.

Did this already. I had 2 Top Photon's I ran for a couple years, it satisfied the competition element, but driving a 1/10 electric vs. driving a real car, no contest for me.

Hmm I need to research more into the F500 or FV. Something that's easy on consumables would be nice.

Oh you this video GRM put out isn't helping me much in not wanting an ex-nascar. http://youtu.be/seprX8U5Ilo

amg_rx7
amg_rx7 Dork
10/14/14 4:25 p.m.

It was mentioned earlier but Karting is the best bang for the buck in racing. Get a nice Rotax, Sportsman or similar class.

ckosacranoid
ckosacranoid Dork
10/14/14 8:57 p.m.

How about a well sorted lemons or chump car, who cars for fast, add some freinds and share the cost ofvacweekend racing.

Tom1200
Tom1200 Reader
10/14/14 8:58 p.m.

I've been the king of doing this on the cheap for probably 20 years: right now am I doing 4 track days and two vintage race weekends for a $2500, that's everything, fuel, tires, entry fee etc. I buy used tires and they last the whole year. As for the Datsun I run, when it was a $2000 car it would run 20-22nd overall out of 25-30 cars, at 4K it moved up to 15-18th place, 5K moved it up to 12th, 6K = 6-8th, 8K in it and I'm expecting to run top 5 maybe even top 3. I've autocrossed and road raced the car since 1989 and I only bought parts to make it faster when they came up cheap. Recently I went crazy and spent $1500 building a wazoo engine it will go several seasons and belt out a whooping 125hp in a 1600lb car. It's gutless but so are the Sprigets and Spitfires I race. During the past two decades I have run a vintage Formula Vee, Showroom Stock Miata, D Sports Racer and now have a Formula 500. The FV was fun but not really any faster than the Datsun but it was a real race car. The Miata was/is glorious fun can't say enough good things about it, I even used it as a daily driver. I was offered swap of a Spec Miata for the Datsun but after having the car nearly 30 years it's kind of hard to let it go. The D-Sports Racer was very fast, I set the class lap record locally which was only about a second a lap slower than the GT-1 lap record but even on a budget the car cost $600 for every day on track. I would also not recommend one for someone without a lot of experience in a single seater. The DSR lap record at Road America is 14 seconds faster than the Nationwide record set be a certain F1 World Champ. Now a Formula 500 can be bought for 5-7K, they'll do 0-60 in 3 seconds and top out a shade over 135 mph, by comparison at Road America the F500 record is about 10 seconds slower than the Nationwide cars. While you can autocross the F500 it won't likely be allowed to run at any track days, so that is one down side. My personal pick for a car you can race, autocross and do track days would be some sort of IT car. You could buy a built IT car then put on some cheap go fast goodies and run it as a Production or GT class car. You could still get 4 weekends out of a set of tires and have a ton of fun. I'm thinking an ITA Miata turned EP or GT-Lite car or an RX-7 OR the hell with track days and race a F500.

    Tom
chada75
chada75 New Reader
10/15/14 5:31 a.m.

If you got the nerve, A shifter Kart is very hard to beat in terms of Speed and Affordable Fun (relative to a Old cup or Trans-Am car).

ProDarwin
ProDarwin UltraDork
10/15/14 7:52 a.m.
Giant Purple Snorklewacker wrote:
Ian F wrote: Pretty much... and why I've decided to go back to DH racing for a couple of years... Even spending ~$6000 on a new bike and gear (since my current stuff is over a decade old)... and probably budgeting $500 per race weekend (tires/hotel/travel/food), it'll be cheaper than car racing.
You may have noticed I bought a "new to me" bike recently. There is a plan ... might be time to see more of north america than just race track paddocks, airports, hotels and office buildings.

I don't race my bike. I guess I do, but not well. But holy E36 M3 its so much cheaper. I've been biking as my primary hobby for almost 2 years now. My yearly budget is easily less than my cheapest autox season, and my yearly mileage is probably 5-10x my longest racing season.

Ian F
Ian F UltimaDork
10/15/14 8:09 a.m.

In reply to ProDarwin:

I got back into racing a little bit this year. Enough to whet the appetite and see if the fire could be rekindled. A few XC races... one DH race... nothing great, but it was fun. Of course, DH racing is probably one of the most expensive ways to racing bicycles. I'm lucky in that I'm a member of a grassroots team so I can get some parts at a discount. The bike I'll be building for about $5K would normally cost closer to $8K. It's not a cheap sport. And I'll spend the next 5 months training like mad.

Being realistic, I could probably autocross locally for less money (including buying/insuring a new car), even if I include a couple of the Tour events that aren't too far away. And sadly, results-wise I'm a better autocrosser than DH racer... But age isn't on my side, so I want to do the DH racing thing one last time.

ProDarwin
ProDarwin UltraDork
10/15/14 8:26 a.m.

You're spending a lot more on bikes than I, and likely closer to the pointy end of the field, so I suppose that's possible.

Just insuring ($300/yr), taxes ($100yr?), Mileage to/from autox events, say at 0.25/mile ($220), entry fees ($350+), and tires ($500) is approx $1500, which blows away my biking budget. Bike entry fees are usually cheaper, events are closer, and none of the associated car-ownership costs apply.

Plus, I have < $2000 in my 3 bikes combined (29er, 700c, & 26" clunker), and even a cheap autox car costs more than that. Add in the time value of money compared with something like my S2000 (+ higher insuraince) and the cost of autocrossing more than doubles.

Giant Purple Snorklewacker
Giant Purple Snorklewacker MegaDork
10/15/14 8:43 a.m.

In reply to ProDarwin: I misunderstood. When I said "bike" I meant an R1200GS Adventure. The same logic applies though... I can ride the thing 300 days a year, in the dirt, on the twisties, camping, etc for 3 years for about what a 3 day race weekend costs. I haven't tried yet - but I imagine hustling 800lbs of motorcycle and gear down a steep dirt trail ought to be as exciting as overtaking in the chute at Summit ;)

t25torx
t25torx HalfDork
10/16/14 12:07 p.m.

Thanks for the suggestions and information guys. So the direction I'm leaning towards now is picking up a prepped IT car or possibly building a Saturn SC2 to Chumpcar specs and running that everywhere.

Once I'm in the new place I can focus more on this and get the required safety gear to do a couple of Chump races, and see how I like it.

Ian F
Ian F UltimaDork
10/16/14 12:29 p.m.

In reply to ProDarwin:

Unfortunately, the events in the series I'm planning to race in are not nearby (scattered up and down the East Coast) and almost all will require a 2-night overnight stay (some three). Entry fees are higher than my region autocross events. I've considered camping but often it's a wash money-wise and the sites are often not close to the event. And if it rains, camping simply sucks ballz...

As far as a cheap race car that can be used for HPDE, a used IT car definitely seems like the way to go. Especially if you already have a set-up to tow one. If your local SCCA region has a forum or Facebook page, post a 'want to buy' request. I've seen a lot of cars sold that weren't advertised because the seller wasn't in any real rush and didn't want the hassle of the traditional selling process.

Zomby Woof
Zomby Woof PowerDork
10/16/14 1:02 p.m.
Giant Purple Snorklewacker wrote: No sane person does this. Get yourself a nice, affordable heroin habit.

In 97 I made $2500 running a mini stock. You can't beat circle track for cheap, and dirt for excitement.

ddavidv
ddavidv PowerDork
10/17/14 5:53 a.m.
Giant Purple Snorklewacker wrote: In reply to ProDarwin: I misunderstood. When I said "bike" I meant an R1200GS Adventure. The same logic applies though... I can ride the thing 300 days a year, in the dirt, on the twisties, camping, etc for 3 years for about what a 3 day race weekend costs. I haven't tried yet - but I imagine hustling 800lbs of motorcycle and gear down a steep dirt trail ought to be as exciting as overtaking in the chute at Summit ;)

No, it won't.

I like adventure touring and riding in the dirt, and it is fun, but nothing compares to racing on the track. I'm also finding that all those wonderful trips I planned on taking just don't seem to materialize like I thought they would. Since buying my V-Strom I've only done one multi-day trip, yet I've still found time to get to the track several times. I'm actually reconsidering the whole ADV bike thing and may go back to something less practical but more fun for day rides.

Flight Service
Flight Service MegaDork
10/17/14 7:03 a.m.

Since a kart isn't technically a "car" I am going to go just one step beyond that and say Dwarf car. You don't have the costs or the constant update concerns of a legends car and the series runs all over Florida. On a thread a couple of years ago I did a cost comparison between a Chump car and a Dwarf and you could run and entire season in a Dwarf cheaper than 3 races in a Chump because of the exorbitant entry fees in Chump. Long term Dwarf is a much cheaper series. If you are serious about it, I would look at what is local to you and go from there. You will burn a ton of cash traveling if you don't have local stuff. Easy way to cut expenses by not having to spend it off the track.

Just a thought.

"You know how you make a Million Dollars in racing? You start off with two."

Zomby Woof
Zomby Woof PowerDork
10/17/14 11:20 a.m.
ddavidv wrote: I like adventure touring and riding in the dirt, and it is fun, but nothing compares to racing on the track.

Buy a motocross bike and go racing. A day of racing costs me $60 for two classes, about $10 in gas and that's it. Hare scramble's even cheaper, and you get more seat time, and a shorter day, but less excitement.

Gearheadotaku
Gearheadotaku PowerDork
10/17/14 11:53 a.m.

If you don't mind constant left turns, your local roundy-round may be the best deal. most have a hobby or 4 cylinder class thats super cheap to run in.

Kenny_McCormic
Kenny_McCormic PowerDork
10/17/14 2:31 p.m.
Gearheadotaku wrote: If you don't mind constant left turns, your local roundy-round may be the best deal. most have a hobby or 4 cylinder class thats super cheap to run in.

This, I see Cavaliers and Neons already set up and caged on CL sub $1k occasionally. Class rules typically dictate running actual street tires, you burn pump gas(and probably don't go though more than a tank a night), and upkeep is mostly stock E36 M3can parts. There's usually a claimer rule in effect that's under $1000.

atm92484
atm92484 New Reader
10/17/14 8:27 p.m.

I vote Spridget. So far this season's consumables are two $600 sets of tires (went through only one of the sets) and a set of brakes (well under $300). Sadly there was also an engine in there but I'm guessing a fatigue failure is the root cause and I wouldn't consider it a consumable anyways.

I took the long and hard route and resurrected a 70s GP car that was sorted in its day. I spent between $7k and $8k on the car and the upgrades (almost all were safety related) but the car is exactly how I want it and it was a fun project. On the flip side one of my friends bought a running car on Ebay for $4,500 - provided you aren't interested in a project and want to race, they're out there.

Parts are cheap, consumables are cheap, and the little engines don't use much fuel through the course of a race weekend. As long as the car has the right safety equipment you can easily run SCCA and vintage events so finding places to get seat time is no issue. You can also easily tow it behind almost anything using a small open trailer.

PVGP 2014

Oh yeah and they're a lot of fun to drive.

Tom1200
Tom1200 Reader
10/17/14 10:07 p.m.

Spridgets are indeed good car, the motors are generally pretty sturdy as long as you don't twist them to hard. The is a particular one that races in my run group that is putting down 114 hp to,the wheels and weight something like 1200 lbs.....it scoots. I'll stick to my Datsun but I'm a fan of Spridgets as well.

        Tom
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