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chaparral HalfDork
10/18/14 8:44 a.m.

An ICC kart is less than two seconds off the lap record for a freakin' ATLANTIC at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

It fits in a 5'x8' trailer, costs around $5000 for all you can handle, and you'll go through roughly $500 in a weekend. That gets you a set of tires, a few gallons of avgas & oil, a piston every few weeks, trailer towing mileage, and a motel overnight. The big question is - are you in good enough shape for it?

I run an ICA. It's scary. If it wasn't so slow off the line I'd have gotten FTD at the first autox I took it to. I've got $2500 in it.

10/18/14 6:11 p.m.

Occasional lurker here, now registered to give my 2 cents since I just went through this a couple of years ago. Agree with the others who suggest lower power, momentum racers in NASA, SCCA or Vintage wheel to wheel racing. It will take you 1-2 years to learn how to drive fast and in traffic, and there's no better car to learn good racing and car handling skills than a momentum race car. Wish I had known some of the info I now know before I started.

By all means avoid any thoughts of building your own race car. Buy a running mid or back of the pack car which can pass tech in a specific class. You will get faster over time, and lo and behold, your back of the pack car will suddenly become a mid-pack car (without ever touching the engine) because you will acquire better driving skills. And have one of the veteran racers in your run group help you with set up as a properly set up car (alignment, suspension, corner balance) is worth its weight in gold. Everyone wants to help out a rookie since most clubs need and welcome new members.

Vintage racing is great. Try to pick a sorted, running car with lower cost consumables and available replacement "period correct" parts. The Vintage community is very friendly and helpful. I run a Datsun 510 in B Sedan. Wasn't a cheap car to acquire and get to BS specs, and some parts are unobtainium expensive like a Datsun comp box and differentials, but of course, I just had to have a 510. I figure I spend about $900-$1300 per race weekend (leaded race gas at $11/gallon!!), and spend 2 nights in a hotel/motel unless I camp at the track. And this excludes all the other stuff like maintenance, repairs, tires, etc. Also, unless you like to wrench - I don't as I have only rudimentary skills and don't have the space or the time - be prepared to have your local race mechanic do a nut and bolt check, fluids check/change, alignment check, valve adjustment etc before every race weekend. Those are all additional costs. Hope this helps.

plance1 SuperDork
10/19/14 7:34 p.m.
Flight Service wrote: 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."

Im gonna have to google "dwarf car" I know about legends cars but not dwarf cars.

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
10/19/14 9:30 p.m.
Zomby Woof wrote:
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.

I did this for a while. Now a lot of my bones don't touch anymore. Fun while it lasted, though, and I was in the best shape I'd been since high school. Super fun, but stuff can go real wrong real fast. I suppose the same is true on a road course, but I never got the sense of chaos or unpredictability on a road course that I did on an MX track. Still, though, being 20 feet off the ground while you;re rubbing shoulders with someone is pretty cool.

Tom1200 Reader
10/19/14 10:41 p.m.

I will also chime in on the off road motorcycle racing entry fees are cheap and you can buy them cheap. My 2001 YZ125 cost me $900 and it had an Ohlins shock on it but as JG mentioned getting it wrong won't do your body good. Road racing a bike can be done semi cheap, especially if like me you weigh 140lbs, a used 125 GP bike can be had for 3-5K and they do not need a ton of maintenance......again falling off will be very bad. We were talking cars though, realistically the cheapest car will be one that you can run locally. Same as a few of the other posters I also recommend momentum cars.

Basil Exposition
Basil Exposition Dork
10/20/14 8:42 a.m.

In reply to atm92484:

What tires are you using on your Spridget? Looks like the only 2 choices are R888 and Hoosiers and I'm hard pressed to find a set of either for $600.

skilewis74 New Reader
3/27/24 2:36 p.m.

+1 on a kart. Cheapest is a Briggs and Stratton L 206, next up in $ & speed is a Yamaha 100 direct drive two stroke, then a Rotax Max or X30 if you can do all the engine rebuilds yourself, then a shifter using a CR125 (Easier to find a race class anywhere in the US than an ICC) for ~$10-12K race ready. A ICC is more expensive than a CR125 & only fractionally faster, $5-6.5K would only cover the motor. Any of these would be the easiest to find multiple tracks & clubs near you to race with. Ayrton Senna has said a 125 shifter is harder to drive than a F1 car.

Next in price I'd say either a Legend's car (in  the US), aka Aussie Racing Car (ARC) in Australia. They are the same thing, a 5/8 spec race car, in the US it's a Legend's w/ 1940's style fiberglass bodywork or ARC resembling a modern Camero for $17-18K. Probably the safest in a crash.

But I'd say the best bang for buck has to be a 250cc Div 1 superkart. About the same cost as a Legend & could still theoretically fit it in the back of a full size truck. Depending on the track, as fast or faster than a prototype. I believe one holds the outright track record at Willow Springs by Eddie Lawson. Although arguably the least safe & requiring a motorcycle leather race suit.

Peabody MegaDork
3/27/24 4:33 p.m.

Ten year old thread, I know, But what's funny is that if you didn't look at the dates this could have easily been posted yesterday.  Almost everybody is still here. And I'm still racing motocross

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