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how much does it cost to maintain a 360 challenge car over a season?

Discussion in 'Challenge/GT Cars' started by ross, Oct 7, 2010.

  1. ross

    ross Two Time F1 World Champ
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    Mar 25, 2002
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    Ross
    given that i have had to replace the ccm discs and pads on the cs after a few track sessions and a slide in the kitty litter, i have started to think that i would be better off keeping the cs away from the track, and get a specific track car.

    i see 10 year old challenge cars going for what appears to be very little. of course, i am aware that the purchase price is just the start...and the maintenance issues can be killer.
    but at least they run on steel brakes !!

    so. provided i found a challenge car that is in decent shape, and everything checked out technically, what kind of costs can i expect if i ran it in approximately 4 track days per year.
     
  2. Challenge64

    Challenge64 F1 Rookie
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    #2 Challenge64, Oct 7, 2010
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2010
    Depends on a lot of things. Crew, transportation, ect..

    Budget $5k min per weekend. I paid $15k to $20k per weekend when I ran the series. $11k to the dealer (crew and transportation), $2k - $3k for FNA (included 1 set of tires), 0 to $4k for rotors and extra tires, and $1k in flight & hotel.

    Also plan on maintainence between events. Oil change, hoses, ect... After 1 full year plan on engine rebuilds. A new engine or crash damage can be very expensive.
     
  3. WCH

    WCH F1 Veteran
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    Mar 16, 2003
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    #3 WCH, Oct 8, 2010
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2010
    IMO the Challenge series pricing is a rip-off and should be ignored. In fairness, that pricing includes services other than transport and track support. Nonetheless, you can race in competitive, professional series for less than the cost of the Challenge series.

    Now, back to the OPs question: 4 track days a year is very mild use of one the these cars. Important: track days - not racing.

    The 360Cs in my experience are bullet proof. If you can find one in good shape, with a solid engine and gearbox, I think you'll find that your costs vary with how hard you drive. Going through a gravel trap in a Challenge car can be pricey, as can meeting a deer (personal experience). Driving more aggressively will put more wear on consumables - which in the grand scheme, aren't terribly expensive on a 360C. Slicks are expensive, but I'd think you'd need two sets - at most - for four track days. You could go years without an engine rebuild if you use it 4 days a year; even with heavier use, I've found most owners don't need annual rebuilds. The car should be inspected by professionals after every use, and fluids changed/parts replaced as they see fit - but the same is true, IMO, of a street car used on track.

    If you hire someone to do track support, that of course will add to your costs. For track days, most shops don't charge an arm and a leg - perhaps someone will chime in with Classic Coach's fees. For a two day event, at a track not too far away, maybe a few thousand at most - and probably worth every penny.

    I had a 360C, now have a 430C, and I don't believe that operating a 360C for 4 track days a year really would cost any more than tracking your Stradale for the same 4 days. There's not a lot of magic to the challenge cars, they're very similar to the street cars.
     
  4. CornersWell

    CornersWell F1 Rookie

    Nov 24, 2004
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    #4 CornersWell, Oct 8, 2010
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2010
    What's the mission? If this is just going to the track for an occasional fun day, then you won't need to spend as much as if you're going all-out class racing in SCCA (or your equivalent club racing). If you want to win, you'll spend on the re-builds, the fresh quali-tires, and basically finding every tenth of a second out of it. That may also include upgrades (both aero as well as mechanical).

    So, your costs will be highly dependent on what you want to do with it. If you're just talking about some fun track days here and there, well, I think you'll find that the costs are relatively low. Our 355C was essentially bulletproof and cost-free. We had only one major issue in our multiple years of ownership. The 360C is a step-up from that, obviously, but it's a reliable car, and that's pretty important. If you're going to go to the trouble (and expense) of trailering it to the track, you don't want to be sitting around watching everyone else get their time on the track while you're sitting on armco in the paddock. Under-maintaining these cars will get expensive in the long run, too. So, being willing to spend a bit will make your experience much better. I've seen guys trying to self-maintain them, and, while admirable, it's hard to drive and self-maintain.

    Also, having a good spares package can be useful. For these cars, though, you may be able to source parts quickly. You may be able to scavenge from other owners in the paddock. But, several sets of mounted wheels, brake rotors, etc. should be carried in the trailer. And, you'll need the support equipment. Refueling jugs, jacks, air guns (or equivalent), etc. All are necessary. So, plan on acquiring and carrying them.

    CW
     
  5. johnhoughtaling

    johnhoughtaling Formula 3
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    Nov 6, 2002
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    Ron is spot on. If you have a team track support transportation 5 k a weekend average. Myou can run in the FCRA get 98% of the challenge series for 1/6 the current cost. 360C is a fantastic car.

    Teams to check out:

    Ferrari Central Florida/ Classic Coach
    Speedworks
    Universal
    Team Pilota

    Just to name a few
     
  6. ross

    ross Two Time F1 World Champ
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    i think wch got the sense of my estimated useage. i will not be racing, or in a series. the idea is just to go to the dealer and club sponsored track days with a 360c, and track that, instead of my 360cs.

    my guess is that is about 4 times a year because thats all i will have time for.

    so couple sets of tires, pads, other consumables...as long as i keep it on the tarmac.
    plus the trucking to and from (normally about 2k with the dealer here).

    that 360gt is starting to make a lot more sense.
     
  7. CornersWell

    CornersWell F1 Rookie

    Nov 24, 2004
    4,511
    The GT is a wonderful car to drive. Maintenance is higher than on a Challenge car, though. But, it's a better package on the track in every respect. It's not all that much more difficult or expensive to maintain, but the set-ups are more complex. So, if you can find someone to support you that has prior experience with one, that will make track events much more enjoyable. And, while entry cost is higher, so is re-sale. Again, spares and equipment are even more important with a GT-car than with the Challenge (for example, you can't just borrow another Challenge owner's wheel...the GT is a single wheel nut). But, the GT-cars are VERY drivable and fast. They make all the right noises and they look pretty good, too.

    If you have an off, though, be prepared to deal with Michelotto. While they're often referred to as Costalotto in the same breath, the bigger problem is that they're painfully slow in getting back to you. So, if you go the GT route, just be prepared.

    CW
     
  8. WCH

    WCH F1 Veteran
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    Mar 16, 2003
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    "The GT is a wonderful car to drive. Maintenance is higher than on a Challenge car, though."


    CW, I think he means a challenge car, not a GT.
     
  9. CornersWell

    CornersWell F1 Rookie

    Nov 24, 2004
    4,511
    Just commenting on his last comment...

    "that 360gt is starting to make a lot more sense."

    But, if I'm mistaken...

    CW
     
  10. ross

    ross Two Time F1 World Champ
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    sorry to be confusing guys. i was referring to that 360 challenge that was converted to gt spec (somewhat), and then homologated for the street here in switzerland, and that i wrote a thread about a year ago that is ongoing.

    the advantage of that one is that in a pinch i can drive it to the track, but it has the durability of the challenge, and some of the aero stickiness of a gt.

    barring that, then i need to just pick up one of the chellenge cars.
     
  11. goober

    goober F1 World Champ
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    Ross, The swiss homologated street version, do you know what was done to make it street legal?
     
  12. mousecatcher

    mousecatcher Formula 3

    Dec 18, 2007
    2,116
    san mateo, ca
    for your usage, i would recommend simply getting steel brakes for your cs.
     
  13. mousecatcher

    mousecatcher Formula 3

    Dec 18, 2007
    2,116
    san mateo, ca
    Wow, scary!
     
  14. ross

    ross Two Time F1 World Champ
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    most of that is discussed in the thread on that subject in this section. but basically just added all the stuff required by law here. turning radius shortened, handbrake, clearance etc.
     
  15. Jaffster

    Jaffster Karting

    Mar 27, 2010
    201
    We have a great 355CH on Ohlins, reduced weight, less maintenance cost and for 99% of the De guys it'll be just as fast...in many cases it'll be quicker as its easier to push to the limit than the 360ch. PM me for more info...its also a lot less $ upfront, which leaves more $ for tires/fuel :)
     
  16. ross

    ross Two Time F1 World Champ
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    #16 ross, May 30, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: May 30, 2011
    finally came to an agreement with a buddy to share a 360 challenge. another friend of a friend is selling one, and it only has 3000 km on it and plenty of spares, so seems like a decent deal here for about 90k. am sure they are cheaper in the states, or even here but this one has not been abused and had super maintenance done on it.

    i figure we will go thru 10k/yr of consumables and normal maintenance.

    we will need to get a trailer, and hitches on our suv's, to take it to circuits, so i need to learn how to do that.

    any final words of advice before we take the plunge?
     
  17. UAS

    UAS Formula 3

    Jul 2, 2008
    1,173
    Glen Cove, NY
    Hi Ross,

    The only advice I can give is not be a penny shy and a dollar foolish...meaning dont skimp out on necessary service/parts between events, and make sure your car is prepped properly before each event. If something is not correct on the car...fix it...fix it right...it would suck to get towed in from the track after wrecking your car because you thought you could do "one more session" on those worn tires...or that squeeking bearing is ok...its your safety after all.
    If you have any questions or need any help, feel free to give us a call.

    Pete@Universal
     

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