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Looking to get into a cheap racing series

 
Old 06-13-2003, 10:02 PM
  #16  
Steve Lavigne
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Tim, I mostly agree with you regarding the level of carnage in sprint karting. In a single season, I had two bent axles and two broken tie rods. I also managed to roll the kart once. Still, I raced 20 weekends, which equated to about 50 race starts (some weekends I raced on Saturday and Sunday, and each race had two or three heats.)

Still, during this time, I rarely saw injuries, and when I did, they were not significant. During this year of heavy racing, the worst I saw was a broken arm. Since then, I have seen more severe injuries, but they are not the norm. When I rolled my kart, I got nothing more than a couple of bruises and was able to easily fix my kart and race the next weekend. One of the great things about karting is that you can have extremely close racing, and if you have contact, it is easy to rebuild the kart for the next race weekend, or even the next heat.

There tends to be more contact in the large entry spec classes, especially at the lower club levels. At the regional and national levels, the amount of contact is usually severely reduced (ignoring this last weekends SKUSA promoto street race in Texas).

George, did you sprint race (small kart sized tracks) or road race (using normal auto racing tracks)? In road racing, there is usually quite a bit less contact, but the consequences for that contact are more severe.

EDIT: Tim, one more thing, typically the closer you are to the front, the less carnage there is.
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Old 06-13-2003, 11:42 PM
  #17  
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Steve, I raced sprint karts in the KT100 pipe class. I've been in many races with 20 karts in the field and have never experienced the kind of carnage you guys have seen. You guys must have raced in the World Wrestling and Karting Federation.

Seriously, we hosted many WKA national events, I've raced in a CanAm series (karts not cars), a regional series, as well as my local club ( <a href="http://www.gvkc.org" target="_blank">http://www.gvkc.org</a> ). I'm shocked at the kind of antics you guys have been subjected to.

The only place I've seen that sort of stuff is speedway karts.
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Old 06-13-2003, 11:50 PM
  #18  
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I raced a KT100 pipe kart and a 125cc gearbox kart. The most carnage seemed to be in the highly subscribed low horsepower KT100 superbox class, but I think now the Rotax Max class may have taken that role to some extent.

Pre or post sidepod?

<img src="http://www.kartsltd.com/products/bodywork/images/sidepod-black150x91.jpg" alt=" - " />

I think people may have been a little more concerned about wheel to wheel contact when they didn't have sidepods.
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Old 06-13-2003, 11:54 PM
  #19  
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On another note, here is an accident report from a national race this last weekend on a street circuit in Texas. This level of carnage is far from the norm, but I think racing on a street course is usually a dodgy affair. That said, I had the best time ever at a street circuit on Vancouver Island.

<a href="http://www.ekartingnews.com/news_info.php?n=1457" target="_blank">SKUSA Update ľ TMS Accident Report</a>
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Old 06-14-2003, 01:07 AM
  #20  
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</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana,Tahoma,Helvetica">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana,Tahoma,Helvetica">Originally posted by Steve Lavigne:
<strong>I raced a KT100 pipe kart and a 125cc gearbox kart. The most carnage seemed to be in the highly subscribed low horsepower KT100 superbox class, but I think now the Rotax Max class may have taken that role to some extent.

Pre or post sidepod?

<img src="http://www.kartsltd.com/products/bodywork/images/sidepod-black150x91.jpg" alt=" - " />

I think people may have been a little more concerned about wheel to wheel contact when they didn't have sidepods.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana,Tahoma,Helvetica">I started out without sidepods. In fact, my first car didn't even have full length side nerf bars. The Formula K World Championships were in Jacksonville, FL the year before I started (I know a couple of people who raced in the world championships in 86). Once Formula K came here, everyone was looking for sidepods. I cannot remember when I finally got them

I think you are right, w/o sidepods folks just didn't get into the bumpercars thing. For that reason, I don't think sidepods are the best idea, but they look cool.
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Old 06-14-2003, 02:16 AM
  #21  
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</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana,Tahoma,Helvetica">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana,Tahoma,Helvetica">Originally posted by Geo:
<strong>I think you are right, w/o sidepods folks just didn't get into the bumpercars thing. For that reason, I don't think sidepods are the best idea, but they look cool.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana,Tahoma,Helvetica">Ever see how much contact there is in national/international European karting? (FYI for the peanut gallery, there is more in European karting). Now, ask yourself, which drivers make it to F1, and which don't? Not necessarily a deciding factor, but definitely a factor.

Another thing I just thought about. As tires got stickier, the rear track got wider (55 inches) and the axles got softer. These days, the typical sprint axle is hollow with a 40mm OD and a ~1mm wall thickness. Serious racers typically have 3 or more different stiffness axles to choose from.

My home kart track was incredibly narrow (2 kart widths), had a bend in the middle of the only real straightaway, and a turn that could just be taken flat out (KT100 pipe) after the straightaway right before you had to brake for a sharp corner. Add in a top 4 invert (local club race) for the second heat, point based rather than final based scoring, and a driver with a defensive line, and you end up with a near Monaco type situation.
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Old 06-14-2003, 11:42 AM
  #22  
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</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana,Tahoma,Helvetica">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana,Tahoma,Helvetica">Originally posted by Steve Lavigne:
<strong>Another thing I just thought about. As tires got stickier, the rear track got wider (55 inches) and the axles got softer. These days, the typical sprint axle is hollow with a 40mm OD and a ~1mm wall thickness. Serious racers typically have 3 or more different stiffness axles to choose from.
</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana,Tahoma,Helvetica">Oh yeah, that's definitely after my time. We were using 1 1/4" axles with about 1/4-3/8" thickness. Never saw a chromo axle get bent, even in huge accidents. We were still running with the 50" wide rule too.

</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana,Tahoma,Helvetica">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana,Tahoma,Helvetica">Originally posted by Steve Lavigne:
<strong>My home kart track was incredibly narrow (2 kart widths), had a bend in the middle of the only real straightaway, and a turn that could just be taken flat out (KT100 pipe) after the straightaway right before you had to brake for a sharp corner. Add in a top 4 invert (local club race) for the second heat, point based rather than final based scoring, and a driver with a defensive line, and you end up with a near Monaco type situation.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana,Tahoma,Helvetica">Oh man. You guys might as well have been given the Colt 1911s. We would draw for starting position and do a total invert for the second start and do a straight-up for the last race based upon the day's points.

Just to reiterate, karting is such an incredible training ground. So much of what you can learn in karting carries over to cars. This includes off-track as well, as in working set-ups, preparation, etc.
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Old 06-16-2003, 02:55 AM
  #23  
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</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana,Tahoma,Helvetica">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana,Tahoma,Helvetica">Can't afford to race a P-car, but can afford to race a CRX? The ITA-winning CRX's cost in the neighborhood of $25-35k to build, depending on whom you believe.</font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana,Tahoma,Helvetica">I'd say the best way to begin to race "cheap" is to buy not build. That figure above is probably close to what it costs to "build" any car that runs at the front of the field from zilch. That's why - especially if you don't know yet what you will want down the road - I'd suggest you buy a built car. You will probably buy a car for 25 to 50 cents on the dollar and be able to race immediately. You can buy a top 3 (at the ARRC) CRX for 11-12k and all you'd need to do is change the lubricants before you go racing. It would cost you twice the money to build the same car.

I am not of the opinion that spec racing is remotely cheap. I know on paper it should be but to buy a competetive SM around here, you are probably looking at somewhere between 16 to 20k the have a top 3 car built. You *can* build a 10k SM, it will not win races irrespective of the driver IMO. IIRC, SRFs go for 18K+ for used cars. I would assume that 944 Cup would fall in the same category in time.

Personally, I think an ITA/B/C car is a lesser expensive route to take for w2w club racing. It would cost me at least twice the yearly budget to run my 944S in ITS than it does to run my ITA CRX. I'd prefer to run twice as many races.
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Old 06-16-2003, 11:39 AM
  #24  
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Great discussion about the economic impact of racing. I club race a Class D 993 but have a 125cc Leopard touch and go Kart. I am fortunate in living in Jacksonville so I have local access. This sure beats the two and a half hour drive to the nearest sports car track. The interesting thing about the Karts is your ability to experience things happening on track a lot quicker than you would in a sports car.

I'll end on this note, as expensive as you think racing is, my wife and kids can beat it in the hunter / jumper world of horses. So, buy a race car and be smug knowing you aren't doing the most expensive hobby!
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Old 06-16-2003, 12:36 PM
  #25  
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If you can get a SCCA monthly magizine, there are classifieds in the back. I've seen IT cars in there anywhere from 3k-10k.
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Old 06-16-2003, 01:58 PM
  #26  
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Likewise, improvedtouring.com is a great place to hang out and shop for IT cars. You should take what Adam's saying about running his CRX vs a 944S with a grain of salt, since he's running the dominant ITA car, whereas the 944S would be quite unproven in ITS... <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="wink.gif" />

Kidding, but also serious; OTOH, I'd expect he's probably right that it would cost a little bit more. Those Milledge motors are pricey.

I stand by my original statement, what are you in it for? Do you want to race a P-car? Do you want to race cheaply? Do you want to maximize on-track time? Minimize off-track work/maintenance/repair? How much do you want to pay, monthly? How often do you want to race? Do you want a level playing field with only driver-to-driver variation, or do you really want to be able to play with the car? Do you want limited mods to keep the cost down, or do you want more hands-free rules with the disadvantage of possible cost to stay competitive? These are all questions you need to answer yourself.

Want to race a P-car cheap? There's an ITA 924 fully prepped and racing in Boulder, CO, FS. Asking price was around $4k. Of course, it won't win an ITA race - needs to say Honda on the front. But it's cheap, reliable, and fun to drive. OTOH, it's basically already built (estimated cost of $10-12k I'd bet), so you can't upgrade much, it's pretty well built to the limit of the rules. Then again, that means you wouldn't need to do much to get racing. But if you really want to be competitive, you need Hoosiers, and those are pricey. You can buy cheaper tires, but they're slower. And you'll need a trailer and tow vehicle. Of course, if you got a kart, then all you'd need is a truck or van - no trailer req'd. OTOH, you could buy a Honda CRX for a little bit more and get to win a race.

See where it goes? You need to decide your priorities first, see where that takes you.
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Old 06-16-2003, 07:34 PM
  #27  
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</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana,Tahoma,Helvetica">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana,Tahoma,Helvetica">Originally posted by 924RACR:
<strong>Of course, if you got a kart, then all you'd need is a truck or van - no trailer req'd. OTOH, you could buy a Honda CRX for a little bit more and get to win a race.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana,Tahoma,Helvetica">Or, you could get a kart and tow it with a CRX.

That's what I did. I had a gen I CRX and a borrowed double wide snowmobile trailer for my first season that was bigger than the car! What a hoot.

Probably could have towed the CRX with the kart.
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Old 06-16-2003, 09:24 PM
  #28  
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you want to race cheap, I have the car for you .
It's a bullet proof porsche 928 race car. you can run:
ITE SCCA
PRC
PCA GT2s
POC R6
and NASA

Ive run it in 2 open events and two 25 min races, and ive driven the car to the track all 4 times. it puts out great V8 power, upgraded suspension, and all the things that usually are troublesome, are new! (ie timing belt, water pump, master cylinder, p/s hoses, etc) fully sorted and very easy to drive.

Asking $4900 for the car only with stock rims and tires, or $5900 with 9.5" and 11" Forgelines and 80% new Kumhos.

Located in Nor California.

Let me know if you are serious about getting into this sport. this is a great way to get started and is the car is a very cheap car to race.

Mark Kibort
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Old 06-16-2003, 09:26 PM
  #29  
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<a href="http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=2418232205&category=6432&rd=1" target="_blank">http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=2418232205&category=6432&rd=1</a>
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Old 06-16-2003, 09:32 PM
  #30  
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a fast spec 911 in NASA PRC will cost a round $50k for a nice one and $70k for a front runner. Miatas, are miatas!!! 944s are fun and would be a nice series to run, but it hasnt taken off out west yet. The 928 is a fun car that is very easy to drive and service. with a little extra added to the car, it will be as fast as the spec 911, but 1/5th the cost!!

Rarely, at races, do you ever see a 928 with even its hood open!! 100 races, and only 1 DNF last month due to a bad waterpump. As long as you dont over rev or over heat, the engines just dont wear out or loose power!! parts are cheap and there is quite a growing following in PCA and NASA!!

MK

</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana,Tahoma,Helvetica">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana,Tahoma,Helvetica">Originally posted by Rick964:
<strong>Check out the spec series. There are several around being run by SCCA, NASA and others using cars like Miatas or 944 or even 911s. You can search on here for 944 cup or spec 944 for some more info.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana,Tahoma,Helvetica">
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