Notices
Racing & Drivers Education Forum
Sponsored by:
Sponsored by:

Want to get into racing!

 
Old 09-27-2009, 03:01 PM
  #1  
WHB Porsche
I'm Still Jenny
Rennlist Member
Thread Starter
 
WHB Porsche's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: New England
Posts: 5,199
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default Want to get into racing!

Hi all,

I'm looking for some advice from the wealth of knowledge that is this forum! Please forgive the poorly organized question that follows:

I did my first DE last August at Watkins Glen in a 993TT. Since then, I've done another 5 days at WGI and one at Thunderbolt (all with PCA). I'm thoroughly hooked/obsessed and want to get into racing. I don't want to build the 993TT into a track car as in my opinion 400hp. lets you be sloppy and make up for crappy habits. I'm not wedded to PCA club racing, but I'd prefer to drive a Porsche.

I suppose I'm looking for some advice as to where I should go from here? I want a dedicated track car that I can learn in and possibly race, but at the same time I've seen people's spouses/kids driving fully-built race cars awfully in the Green group and still going "fast." Basically, I want to drive something that will force me to drive well and learn from my mistakes, yet still be safe and suitably prepared for track-only use.

Also, does it make sense to go the DE -> Club Racing route, or should I be looking at the several-day racing schools (and where does one go from one of those schools)?

One last thought - what about Karts? I've been talking to the guys at SSC East about getting into the Rotax Max series. I could buy a brand new chassis, engine, and spares for <$10k and still be doing fast, exciting, wheel-to-wheel racing. How well does that sort of thing translate into sports cars?

Just about anybody can get into a racing series, but I really want to learn the right way and go from 993TT -> race car in the fewest number of car "steps."

Thanks in advance for any help/input!
WHB Porsche is offline  
Old 09-27-2009, 03:23 PM
  #2  
smlporsche
Super User
 
smlporsche's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: SML, VA & OBX, NC
Posts: 3,067
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default

I applaud your thinking about wanting to get into a car that will force you to be a better driver and not hide behind 400 horses...

That's what I started doing a few years ago. Learning to drive a "momentum" car i.e. one with relatively low hp will make it blatently obvious where you need to improve and will make you a better driver. After all, all cars are momentum cars to one degree or another...

If I were to do it over again now I would seriously consider getting into the spec boxster series that's gaining a lot of momentum (pun intended) all across the country. They're also relatively inexpensive.

Karts are also a great idea if that's what you'd like. Just ask any F1 driver.
smlporsche is offline  
Old 09-27-2009, 03:25 PM
  #3  
aeshultz
User
 
aeshultz's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Columbus, OH, still back of the pack
Posts: 854
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default

Search, search, search.
Tons of useful discussion on this topic on this forum.
Commercial schools, Spec Miata, 944 Cup, SCCA, tons of options that will _make_ you drive the car.
aeshultz is offline  
Old 09-27-2009, 03:37 PM
  #4  
bobt993
Addict
Rennlist Member
 
bobt993's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Philly Burbs
Posts: 3,063
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Default

Rent Spec E30, Miata, or 944 and do the NASA racing school to prepare for your first race. Get as much practice as possible at DE's prior. Consider buying a sorted race cars low HP ^^^^. You can short cut to racing by doing the SCCA race program, but your going to be better prepared completing some DE's prior with PCA and any other organization.
bobt993 is offline  
Old 09-27-2009, 03:48 PM
  #5  
Gary R.
Addict
Rennlist Member
 
Gary R.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Valencia, Spain
Posts: 14,999
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default

Charlie - you've done a total of seven track days, is that correct? I would put the $5K you would spend on two 3 day Skippy (or similar) courses and spend it on DE days and professional one-on-one instruction/coaching. Caveat - I would only do this if someone in the know said you have the ability or skillset to dive in so soon. You can buy a track ready 944 and trailer for $10K, learn to drive it a DE's, and see where that takes you.
Gary R. is online now  
Old 09-27-2009, 03:57 PM
  #6  
WHB Porsche
I'm Still Jenny
Rennlist Member
Thread Starter
 
WHB Porsche's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: New England
Posts: 5,199
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by Gary R. View Post
Charlie - you've done a total of seven track days, is that correct? I would put the $5K you would spend on two 3 day Skippy (or similar) courses and spend it on DE days and professional one-on-one instruction/coaching. Caveat - I would only do this if someone in the know said you have the ability or skillset to dive in so soon. You can buy a track ready 944 and trailer for $10K, learn to drive it a DE's, and see where that takes you.
9 days, not that it makes much of a difference. I'm really asking about the schools more as education/experience (as compared to DE), not just to complete 5 days at Skippy and go racing.

I'm asking these questions so soon as I know that I want to get serious about this "hobby" and I could make more out of my experiences by switching cars now, rather than 20 trackdays down the line.
WHB Porsche is offline  
Old 09-27-2009, 04:03 PM
  #7  
ltc
Super Moderator
Needs More Cowbell

Lifetime Rennlist
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 29,318
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default

FWIW from up here in the cheap seats....

Seat time, seat time, seat time.

Karts will definitely provide some of the lowest cost seat time / $.
That having been said, your first kart should definitely be a single speed TaG type...stay way from the 6speed/50hp (on a 200lb chassis) ICC/KZ2 machines....you'll likely break a rib on your first day out, assuming you stay on track....besides, they are a bit expensive to operate!

You can drive them year round (Florida Winter Tour is one of THE events of the winter) and around the country (you can do an arrive and drive if you don't want to trailer).

It is quite a physical workout, after which it will make driving most cars much easier.
It also does an incredible job of teaching you the meaning of 'driving by the seat of your pants' since you drive a kart with your rear end.
(my son got his license less than a year ago and even in normal dry conditions can 'feel' the car moving underneath him before I even notice it).

It is a nice supplement to full size racing, since you can do it almost every weekend when there isn't an auto race and if you get really hooked, there are several very large national races and series (the Robopong is currently running at Mark Dinsmore's New Castle track and attracts pro drivers from open wheel and tin top/NA$CAR).
ltc is offline  
Old 09-27-2009, 04:04 PM
  #8  
analogmike
Addict
Rennlist Member
 
analogmike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Danbury, CT, USA
Posts: 3,725
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Default

I would run as many DEs and autocrosses as possible, after you get the feel of the car, the professional schools will be a lot more valuable.
analogmike is offline  
Old 09-27-2009, 04:09 PM
  #9  
BostonDMD
Addict
Rennlist Member
 
BostonDMD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: MA
Posts: 6,925
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default

Charlie, what is your goal?
I did the racing school route for gaining the proper basics then I bought car a ready to go race momentum car, (older 911) did one year of DEs and then went club racing.....
If you are thinking pro it also depends on your present age......
BostonDMD is offline  
Old 09-27-2009, 04:24 PM
  #10  
WHB Porsche
I'm Still Jenny
Rennlist Member
Thread Starter
 
WHB Porsche's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: New England
Posts: 5,199
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by BostonDMD View Post
Charlie, what is your goal?
I did the racing school route for gaining the proper basics then I bought car a ready to go race momentum car, (older 911) did one year of DEs and then went club racing.....
If you are thinking pro it also depends on your present age......
Obviously pro racing would be amazing (I'd assume 19 is young enough), but I think it makes sense to focus on this as a hobby for now!

Thanks again for all the comments, feel free to keep them coming!
WHB Porsche is offline  
Old 09-27-2009, 06:03 PM
  #11  
Potomac-Greg
Super User
 
Potomac-Greg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Suburban DC
Posts: 2,641
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by WHB Porsche View Post
Obviously pro racing would be amazing (I'd assume 19 is young enough), but I think it makes sense to focus on this as a hobby for now!

Thanks again for all the comments, feel free to keep them coming!
You do have to start with "why". You're obviously not bored with DEs. If you just want to be out there toe-to-toe, then as good as track time is, I would make the leap sooner and mix DEs with racing.
Potomac-Greg is offline  
Old 09-27-2009, 06:17 PM
  #12  
DrJupeman
Addict
Rennlist Member
 
DrJupeman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 9,154
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default

You can get a Boxster cheaply and do not need to build it into spec to start (which will be 2x the cost of the base Boxster). The '97-99s have a nice amount of HP for a beginner but are not butt slow like older 914s, etc (though they are GREAT learning cars, I'm not knocking them). I'd do that over tracking the 993TT. I'd also recommend 40-50 DE days before you think about racing. Some will need less, some will need more.

I think karts are also a great idea. I'd suggest doing both if you can afford it.
DrJupeman is offline  
Old 09-27-2009, 08:44 PM
  #13  
Professor Helmüt Tester
User
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Crash Platz
Posts: 1,139
Likes: 0
Received 6 Likes on 3 Posts
Default

Buy a kart. Spend a year in karts, but spend it in the more highly competitive venues. If you're moderately successful there, you can come back to cars and you'll run up front. Race-craft, car set-up, etc etc all transfer.

You might find that you don't really like it that much (or that you suck), and you'll save a bundle doing that in karts. If you are good, you'll only make yourself better in karts. Stay away from full-size cars for as long as possible.

Plus, car guys are *******. Kart guys are kool.
Professor Helmüt Tester is offline  
Old 09-27-2009, 09:22 PM
  #14  
Larry Herman
F1 Resident Adult
Rennlist Member

Small Business Sponsor

 
Larry Herman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Lambertville, NJ
Posts: 10,432
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by Professor Helmüt Tester View Post
Buy a kart. Spend a year in karts, but spend it in the more highly competitive venues. If you're moderately successful there, you can come back to cars and you'll run up front. Race-craft, car set-up, etc etc all transfer.

You might find that you don't really like it that much (or that you suck), and you'll save a bundle doing that in karts. If you are good, you'll only make yourself better in karts. Stay away from full-size cars for as long as possible.

Plus, car guys are *******. Kart guys are kool.
BBBbbut you race a car?
__________________
Larry Herman
2016 Ford Transit Connect Titanium LWB
2016 Chevy Volt - Electricity can be fun!
National PCA Instructor
Past Flames:
1994 RS America Club Racer
2004 GT3 Track Car
1984 911 Carrera Club Racer
1974 914/4 2.0 Track Car

CLICK HERE to see some of my ancient racing videos.
Larry Herman is offline  
Old 09-27-2009, 10:04 PM
  #15  
Professor Helmüt Tester
User
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Crash Platz
Posts: 1,139
Likes: 0
Received 6 Likes on 3 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by Larry Herman View Post
BBBbbut you race a car?
Wanna see my "****** credentials" ?
Professor Helmüt Tester is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - About Us - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

© 2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
 
  • Ask a Question
    Get answers from community experts
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: