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 Post subject: Re: NOOBIE!!!
PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 5:46 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2007 8:15 am
Posts: 284
Location: Chicago, IL
Dowski12 wrote:

I agree that learning to drive is the most important thing. With my very limited experience, I really hope to get out there and learn all I can. I hear about all these guys that have been able to solo at their first DE's, to me that sounds like a really bad idea. Honestly I think it makes more sense to want to have an instructor for as long as possible. That way you can take advantage of their knowledge and use it to improve alot faster than if you were to run solo and basically be teaching yourself as you go.


And right there, you have shown the PERFECT attitude. Too many guys (girls too!) get the testosterone flowing, and make being first to solo in their group a priority. I've been instructing for more than a few years now, and I STILL grab fellow instructors for a ride-along every chance I get! It simply pays dividends.

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RWD is the plan at this point. My Audi is AWD, which I admit is nice, but I really think it would hurt me in the long run. I've heard alot of people say that it can mask your mistakes and really doesn't help to make you a better driver. I would much rather be in a car that will help push me to be a better drive than something that will get me around the track faster right out the gate.


Momentum car. Miata.

Quote:
As far as cost for consumables, maintenance, and track time, I think I'm like everyone else in regards to the fact that no one wants to spend more then they have to. Only difference to me is that if I am going to buy a specific car then the cost of consumables isn't anything that I'm not going to be prepared to pay since this is something that I really want to get out there and do. I'm not the richest guy around but I really dont want to buy a vehicle, strictly based on the price of consumables.
I hear where you're coming from, but consumables can really add up, if you track the car a lot. For example, for the 2013 season, I'm staring at a tire budget of six SETS of R-compound tires. If I was driving a 944 or a Miata instead of a Mustang, I would use half (or less) the number of tires, AND the tires would cost half (or less) each.... Add in brakes and fuel, and that can be substantial. Granted, I'm not running TT anymore, but the principle still applies.

I know they have a classifieds section on this forum, but where else does eveyone go to look for good track cars?[/quote] Buy a used race car from somebody that's upgrading or getting out. They're usually 90+% of the way there, have the RIGHT mods, and you'll pay $.50 on the dollar for what you get, as opposed to building. If you're the tinkering/engineering type, and get off on the build itself, great, otherwise buy a used race car.

Best bet, go to the next NASA event and watch the races. Miatas may be relatively slow, but there's plenty of action in the pack, and making them go fast takes skill. Failing that, think 944SPEC, maybe SpecE30 (BMW), or look at TTD-TTE cars in the paddock. Don't be afraid to chat with the owners, either, most of us will chat for hours at the drop of a hat...

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 Post subject: Re: NOOBIE!!!
PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 7:54 pm 
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I know the miata would be my best bet, but I'm a pretty big guy so its probably not the best choice for me. Also I cant really explain why but I just dont like them :lol:. I've driven them before (not on a track obviously) and theres just something about that car that doesn't agree with me. Now the 944 is something I could get my hands on for around $1500 and personally wouldn't mind owning one. If you haven't been able to tell by now, I'm kind of a euro nut. I'm pretty much in the same situation that you are, as I can work on my 1.8T blind folded. Learning the 944 wouldn't pose too much of a challenge, and having to learn a new motor would be ok because I would have to learn the miata if I was to go that route. I think I'll look into the price on consumables for the 944 and see what kinda budget I would be looking at. I can't imagine they would be super expensive, but it is a porsche so you never know.

I plan on making it to a DE at the end of next month so I will be sure to get as much info as I can from the other drivers. I'm the same way when it comes to cars, get me started and it never ends.

Thanks for all the help, its much appreciated


Last edited by Dowski12 on Sun Mar 03, 2013 8:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: NOOBIE!!!
PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 8:17 pm 
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As a suggestion, it would probably be more accurate if this thread shifted over to the HPDE forum at this point.

Link: http://www.nasaforums.com/viewforum.php?f=1

Mark

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NASA-Florida TT Director
1994 Mustang GT / 2004 Cobra engine
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 Post subject: Re: NOOBIE!!!
PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 8:50 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 04, 2003 11:15 pm
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Location: RVA, FLA, VIR
Moved to HPDE forum as suggested.

Recommend E30 or E36 BMW 3 series non-M. Cheaper to fix and maintain than 944... and not slower. But both are also not necessarily faster than a well driven Miata :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: NOOBIE!!!
PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 12:36 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 21, 2011 5:15 pm
Posts: 160
Location: Mechanicsville, VA
Just saw this since it entered "HPDE". I started 2 years ago and can tell you that you will either drive your car at 80%.....or run off the track (eventually).

I started with my SRT8 Charger for the same reasons.....already owned it, 500hp (400 at the wheels), etc. It has some chips on the front now and I added a few fluid coolers/brakes/tires but finally retired it. Why??? I've gotten over the (A SCRATCH issue) but realized I wanted to come home at night. A car with a full safety cage became a priority when I saw my first car desintegrate against a wall.....and the driver walk away just fine. I blew about $2K modifying that Charger and regret not buying a "track" car sooner.
That high HP car was more like driving through a bunch of drag strips with some turns between them. Last fall I bought a full race ready CMC mustang for probably what you have spent modifying that Audi. It is slower on the straights but turns faster lap times. I push myself and the car more because I don't have to drive it during the week (and I was already trailering the Charger to the track.......which was required to get it home once!).

Get a feel for driving with your current car. You WILL need to use racing brake pads/rotor/fluid but everything else can be run like it sits. Don't spend anymore on that car til your able to completely convert it......or do like most of us and buy a car someone can't use anymore.


Last edited by t500hps on Wed Mar 06, 2013 2:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: NOOBIE!!!
PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 8:11 pm 
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All my Audi really needs to be race ready is a cage, seats and harnesses. The only problem is I'm really not interested in putting it into a wall after the 20K or so I have invested in it. I know the car could handle the track with no issues. Its been built to take some serious punishment, but for a noob like me, 550awhp seems like it can get away from you fast on a track. I mentioned before that I was probably going to make a custom flash tune with a substantially lower boost cap, probably keeping the car around the 300-350hp range while I improve my driving skills. Also throwing around the idea of getting a dedicated track car. Only thing about that is I would really like to get my car out there and see if it suits me or not. Would really hate to pick up a second car and find out I would have been alright driving my Audi, and could have saved a pretty penny for some extra tack time. Not really too thrilled about learning on an AWD car either. I'm more interested in improving my driving then being able to get around the track as fast as possible right off the get go. I feel like the AWD will cover up my mistakes a bit, and help form some bad habits without even realizing it. Obiviously I have no experience to back that up, based solely on what I have read. Some clearification would be much appreciated.

Is anyone else rocking AWD on the track? If so, how do you like it? Have you driven any other kind of layout on the track, what are the differences?


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 Post subject: Re: NOOBIE!!!
PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 12:11 am 
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Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2007 10:11 am
Posts: 140
Location: Sunnyvale, Calif.
When I first started driving on track, I used my 2001 Audi S4 with stage 3 components (K04 turbos, larger fuel injectors, plus AWE intercoolers so say 400+ hp and torque at the engine), and it was definitely fun how fast it accelerated and passed most cars on track. The car had a nice suspension (Ohlins with 700F/800R springs) plus Brembo 355mm front 4piston brakes, so handled and stopped pretty well being that it weighs up around 3500lbs. The car also had lots of grip accelerating out of corners (like turn 4 at Infineon). I really wasn't driving the car that hard in the corners, but it was still pretty fast around the courses. Eventually I thought it would be better/cheaper/safer to have a full track car with full roll cage, 5 or 6 pt harness etc., so I got a 2000 Civic hatch race car with ITR engine and full cage, so around 2300 lbs with fairly good horsepower with rev limiter at 8500 rpm so fun on track, plus easier to work on and cheaper to repair when things break, plus tires and brakes are much less expensive.

When you go to the track, see if you can ride as a passenger in some car models that you might consider possibly buying (like a Spec E30). In Calif, instructors often run in HPDE-4, so if you hang around their area 10' before the HPDE-4 session with your helmet, then you might be able to ride along, but I'm not sure how they do it at your tracks. I rode along in a low powered Civic that was driven by an instructor in HPDE-4 at Infineon and that helped sell me on the possibility of buying one. Personally, when I was looking at various cars, I felt that the Miata was too small for me, but the E30 seemed like a good fit.

PS - if you do decide to buy a used race car, then if you're not familiar with roll cages, then get someone to inspect it to make sure that the welds are done correctly so you won't need to redo it which can get really expensive... - Jim

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 Post subject: Re: NOOBIE!!!
PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 8:35 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2013 8:09 pm
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I have been looking into civic's myself. Seems like it would be a pretty easy car to budget for track use, only problem is I know I would get flamed by my euro buddys (not fans of honda's in the slightest), but honestly who cares what they think. Most of them are part of the low and slow crowd anyway :lol: . At this point, I'm really excited to hit the track, so I'll mostly likely follow what seems to be the general consensus and drive my car (go slow mode of course). Thanks for all the info and suggestions fellas, they are much appreciated.


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 Post subject: Re: NOOBIE!!!
PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 4:21 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 05, 2003 4:36 pm
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Location: Elizabethtown, PA
Stephen, not sure where you are from as I didn't read every post. Lots of good advice in this thread. A dedicated, lower cost, lower HP track car will be worth every penny and small headache. I went from tracking my daily driver to a Spec E30, and it's so much more fun to not have to worry about stone chips, tire marks, etc and be able to buy fairly affordable rubber, brake pads and rotors, etc. The car is a total blast to drive and doesn't seem slow at all when I'm out there thrashing on it. If you're coming to VIR later this month, it has a passenger seat you're welcome to take for a session.

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 Post subject: Re: NOOBIE!!!
PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 10:19 pm 
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That would be awesome, but VIR is quite a ways away from Utah:lol:. Hopefully I can get a ride with someone at MMP at the end of this month. I think it would definitley help in deciding the route I want to go. An E30 sounds like it would be alot of fun and a far better option than my audi at this point. I still really want to see how my car does on the track before I jump into a dedicated track car. Honestly, my car is pretty scratched up from the first shop that had my car. They weren't careful at all, chipped paint on the edge of the doors from someone hitting the lift repeatedly, scratched wheels from an intercooler being placed on the face and then spun when someone walked by and accidentally kicked it, the list goes on. Needless to say that a few rock chips now, wouldn't get me too butt hurt. If it turns out that I'm comfortable with my car on the track, then it'll probably be my dedicated track car. I think if I was going to go all out with it, then it would help me come to terms with the inevitable damage that the car will sustain at some point.


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