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Author Topic: new to spec miata
racinry91
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Ive been racing shifter karts for 4 years now and we intend on making the jump to a Miata.

How much a weekend do you guys on average?

I am trying to figure how much more (if anymore) we will be spending in the car other than a kart

Mark de Regt Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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Not including the car, and not including major expenses which crop up from time to time (e.g., crash damage), I very roughly guess that it costs me about $1000 per race weekend. I usually enter two classes (SM and ITA).

There's no science, and very little rigor to my method, but I don't think it's far wrong.

Jim Daniels
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After equipment many karters say it is less. Have fun budget is not much more than travel and entry fees with a set of tires and brakes every few weekends.

B(Kuch) Kucera 45 Verified Driver
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I don't have the kind of money some of these guy's have so I average about $450.to $500. a weekend.That's if your hitting local tracks,if you travel it will easily be $1,000 to $1,500 a weekend.

I'm so poor that I only had one set of tires for the hole year.I'm not fast yet,I only finish in the top 5 usually [Big Grin] so you can make a set of tires last.Alot of guy's only use a set of tires for about two weekends. So you can be cheap like me and still have fun.

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

"All my drinking buddies have a racing problem"

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A grand a weekend 'eh? I am assuming hotel & travel expense included. I have seen it done on the cheap and guys still have more fun than a roller coaster. I am already looking forward to the fun in '08.

--------------------
MB.

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It often costs around $400 for entry fees (two classes). Throw in brake pads, gas, tires and hotel (more often than not) and travel, and $1000 is a fair guess, I think. And that's using my tires for many, many sessions (never less than 30).

He asked how much this costs; not how much you go through in brake pads. So I included what it costs, not just brake pads. [Smile]

B Wilson Verified Driver Series Champ
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I've always hated to hear the $1k per weekend number, and while I do know that I spent more than that this season, I also know that it can be done for a lot cheaper, as I've done that too. Hotel, restuarants, race gas, tires every other weekend, extra class, etc add up.

On top of registration fees for a single class, and assuming no damage...

2-3 sets of front pads per season, 1 set of rear pads. And 1 set of rotors per season depending on the pads purchased.

4-5/32 shaved tires won't win races, but will last a lot longer (they will go off long before they cord -- depending on track ). Or buy takeoffs from others. 2-3 sets per year if your lucky. Add a set for rains, or just don't shave.

Buy the $3 per gallon gas at the station. 4-5 gallons per session depending on the length of session.

Live near a track.

Car is in top shape. These cars are rock solid, and don't require much maintenance, but YMMV.

Bring food, camp in tent or truck.

Other consumable... Lubricants, etc.

Did I miss anything? Bribes to officials?

Assuming no travel and not counting food, as you have to eat, racing or not. Rock bottom would be about $650-700 per weekend.

-Bruce

--------------------
Bruce Wilson
2010 Oregon Region Champ
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Casey Z Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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Bruce, I live near a track and run there about 10-12 weekends a year. Your budget is pretty close. The only thing it doesn't take into account is stuff that gets broken. That is what kills the budget. We built three motors, a trans, a diff, and reparied susspension and body work this year. That is the stuff you can't predict but have to factor in. That is how I end up at the $1000 number. I only bought 4 sets of tires btw.

Here's hoping for a no broken parts 2008! [Big Grin]

--------------------
----------------
Z Brothers Racing / East Street Auto

Casey Z - 1.6 Kettle
MidDiv National #13

B Wilson Verified Driver Series Champ
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Casey,

Ouch, that's a tough season for sure. I've had a few of those too.

-Bruce

--------------------
Bruce Wilson
2010 Oregon Region Champ
2010 Monte Shelton Driver of the Year
2010 25 Hours of Thunderhill E3 and Under 2 liter Overall Champion
Oregon Region SM Class Advisor

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Yup it was a tough one for sure. I started joking that I hoped I would crash. Whenever I got hit nothing broke. Body work is cheaper than drive train...

For the record, all our mechanicals were just stuff that went bad or wrong, some things just happen. Only ended up with one DNF, but the pocket book gets hit either way. From my experiance I would say make a budget on consumables and then add 50%. You should be safe amortized over a few seasons.

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----------------
Z Brothers Racing / East Street Auto

Casey Z - 1.6 Kettle
MidDiv National #13

B Wilson Verified Driver Series Champ
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That sounds about right.

racinry91,

Now if you want to be at the pointy end of a National field, throw all these budgets out, get a second/third mortgage, and whatever you do DON'T record what you spend [Big Grin] But, I'm sure you already know that if you race shifters competitively.

-Bruce

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Bruce Wilson
2010 Oregon Region Champ
2010 Monte Shelton Driver of the Year
2010 25 Hours of Thunderhill E3 and Under 2 liter Overall Champion
Oregon Region SM Class Advisor

Cajun Miata Man Verified Driver
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I shouldn't have looked, but when I pulled up my finance tracking program, I spent about $2.5K per weekend (averaged out) for 2007 season as a data point. And that's everything, consumables, parts, repairs, tires, transporation costs, etc. Even the coffee I drink each morning. Any expense that was incurred due to the race activity is catorized as "racing" in my number.

So it can add up when you really look at it. I should clarify that I typically have to tow at least 400 miles each way, so fuel adds up.

Why did I look......

[ 12-10-2007, 01:19 PM: Message edited by: Cajun Miata Man ]

--------------------
James York


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jwarren Verified Driver
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i don't know about the rest of the guys, but i'm a fairly broke college student... i usually spend 3-4000 on a whole season, which is usually about 7-10 races for me.

i buy tires at 4/32, and they'll last a season.
i don't know how these other guys go through brakes/rotors, because i check mine after every event and they're still doing just fine. (its been 1 season with them). maybe i'm just not braking hard enough...

entry fees and gas to get there are the most expensive thing for me, but luckily, nothing is over a 4 1/2 hr drive.

however, i have been adding "upgrades" to my car which has cost quite a bit, but this isn't regular maintenance.

other than body work and other unexpected occurances, you really should be good to go.


by the way, i typically finish mid-pack and last year i managed a top ten - not bad for a rookie. i can tell you that my car is definately not the thing holding me back.

--------------------
Ridgespeed Racing

#51 J. Andrew Warren

http://www.ridgespeedracing.com

Mark de Regt Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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Brake wear can very much be a function of the track(s) you race on. Our two most local tracks are fairly hard on brakes; I'll get three weekends out of a set of front pads, and probably six or so out of a set of rear pads. I haven't gone through a set of new rotors, so I don't know about them (and they're practically free, anyway).

Here's a typical race weekend for me:

Entry (two classes)--$370
Hotel (two nights)--$200 (There's a closer track, which doesn't require a hotel, but it does require a long drive each way each day, and it doesn't have as many races as Portland does, and it's not as good a track for racing in many ways).
Food--$50
Gas at race (92 octane from pump)--$100
To and from event--$40 (I drive my race car)
Brake pads--$60
Tires--$175 (more or less a new set every four weekends)

That's $955, not including any other expense, or amortizing wear and tear on parts. And not factoring in the occasional crash. In this, my first year of racing (I did 8 race weekends), I broke an engine (I've spent about $450 fixing it); replaced a throttle body, idle air valve, idle speed control valve, air filter, radiator; fixed my AFM; replaced my front hubs; and that doesn't include upgrades to my car, such as a fire system, AiM MXL Pista, making the cage larger, getting a pop-in front window, getting window vents, and lots of other things I can't think of offhand. I bought a very decent video camera, only for use in the car (my kids are all grown up, although two of them cost big bucks for tuition). I've done routine maintenance, like fluid changes, a number of times, but not included the cost here. And there's no labor costs included in those expenses.

I don't want to sleep in a tent, but I'm not staying at the Ritz. I'm eating at a local diner, or at the track, not a fancy restaurant. I shave my tires to 4/32, and run them into the ground. I don't have (and didn't spend the huge bucks acquiring and storing) a tow vehicle or trailer.

I'm not doing this on the cheap, but I'm also not doing it in a luxurious fashion. I want to do two classes, because there's no substitute for seat time, and the incremental cost of two classes is fairly small in the context of all I spend on this activity.

My message is, then, that I think you're fooling yourself if you think you can do any significant amount of racing for less than $1,000 a weekend, and enjoy it for long. You can cut some costs by entering one class (maybe $200), but why cut <20% of your costs, when that cuts 50% of your track time?

B(Kuch) Kucera 45 Verified Driver
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WOW,you guy's are even scaring me with how much you guy's spend.

I was just wondering if spending all that money would make me faster? [Big Grin]

Don't get me wrong I only do about 7 to 10 race weekends a season,and only 2 tracks Nelson Ledges and Mid-O.I did 1 race at Mosport.Nelsons is a high speed track and not smooth either.I only used 1 set of new 2/32 tires and had to buy a set of take offs for the last race.

On the average I spent $500. to $550 a weekend,I didn't stay at the tracks I drove back and forth.When I did go to Mossport I did spend $1,500.with gas and lodging.

In our region I finished 3rd in Regionals and 11th in National points.The National points I got I did with only 2 National races.The regional points I got(3rd overall for season) was with 4 race weekends.

So don't get to affrayed,if you live close to a track you can do it for alot cheaper than a $1,000. a weekend.They are right though,if you start banging up your car you can throw that price out the window.

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

"All my drinking buddies have a racing problem"

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We ran 8 races this season. Ran the first two on a set of leftover tires from last season. Ran the last 6 races on one set of what started as new 4/32 tires. We had a strange (possibly self inflicted?) brake issue this season so I cant really comment about wear, but last season we ran the season (7races)on one set of rotors and pads...they would have been fine for this season too, but I wanted to try another compound. Like others have said, a lot of brake wear depends on your tracks, but it seems that some drivers burn through equipment faster no matter where they are.

We slept in another drivers enclosed trailer @ all the races this season as well.

All tracks were 3.25 - 12.5 hour drives.

I can't even fathom spending <$2000 a weekend... $500-600 is more realistic/ doable on a budget.

After the initial purchase, I dont think this will be much, if any more expensive than running a shifter kart. I came from karting, and although it is going from an 18-25 race season to roughly 10, the cost is pretty close to the same. I know at the national karting level there are people spending + $100K on one 5 race national season. I dont even think the national SM guys spend that??

--------------------
SSM #87 MARRS
--2007 ARRC SSM Champion--

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tvance85
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We are in the same boat...Just leaving karts and headed to SM. My son has been running for the past 5 years and each year the budget crept a bit more. We were spending about $2300 a weeeknd this season running 2 classes (Please don't mention that to my wife). From what we hear a weekend in SM should be a bit more affordable, but if you want to run up front we realize that eventually you have to spend. I try and turn a blind eye to the costs as you simply can't place a value on the time you spend with your kid on a race weekend.

We are looking forward to meeting many of you in the coming years. He is a youngster (13 years old), so we will be around for a while, but not out at any of the SCCA stuff anytime soon. I am glad to see that NASA is keeping an open mind about the younger drivers coming up through the ranks. Maybe the SCCA will take a page from their book in the coming years.

Given all of the opportunity and support Mazda provides to the sport, we see this as a logical progression for other young drivers. Looking forward to seeing you out at the track. Tom and Tyler

#85 - SoCal 2001 SM (Build in progress)

Mike
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Welcome Tom & Tyler!

I think you will be pleasantly surprised. If you consider buying a well prepped car from the start, your costs will remain budgetable with no real surprises, barring those first 3 or so attitude adjustment races, that tend to cost fenders and hard to repair hind quarters. It's chasing that last 10th of a second that tends to open the gravity well in your wallet. At the point you feel your wallet slipping from your grasp give Jim Daniels or one of the other old guard a ring and they will point you in the right direction.

Enjoy!

--------------------
Mike
Memphis PC Guy
http://memphispcguy.com
http://www.mazdaracers.com

Jim Boemler Verified Driver
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What age does NASA require to drive an SM? Coming from SCCA, I wasn't aware anybody let people drive race cars before 16. For the kind of money you've been spending, you could BOTH race in SM -- something to think about.

jim

--------------------
Just a clown

tvance85
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NASA will allow him to move up through the HPDE ranks based on his previous experience. They consider his racing expereince along with his grades and recommendations from his racing community and school staff. He just completed a car control clinic (Driving Concepts) and is already quite at home in a full size car.

Believe me, the move to SM has me smilling...I quit karting to wrench for him and I look at this as a way to get back behind the wheel. We are building the car to fit me and having a custom seat insert poured for him. I am having AWR do all of the set up. Our first chance to get it to the track will be Laguna Seca (what a shame).

Against the urging of others I decided to build a car. I found an 01 for $6800 and couldn't resist. I feel a bit more comfortable putting him in a car that we built from the ground up. I know what it is and more importantly what it isn't. We will probablly end up at around 17K all in. You know how that goes, I told my wife it would cost X, I told myself it would cost a bit more and then I got the AMEX bill. Ouch.

Anyway, I can't wait to get back at it.

d mathias Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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I thought NASA required a state driver's license to be on track.

Cajun Miata Man Verified Driver
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Hey all,

I don't won't to discourage any newcomer with my expenses, but also don't want anyone to be disillusioned as to the expense. My costs are everything spent to support that hobby. From pre-season dyno work, motor work, tools, whatever... And I tow a lot of miles. It must also be said, depending on which division you are in, and where you wish to finish will impact your budget. For example 30 national points in our division didn't even qualify you for the dance in Topeka (if that matters for ya), while in others you would be like 3rd to 5th in the division standings.

That being said, you can "race" on the cheap. When I first started running SM 3 years ago and run a local track and local series and did 2 or 3 SCCA races, I probably only spent about $400 a weekend locally, and $800 a weekend for out of state SCCA due to tow, food and lodging.

As long as you understand your goals and how much time/expense to get there, you're good to go.

Regards,

--------------------
James York


sponsored by:
Stan's Auto Center, Lafayette LA
powered by:
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set up guru:
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Willie the Tard Verified Driver
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I have my car taken care of by a race shop and I spend $1000 to $2500 a weekend -- plus travel -- but it is a an arrive and drive deal -- with my lack of talent that is good for mid pack here in Texas

cam Verified Driver
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For an extra data point on cost, I'm cheep, just ask Willie [Wink] I use tires way past their prime, do almost all of my own work, cheep open trailer, borrow wife’s SUV, race at tracks where I can go home at night or stay with friends or relatives. This covers all of the Texas tracks I attend. Entry fee is usually around 50% total cost for the weekend, gas is around 20%, remaining 30% is amortized maintenance where tires are most of it. I sometime run my car in two classes and rent my car in ITA. My weekend is almost free when I rent it out but a lot more work on my part. I am not including my time as an expense. The days of ultra cheep racing never really existed but I try to relive it [Smile]

--------------------
"The problem with Socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money."
~Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
"A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have."
~Thomas Jefferson

Willie the Tard Verified Driver
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CAM is cheap -- but he has kids -- I don't [Smile]

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Willie- CAM is cheap. Not only will he rent his car to you to help pay expenses, he may rent out the kids too if you need one!

On the topic of expenses, my experience this 1st year of racing SM is $700 to 1,000 per weekend. Some cheap guys can get by on much less, and then there are those guys that need fresh tires every race and a new pro built motor every month or two of the season. I try to race cheap, but it doesn't always work out that way.

--------------------
Gale Corley
99 SM GRE Super Deluxe
93 SM GRE Jr. Deluxe

jigou Verified Driver
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It's typically held up that the folks running at the pointy end of the grid also consume things - brakes, tires, etc - at a higher rate.

With that in mind, I think a valid data point for this discussion would be to include how many seconds off the fastest car (obviously 0 if you are The Man) your average laps are. You know, compare apples to apples and all that.

Jarrod

--------------------
http://www.plainoldgas.com

racinry91
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haha thanks guys those are some solid estimates. Yea between the spec miatas and a modified shifter kart there's not much more money being thrown around.

Unfortunately the closest track is black hawk farms and ginger man raceway( both about 2 1/2 hours. Now i know u guys probably get this ? alot but whats the difference between shaved and unshaved tires?

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quote:
Originally posted by racinry91:
Now i know u guys probably get this ? alot but whats the difference between shaved and unshaved tires?

The spec Toyos come with 8/32 of an inch of tread. That's fine for a wet track, but not good, for a variety of reasons, for a dry track. The less tread you have on a dry track, the more grip you'll have. The compromise we cheapies use is to shave the tread off, so that there's 4/32, and drive the tires forever. The front-runners will shave to 3/32 (or even 2/32), since tires are faster there, but they don't last as long.

racinry91
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oh ok Now is Toyo the spec tire Across the board in all regions?

Cajun Miata Man Verified Driver
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quote:
Originally posted by racinry91:
oh ok Now is Toyo the spec tire Across the board in all regions?

For National SCCA races. For Regional races, you'll need to check your region's supplemental regs.

--------------------
James York


sponsored by:
Stan's Auto Center, Lafayette LA
powered by:
East Street Racing, Memphis TN
set up guru:
Gilfus Racing, Austin TX

racinry91
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ok thanks for the help its been a headache trying to make the transfer from shifter karts to cars and everything helps

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quote:
Originally posted by racinry91:
haha thanks guys those are some solid estimates. Yea between the spec miatas and a modified shifter kart there's not much more money being thrown around.

Unfortunately the closest track is black hawk farms and ginger man raceway( both about 2 1/2 hours. Now i know u guys probably get this ? alot but whats the difference between shaved and unshaved tires?

I can not figure out how you can be 2.5 hours from both Gingerman and Blackhawk and not consider Autobahn your closest track.

Your tire bill will increase at Gingerman. The place has always been hard on tires. Yet it is easy on brakes.

Blackhawk is a KILLER on brakes. Front runners get 3 weekends max on front pads. The 5th to 10th place guys are even harder on brakes, typically 2 weekends.

My point is, all these numbers are worthless to YOU. There are just toooooo many variables to include.

Track, as mentioned above.
Weather, you won't like camping at Blackhawk in April. It may snow!!!!
Food, PB and J or steak at a restaurant
Distance from track, gas milage you get towing with YOUR rig
Are you hard on tires, how often do you flat spot them
Are you hard on brakes
How often do you crash? I have guys that crash every other weekend, yet I have wrinkled one fender in the last 3 seasons.
How well preped is your car. A well preped car breaks less than a Pile of .... Prep is cheaper than repairs in the long run.

There is a book available through SCCA or another website I know(look down) about racing on your budget. The author gives some great advice on cutting corners. Sometimes more corners than I would like. For less than $20 it is valuable info to the beginner

Dave

--------------------
Advanced Autosports, The Midwests leader in Spec Miata Service, Parts and Rentals
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Dusty Bottoms Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
99 all the way!

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quote:
Originally posted by Cajun Miata Man:
My costs are everything spent to support that hobby. From pre-season dyno work, motor work, tools, whatever...

Don't forget the biggest part of your budget, cleaning supplies, polish, wax, polishing pads. [duck] [Big Grin]

Antonio--puts car out in the rain or goes to MSRH (seems to rain whenever I go there) when it needs a wash.

--------------------
"Your victory is tainted! Asterisk! Asterisk!!!"--Lisa Simpson

Cajun Miata Man Verified Driver
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Region: Houston; SWDIV
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Year : 99
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quote:
Originally posted by Antonio Garza:
quote:
Originally posted by Cajun Miata Man:
My costs are everything spent to support that hobby. From pre-season dyno work, motor work, tools, whatever...

Don't forget the biggest part of your budget, cleaning supplies, polish, wax, polishing pads. [duck] [Big Grin]

.

I am sure it's in my equation, but my buffer, wax and labor is pretty cheap.

--------------------
James York


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racinry91
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quote:
Originally posted by davew:
quote:
Originally posted by racinry91:
haha thanks guys those are some solid estimates. Yea between the spec miatas and a modified shifter kart there's not much more money being thrown around.

Unfortunately the closest track is black hawk farms and ginger man raceway( both about 2 1/2 hours. Now i know u guys probably get this ? alot but whats the difference between shaved and unshaved tires?

I can not figure out how you can be 2.5 hours from both Gingerman and Blackhawk and not consider Autobahn your closest track.

Your tire bill will increase at Gingerman. The place has always been hard on tires. Yet it is easy on brakes.

Blackhawk is a KILLER on brakes. Front runners get 3 weekends max on front pads. The 5th to 10th place guys are even harder on brakes, typically 2 weekends.

My point is, all these numbers are worthless to YOU. There are just toooooo many variables to include.

Track, as mentioned above.
Weather, you won't like camping at Blackhawk in April. It may snow!!!!
Food, PB and J or steak at a restaurant
Distance from track, gas milage you get towing with YOUR rig
Are you hard on tires, how often do you flat spot them
Are you hard on brakes
How often do you crash? I have guys that crash every other weekend, yet I have wrinkled one fender in the last 3 seasons.
How well preped is your car. A well preped car breaks less than a Pile of .... Prep is cheaper than repairs in the long run.

There is a book available through SCCA or another website I know(look down) about racing on your budget. The author gives some great advice on cutting corners. Sometimes more corners than I would like. For less than $20 it is valuable info to the beginner

Dave

Oh yeah! i had forgotten about The Autobahn. Its funny how similar the tracks are to miata's as you say to shifter karts as far as break and tire life, I had to change pads after blackhawk and tires were about scrap after the race at gingerman.

Dave, How is Autobahn?
ive seen pictures but have not raced there

Dillon
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Hello all,

I too am new to racing spec miatas (in fact new to racing in general), and this thread has been very informative. It's good to get some insight on the cost of racing. However, I have some other questions that are not related to cost. I figured it'd be better to post in here than to make a new thread.

First...I've just about decided to build a car, rather than buy one, so I have some questions concerning the build itself. Perhaps most importantly...it seems I've come into the SM community at a time where there's a lot of controversy concerning parity and the future of SM. So I'm bringing up the old question...with the current NASA and SCCA rules in consideration, should I look for a 1.6 or 1.8? I cannot afford to build a car based on the NB platform, so keep that in mind. Also, when looking for a car, does mileage really matter? After all, the key components will be getting redone. Still, how many miles is "too many"? If I find a low mileage car, with a strong engine, would it be safe to rebuild the motor, or is it better to drop in a new one? And, starting from the ground up on a clean platform, how long do you think it'd take to convert a car to spec? I have experience with suspension and drivetrain components, but not with rebuilding an engine.

Second, it should be noted that I have no actual race experience, so while I've done lots of research, I'm not as educated of most of you when it comes to road racing. I chose SM as an entry point because it seems to be (relatively) affordable, and I love Miatas. I am considering running in HPDE or other similar events with my current car just to get a feel for things. But as I am, with no real experience, what do I need to do to get licensed to race SM? There is a racing school near here, but it's quite pricey, just like all of them are. Should I race with SCCA, NASA, both, or others?

Any other information that a new racer should know would be great, too...thanks in advance!

cam Verified Driver
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Dillon, welcome and hope you enjoy the ride. The search function is your friend. There are many existing thread covering what you are looking for. Since you are truly starting out, then your best bang for the buck is doing DEs. PCA, NASA and other clubs put them on. Not sure what is available in your area. Auto-X is also good for developing car control. Work on your skills first and invest in safty equipment. Car prep comes next then power. It takes time to get good but worth it. Enjoy [Smile]

--------------------
"The problem with Socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money."
~Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
"A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have."
~Thomas Jefferson

Dillon
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Yes, I tried searching, but didn't find much. I guess my search skills are lacking. :? Could you or someone else link me to said threads? I've been to a few AutoX events, and learned a lot about car control through that, and spirited drives through the mountain roads up here, heh. I am considering going through a racing school though, as mentioned earlier. I'd like to jump into SM as early as possible, and hope to be racing by late 2008 / early 2009. Perhaps it'd be best to build the car and go through DE events first, though it's my understanding that going through a school will also qualify as equivalent experience.

Mark de Regt Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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quote:
Originally posted by cam:
Dillon, welcome and hope you enjoy the ride. The search function is your friend. There are many existing thread covering what you are looking for. Since you are truly starting out, then your best bang for the buck is doing DEs. PCA, NASA and other clubs put them on. Not sure what is available in your area. Auto-X is also good for developing car control. Work on your skills first and invest in safty equipment. Car prep comes next then power. It takes time to get good but worth it. Enjoy [Smile]

[thumbsup]

   

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