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Author Topic: Newb question
lizardfolk
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Hi, ok please bear with me if these are stupid questions. I'm about as far from a mechanic as I can be but I am extremely interested in racing and would really want to join spec miata.

However, i have a few questions. I did a search on "drive to track" miatas and I found that it is possible but not really probable for a race car. However, I have a question on what exactly makes a spec miata "illegal" to drive on the road. The only thing i can think of is "Too low".

Also, do spec miatas have a passenger seat? I noticed many dont? Is this because of the weight of the seat? Are you allowed to have a passenger seat during races?

Also, is there a good online consumer car ---> racecar manual i can read to educate myself?

Thanks

G. Davis Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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Region: WDC
Car #: 03
Year : 1991
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Depending upon where you are, there are several things that might make it illegal. Exhaust not meeting emissions, R-Compound tires, lack of registration, etc.

It's not that you can't have a car that is street legal, but it will be a pain to make the changes that make it competitive. Much more likely to have a street legal HDPE or TT car.

Mine has a removable passenger seat for instruction. It can stay for races.

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Glenn Davis

Vick Verified Driver
Do they sell spec training wheels?

Region: NYR
Car #: 12
Year : 1991
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In terms of a good reading material, advanced autosports has put together a spec miata manual/guide book. It's a great start and some good reading material.

You should/are required by the rules to get the Mazda Factory Service Manual. Call the guys at mazdaspeed motorsports and order it....any time you need to do any work on the car this book is great. While you call them, sign up for their motorsports program. Great pricing on parts and excellent support.

Welcome to a great hobby. Good luck!

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http://www.volko.com

Kent Carter Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
Future Never Has Been

Region: Houston
Car #: 91
Year : 1991
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What makes a specmiata not street legal:
1. lack of catalyst
2. lack of DOT approved seat belts
3. loud (in some places)

What makes a specmiata dangerous as a street car:
1. lack of padding on the interior
2. low ride height

What makes it unpleasant:
1. low ride height
2. stiff springs
3. lack of interior
4. noise
5. breaking the differential on your only way home...

--------------------
Do I turn my 99 Hard S into a killerfast SM or seek a donor?

lizardfolk
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Ah ok, I forgot that it's different from state to state. I'll find out for myself later on then.

Also, as for the Spec Miata. How much are you guys generally spending? I know (from searching) that Miata's are around 8-15k and a good competitive race ready is about 12-20k. But how much are you spending for tires? Do you hire a pit crew to do pit stops?

Finally, is the hobby sorta self sustaining? Or generally do you have to pay for everything each race?

Kent Carter Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
Future Never Has Been

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Year : 1991
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About 800 to 1200 a race is about average, I think....

Some weekends are cheap... some get expensive fast. Really fast.

--------------------
Do I turn my 99 Hard S into a killerfast SM or seek a donor?

Motor City Hamilton
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Region: Great Lakes/Detroit
Car #: 51
Year : 1994 Miata
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Many people drive their Spec Miatas to the track at the local club, Waterford Hills, here in Michigan. Most of those drivers, I think all but one, are mid-pack. Track time and an occasional battle for 12th with another similarly minded racer are more important to them than the worry of a podium finish. They register their car for the street and haven't had any legality issues. There are no emmissions tests here and the noise on the car is below most city ordinances. I heard one racer got stopped and warned about his seat belt. They didn't like the five point harness that he was wearing, so he also installed the stock belt, so that it is there.

Most of these guys either pile their tires into the trunk/passenger seat or a friend's vehicle who may be going to the track with them. They drive to the track and home on the Miata's stock street tires. Some have a small trailer to carry four tires and a box of tools.

Also, one driver has a passenger seat that is easily removeable. The SM rules say that you cannot have a passenger seat so they take out the passenger seat once at the track. Again, stock seat belt and 5 point harness on that side too. They also use the car for open track days and drivers schools and it's nice to have someone ride along to show the line.

You asked if it can be done and it can and is by quite a few around here. I trailer to all tracks. I only live 40 minutes from Waterford Hills, but a couple of hours from Mid Ohio and Grattan. I would never think of trying to drive that far or even the 40 minutes. I worry about crashing the car and not having transportation home. At Waterford, it's a close enough community that someone with a trailer would chip in and help you get your wrecked car home. So, it can be done.

The one faster racer who also drives to the track totalled his SM in the middle of the summer with a head on hit to the wall. No injury. It happened on Saturday so he got a ride home from a friend and one of the guys at the track let him borrow their trailer during the day on Sunday.

Ask yourself what level you want to race at. If you're there for fun, not trophies, then there is less chance that you will take every inch and cause a big wreck. You can't control the others around you, so it can always happen. The guy running up front is pushing for tenths of a second and trying to beat the top 5 people at the track. He stepped over the line pushing at 100% trying to make the podium.

Motor City Hamilton
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Spending will be different depending on your level. Many of the guys in this forum are the fastest guys in the nation. I'm middle of the road guy - not the fastest, not the slowest.

I spend:
Waterford Hills Club Race
$205 entry fee for one class
$80 entry if I choose to enter another class
We bring our own food and stay the night at home, so I don't really count that as additional expenses.
Drive to the track to and from Friday, Sat & Sun = 240 miles so like $50 in gas for the truck.
Race fuel 94 octane Sunoco, one class and practice day is eight sessions and 15 gallons, so $50 in fuel.
If you don't break anything, then that's it. So about $300 for one weekend at the local club track. Others do it even cheaper by camping at the track.

Motor City Hamilton
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Year : 1994 Miata
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A Mid-Ohio weekend is more expensive. I tend to do four Waterford Hills weekends a year and 3 or four trips to Mid-Ohio or Grattan. My wife isn't into camping, so add in hotel expenses.

SCCA double regional entry fee $350.
Drive there and back, plus running around between hotel 350 miles = $80 in truck fuel.
Race fuel Sunoco 94 octane 20 gallons = $70 in fuel.
Hotel for three nights $180.
We take our own food and a grill, so I don't count that as racing budget. We would have eaten at home anyway if we weren't racing.
Add in one awesome dinner out at the Road House $50.
If we don't have any other mechanical issues or break something, then a weekend at Mid-O or Grattan cost around $700.

Motor City Hamilton
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My seasonal tire budget includes:

Four rain full tread Toyo tires and rims. Lasts four or five seasons before they dry out and become useless. As I start moving more toward the front of the pack, I'll probably have to buy them every other season?

I go through six race tires, shaved Toyos at 3/32" and six rims. I run about six race weekends, but run two classes at some and the practice days. Last season I just made it through six tires. Three Waterford Hills event, two classes and practice days. Two at Mid-Ohio, one class and one practice day. So, I estimate 42 sessions ate six tires that had been cut to 3/32"?

Motor City Hamilton
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quote:
Originally posted by lizardfolk:
Do you hire a pit crew to do pit stops?

Finally, is the hobby sorta self sustaining? Or generally do you have to pay for everything each race?

Pit stops, no. Most races are short except for enduros. No need for over the wall stops. My 125 lb. wife helps me rotate tires and fuel the car between races.

Self sustaining... not even close. There is no prize money. This is truly a hobby - pay to play. I have a friend who races in the C.O.R.E. off road series and he comes close to break even, if, and it's a big if, he doesn't cook an engine or get sent end-over-end off a jump. He says that he CAN break even, but often doesn't because he's too competitive. I also have a cousin who races in the Auto Value Super Sprints, the asphault version of the World of Outlaws. With entry fees, tires, fuel, transportation and meals, he's looking at $500 a night. It pays $300 for just making the feature. Again, he says he CAN break even, but is too competitive. He pays $10,000 to $20,000 for a competitive engine and went through three of them last season. They also have a big enough spectator following that it's attractive enough for sponsors.

soupy
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Region: Mohud
Car #: 98
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There is no prize money, just trophies so it is not self sustaining. [no racing is] As the saying goes, if you want to make a million in racing start with two million.
This is only a hobby to 99% the other are just looking for a stepping stone. You have to ask yourself what you want to get out of it.
The racing part of the weekend is only about 5% of your time. The rest is social time. Some enjoy that just as much or more. You can make a lot of friends. [or sometimes enemies, it's up to you]
Tires all depends on how much you race and how hard you are on them. Some can make do with 2 sets a year, others 4 or 5.
There are no pit stops in sprint racing so you don't need a pit crew. But there are teams that you can rent their trackside services if you want. Usually if you have a problem you can find someone to help you, we tend to be one big family.
Where are you located? If you can find someone close to you that is doing this it would help. Gives you someone to lean on easily.
Do you have any racing experience?

--------------------
Charlie Campbell
Race Engineering
carbotech brakes

misterwaterfallin
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Region: Northwest
Car #: 07
Year : 1990
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Can I throw in a few noob questions:
What do I need in terms of fire extinguishers in my SM?
Do I have to have a seat back brace?
Do I have to have a fuel test port kit?
Thanks for the help.
end thread hijack

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-Mathew Waterfall
Number 07 SM
Red/black/mud

B(Kuch) Kucera 45 Verified Driver
Veteran Member

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Year : 1991
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"Tires all depends on how much you race and how hard you are on them. Some can make do with 2 sets a year, others 4 or 5."

Or some can go 6 race weekends on one set of 2/32 tires like myself.

But then again I'm a cheap A@# and I'm one of those slow guy's just ask Charlie. [Big Grin]

--------------------
Bob
!KUCH!

"All my drinking buddies have a racing problem"

B(Kuch) Kucera 45 Verified Driver
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quote:
Originally posted by misterwaterfallin:
Can I throw in a few noob questions:
What do I need in terms of fire extinguishers in my SM?
Do I have to have a seat back brace?
Do I have to have a fuel test port kit?
Thanks for the help.
end thread hijack

You don't need a seat brace with the good seats,only with some of the ceaper ones.

Yes you need a fuel test port.

I have a class A,B,C extinguisher in my car.

--------------------
Bob
!KUCH!

"All my drinking buddies have a racing problem"

misterwaterfallin
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quote:
Originally posted by B(Kuch) Kucera 45:
quote:
Originally posted by misterwaterfallin:
Can I throw in a few noob questions:
What do I need in terms of fire extinguishers in my SM?
Do I have to have a seat back brace?
Do I have to have a fuel test port kit?
Thanks for the help.
end thread hijack

You don't need a seat brace with the good seats,only with some of the ceaper ones.

Yes you need a fuel test port.


I have a class A,B,C extinguisher in my car.

Would a ultrashiled qualify as a cheap seat?

and is there a minimum size requirement on the extinguisher?

--------------------
-Mathew Waterfall
Number 07 SM
Red/black/mud

Kent Carter Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
Future Never Has Been

Region: Houston
Car #: 91
Year : 1991
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No... it's not about 'cheap' vs 'quality' it's about certification: FIA certified seats do not need a rear brace when mounted exactly as they are certified. Non-FIA Aluminum seats can be more pricey than FIA composite seats, but they all require a brace per the rules.

No matter whether it is FIA or not, a cheap seat is a cheap seat.

Oh... and FIA seats expire after 5 years in most sanctioning bodies. For good reason, the deteriorate.

Download the GCR and the NASA CCR.... these questions are all addressed within.

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Do I turn my 99 Hard S into a killerfast SM or seek a donor?

B(Kuch) Kucera 45 Verified Driver
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quote:
Originally posted by Kent Carter:
No... it's not about 'cheap' vs 'quality' it's about certification: FIA certified seats do not need a rear brace when mounted exactly as they are certified. Non-FIA Aluminum seats can be more pricey than FIA composite seats, but they all require a brace per the rules.

No matter whether it is FIA or not, a cheap seat is a cheap seat.

Oh... and FIA seats expire after 5 years in most sanctioning bodies. For good reason, the deteriorate.

Download the GCR and the NASA CCR.... these questions are all addressed within.

Kent,
That's what I meant in shorter words,some but not all the cheaper seat's aren't FIA approved.My seat expired this year so I had to get a seat brace or replace the seat.A seat brace is a lot cheaper then replacing a $600.00 seat.

--------------------
Bob
!KUCH!

"All my drinking buddies have a racing problem"

Kent Carter Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
Future Never Has Been

Region: Houston
Car #: 91
Year : 1991
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I agree Bob, the problem with that strategy is that no one knows if the composite seat back is strong enough to resist having that metal plate pushed through your spine.

--------------------
Do I turn my 99 Hard S into a killerfast SM or seek a donor?

   

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