ROTARY_X_7 New Reader
Jan. 8, 2010 9:17 p.m.

I have a 94 FD that I am in no way going to run wheel to wheel on a track as it is too pristine to run. However, the racing bug bit me hard last year and after a year of High Speed AutoCross (HSAX) with the local councils I am starting to want to get into W2W. Interesting thing here is I have 3 friends, who also want to get started in this and we were all racking our brains on what a good start out W2W car would be, even discussed forming a team for longer races.

I am very partial to the rotary and would love an already built FB, or something close to it. Others have said Miata (eh..), Mk1 Mr2 (not so bad. plenty of parts and cheap if accidents happen), and so on. I have done a fair amount of reading and know I need to get a novice license, but the question still comes up with whom and what class would I like to run in? What would be a great vehicle that could be competitve, but more so allow me to learn the ropes.

Sorry for being a Noob but I would appreciate your Ideas?

RexSeven Dork
Jan. 8, 2010 9:28 p.m.

FC RX-7. Cheap, plenty of them around, N/As are durable when cared for properly, they are competitive in SCCA E Production and ITR (?)-class road racing, big aftermarket, good handling, and Mazda still sells parts for them via the dealership or Mazdaspeed Motorsports.

I admit I'm biased, but if you're looking to stay rotary, I think an FC would fit the bill best. An FB would work too, though I'll let an SA/FB owner clue you in on those, as I have no experience with them.

ROTARY_X_7 New Reader
Jan. 8, 2010 9:32 p.m.

Yes I have been keeping my eye on the local FCs as well, in fact almost seems like the easiest route. N/A would make a better track car than a Turbo? More durable i guess, and less junk to mess with... cheap to. Hmmmm I may have to think about that.

Jan. 8, 2010 9:38 p.m.

E30, RX-7, 944 all have spec classes and the cars are cheap (relatively speaking) to build and cheaper still to buy in "needs love but ready to race" condition.

I prefer the E30 because its overbuilt and very much bulletproof. I love the idea of spinning triangles but I'm ig'nant of the magical forces involved in keeping one alive so I defer to what I know.

Streetwiseguy New Reader
Jan. 8, 2010 9:40 p.m.

See upper left corner. Can't get cheaper than a Neon.

toddgreene New Reader
Jan. 8, 2010 11:03 p.m.

Spec Classes or IT are good places to start. IT Honda sor VWs (water) can be bought as low as $4000. Try Improvedtouring.com and check the classifieds.

ddavidv SuperDork
Jan. 9, 2010 5:58 a.m.
Giant Purple Snorklewacker wrote: E30, RX-7, 944 all have spec classes and the cars are cheap (relatively speaking) to build and cheaper still to buy in "needs love but ready to race" condition. I prefer the E30 because its overbuilt and very much bulletproof. I love the idea of spinning triangles but I'm ig'nant of the magical forces involved in keeping one alive so I defer to what I know.

What he said, except around here Spec RX-7 appears to be dead. I think most of the cars have either exploded or rusted away. A spec class is for the guy who wants to race more than he wants to spend endless hours chasing the "optimum setup" or spending money on the latest trick parts. Racing is expensive enough for a noob already, don't complicate it.

dyintorace Dork
Jan. 9, 2010 7:11 a.m.

This is another good place to shop for used race cars: http://sccaforums.com/forums/56/ShowForum.aspx

Greg Voth Reader
Jan. 9, 2010 7:37 a.m.
ZOO Dork
Jan. 9, 2010 8:22 a.m.

Isn't there a Spec Focus series? Not rear-wheel drive, sadly, but I think as an introduction to the sport you may want to go with cost-effectiveness, first. Spec Miata, Spec E30 are two other good bets.

I'd caution against the "eh" about the Miata -- sure they are not exceptionally fast, but when there are fields of 30 plus, you'll have lots of competition. This may be really important if you can't run at the front of the pack as you will always have someone to race against.

ROTARY_X_7 New Reader
Jan. 9, 2010 9:02 a.m.
Greg Voth wrote: http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Mazda-RX7-GSL-SE-13B-Streetport-SCCA-E-Prod-NO-RESE...

Dang... that would be perfect. wish I could find one up here closer to chicago.

BTW< not trying to dis-respect the Miata, in fact I think it would be a great area to start. But one of my friends has 2 that he has been HSAX'ing and his take is that the SPEC MIata guys really enjoy trading paint. Now maybe his interpretation is a little skewed. I woud agree though, 30+ on the race course will make you good.

I may start another thread on this as well, but how does the average Joe get sponsors and do they really help fund the effort?

ZOO Dork
Jan. 9, 2010 9:21 a.m.
ROTARY_X_7 wrote: BTW< not trying to dis-respect the Miata, in fact I think it would be a great area to start. But one of my friends has 2 that he has been HSAX'ing and his take is that the SPEC MIata guys really enjoy trading paint. Now maybe his interpretation is a little skewed. I woud agree though, 30+ on the race course will make you good.

That's an interesting point -- I wonder if that's due to a relatively competitve and tight grouping of cars, and hence lots of traffic, or if it is a mindset? I don't have enough first-hand experience to know.

SpeedTheory Reader
Jan. 9, 2010 9:50 a.m.

This all depends upon your budget, and if you care about winning. SM is a REALLY hard place to start if you care about winning without spending $texas, or if you have integrity.

Are you looking to buy or build? NASA or SCCA?

iceracer HalfDork
Jan. 9, 2010 9:58 a.m.

Ice racing is the least expensive form of wheel to wheel. Unfortunately the season is short and cold. Some cars can do double duty. An IT car makes a good ice racer.

ROTARY_X_7 New Reader
Jan. 9, 2010 11:03 a.m.

Looking at NASA to start. That FB on Ebay makes me drool on the possibilities. Rather buy than build, but I would do a hybrid of the two, buy one that needs a little building.

dyintorace Dork
Jan. 9, 2010 11:48 a.m.
ROTARY_X_7 wrote: Looking at NASA to start. That FB on Ebay makes me drool on the possibilities. Rather buy than build, but I would do a hybrid of the two, buy one that needs a little building.

Don't discount that FB too quickly. There are a lot of GRM'ers in Florida and some in Clearwater I believe. You could pull the trigger and have some folks here help with transit back home.

amg_rx7 Reader
Jan. 9, 2010 12:05 p.m.

I also have an FD which I do track days with.

You can race a 1st gen RX7 in SCCA ITA or NASA PT. Buy in is cheap for old ITA cars. You can find them from $1k-3k.

Another option is FC in SCCA ITS which can also run in NASA PT. Buy in is higher and prices seem to vary from $8k - 20k.

Miata is also a great race car. Run it in ITA, ITS, Spec Miata, NASA PT etc. Buy in is runs from $7k-25k.

For very close wheel to wheel racing, its hard to beat Spec Miata. Other racing classes the racing isn't as close.

Buy the book - GoAheadTakeTheWheel.com

skierd Dork
Jan. 9, 2010 12:30 p.m.

1) See what classes are being raced at your local tracks.

b) Pick a class thats well subscribed that you might be able to afford.

iii - Find a car for said class

four ???

V) profit

Keep in mind that the faster the class, the more you're going to have to spend. Karting is pretty big out there, the costs are usually smaller, but are usually more maintenance intensive. If/when I ever decide I can afford w2w, its going to be in an open wheeler personally, either karts, FV, or FF.

miwifri
miwifri New Reader
Jan. 9, 2010 12:46 p.m.
ZOO wrote:
ROTARY_X_7 wrote: BTW< not trying to dis-respect the Miata, in fact I think it would be a great area to start. But one of my friends has 2 that he has been HSAX'ing and his take is that the SPEC MIata guys really enjoy trading paint. Now maybe his interpretation is a little skewed. I woud agree though, 30+ on the race course will make you good.

That's an interesting point -- I wonder if that's due to a relatively competitve and tight grouping of cars, and hence lots of traffic, or if it is a mindset? I don't have enough first-hand experience to know.

In NASA NE we race with Miatas all the time. They are, like most of the racers in our region, gentlemen as a group. Being a momentum car, they tend to come in hard on a corner that you may be taking with a later apex (slower entry) but they have never made contact with me and they haven't had a bad rep in our region since I started racing in '07.

I can't speak for SCCA but I haven't heard anything terrible about them in our region. There was an entertaining (and scary) multicar incident with the SCCA spec Miatas at WGI a few years ago but I think that was a racing incident of a routine nature that unfortunately occurred in close quarters on turn 11. Check it out.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9dIX6Wei2d4

Mike NASA NE HC #23 S2000

Greg Voth Reader
Jan. 9, 2010 12:59 p.m.
dyintorace wrote:
ROTARY_X_7 wrote: Looking at NASA to start. That FB on Ebay makes me drool on the possibilities. Rather buy than build, but I would do a hybrid of the two, buy one that needs a little building.

Don't discount that FB too quickly. There are a lot of GRM'ers in Florida and some in Clearwater I believe. You could pull the trigger and have some folks here help with transit back home.

Quoted for truth. I bet if you bought the car and trailer the guy would hold on to it for a while. Borrow a truck and pick it up. Hell make a trip of it and come by for the 24 hrs.

Capt Slow HalfDork
Jan. 9, 2010 1:08 p.m.

I have heard spec miata refered to as spec Piñata. There are a number of people on this board who talk up the spec 944 as being a good group of people though I imagine it depends on your region.

Some of the best advice I have seen on the subject is to go to a couple of events and try to get a feel for the organisation and the personalities of your fellow racers. Would you be confortable on track with these people behind the wheel? or are they a bunch of yahoos who are going to trade paint with you at the first corner?

cwh SuperDork
Jan. 9, 2010 1:15 p.m.

By the way, don't worry about being a Noob here. Very friendly, helpful, people here. Very tolerant of questions/ posts from less learned folks. Ecept for possibly stoptheeconobox. He is our resident court jester.

fastmiata Reader
Jan. 9, 2010 1:55 p.m.

Go to the track for a W2W race and see what is running that looks interesting to you. Check and see if it can be raced on your budget. One question you will need to ask yourself is whether you want to be involved in close racing and what are your goals in w2w racing. I chose close racing and have always been involved in classes where you could count on plenty of cars to race with: SR(SRF), ITA and SM. Being competitive in one of those classes means that you are a good racer. All of those classes had reputations for contact but I found that there was plenty of respect between racers first if you gave others respect and also if you were at the sharp end of the field.
Do not pick a class based upon your favorite car brand. That rarely works out. Having a (insert brand here) in garage is not very satisfactory feeling if you cant afford to go w2w.

Salanis SuperDork
Jan. 9, 2010 2:04 p.m.

One of the best pieces of advice I got on this subject is not to pick what you want to race based on the car, but to pick what you want to race based on the people. Go to the events you'd be running, and hang out with folks in the different race groups and figure out who you want to spend all your downtime with, and who you trust most to enter a turn next to you. Spend time frequenting the message boards for the different groups and see how nice and helpful they are.

I am in much the same boat, but a couple of steps ahead of you. I'm getting a spec 944, that is currently on it's way, and will be here tomorrow or Monday. Getting all my pre-req's taken care of to have my first race in February.

I went with 944 for a number of reasons. The biggest one was the people. They were unbelievably nice and welcoming, even for car people. Plus, everyone I talked to had great things to say about them. One guy even went so far as to let me use his car for several HPDE sessions, to see how I liked driving them. I also do my auto-x with the local PCA chapter.

ROTARY_X_7 New Reader
Jan. 9, 2010 4:59 p.m.
amg_rx7 wrote: I also have an FD which I do track days with. You can race a 1st gen RX7 in SCCA ITA or NASA PT. Buy in is cheap for old ITA cars. You can find them from $1k-3k. Another option is FC in SCCA ITS which can also run in NASA PT. Buy in is higher and prices seem to vary from $8k - 20k. Miata is also a great race car. Run it in ITA, ITS, Spec Miata, NASA PT etc. Buy in is runs from $7k-25k. For very close wheel to wheel racing, its hard to beat Spec Miata. Other racing classes the racing isn't as close. Buy the book - GoAheadTakeTheWheel.com

The FD is a blast on the track isn't it. The trouble is my FD has 35K original miles/paint etc, and is beautiful specimen from 94. I have no problem HSAX the car as there aren't many people on the track, but similar to a GRM article from Sept/Oct, this is not a car that would make me shrug my shoulders if I put it into a wall. I would cry ;)

Good call on the book. More reading and more driving instruction is in my future for sure. I think the FB will be the route I will start. I just love triangles....

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