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Wally (Forum Supporter)
Wally (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
9/20/21 3:28 p.m.

In reply to Tyler H (Forum Supporter) :

Add step sister for even more 

frenchyd
frenchyd UltimaDork
9/20/21 3:36 p.m.
Tyler H (Forum Supporter) said:

Karts, Dirt Ovals.  In the South, that's why everyone asks how much money you win when they find out you race.  

Dirt ovals are ubiquitous, there's tons of fans and competitors, usually separated by less than a 45 minute tow.

If you want to go W2W on a track, then the absolute cheapest way to compete are the budget endurance series out there.  Still a bunch of relatively rich dudes compared to any dirt track.

PS...LBCs don't exist in racing anymore, outside of SVRA/HSR etc. wink

I like what you're saying.  ( except about LBC's) blush  circle track is really great racing for little net money.  Prize money takes a fair amount of the sting away. Even 2-3-4 th place usually puts a few bucks back in your pocket and probably is deductible.  
  The budget endurance races aren't very budget. It's very hard to put a car on the track for much under $5-7000  plus a $2000 entry fee, gas, tires, brakes, and wear. Now add spares,  crew, cost of getting there, staying there, food, drinks etc.  the first weekend might be over $20,000 ( motor home and trailer ). 
    Now against that, the car will retain value, as will the motorhome and trailer. 
But how long?  Ask that accountant.  
   Now about those LBC's 
I'm constantly  seeing  cheap LBC's  that tempt me. None of them make any sense to restore, but racing them?   That's another kettle of fish.  MGTD's  could be put on the grid for a few thousand dollars. Oh sure, you'd have to be content with a top speed slower than the average minivan cruises the freeway at  and acceleration best described as tepid. 
  Group one had me thinking about a straight 8 Buick racer with 4 SU sidedraft carbs. ( I digress ). 
     It seems like those Austin Healey's   And various other crusty dusty cars are advertised  for silly money but seldom sell for that once a budget is calculated only to pop back up a year or two later.  
    
      
       
     

Tom1200
Tom1200 SuperDork
9/20/21 3:36 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

Frenchy, you can race on a school bus driver's income now because you probably don't have a whole lot in the way of other debt and your car was built a long time ago :) You've been spending pocket change for a long time.

A good point; I didn't include all the tools I've purchased as most of them were from when I worked as a mechanic near 40 years ago. Some of  the more specialized stuff were Christmas or Birthday gifts but even with all of that I have $750 worth of tools I've collected that are directly related to the race cars.

preach (fs)
preach (fs) Dork
9/20/21 3:37 p.m.

Cheapest for me:

Take wife's Charger to New England Dragway and run sub-14s (hopefully) and not break her AWD system (or anything else).

Take the Cayman to NED and run sub-13s and not break anything.

AutoX

Maybe LeMons in the '91 GTI, but that does get pricey even with the "$500" limit.

The Charger and the Cayman would be great bracket runners for drag racing.

Tom1200
Tom1200 SuperDork
9/20/21 3:38 p.m.

In reply to frenchyd :

You're not some old geezeer, you're our old geezer.

Note Iceracer would say you are not old.

bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter)
bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
9/20/21 3:44 p.m.

Stock class circle track is the cheapest. Especially claimer rules which make spending money pointless. It is a stock four cylinder (find a decent commuter car with crash damage on Craigslist) on stock tires with a very basic cage or hoop. And you get huge seat time. My first year cost around $1500 including track membership, car and gear.

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
9/20/21 4:00 p.m.

I'd love to be able to spend $250 entry fees for a weekend plus be able to buy a used racecar, or build one by not going to movies (I don't), and not buying drinks (I drink water), etc. I should learn to weld, even though I can't afford to buy a welder right now. Build my own trailer...

Sure, if I do exactly what you did I'll have exactly the results you did.

Actually, life just doesn't always work that way. I'm not trying to make it on a bus driver salary, but on the other hand I have two kids at home, wife can't work because of the pandemic, I'm paying student loans, I have a house payment. You don't know me, you don't know anything about how I live.

Autocross allows me to at least get involved in some sort of motorsport, with entry fees running from $35-55 per event. I don't have to buy a Hans, a new set of tires every event or even every few events, I don't need a fire system, and I don't need a roll cage. The chances of breaking the car are very low, and I bought smart and the car is worth more than I paid for it. I get to participate, have fun, and make friends. I'm sorry that my source of joy is not up to your standards.

Matt B (fs)
Matt B (fs) UltraDork
9/20/21 4:06 p.m.

I think someone may have already mentioned it, but f your time is worth anything by far the cheapest way to go W2W racing on road courses is buying weekend seats in a budget endurance series like Lemons, Champ, Lucky Dog, etc.  

We built our own Lemons car and while I don't have regrets it was a huge time suck.  I'm not sure I'd do it again with my current family priorities.

johndej
johndej Dork
9/20/21 4:15 p.m.

Looks like there are a few indoor kart tracks in the area which do league nights. Get in there and get to know a couple of folks and I'm sure you'll have a good time.

Tom1200
Tom1200 SuperDork
9/20/21 4:57 p.m.

In reply to Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) :

More than once I told my wife my life would be a lot simpler if I didn't have the wheel to wheel bug; I just roll up in my car, have a good time and go home. It would be a lot cheaper too.

Prior to driving a friends F500, then subsequently buying my F500 I hadn't autocrossed regularly in several years. I'd maybe bring the Datsun once a year or I'd get an invite to coach and drive.

The F500 has made autocross fun again and I'm enjoying it a lot.  

frenchyd
frenchyd UltimaDork
9/20/21 5:11 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

Frenchy, you can race on a school bus driver's income now because you probably don't have a whole lot in the way of other debt and your car was built a long time ago :) You've been spending pocket change for a long time.

You also talk about the camaraderie of the paddock when one person pulls an awesome pass on another and everyone rejoices. But you left out the part where one person pulls a dodgy move and someone else ends up in the wall with a wrecked car. It's not so much high fiving then. Autocross (and other variations that are not W2W but which are certainly not weak handshakes, like stage rally) is car and driver versus clock, and generally that's a far more supportive paddock in my experience.

Keith you'd have a point if I  saw very much of that. But Vintage really slaps you hard if you're bone headed. Frankly they don't want you. I'm sure it happens. But I keep seeing the same cars coming back.  Once in a while I see an accident where someone smacks a barrier or something and after a new fender or whatever they are back again. Now facing a 13 month probation.  
    I don't have a lot of other debt because I don't buy a newish car to only go autocrossing.  My speed fix I could get at track days.   That's where you can stretch your cars legs in a near autocross setting.  

frenchyd
frenchyd UltimaDork
9/20/21 5:17 p.m.

In reply to Matt B (fs) :

I prepared a Jag for Chump Car. Then went and watched them. I'm glad I did.  While many were great drivers there were enough clueless novices to scare the heck out of me.   
    I actually had $500 in my car track ready. But turning over all that work to somebody with the $500 entry fee and required safety gear didn't seem very prudent.  

frenchyd
frenchyd UltimaDork
9/20/21 5:39 p.m.
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) said:

I'd love to be able to spend $250 entry fees for a weekend plus be able to buy a used racecar, or build one by not going to movies (I don't), and not buying drinks (I drink water), etc. I should learn to weld, even though I can't afford to buy a welder right now. Build my own trailer...

Sure, if I do exactly what you did I'll have exactly the results you did.

Actually, life just doesn't always work that way. I'm not trying to make it on a bus driver salary, but on the other hand I have two kids at home, wife can't work because of the pandemic, I'm paying student loans, I have a house payment. You don't know me, you don't know anything about how I live.

Autocross allows me to at least get involved in some sort of motorsport, with entry fees running from $35-55 per event. I don't have to buy a Hans, a new set of tires every event or even every few events, I don't need a fire system, and I don't need a roll cage. The chances of breaking the car are very low, and I bought smart and the car is worth more than I paid for it. I get to participate, have fun, and make friends. I'm sorry that my source of joy is not up to your standards.

 I'm sorry if I come across that negative about autocross. If we met face to face you'd find me polite and reasonable. 
    But the nature of  this form of communication has me coming across as harsh and judgmental. For that I apologize.  
      I just feel there are cheaper, more realistic ways than autocrossing to get your speed fix. 
    I understand track days. That's a relatively modest cost to get a speed fix. Usually done with a daily driver.  Not wheel to wheel,  true, but at velocities that at least might stir  the blood up a bit. 
     I raised Two girls and sent them to college so I understand to a degree what you are going through.
      I started with a $300 hulk. No engine transmission, wheels tires or brakes.  I worked on it whenever allowed which given my work schedule was hard to come by. However because it was so valueless to others I was never tempted to "cash in my Chips"

Suddenly it was done and fun could begin.  35 years later selling it kept me from losing my house.  
   Now I'm starting over with a $500 car. Bit by bit it's getting there. It's going to take a bit but for less than most spend autocrossing I'll be going wheel to wheel.    

frenchyd
frenchyd UltimaDork
9/20/21 5:41 p.m.
Tom1200 said:

In reply to frenchyd :

You're not some old geezeer, you're our old geezer.

Note Iceracer would say you are not old.

Thanks!  That's kind of you to say!  

frenchyd
frenchyd UltimaDork
9/20/21 7:47 p.m.
Tom1200 said:
Keith Tanner said:

Frenchy, you can race on a school bus driver's income now because you probably don't have a whole lot in the way of other debt and your car was built a long time ago :) You've been spending pocket change for a long time.

A good point; I didn't include all the tools I've purchased as most of them were from when I worked as a mechanic near 40 years ago. Some of  the more specialized stuff were Christmas or Birthday gifts but even with all of that I have $750 worth of tools I've collected that are directly related to the race cars.

If it's not part of the race car it's not part of the race car, it's not part of the race car budget. 

frenchyd
frenchyd UltimaDork
9/20/21 8:26 p.m.
BMWGeoff said:

I'm working on a life goal of competing in a race before I hit 40. I got a complete, race ready (aside from a few expiring/wear items) car for CDN$6500 (a bit over $5k at the going exchange rate).

The required parts to convert from street to race would've cost more than that even if I did all my own labour. I love working on cars, but buying an already built car saves both time and money by a significant margin.

At the end of the day you need to decide: is your goal to build a race car or to race a race car?

But as modest as that budget is, never in my life could I come up with $6500 cash for a race car.   

  1.     Plus I have never seen a used race car that is reliable.   Some of that is just getting to know what parts need attention and when. Some is parts worn out. Some is parts not up to the task.   
     
      Then there is the whole connection thing. What are the chances of you finding exactly what you want in the color you prefer, with exactly your preferences, sizes, fit , etc. 
  2.  I came across that this weekend. He struggled to figure out the new car.   Didn't understand switches, neglected loose bolt, plus others in the club knew how fast the car had been and compared his speed/skill with the original owners. 
j_tso
j_tso Reader
9/20/21 8:58 p.m.

Have we considered renting a seat? Are we trying to just get on track or get a race car?

Obviously it varies greatly but that gets involvement without the commitment of owning the car.

Tom1200
Tom1200 SuperDork
9/20/21 9:30 p.m.

In reply to frenchyd :

In 1991 one I attended SCCA drivers school in the 1200. I'd spent two years building it and had $1800 in it. I got close outs on all my gear and was all in for $500. I bought a trailer for $300. I had just enough money for the drivers school entry but a friend loaned me the $125 so I could race the next day.

In today's money that's $5,200. Basically I'd set the equivalent of $225 a month aside. I did some side work and wheeled and dealed here and there.

frenchyd
frenchyd UltimaDork
9/20/21 10:15 p.m.
j_tso said:

Have we considered renting a seat? Are we trying to just get on track or get a race car?

Obviously it varies greatly but that gets involvement without the commitment of owning the car.

If all you want is a ride,  a rental is your answer. If you find out you enjoy racing you can then start getting your race car.  

frenchyd
frenchyd UltimaDork
9/20/21 10:38 p.m.
Tom1200 said:

In reply to frenchyd :

In 1991 one I attended SCCA drivers school in the 1200. I'd spent two years building it and had $1800 in it. I got close outs on all my gear and was all in for $500. I bought a trailer for $300. I had just enough money for the drivers school entry but a friend loaned me the $125 so I could race the next day.

In today's money that's $5,200. Basically I'd set the equivalent of $225 a month aside. I did some side work and wheeled and dealed here and there.

 In 1962 I strapped on my football helmet with the bar cut off limbed into that Buick straight 8 and went racing.  If I'd won (I didn't ) it was $10 for the win. 
  Later my first vintage race following Vietnam We paid $10 to form our vintage club. Borrowed helmets, suits, belts, and fire extinguishers. And we're the midday event for a Trans Am race. 

Tom1200
Tom1200 SuperDork
9/20/21 10:50 p.m.

In reply to frenchyd :

Yeah but $10 was a days wages back then. LOL

frenchyd
frenchyd UltimaDork
9/21/21 7:28 a.m.

In reply to Tom1200 :

We have to be honest. Some of those who say it can't be done or they can't afford wheel to wheel racing are grateful  for that handy excuse.    
     What is proposed isn't about getting a big lump of money together, rather the gradual acquiring the bits and pieces to go wheel to wheel.  The great thing is no credit application is required. You approve yourself. And there is no interest  or even payments.!!!!! 
   The terms of that deal have one other obstacle.  Dedication. Rather than instant gratification. A goal must be worked towards.  
   I understand that's not how things are done today.  

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
9/21/21 9:13 a.m.
frenchyd said:
Tom1200 said:
Keith Tanner said:

Frenchy, you can race on a school bus driver's income now because you probably don't have a whole lot in the way of other debt and your car was built a long time ago :) You've been spending pocket change for a long time.

A good point; I didn't include all the tools I've purchased as most of them were from when I worked as a mechanic near 40 years ago. Some of  the more specialized stuff were Christmas or Birthday gifts but even with all of that I have $750 worth of tools I've collected that are directly related to the race cars.

If it's not part of the race car it's not part of the race car, it's not part of the race car budget. 

If you need it to race, it's part of the race car budget.

There have always been people who want instant gratification and people who are able to work towards a long-term goal. That hasn't changed, that's just people.

Tyler H (Forum Supporter)
Tyler H (Forum Supporter) UberDork
9/21/21 9:36 a.m.
frenchyd said:
Tyler H (Forum Supporter) said:

Karts, Dirt Ovals.  In the South, that's why everyone asks how much money you win when they find out you race.  

Dirt ovals are ubiquitous, there's tons of fans and competitors, usually separated by less than a 45 minute tow.

If you want to go W2W on a track, then the absolute cheapest way to compete are the budget endurance series out there.  Still a bunch of relatively rich dudes compared to any dirt track.

PS...LBCs don't exist in racing anymore, outside of SVRA/HSR etc. wink


  The budget endurance races aren't very budget. It's very hard to put a car on the track for much under $5-7000  plus a $2000 entry fee, gas, tires, brakes, and wear. Now add spares,  crew, cost of getting there, staying there, food, drinks etc.  the first weekend might be over $20,000 ( motor home and trailer ). 

   Now about those LBC's 
I'm constantly  seeing  cheap LBC's  that tempt me. None of them make any sense to restore, but racing them?   That's another kettle of fish.  

Totally concur that endurance racing is still expensive, and your budget is about right. I just contend that it is the base price to field a W2W car on a road course.  $5-7k it what it costs in safety gear to get a car to grid these days.  Cheapest way to get there is to rent a seat.  Next cheapest is to buy an active car with a logbook.  

The closest I've coming to racing an LBC is a racing a TR8 (a real one.)  It was fast when it wasn't broken, but the safety and ergonomics compared to anything made after the mid-nineties required cojones.  And braking was a strategy best planned several turns in advance.  :)

NoBrakesRacing
NoBrakesRacing Reader
9/21/21 10:04 a.m.

I'm one of those that wanted to do some racing but at the lowest entry cost.

What I've found out in my area (Dallas-Ft. Worth) is Rallycross as being the cheapest.

I've done four events with North Texas Rallycross and it is $30 to make as many runs as I can stand. I usually make 10 to 12, some make over 20 runs, some do 1 to 3 runs. Your time of the day is the average of all the runs.

I take my Kia Forte, completely stock, and have a lot of fun.

It sure feels like racing although it's not wheel to wheel. I'm not willing to lose my car on someone else's mistake.

I did just purchased a helmet although the group has loaners, that's been my only expense.

Suspension takes a bit more of a beating but I'm not using up tires at all.

Have not done autocross lately, the  times haven't worked out. However the local clubs have higher fees and a lot less runs per day.

Good luck

 

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