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Track Dedicated Racer

Discussion in 'Other Racing' started by dperkins, Apr 1, 2018.

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  1. dperkins

    dperkins Rookie

    Apr 1, 2018
    3
    Saratoga, CA
    Full Name:
    Drew Perkins
    Hello fellow Ferrarians,

    I have been searching for a few weeks now to find a dedicated track car I can race at my local track (Laguna Seca). I would love to say I have made a final decision, but I have not. There are just so many options to choose from. I would love to have something I can do most of the service on, if not all, but I might sacrifice that if I find something I really want. I have been looking around, and decided on a few key points. I want to have it be <200K for the first part, but this is not rock solid. I would also like to be able to run circles around most of the people at Laguna. Service cost should stay relatively low, but I'm not sure what the average costs are. Finally, I can not have the car break sound restrictions, which if I can remember, is <105 DB from 300 feet. I have a few choices that I like so far, but I am severely worried about the service costs:
    • 488 Challenge in Florida
    • 458 Challenge Evo
    • This 650S
    • Lamborghini Gallardo GTR Supertrofeo LP570-4
    • Huracan Super Trofeo
    A few others that are much cheaper:
    • Any Radical really
    • Riley TDC
    Any help would be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. lmpdesigner

    lmpdesigner Formula 3
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    Nov 5, 2003
    1,875
    Atlanta Georgia
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    Brian Willis
    Get a real race car. Not a street car and not a modified street car that races-Like a Porsche GT cup car. Nothing wrong with any of them but when you first drive a real race car-formula car or sports prototype you will realize that no street car/GT car on earth is fast enough or responsive enough for you.

    Look at buying a FIA CN sports prototype. Norma, Wolf, Ligier, etc. 50-80 k used. Upwards of 120-140 k new.

    Newest ones are carbon fiber tubs so very safe. 2 seaters so you can take friends or coaches, simple to run. Very reliable. Honda k20 4 cylinder 2 liter motor. Last forever.

    No mechanics needed to run them. Get in, press starter and go, don't need to do special set ups on car every time you drive it, etc. But you can if you want.

    And faster than anything you could imagine. At Road Atlanta they do in the low 1:19-1:21 range. For perspective that is as just about as fast as the "Factory" Risi Ferrari 458/488 GTE car when it raced at Petit LeMans.

    PM me if you want more info.
     
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  3. Kaivball

    Kaivball Three Time F1 World Champ
    Owner

    Jan 11, 2007
    35,882
    Kalifornia
    Tell me more about those cars.

    I am getting close to wanting a second dedicated vehicle.

    Kai
     
  4. BMW.SauberF1Team

    BMW.SauberF1Team F1 World Champ

    Dec 4, 2004
    12,536
    Welcome to the forums. If you haven't lurked these forums prior to joining today, Brian (lmpdesigner) designed the Le Mans' winning BMW V12 LMR. I would go with whatever he recommends. :)
     
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  5. lmpdesigner

    lmpdesigner Formula 3
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    Nov 5, 2003
    1,875
    Atlanta Georgia
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    Brian Willis
    These cars--Called FIA CN category sport prototype race cars are:

    2 seat open cockpit and closed fender race car.
    Dry weight of around 540-560 Kg. 1200 to 1250 lbs. Add fuel and driver say around 1400 lbs.
    All of these cars use a 2 liter Honda K20 4 banger motor. 260-265 Hp. Super reliable motors. You can literally go seasons without a rebuild.
    Can build motors to 300 hp NA and 450+ if you want to turbo it.
    All of the cars run a SADEV 6 speed sequential gearbox. Again very reliable unit. Some cars have push/pull lever and some have paddle shift.
    Earlier cars are tubeframe and or aluminum honeycomb frames.
    Latest cars have a carbon tub.
    Look just like LMP cars.
    13" rims with proper race tires and brakes.
    As I said they are fast. Top speed is not massive-Say 155 to 160 MPH depending on circuit.
    But honest to god 3 g cornering and braking.
    An absolute honest race car but one that is easy to maintain and run.
    You don't need a crew to run one. (I don't have anyone.)
    Once you have a basic setup you like (probably way car is when you buy it.) you really don't need to do much tuning or set up after that.
    But if you want to play with car setup not so hard to do.
    Most cars come with a good data aquisition system.
    Cars race in SCCA P1 and P2 class. Can be competitive there but a bit heavier than some of it's competitors. But a Norma won the SCCA P1 national runoffs last year. (Maybe 2 years ago) so they are competitive.
    Also runs NASA Super unlimited class. You race against 600 hp Corvettes in that class as NASA uses power to weight ratios for classes.
    Welcome at any track day event I know of, welcome at most all country clubs.
    Easy to add (if not already on car) a muffler to meet noise levels.
    Most have headlights so can run in evenings.

    Pics of my Norma at Road Atlanta (In Gulf Colors) and then some others
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  6. Kaivball

    Kaivball Three Time F1 World Champ
    Owner

    Jan 11, 2007
    35,882
    Kalifornia
    You got me intrigued.

    I was tempted to get a 430 challenge but this might be the better route. I like the lower maintenance costs.

    Kai
     
  7. fatbillybob

    fatbillybob F1 World Champ
    Owner Consultant

    Aug 10, 2002
    17,652
    socal
    Laguna sound is easy in any car but you will need a dedicated muffler. I wanted to get back into a Ferrari but I have seen too many guys sidelined by electrical and gearbox issues. Every challenge car being sold is flawless and race ready. I hate to say it but any of those cars will be hard pressed to beat a C5+ vette racecar by any metric including the cost of and ease of service of carbon ceramic brakes should you insist on those.

    Radicals aren't competitive racecars in the classes I know. They are a poor choice for a trackday car because of their size relative to a vette or a viper. If you tangle with one of those it is like hitting my diesel pickup truck in your prius. I win...
     
  8. lmpdesigner

    lmpdesigner Formula 3
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    Kaivball.

    Another issue is crash damage. Clip a corner in a Ferrari and it is huge cost in parts, repair, paint, etc. And will impact resale.

    A racecar like a CN car still is not cheap but will be quite a lot less than the Ferrari. And much quicker to repair. Hell, I have replaced a complete side of teh car at the race track overnight with spares I had. No way could you do that in a Ferrari.

    Also-Nobody cares about accidents and resale for these type race cars. They all get in accidents at some point in their lives.

    And you will have an off-sooner or later- if you are driving it hard.
     
  9. stibbett

    stibbett Karting

    Mar 19, 2018
    161
    Atlanta
    Full Name:
    Simon Tibbett
    The FIA CN cars are super cool, hard to beat Honda reliability too if you have the K series powerplant.

    Kind of depends on what you want to do. Or what you like driving. I've driven some purpose built cars and GT cars. A factory built race car is a very good car, yes it's still a street car modified for racing but they still have a very purpose built feel. If you're just looking to do track days I'd go with one of the above sports prototypes, it'd be hard to not always have a smile on your face.

    What's your current level of experience?
     
  10. speedsport

    speedsport Formula Junior

    Mar 14, 2013
    495
    IL/WI
    Full Name:
    Michael


    I completely agree that getting a dedicated race car is no doubt the best way to go. The performance will be light years ahead of any street car turned into a track car. Additionally they are designed for easier and quicker maintenance, and are easier getting into and out of a trailer. You haven't mentioned what kind of experience you have. I have serious concerns regarding your comment that you want to be able to run circles around anything else at Laguna. That sounds to me like you have no experience at all, and don't really understand what you're up against. Are you really looking for fastest car just to satisfy your ego? There is so much more to track driving then having the fastest car. With no track experience you would be best suited to find a cheaper, slower car and learn how to drive first. There's a reason people don't just jump into an Indycar and go racing. You have no idea how many drivers I've come across that think they are going to be the next greatest thing on a race track because they drive fast cars on the street. Then they get in a real race car, scare the crap out of themselves, and never set foot on a track again. I've seen it a hundred times - and each one swore it would never happen to them.

    My advice would be to attend one of the dedicated driving schools at Laguna, then spend a little more time attending some club racing events and look at all the car options out there. A $200k budget buys you a lot of options for a car plus prep help. For someone with no real track experience a $35k Formula 2000 will buy you mind blowing performance if you know how to drive it. A good F2000 will lap Laguna better then 1:28, which by comparison the Porsche 918 was only a 1:30. If given a choice in a heartbeat I would take driving a dedicated race car on club racing days with proper medical staff and surrounded by other competent drivers then a street based car at random track events.
     
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  11. lmpdesigner

    lmpdesigner Formula 3
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    Nov 5, 2003
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    Speedsport hits it right. I started out with a Formula 2000 and drivers school. A mere 145-ish hp but that car is still faster than me. (And 99% of who drive it.)

    And the big thing Speedsport hits on is that driving "fast" on the street has absolutely nothing to do with going fast on a race track. They are so different that they are two different skills/activities.

    And the CN Norma is in a different world to anything I have ever driven.
     
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  12. David Lind

    David Lind Formula 3

    Nov 19, 2008
    2,237
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    David Lind
    :D
    I'm gonna guess that compared to racing - and potentially damaging - a 430 Challenge, even a Blue Angels jet would be relatively cost effective.
     
  13. schao

    schao Karting

    Mar 31, 2013
    169
    Palm Beach, FL
    Full Name:
    S Chao
    Drew,

    To get a sense of what lmpdesigner and speedsport is trying to say, consider attending an SCCA race to see some of these sports racers (CN, Radical, others) up close and in action, and talk with the owners/drivers about what is involved with driving/maintaining/tuning them. There is action this weekend (April 7-8) at Thunderhill Raceway in Willows, CA, with 15 entries competing in the P1 and P2 class. There will be quite a range of modern vs older sports racers, but I suspect any of these will fulfill your requirements and offer a thrilling driving experience.

    https://www.motorsportreg.com/index.cfm/event/event.status/uidEvent/7EC8FA1B-A3B1-3C28-1DF566552D9FCEE1#group1-F86CA27A-0A75-B047-CE72ADA390B420A4
     
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  14. lmpdesigner

    lmpdesigner Formula 3
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    Nov 5, 2003
    1,875
    Atlanta Georgia
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    Brian Willis
    Drew,

    Go to Willow Springs! A lot of good cars there, good drivers, etc. Anybody and everybody there will answer any question you may have.
     
  15. schao

    schao Karting

    Mar 31, 2013
    169
    Palm Beach, FL
    Full Name:
    S Chao

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