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  #11  
Old 08-24-2019, 09:06 PM
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Well,
Lots of good suggestions above. Tony’s right about buying vs building. It would have been cheaper for me to buy a race car than to turn my street car into a race car. But I’d rather build a car the way I wanted than rebuild another car into what I wanted.

Since I just went down this path, be glad to share my lessons learned with you. I’ll be at VIR next weekend. BTW, I can’t freaking wait to race at SP in a few weeks.

Mark
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  #12  
Old 08-25-2019, 08:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jordan View Post
How does one learn whether one would enjoy racing without having to first buy a race spec car, a trailer, a tow vehicle, etc., etc., etc? I'm at a point where I need to decide whether to put more money into my nice still pretty new street-HPDE car that I love (e.g., roll bar, harnesses, race seats), or instead take the racing fork in the road. Storage and space is a major limitation for me; I have a two car garage townhouse, so I'd have to find somewhere to store the trailer and track-race car- but that's a separate question. For starters, I'm just wondering how one gets their license and finds out if one wants to go down that road before buying all the toys.
First of all it is very difficult to "dip one's toe" into racing. More like an entire leg and then some Getting your license varies with different organizations. Probably the easiest is SCCA or NASA. It requires attending their school for a full weekend successfully and that's pretty much it. You can also attend a professional racing school like Bertil Roo or Bondurant (if they are still around) and I believe they will honor that. PCA requires you to work your way up through the DE ranks until a senior instructor will sign you off for a racing license. If Porsche is your thing there are plenty of shops that will rent you a Spec Boxster with full support for about 5k for a weekend. If I was to start over again that is most likely where I would begin. As others have said Spec Miata is the least expensive way to go racing and there are plenty of rentals right at Summit Point.

All I can say is once you experience the adrenaline of the start of a race I can't imagine there's anything more addictive.
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  #13  
Old 08-25-2019, 09:30 AM
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What's the difference between Spec Miata and Showroom Stock Miata? Is SSM only regional?
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  #14  
Old 08-25-2019, 01:22 PM
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correct. ssm is regional and more restrictive rule set. the sm and ssm cars are not "equal".
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  #15  
Old 08-25-2019, 01:27 PM
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if you want to talk to racers and see all the various cars and classes, great opportunity this upcoming weekend. SCCA Labor day race on Summit Main will be saturday-monday. come on by. cruise the paddock, watch races, ask questions, talk with folks.
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  #16  
Old 08-25-2019, 07:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlytle View Post
correct. ssm is regional and more restrictive rule set. the sm and ssm cars are not "equal".
SM races on Hoosiers (they have their own tire, the SM-7), SSM races on RA-1s that last most of the season (LOTS of races with SCCA - 8 race weekends/season, more than half at SP, others at VIR, NJMP, sometimes Pit Race, and my group of guys goes to Watkins Glen each season for an "out of region" race).

SSM cars are also dyno'd and sealed at no more than 107 HP, so a $15-20K engine rebuild (required to podium on SM) is out of the question--rebuilds are $1500-4500 (the latter if you want the cylinders bored to "plus 10/1000s" for a bit more torque). Brand new somewhat improved transmission is $1100. Rotors at $19 (yes, $19). But it's regional--no "Majors" or national wins. There are usually >40 cars in each local race -- so Scott's description of the adrenaline at the start of a race X2 going through Turn 1 3-wide

Come up this weekend (Friday through Monday, Summit Main). Hotz Tuff Racing is right on the nose of the grass as you first enter the paddock.
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  #17  
Old 08-28-2019, 10:08 PM
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Thank you everyone for the suggestions. To clarify, I wasn't suggesting turning my 718 into a race car. My fork in the road is whether to make the 718 a safer HPDE car by adding roll bar, race seats, and harnesses- and continue only doing DEs- or whether to leave it stock and instead go the racing route. The latter would mean leaving the 718 as is, and buying a race car. For money reasons, I'd probably go the 944 route, though I would much rather do spec Boxster (because I love my mid-engine Cayman).

I will be at the DE at VIR this weekend, so unfortunately I can't swing by the race at SP.

I will look into the PCA driving school- thanks for that suggestion.

With regard to buying the car vs renting (show up and drive), I know the latter is much more expensive, but it was what I was assuming before I posted was the only possible approach to "try it" and "find out if I want to go down that road" before making capital investments.

Related question- what affordable solutions have people found for where to store their race cars and trailers in the NoVA area, when you don't have room at home?
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  #18  
Old 08-29-2019, 07:25 AM
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Jordan, since you said you'd perhaps go the 944 route I know someone that is selling their 944 (PCA SP1) and enclosed trailer, etc. He is Mike Kelly and he lives down in Spotsylvania County (near Fredericksburg) He just bought a tube frame Camaro race car so it getting out of 944 racing (he has been racing it in NASA).

I can sednyou his email address, His write-up in FB as follows:

"Car and trailer package FOR SALE - Make you a GOOD deal on the 944Spec/SP1/ST6 racecar and my 24ft enclosed trailer, all spares (five sets wheels/tires, complete spare drivetrain, rear control arms, front control arms, two additional exhaust manifolds, pair of doors, hood/hatch/nose, New in the box parts including fuel pump, timing belt kit, rodbearing kit, complete spare efi harness/computer. Aim dash. All belts/harness/safety is updated. Current NASA inspection for 2019. NEW TIRES this last race weekend. AIM LOGGER and COOLSUIT/TRANSPONDER can be included in FULL ASKING PRICE. This is a race winning operation. Car currently weighs 2306# no driver, no fuel. $20K oBo. Trailer comes with dual tire racks, in-floor winch, dual 5500# axles, 3 spare wheels (good spare tires on 2), an AC unit to get you by in the worst of the heat, pitpal door shelf/wall shelf/electric cord holder, wired with outlets and power, work bench with additional "stuff", race ramps. Contact me offline!
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  #19  
Old 08-29-2019, 07:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jordan View Post
Related question- what affordable solutions have people found ... race cars and trailers...
He said "race cars" and "affordable" in the same sentence.. Killer. Clearly not ready for racing Sorry. Couldn't resist. For me, race car and affordable do not go together. Hence my lack of racing

imho, if you are less than a White group PCA driver (ie solo), you are not ready for racing. You need pretty good situational awareness as well as track familiarity (or ability to learn tracks quickly)

What do you want to race? 944? A imagine a used proven race car is $5-10-20K (depending on class). Trailer (open) another $1500-2500. However, if you need "storage" for both, you might want to step up to a 24ft enclosed trailer ($? 5K- 8K?) so you can store the car and all the accessories/parts together. And make sure you have a good tow vehicle (for say, 7500-10000lb capacity).
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  #20  
Old 08-29-2019, 10:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlytle View Post
if you want to talk to racers and see all the various cars and classes, great opportunity this upcoming weekend. SCCA Labor day race on Summit Main will be saturday-monday. come on by. cruise the paddock, watch races, ask questions, talk with folks.
Marshall, I'll be out there this weekend crewing (drinking) for Uncle Mark (Gibson) - I didn't see you/Chuck signed up in the BMW. What gives? Car still not ready? ITS needs people!!

To the original thread starter; SSM (locally) is the way to go. Cheapest and best racing around it seems. Nearly 50 cars in their race group this weekend.

Brooks
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