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Looking for a Good Track Car

Discussion in 'Tracking & Driver Education' started by firefisher, Jan 16, 2010.

  1. firefisher

    firefisher Karting

    Jan 15, 2010
    213
    New York
    Full Name:
    George
    Hello All,
    This is my first post. I'm seriously looking for a car to take to the tracks in the North East just to compete against my own times. Then maybe with others when I feel comfortable. I have always been fond of the Ferrari automobile and its rich history.
    I'm looking to purchase a used car that is good on the track and fun to drive in rallies and local gatherings. I plan on signing up for the Sports Car Driving Association events this year. Any input would be helpful as to a good used Ferrari model/year that would fit my bill.

    Thanks,
    George
     
  2. Texas Forever

    Texas Forever Three Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed

    Apr 28, 2003
    38,932
    Texas!
    Welcome George. However, you might find the "search function" is your best friend. This is probably the number one question asked in Tracking & Driver Education. Ultimately, you will find the answer depends on what you want to do. If you want a street-legal car to have some fun, there are many options. But, if you really want to strap it on, just remember, a real race car doesn't have doors.

    Dale
     
  3. firefisher

    firefisher Karting

    Jan 15, 2010
    213
    New York
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    George
    Dale,

    Thanks for the information. I may wind up racing the miata race cars and try and find a used Ferrari that is both good on the track and street legal.
     
  4. Texas Forever

    Texas Forever Three Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed

    Apr 28, 2003
    38,932
    Texas!
    Sounds like a great plan to me. Ferraris are a lot of fun on the track. But just keep in mind one little get off can cost $20k.

    BTW, you should also check out renting a Spec Ford Racer.

    Dale
     
  5. LightGuy

    LightGuy Two Time F1 World Champ
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    Oct 4, 2004
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    David
    If you really want to improve as a driver you need an adequate measuring stick.
    Lap times are great but comparing what others do in equal cars is key.
    Some egos cant take it.
    IMO the best way to learn is comparing data acquisition info of yourself to others that have it figured out.
    Assuming you have the basics dialed in. Which means school and practise.
    Crawl, walk, run

    Wheel to wheel is where its at.
    Eventually.
     
  6. technom3

    technom3 F1 Rookie
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    Mar 29, 2007
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    Justin
    the other thing to keep in mind by starting out with a lesser expensive car is if you have never done it before, DO NOT BUY A FERRARI.

    There is a deceiving romance of "racing."

    The reality is, it is hugely time consuming, hugely expensive, highly stressful, and potentially hazardous to your health.

    Each person deals with the above differently.

    You have to be able to take time to go to the track. Take the time to set up the car, take the time to get the car, trailer, and tow rig to the track. time to register, stay updated on your license, time to load and unload. time to bug friends to help you at the track. Time to make the lunches, order spares etc... Time to work on the car at the track... time to explain to the wife why you are doing what you are doing... time to buy the above mentioned stuff...

    then you have to pay for all of the above...

    then you have to take car of all of the above mentioned stuff...

    and all of this before you ever complete your first lap. then after you are done at the track you have to do all of this stuff again but in reverse.

    The moment you have a minor wreck, it gets very expensive, we are talking 5k plus.

    There is so much to racing that most people don't even recognize its not even funny. Plus, you may not like it if you are not competitive, and you won't be your first year or so...

    Racing is a huge commitment and like Roger Penske said... the only way to make a small fortune in racing is to start with an even bigger one

    I highly recommend renting or help someone who is already going to the track. Help them load the cars and prepare for the weekend... then go to the track stay there all weekend and help them unload at the end of the weekend. That will give you a good idea as to what goes into it all before writing the check.

    MINI N. Scottsdale, had or has a great program where they do everything. They built spec minis, prep and bring to the track and provide food, mechanics, spares etc... all you have to do is show up and drive. It wasn't cheap but was a well run local program.
     
  7. fatbillybob

    fatbillybob F1 World Champ
    Owner Consultant

    Aug 10, 2002
    16,809
    socal
    Well I hear and understand what Justin posted above. Here is another point of view. I had a 348 streetcar that became my first ferrari not street legal racecar. It was $100k in 1991 so it was as expensive as a 430 for $250k today on a relative bassis, i.e. you did not want to wreck it. I learned that all the ferrari parts are stupid expensive and even if you crash your ferrari and write it off someone will buy it. I did both things. I sold parts off my car that did not make the car faster. I got like $700bucks for mirror and 1000 foglights and lots of money for interior bits. Later I got wrecked by a dolt in a porker and sold the hulk. At the end of the day it was cheap racing. Good racing seats, harnesses, hans, suits, etc cost just as much for a vette as they do for a miata. At least if you buy a $1600 carbon seat for the ferrari it is not 50% of the value of the miata! A gutted out ferrari is a very reliable race car. over 50% of the pain for ferrari ownership (breakdown items) you don't need for racing. Ferrari engines are near indestrutable and while your race style will find weak spots a ferrari is loser to a racecar than say a off the shelf vette. I have spent more on my Z06 racecar so it will not break than I ever spent on my 348 racecar so it would not break. Drysump motors, decent brakes, big wheel bearings, naturally high oil pressures, well positioned fuel pump pick-ups, coil-over suspension, and just easy maintenance made the ferrari a dream to own. When I finish racing the vette it will be nearly worthless and I am sure the vette will have cost me more than the ferrari. Well that's just my one data point. Others will also tell you to buy a car already done vs build your own racer. I disagree. I don't like living with other's compromises. There will always be things you will change because you don't like what someone else did. The more you get into the sport the more you will think that way. I say spend a bit more build it the way you are going to make it anyway NEW. You will probably spend the money to make all those changes anyway or spend to make things legal like FIA seats are only good for 5yrs as are poly harnesses and fire bottles. There is $2500bucks right there. Finally if you start getting into racecar safety and start looking at rollcages. OMG don't get me started on the crap I see weekly at the tracks.
     
  8. FasterIsBetter

    FasterIsBetter F1 Veteran

    Jul 22, 2004
    5,844
    NoNJ/Jupiter FL
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    Steve W.
    You want a really great track car at a reasonable price?? Get a Corvette Z06. Right now, you can pick up a relatively low mileage C5 Z06 (2000-04) for between low $20K to $30K. Racing upgrades for these cars are readily available and inexpensive, and there are tons of mechanics and shops around who can work on these cars for a lot less than a Ferrari. Plus, for not much money, you can push one of these cars well up over 500 hp and have an absolute monster on the track.

    Even better, you can now find used C6 Z06s for sale at great prices as well. Right out of the box they are over 500 hp, and can keep up with virtually anything on the track.

    I own an '04 Z06 and regularly take it to tracks in the Northeast, including Lime Rock, Pocono, Watkins Glen and NJ Motorsport Park. The car runs great, is highly competent for track events, and holds its own against most of the cars out there. And best of all, if I stuff it into a wall, I'm not going to be out $100s of thousands of dollars.

    F-cars are great fun and plenty of people track them. If you've got money to burn and can afford it, by all means do it. But if you want a reasonably priced car that you can take out to the track, have fun, and have it repaired and upgraded reasonably, you just can't beat a Vette.
     
  9. early93viper

    early93viper Formula Junior

    Mar 17, 2006
    257
    Olathe, KS
    Full Name:
    Dan
    #10 early93viper, Feb 10, 2010
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2010
    You sound like me. I just wanted a car for track days, driving with my buddies, Ralleys, etc. Basically a car just to have a blast with. My 93 Viper has been incredible at all these and I am living my dream with it. IMO for the price you can't get a car with better looks, reliability, performance, that's more rare, etc. than a Viper. At the track it's a blast and one of the faster cars there. And it doesn't have that cookie cutter look like Corvettes.


    GEN Is are selling for under 30k, GEN IIs are selling for around 30k-35k, GEN IIIs are selling for around 35K-40 and hell new GEN 4s aren't that bad either.


    I have many videos to document this. Here is just one of them:
    http://www.streetfire.net/video/Kansas-City-Viper-Club_724897.htm

    I have 50 others if you get bored :).
     
  10. technom3

    technom3 F1 Rookie
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    if you toss a motor it will be ridiculously expensive. i have owned many vipers... and I absolutely love them... Also, if you have a slight off and slightly damage that massive hood... its 21k dollars... wholesale... WHOLESALE. A friend of mine bought one about a year ago... RIDICULOUS!!! Also, the lack of ABS might scare some folk... but i LOVE THOSE DAMN CARS. Wish I never sold any of them
     
  11. Ronbo

    Ronbo Formula Junior

    Aug 2, 2005
    413
    Morris County, NJ
    Full Name:
    Ron
    SCDA usually has Spec Miata rentals at their events. That's a good way to find out whether the track thing is for you.

    I've always enjoyed SCDA events - low key, plenty of track time, civilized drivers, experienced instructors.
     
  12. ProCoach

    ProCoach F1 Veteran
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    Sep 15, 2004
    5,439
    VIR Raceway
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    Peter
    Ian and Elivan are terrific!
     
  13. FasterIsBetter

    FasterIsBetter F1 Veteran

    Jul 22, 2004
    5,844
    NoNJ/Jupiter FL
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    Steve W.
    If you are a really, really good driver and you really know that car well, the Viper is definitely an incredible car. But over the years, the one car I've seen go off-track more than any other, in rather spectacular ways, is the Viper. For the track, the problem with the car is that the rear end always wants to go around corners before the front end. I've seen three big time crashes with Vipers coming out of the esses at Lime Rock, two of them going over the guard rail. At the Glen and Pocono, I've seen Vipers spin out in all kinds of places, some less forgiving than others. In my experience, the Corvette is a much more driveable car on the track, and in competition mode, can save your butt.

    Sure, there are a hundred great cars out there that are wonderful fun on the track. And the Viper definitely has its virtues. But dollar for dollar, I still think the Vette is a heck of a car for the track.
     
  14. Parkplace

    Parkplace Formula Junior

    Jan 1, 2010
    540
    Fort Lauderdale
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    Kevin Buckley
    #15 Parkplace, Feb 23, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    I am a certified track rat - a member at PBIR - so it's once a week for me - tracking a Ferrari more than once in a blue moon is a real comittment - I have friends that do it regularly and most have tired quickly of the constant repair bills - engine warning lights like CO2 sensors, off the shop, brake jobs with ceramics routinely cost 20k to 30k, ---tires - twice the price - you get my drift.... its like watching a meter that moves constantly while you blow thorough cash...unless of course you own a dealership like some of my freinds do...
    If you have the desire for a Ferrari and cant talk yourself out of it (and do try therapy first) and have the mad cash to incinerate by all means I would try and look at a 360 Stradale that has been set up already - figure price to entry 150 to 175 k with some modest consumables to start and then budget a silly annual number to run the car. A couple of grand a track session plus major repairs should do it. oh, and dont forget the crew chief, transporter etc.
    If that's not for you - there are lots of great track cars out there - top of the game for me is Porsche - though still expensive to run - I have 2010 GT3 as a daily driver and occasional track car. There are lots of opportunities in all vintages and classes of Porsche for the track. I also have a Lotus Exige that no longer bears a license plate - great track car - very connected and reasonable to operate.
    If you even think you want to go wheel to wheel pick a popular class like spec Maita and go for it - lots of people to play with.
    for something truly exotic and the most fun you can have sitting down without buying the cow Radical is insanely fun - the most connected to the road I have ever driven for around 100k -

    hope that is helpful & if you get your feet wet please come be my guest for some track time.

    Kevin
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
     
  15. cig1

    cig1 F1 Rookie

    May 3, 2005
    2,869
    In front of you
    #16 cig1, Jul 19, 2010
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2010
    I'm all in at WAY less than $20k and will smoke most any track prepared street car ... VERY low maintenance

    [​IMG]
     
  16. ProCoach

    ProCoach F1 Veteran
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    Sep 15, 2004
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    Peter
    Is that an Olds or a YAC powered car?

    You got a heck of a deal, but anyone can still can get these cars in top shape for less than $30K. With the SOHC Ford motor, you can do most historic, SCCA, NASA and track days.

    The Tiga in my garage is quicker than most any Challenge car and most GT3's and I can run it in more places. Plus there's nothing better than a pure-t race car!
     
  17. cig1

    cig1 F1 Rookie

    May 3, 2005
    2,869
    In front of you
    I think I scored ... it has a freshly rebuilt Cosworth YAC ... the tub is in excellent condition ... I had to completely rewire the car and the bodywork is pretty rough ... I put a $600 paint job on it and here she sits ... bought the car for $13k

    G
     
  18. Parkplace

    Parkplace Formula Junior

    Jan 1, 2010
    540
    Fort Lauderdale
    Full Name:
    Kevin Buckley
    looks like a good choice - though if you are going to race SCCA you will probably want some coaching before you go to school for a license then go compete in a fast car - that car could be a recipe for getting in over your head particularly when you have to drive offline in traffic in race conditions - the car you have picked is a single seater.... I wish you all the best! let us know how you are doing as you get it set up and do some testing
     
  19. cig1

    cig1 F1 Rookie

    May 3, 2005
    2,869
    In front of you
    #20 cig1, Jul 19, 2010
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2010
    I hear you loud and clear ... I don't plan to race any organized events for at least a year ... have it mostly to do track days. I have access to a very nice track that mostly sees less than 6-8 cars at a time.

    Not so much worried about race traffic ... have been racing shifter karts for a while (I have a SKUSA license) and I'm hoping the experience there rolls over to the race car.

    Will probably switch the the SOHC Pinto before I begin racing ... I think it would be more competitive than racing with the current crop of CSR's

    Thanks for lookin' out

    G

    Here's a pic before the paint
    [​IMG]
     
  20. technom3

    technom3 F1 Rookie
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    Mar 29, 2007
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    Justin
    you could always go for a former challenge car. They can be bought on the cheap! The 360 would be a good one... plentiful... so its pretty modern and inexpenisve
     
  21. Modenafan

    Modenafan F1 World Champ
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    Dec 19, 2004
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    Bad A$$ G! :)
     
  22. Parkplace

    Parkplace Formula Junior

    Jan 1, 2010
    540
    Fort Lauderdale
    Full Name:
    Kevin Buckley
    cheap and Challenge car is an oxyomoron - at least with me - a decent 360 Stradale is 80 to 120k - plus srtup and consumable spares - brake job with rotors 25k, belt change 5k - the car is an incinerator stoked with cash - maybe cheap is a relative term but my friends that race current Challenge series spend 25 a weekend to go racing - without a shunt.....
     
  23. gatorgreg

    gatorgreg Formula 3
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    There is NOTHING cheap about racing a Ferrari!!
     
  24. ProCoach

    ProCoach F1 Veteran
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    Sep 15, 2004
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    Not true. The rules for the S2 class and ACRL series require and the chassis was built as a two-seater all aluminum monocoque. You'd have to move a bunch of stuff (including pouring seat foam around the filler neck between your shoulder blades ;)), but you could take two...

    Coaching with modern technology (radios, video, data), especially at an "open" test day or private track has lessened the requirement for in-car coaching. Jim Pace, Guy and I still ride "right seat" but beyond a certain point, even our "butt dynos" are not as well calibrated as a good data system. We can do as much or more outside the car before and after due to the driver client being able to absorb and enter into an intelligent discussion and have time to comprehend.

    Besides, past the line and basic control input timing and amplitude, there is so much more we can do for people...
     

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