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nuthunmuch
nuthunmuch New Reader
6/6/23 7:42 p.m.

Looking to discuss race car choices. Here are the basic guidelines for the series:

  • Maximum 220 hp at the wheels
  • Minimum weight = 13 lb per whp (ex: 2600 lb for 200 whp)
  • 225 width tire (either 15" or 17")
  • Front wheel drive or front engine, rear wheel drive (no 4wd, no mid engine)
  • Car must have been available within the past 15 years (ex: 2009 model year or newer for 2024 season)

Common cars currently in the class include Mini Cooper S, Scion FRS/Subaru BRZ, Honda Civic Si (8th and 9th gen with K series as well as 10th and 11th gen 1.5 turbo models).

All of those cars are good (and perhaps obvious) choices, but I'd like to consider something different.  If you were going to race a unique and (reasonably) competitive car what would it be?

Scion tC? VW GTI mk6? Hyundai Veloster? ... Let the bench racing begin.

wvumtnbkr
wvumtnbkr GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
6/6/23 7:48 p.m.

Miata!

nuthunmuch
nuthunmuch New Reader
6/6/23 8:26 p.m.
wvumtnbkr said:

Miata!

Haha! That's always the answer right?

I think the NC Miata could be a good choice, and I'm a bit surprised there isn't one in the series already. It would need some motor work to get to a competitive power level; I would think around 170-180 whp would be the minimum target. Maybe a 2.5 bottom end swap would make that target easier to hit.

Stampie
Stampie GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/6/23 8:45 p.m.
amg_rx7 (Forum Supporter)
amg_rx7 (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
6/6/23 8:45 p.m.

RX8 

buzzboy
buzzboy SuperDork
6/6/23 8:57 p.m.

The 15 years part makes this much harder for me

Dodge Caliber SRT4

ToManyProjects
ToManyProjects Reader
6/6/23 9:39 p.m.

You could run a solstice or sky with the 2.4, but you'd need to either get the power up a bit or drop some weight to be competetive.

Sadly 2009 models are the latest available.

Olemiss540
Olemiss540 Dork
6/7/23 10:08 a.m.

128i.

DocRob
DocRob Reader
6/7/23 10:35 a.m.

Turbo Fit, Turbo Mazda2, V6 Mustang 

 

 

dyintorace
dyintorace GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
6/7/23 1:38 p.m.
Olemiss540 said:

128i.

I have one of these and absolutely love it!

nuthunmuch
nuthunmuch New Reader
6/9/23 1:20 p.m.

The 128i seems like a good option for a number of reasons. My biggest concern would be reliability as I feel modern BMWs are overly complicated (based on personal experience with my E90 328i).

dyintorace
dyintorace GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
6/9/23 2:04 p.m.

I realize I'm linking to another car website, but there are a ton of good 128i articles over on the Drive. One of the contributors has one that he has been modding into a track car. It might give you some good ideas. Also, given that you know the e90 328i, the e87 128i is pretty much identical mechanically. 

https://www.thedrive.com/search/128

frenchyd
frenchyd MegaDork
6/9/23 2:37 p.m.

In reply to nuthunmuch :

Look at the overlooked.  Jaguars are very affordable.  Some of the smaller sedans are basically English Fords with Jaguar styling. I see them very competitive over in English Racing. 
   
one bit of advice?!?   Never have work done at the Jaguar dealer.  Their marketing plan is  to profit from service. If you aren't capable of wrenching, find a small shop willing / eager to work with you. 

Puddy46
Puddy46 Reader
6/9/23 2:49 p.m.

In reply to dyintorace :

I've been loosely following along on The Drive to see how his 128 has progressed.  It's nice to see a rational progression build compared to the usual youtube builds of throwing the checkbook at a car.

As a fellow owner, the 128i is a good choice, with some caveats.  Out of the box, it's decent to good, but not great.  Fortunately, as previously mentioned, lots of OEM parts swap over, including M3 parts , which would help the cause.  

nuthunmuch
nuthunmuch New Reader
6/17/23 12:23 a.m.

Did a little work on my E90 328i which served as a reminder why I wouldn't want a modern BMW for the track. Too many needlessly complicated things that I'd rather not deal with.

One car I keep coming back to is the second generation Scion tC. Doesn't seem like many people consider them for track use, but in stock form they're lower and wider than similar year Civic Si (although slightly heavier). Independent rear suspension, motor capable of making good power based on what I've seen from Frankenstein Motorworks videos. Seems like the tC should have some potential. 

Olemiss540
Olemiss540 Dork
6/17/23 9:40 a.m.

Suit yourself. The downside of going down a road less traveled is there are many more items you will need to learn via mistakes versus someone else's wallet. 

There's a reason there are always a lot of BMWs in the field is all I'm saying but post a build thread once you find the right chassis! 

Rodan
Rodan UltraDork
6/17/23 1:01 p.m.

With those restrictions, I would think an NC Miata would be a good choice.  It's a very capable chassis, should make the HP limit for weight without a ton of work, and it's still a relatively simple car to work on.

I'll just leave this here... $4k NC for sale here on GRM

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
6/17/23 1:44 p.m.

Focus ST?  You'd have to lower the power and lose some weight.   Although the translation from engine to wheels might be really close to start with.  

Or Fiesta ST?  Have to bump power some.

buzzboy
buzzboy SuperDork
6/17/23 2:33 p.m.

I recall somewhere that the tC has oiling issues for track work. Something to look into.

MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt UltimaDork
6/17/23 3:54 p.m.

Kia Forte? There were some serious factory backed road race efforts for those.

Dodge Dart? The FCA attempt to revive the name on an Alfa platform gets overlooked, but I wonder if there's anything developed for its European cousins that will help.

Ninja edit: Fiat 500 Abarth? This looks like light weight is a massive advantage, or should that be a low-mass advantage?

nuthunmuch
nuthunmuch New Reader
6/17/23 9:24 p.m.
Rodan said:

With those restrictions, I would think an NC Miata would be a good choice.  It's a very capable chassis, should make the HP limit for weight without a ton of work, and it's still a relatively simple car to work on.

I'll just leave this here... $4k NC for sale here on GRM

Looks like a good deal. Unfortunately I am in Ontario, Canada so distance and importing would make that a tough sell for me. Wish we had prices like that around here.

nuthunmuch
nuthunmuch New Reader
9/1/23 5:28 p.m.
alfadriver said:

Focus ST?  You'd have to lower the power and lose some weight.   Although the translation from engine to wheels might be really close to start with.  

Or Fiesta ST?  Have to bump power some.

These two options have been moving towards the top of my list lately.  The light starting weight of the Fiesta would make it pretty easy to hit the minimum, however I also saw a Focus project where they were able to drop over 700 lbs from the car (including a roll bar).

Wider and longer chassis of the Focus is likely preferable on a road course. It has a few electrical 'aids' that would probably need to be defeated.

LanEvo
LanEvo GRM+ Memberand Dork
9/2/23 2:58 a.m.

I don't see any of these choices being competitive against a Civic Si

RyanGreener (Forum Supporter)
RyanGreener (Forum Supporter) Reader
9/2/23 5:54 a.m.

This sounds like an NC2 Miata all the way. Yes...I'm sure its a boring/typical answer but it fits!

AClockworkGarage
AClockworkGarage Dork
9/2/23 6:11 a.m.
 
  • Car must have been available within the past 15 years (ex: 2009 model year or newer for 2024 season)

Realistically, that means 10 years or newer. If you get a car that's right at that 15 year limit, cage it, spend a season developing and racing it, By the second season it's aged out and you need to start over.

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