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Chump Event cost questions


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I might not be doing this right, but here goes nothing. I know this will be different for the different vehicles that can be used, so if anyone has specific experience with the vehicle I am using, please chime in. I am looking into doing the chumpcar thing. Here is what I have right now. I have a 1983 Mazda RX7 (12a) that has been run in SCCA. I didn't like the bolt in cage, so, assuming I decide to proceed with this, I will be taking the car to Charlie Clark (KC Raceware) to have a cage installed. With that being said, how much does a chump weekend cost? For conversation sake, lets just not include the initial investment of getting the car ready (adopting the if you build it they "drivers" will come mentality). Can anyone tell me how much fuel should I plan on using for lets say a weekend consisting of (2) 8-hour races? Assuming no catastrophies (dreaming big, that's how I live) what parts on the cars would need to be replaced through the course of a weekend....brake pads, rotors, tires? Just trying to get an idea if the chump thing is even a feasible idea. I understand racing is expensive. I totally get that. I know I could take the car and go pay little money and do an SCCA auto-x......but I don't want to do an auto-x. I understand all the options before me, but I already have the car (albeit, currently without cage) so I am trying to plan my next move. Thanks for any insight

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Hi Speedy:

 

If everything goes perfectly we go through about 100 gallons of gas for a 8+8 weekend. For spare parts, if the car is in good shape you should not need more than spare brake pads, maybe 2 front rotors, and maybe 6 total tires. 

 

If you get a chance to volunteer for a race, it is probably the best way to really get a feel for what you will need. 

 

-Andrew

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The 12A RX-7 is pretty light so you should get around 30-35 hours out of a set of tires, same for brakes.  Fuel burn will be around 9 gallons per hour, the 12A is fine with regular, premium not needed.  Entry fees are as per the event.  Travel/hauling costs, food and hotel or camping is your choice so you can figure in those.  One oil change after the race.  Repair anything else that breaks, something is always failing as these are street cars put into severe service.

 

The typical weekend cost is $3500-$5000 depending on travel distance/hotel/camping/number of days, race hours, etc.  Then divide that by the number of drivers to get the individual costs.  Canadian costs are higher with the high US dollar, I don't know where you are located.

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It seems like the cheapest we could possibly do is around CDN$250/hour including entry and consumables (gas, tires, brakes, oil, some replacement parts, etc).  All depends on track, but we use around 6 gal/hour and would almost go through a set of tires in an average double 7/8 weekend. 

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Everyone is giving some good info on running costs, I will give some advice directly on running a first gen RX7 in ChumpCar, there is a thread going in the technical discussions area about building one. A fairly stock car with a 12A will be a fun car to run but will be very outgunned by other cars if  you are trying to run at the front. It is possible to get one competitive but it takes a lot of work, my car with extensive suspension work, and a very strong 13B is capable of running at the front of the field, competing for the overall and setting FTD, but it takes a lot to make any 100 point car competitive nowadays.

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As per @mhr650 that is the very nature of the ChumpCar and really any rating system.  

 

Want to be competitive out of the box?   Go nearer the 500 point car.  If you don't win you can only point the finger at yourselves as lower quality drivers/team/pit stops.  

 

Like tinkering, changing, solving problems, unique solutions, then go nearer the 100/200 point cars.  If you don't win you can always blame the car didn't have this/that/other thing and can add/change for the next race.  

 

At the end of the day the single largest/easiest thing to improve with any and all teams will be the drivers.  However a stock near 500 point car will get you there sooner and easier.  

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1 minute ago, Ron_e said:

 

If you don't win you can always blame the car didn't have this/that/other thing and can add/change for the next race.  

 

 

haha this is what we do. "Well we didn't win but we don't have X installed yet...." (X never gets installed...)

 

 

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5 minutes ago, Ron_e said:

As per @mhr650 that is the very nature of the ChumpCar and really any rating system.  

 

Want to be competitive out of the box?   Go nearer the 500 point car.  If you don't win you can only point the finger at yourselves as lower quality drivers/team/pit stops.  

 

Like tinkering, changing, solving problems, unique solutions, then go nearer the 100/200 point cars.  If you don't win you can always blame the car didn't have this/that/other thing and can add/change for the next race.  

 

At the end of the day the single largest/easiest thing to improve with any and all teams will be the drivers.  However a stock near 500 point car will get you there sooner and easier.  

 

Relating this to the original question, as the car gets quicker, and further from stock, your cost per hour goes up.  The difference between the 1:49.xs we ran at Gingerman 4 years ago and the 1:44.xs we can run now is about $100/hr in tires, fuel, maintenance, etc.

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Yes, it is all worth the money in fun.  

The above information all seems pretty good.  Also keep in mind that its not always the fastest car that wins or does well in a endurance race.  Build for reliability,  you get to have far more fun, and finish well.  Its always a victory to finish these crazy races.    You also have to plan for the big maintenance or repairs.  One of the big pieces, engine, trans, diff will break.  Its just a matter of when, not if.  Maybe you get lucky and you limp to the finish on one that is about to expire and can fix/replace at home between races but plan for it so you can keep having fun.

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Driving a Miata is great fun but you'll never win overall.  But everything is cheaper-car, wheels, tires, brake pads, rotors, race gas (average 5 gallons per hour burned).  Just a mention.

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18 minutes ago, Jer said:

Driving a Miata is great fun but you'll never win overall.  But everything is cheaper-car, wheels, tires, brake pads, rotors, race gas (average 5 gallons per hour burned).  Just a mention.

  Really ... you mean I'm building a car that can't winn ?  Humph     well to that I say turbo and probably a rule change when yall have had enough  ....  booyaa 

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Maybe, I should have said this up front. When I said the car was raced in SCCA, it wasn't by me, lol. I have absolutely zero road course experience other than I raced a kart for a short time. I have been mainly running dirt track stuff off and on since the end of 2007. So as far as me thinking about being competitive right out of the box.....I'm not that naive. To be honest, I'm not 100% sure I can even afford to do this chump thing....at least maybe not more than once or twice a year (especially with baby #2 arriving in October). Either way, I've wanted to race my entire life, and I figure even if it's only once or twice a year, at least I am still doing it. As far as getting a different car, I'm not sure that is in the cards for me. I already have the RX7. Unless I can find something close to the 500 points that is race ready, and on the cheap, that I can feel safe and comfortable in, then I'm thinking the rx7 is my only option.

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@Speedyk64 The gen1 RX7 is a great starter car. Especially if you're not concerned about being at the pointy end of the pack in overall standings. That's what I started out in as well a few years back before I moved across the country and my team out east kind of disbanded. Go for it even with the 12a. Just focus on learning and having a smile on your face... And cooling the front brakes and wheel bearings.

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 Welcome,

 Leave the cage , add some nice base plates and a dash bar . Make sure that any muffler on that POS is stainless  and not mounted under the fuel filler .

 The normal cost is about 250$ per hr.  Less if you make it the full race, as that means that you still have a running car. !!

 Dont buy a full days worth of fuel for the first couple of races.  Buy about 3 stops worth .. 

 Find a couple of well funded idiots,AKA team mates and go race.   

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10 hours ago, Speedyk64 said:

Maybe, I should have said this up front. When I said the car was raced in SCCA, it wasn't by me, lol. I have absolutely zero road course experience other than I raced a kart for a short time. I have been mainly running dirt track stuff off and on since the end of 2007. So as far as me thinking about being competitive right out of the box.....I'm not that naive. To be honest, I'm not 100% sure I can even afford to do this chump thing....at least maybe not more than once or twice a year (especially with baby #2 arriving in October). Either way, I've wanted to race my entire life, and I figure even if it's only once or twice a year, at least I am still doing it. As far as getting a different car, I'm not sure that is in the cards for me. I already have the RX7. Unless I can find something close to the 500 points that is race ready, and on the cheap, that I can feel safe and comfortable in, then I'm thinking the rx7 is my only option.

our team has done just 2 events per year for three years now for those reasons (cost and family). It also gives you tons of time to fix up the car and make changes between races so you can really see the differences and measure improvement at every event. No (less) last minute rush and half-ased work.

To get the most bang for your buck, pay more early on by replacing bearings/ ball joints/ etc. so that they don't break during a race.

And we also had never raced prior to joining chump, but we had a veteran team nearby to lean on and learn from. 

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If I decide to go through with this build, I do have a couple of questions about the build (I might need to post these in a different area of the forum). I purchased a Kirkey Pt #71500 containment race seat (when I thought I was going to do NASA or SCCA). #1...Will this seat work? #2...How should I mount the seat? Should the seat be on adjustable sliders of some sort, or just have the different size drivers use foam if they need to be closer and solid mount the seat? I will probably have Charlie cut the original seat mounting humps off the floor, to try and get the seat as low as possible, to try and get helmets as far away from the halo as possible. Space is at a premium in these first gen rx7s.

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3 hours ago, Speedyk64 said:

If I decide to go through with this build, I do have a couple of questions about the build (I might need to post these in a different area of the forum). I purchased a Kirkey Pt #71500 containment race seat (when I thought I was going to do NASA or SCCA). #1...Will this seat work? #2...How should I mount the seat? Should the seat be on adjustable sliders of some sort, or just have the different size drivers use foam if they need to be closer and solid mount the seat? I will probably have Charlie cut the original seat mounting humps off the floor, to try and get the seat as low as possible, to try and get helmets as far away from the halo as possible. Space is at a premium in these first gen rx7s.

 

Yes that seat will work just fine. As far as sliders vs foam, etc. It is all personal preference. I only mount my seats solid to the car because I feel it is the most safe, but that is just my opinion and many people prefer the sliders. 

 

With a fixed seat position we have people from 5'6" - 6'4" drive the car with nothing more than a foam seat insert for smaller drivers. 

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4 hours ago, Speedyk64 said:

If I decide to go through with this build, I do have a couple of questions about the build (I might need to post these in a different area of the forum). I purchased a Kirkey Pt #71500 containment race seat (when I thought I was going to do NASA or SCCA). #1...Will this seat work? #2...How should I mount the seat? Should the seat be on adjustable sliders of some sort, or just have the different size drivers use foam if they need to be closer and solid mount the seat? I will probably have Charlie cut the original seat mounting humps off the floor, to try and get the seat as low as possible, to try and get helmets as far away from the halo as possible. Space is at a premium in these first gen rx7s.

we run a slider mechanism in our first gen and 2nd gen.

 

Make it so that as it goes forward, it moves upwards as well.  This will really help the smaller drivers who need to get close AND see over the wheel.

 

Here is your list to get the car ready to race:

Good brake pads all around

New brake lines (if they are not known to be less than 3 or 4 years old)

New ball joints

New bushings

new wheel bearings

New rotors

rebuilt brake calipers

new tires

New front steering parts

 

Safety:

Weld cage in with large spreader plates

Seat - on sliders is okay

Non-expired belts

Window net

 

Make sure you have a decent exhaust on the car!

 

We used about 6.5 GPH.  Get a decent set of 7 or 8 inch wide 15 inch tires and run 205 50 15.

 

Tires and brakes should last 1 or 2 race weekends.  Hawk blue front pads, black or HP+ on the rear.

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