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93EXCivic
93EXCivic UltimaDork
5/22/12 12:59 p.m.

So after looking at that cheapest way to go fast and talking to another board member, I started thinking about Formula Vees. At what point are the Formula Vees vintage eligible? What is the difference between a Formula First and a Vee other then the engine and wider tires? And how hard is it to find a car that a 6'2" guy can fit in? Basically tell me what you know. I am really thinking one of these may be in my future to replace the Yugo.

rob_lewis
rob_lewis Dork
5/22/12 1:04 p.m.

I've never raced or owned one, but have researched them.

1) Most Vee's have to be pre-72 to be vintage eligible, but your local vintage club might have different rules.
2) Formula First uses the more common, still available new and, theoretically cheaper, 1600cc engine. It also adds disk brakes (rather than drums), newer gearbox, etc. The biggest thing to check is make sure you can run it locally. Formula First still isn't as popular as Vee, so make sure you have people to run with.
3) I've seen some really tall and really guys drive them, you should be able to find one that fits.

I'm sure you already know about the link, but http://www.sracing.com/ is a great place to start.

-Rob

93EXCivic
93EXCivic UltimaDork
5/22/12 1:06 p.m.

In reply to rob_lewis:

I was kinda wondering if the Formula First and Vee was something you could easily convert back and forth but it seems like it probably isn't. And thanks for the link.

subrew
subrew Reader
5/22/12 1:07 p.m.

You don't have the patience for FV. And yes, I'm only judging that by the fact you start a dozen threads per week about off the wall vehicles, and apparently have never finished any of your projects, ever.

JohnInKansas
JohnInKansas Reader
5/22/12 1:08 p.m.

I crew for a couple of guys who run F500, but that's the closest I could tell you about.

Otto Maddox
Otto Maddox SuperDork
5/22/12 1:10 p.m.
subrew wrote: You don't have the patience for FV. And yes, I'm only judging that by the fact you start a dozen threads per week about off the wall vehicles, and apparently have never finished any of your projects, ever.

Ouch. What requires so much patience about FV?

93EXCivic
93EXCivic UltimaDork
5/22/12 1:10 p.m.
subrew wrote: You don't have the patience for FV. And yes, I'm only judging that by the fact you start a dozen threads per week about off the wall vehicles, and apparently have never finished any of your projects, ever.

I have only started three projects and they are going fairly well (well the Mercedes has the engine back together but if it needs an engine rebuild it is going. I would rather spend time on my two other projects). Although the Spitfire had a bit of layoff because of no where to work and it is a massive project because the fact it is a frame off resto. The Yugo is stripped down and ready to be rebuilt.

racerfink
racerfink Dork
5/22/12 1:14 p.m.

My dad and step-mom had two vintage vees for a while. Both were Mysterians, one a '71, the other a '69. I'm 6' 2", 180lbs., and could fit in my dad's car pretty easily. In the SCCA region vintage races, they had to run against ALL vintage cars, and they were often among Mustangs, Corvettes, and Porsches. Quite daunting to run side by side with a big heavy car that you don't even come up to the base of the windshield on. The one time I ran my dad's car, I nearly got run off the track by a Triumph Spitfire, who didn't see me.

Giant Purple Snorklewacker
Giant Purple Snorklewacker UltimaDork
5/22/12 1:17 p.m.

I have a friend who races one with FRCCA. He splits it with another guy and it is affordable. He unsuccessfully tried to sell it to me (the idea - not his car) because it is an alien vehicle to everything I am used to. It was fun for a few solo laps but I just couldn't get into it enough to spend money that way.

Ian F
Ian F UberDork
5/22/12 2:05 p.m.

The only vintage event I've been to is at Watkins Glen and there aren't many FV's or FF's running. Those that do seem to run in the small-bore catagory with Spits and the like.

They still seem to be fairly popular at regular club races.

A FV runs in C-Mod at auto-x.

subrew
subrew Reader
5/22/12 2:07 p.m.

FM in autocross.

Ian F
Ian F UberDork
5/22/12 2:19 p.m.
subrew wrote: FM in autocross.

You're right. I'm thinking FF.

Probably why few run a FV in autocross. Woefully outclassed against a F500 with the CVT and not having to shift.

93EXCivic
93EXCivic UltimaDork
5/22/12 2:22 p.m.

What is the cost difference between an F500 and a Formula Vee?

Apexcarver
Apexcarver UberDork
5/22/12 2:42 p.m.

From what I can tell, buy-in can be a wash. I hear conflicting reports on what it takes to keep a Vee motor happy. Someone I met who ran a vee was telling me that competitive engines are revving higher then the motor was ever intended and they require frequent rebuilds because of it.

From what I have gathered, much of the Frst push was that those motors arent as highly strung.

Of course, huge grain of salt, my info is all hearsay.

As far as the auto-x thing.. there is F-vee, Solo-vee, and F-First... solo and F-fst are the closest. A F-vee can run, but dosent have a prayer. The others cant seem to touch the F500's, but I heard some murmuring (unsubstantiated) that noone has really gone full tilt on the national level with a vee or fst. All of this is in F-mod. A new thing in that class as well is Legends cars, but they weigh more so it dosent look like it will be competitive.

spitfirebill
spitfirebill UltraDork
5/22/12 3:02 p.m.

I always thought running a Formcar in vintage would be fun and not too costly. If you can just find one. .

93EXCivic
93EXCivic UltimaDork
5/22/12 3:18 p.m.

In reply to Apexcarver:

What is a solo-vee?

JThw8
JThw8 UberDork
5/22/12 3:51 p.m.
93EXCivic wrote: In reply to Apexcarver: What is a solo-vee?

Kind of a cross between FV and FF. It is allowable mods to an FV for solo competition such as larger wheels and tires, larger engine etc.

I've owned a couple, heck of alot of fun for autocross use, never tracked one.

93EXCivic
93EXCivic UltimaDork
5/22/12 3:53 p.m.
JThw8 wrote:
93EXCivic wrote: In reply to Apexcarver: What is a solo-vee?

Kind of a cross between FV and FF. It is allowable mods to an FV for solo competition such as larger wheels and tires, larger engine etc.

I've owned a couple, heck of alot of fun for autocross use, never tracked one.

Part of what I was wondering was could I at autocross run a 1600 and wider wheels and tires and then swap to the 1200 and skinny tires and wheels and run at the race track.

turboswede
turboswede PowerDork
5/22/12 4:31 p.m.
93EXCivic wrote:
JThw8 wrote:
93EXCivic wrote: In reply to Apexcarver: What is a solo-vee?

Kind of a cross between FV and FF. It is allowable mods to an FV for solo competition such as larger wheels and tires, larger engine etc.

I've owned a couple, heck of alot of fun for autocross use, never tracked one.

Part of what I was wondering was could I at autocross run a 1600 and wider wheels and tires and then swap to the 1200 and skinny tires and wheels and run at the race track.

The issue was that the parts for the FV's were getting harder to find.

motomoron
motomoron Dork
5/22/12 4:39 p.m.

I have a good friend who has done FV in the MARRS series for a few years, so at the track I tend to hang around their paddock so I hear a little about what's up w/ campaigning an FV.

  • If you're intent on running up front it's relatively costly both in time and money. The racing is incredibly close, so setup has to be perfect, and you need all the right parts. The likelihood of simply being a better driver and winning just isn't there.

  • The fast guys are buying tires about every weekend.

  • Weird stuff, like intake manifolds that appear to be made of old gas pipes and crazy expensive, and there's "a guy".

  • From experience, trust me when I say "Avoid racing anything that has multiple systems, the needs of which are each served by "a guy".

  • There seems to be a lot of offs and tire wall events. It's really close racing, and you're going really hard all the time. Subsequently there's not a lot of cushion. My friend got a new helmet last season 'cause someone used his old one to put a big dent in the firewall of his car. His head was in the helmet at the time...

There's a lot of SCCA classes that are built around weird, old stuff. The idea for FV was that VWs (and by VWs I mean there was only one kind of VW at the time) were cheap and cheery: "Hey! let's race VWs!" Junkyard manifolds for air-cooled VWs aren't so common anymore though.

It's why there's still H-production spridgets, and F500s/FFs/CFs/FCs/FAs/C+DSRs. SCCA is just hidebound by their tradition and ENORMOUS rule book.

I mean, "Pintos" FFS. In SCCA people still race Pintos!

93EXCivic
93EXCivic UltimaDork
5/22/12 4:50 p.m.
motomoron wrote: - If you're intent on running up front it's relatively costly both in time and money. The racing is incredibly close, so setup has to be perfect, and you need all the right parts. The likelihood of simply being a better driver and winning just isn't there. - The fast guys are buying tires about every weekend. - From experience, trust me when I say "Avoid racing anything that has multiple systems, the needs of which are each served by "a guy".

Don't the first two describe any sort of racing? And I don't follow the other one.

Feedyurhed
Feedyurhed Dork
5/22/12 6:00 p.m.
subrew wrote: You don't have the patience for FV. And yes, I'm only judging that by the fact you start a dozen threads per week about off the wall vehicles, and apparently have never finished any of your projects, ever.

That's part of being a GRMer. Most of us have ongoing projects that we haven't yet finished and are constantly thinking about the next project that we may or may not finish.

bearmtnmartin
bearmtnmartin Reader
5/22/12 6:07 p.m.

Why don't you just circle track your Yugo in the 4 cylinder stock class? If its stripped out, you just need a simple bolt in hoop with two braces, some 4 inch channel across the doors, a decent seat, and a harness and window net. You can be racing this summer yet. Not like you will win an A main in a Yugo, but you would have a lot of fun in the C heats and the trophies are almost as big.

Just stay out of the wall because finding parts would be a bitch.

turboswede
turboswede PowerDork
5/22/12 6:18 p.m.
93EXCivic wrote:
motomoron wrote: - If you're intent on running up front it's relatively costly both in time and money. The racing is incredibly close, so setup has to be perfect, and you need all the right parts. The likelihood of simply being a better driver and winning just isn't there. - The fast guys are buying tires about every weekend. - From experience, trust me when I say "Avoid racing anything that has multiple systems, the needs of which are each served by "a guy".

Don't the first two describe any sort of racing? And I don't follow the other one.

In any spec series there is a single professional that knows how to build and modify systems to maximize their performance potential. These people are usually highly paid and do not share very much information.

My experiences hanging around the FF/CF paddock mirror the above insights.

Front running FF/CF cars (another spec series using old parts, Pinto motors in this case) would pay Loyning and others $15,000 for an engine that might make 120hp. Assuming Loyning got the combination of stuff right that day as the consistency was horrid, you'd be able to drive to the front with a good draft.

Spec series are a lot of fun for the folks that want to get out and drive with little hassle, but the more competitive tend to chafe under the rules as people pay a lot of money on the variables they can actually control. Hence $15K Ford Kent motors and finely massaged VW 1300 jugs, etc..

FV really teaches you to conserve momentum in your driving and you have to be precise. Think of it as the peloton in bike racing, stay in the draft or lose the race. To stay in the draft you have to be precise and not make any mistakes.

motomoron
motomoron Dork
5/22/12 6:58 p.m.

In reply to 93EXCivic:

Bullet point #1: I believe there are classes where not necessarily everyone is a certifiable hotshoe. So one may theoretically exchange some talent for having all the best stuff.

Bullet point #2: There's plenty of classes that getting more than a weekend out of tires. I'm running Hoosier bias slicks for 3 weekends if I don't do Friday practice.

Bullet point #3: If you race an IT car, a Miata, any NASA class, you can just buy stuff. Need a fuel cell, or a suspension part, bodywork, whatever - buy it online or from Pegasus/racer Wholesale/etc. A lot of the formula car stuff takes real work to track down. Some stuff comes from like one guy who # someone has written down on a scrap on paper in their gear bag.

It isn't my intent to piss on your parade of racing FV. My perspective is the observations and experiences of a current vee racer who's been a very successful motorcycle and kart racer for a long time ,and who's got a good perspective. Vees, at least in the NeDiv are a tough class to jump in and do well.

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