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Starting a team and I have some questions.


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I decided to get back into road racing after a 5 year break from the sport. I grew up racing 125 shifter karts. When I started looking up local shifter kart series in Wisconsin where I live there are no real series anymore. That’s when I found ChampCar endurance racing. This really seems like a realistic way to road race cars. I do have some questions I hope you all can answer. From what I understand the car must remain stock besides safety equipment and if your car is under 500 points you can do small upgrades that will count towards your points. Is this correct? Or are people doing a lot of modifications to be competitive. Second question is what does a typical race weekend cost? I know that’s broad but I’m just curious what entry fees cost for a whole team to enter and how many sets of tires people go through and what type of tires. I know depending on if the car breaks and bringing spares will factor the cost. 3rd, what is a good competitive car to get? I am currently looking for a car to build. I am not opposed to buying a prebuilt car but have not seen anything in my area. And how much does the safety equipment for the car cost someone? I’ll do all my own work besides the cage because I don’t trust myself to weld that correctly. Thank you in advance. All information is appreciated 

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Welcome, best to read the rules then read them again.

 

Depends on your definition of a little/a lot: wheels, brakes, shocks, struts, springs, coilovers, design your own 3 link, complete drivetrain swaps, aero (wing, splitter, diffuser).  All or nothing could be on a car depending on how many points it starts with, most do some, some do most of the mods.

Typical cost would be around $3-5,000 depending on camping/hotel, tow distance, eat out/restaurant, etc.  Also depends on what you race, a heavy V8 car will consume more fuel than a light 4 cylinder.

Plan on a set of tires and brakes going 20-30 hours.

Good car - depending on what you want to race and how competitive you want to be.

Safety equipment - cage $2-3,000, seat $600-1,000, harness $2-300, HANS/helmet/gloves/firesuit/sock/shoes $800-a bunch.  HANS can be shared amongst your team.

 

Ball park numbers.

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16 minutes ago, Ron_e said:

Welcome, best to read the rules then read them again.

 

Depends on your definition of a little/a lot: wheels, brakes, shocks, struts, springs, coilovers, design your own 3 link, complete drivetrain swaps, aero (wing, splitter, diffuser).  All or nothing could be on a car depending on how many points it starts with, most do some, some do most of the mods.

Typical cost would be around $3-5,000 depending on camping/hotel, tow distance, eat out/restaurant, etc.  Also depends on what you race, a heavy V8 car will consume more fuel than a light 4 cylinder.

Plan on a set of tires and brakes going 20-30 hours.

Good car - depending on what you want to race and how competitive you want to be.

Safety equipment - cage $2-3,000, seat $600-1,000, harness $2-300, HANS/helmet/gloves/firesuit/sock/shoes $800-a bunch.  HANS can be shared amongst your team.

 

Ball park numbers.

Thanks for the reply! Just confirming when you said 3-5000 for a race weekend. Does each driver pay the entry fee to the race? Or is it just the 1 entry fee for the team. I figured safety equipment startup cost would run a good amount of money. What do you recommend for a car. I’m looking for a car currently and want something that will be competitive 

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3 to 5k per weekend is about right to cover everything for the entire team for the weekend.  

 

Good easy button car picks are BMW 3 series from about 87 to 97.  I'm a little fuzzy on the exact years.   Miata also work well.  Only minor mods needed on either of those cars to be upper mid pack (if driven and executed well).

 

Welcome to the asylum!

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34 minutes ago, wvumtnbkr said:

3 to 5k per weekend is about right to cover everything for the entire team for the weekend.  

 

Good easy button car picks are BMW 3 series from about 87 to 97.  I'm a little fuzzy on the exact years.   Miata also work well.  Only minor mods needed on either of those cars to be upper mid pack (if driven and executed well).

 

Welcome to the asylum!

Here's a good starting place if you follow Rob's advice looking for an E30. 

This may seem like a lot of $$$ for some, but you would be years ahead of trying to get to the point this car is if you started from scratch. 

Grab a u haul trailer if you don't have your own and go get this car and engine  

 

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Absolutely agree with Mike that if you want to get started more cost effectively and quickly, buying an already-done car is the best bet. You can find cars frequently for ~$5k. Although you might not find what you ultimately want to race, you'll get on-track much more quickly and settle in to what's needed to do this (prep, on-track strategy, pit strategy, teamwork, etc.).  You'll go through the Tech process as well, and with an existing car that hopefully has a Tech sticker on it, it would hopefully be pretty straightforward. 

Good luck!

S. 

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Some comments

 

1) it is almost always cheaper to buy a car than build one - if you don't mind waiting for the right price

2) choose a car you like, or want to learn a lot about.  If you are interested in finishing races you will spend a lot of time with it

3) you can learn a lot by coming to a race or two.  Volunteer as a pit marshal, spectate, or possibly rent a seat

4) as was mentioned - read the rules, then re-read and re-read again.  There is a lot of info in there it will take a good while to process it all

5) If you are buying an already built ChampCar get the log book.  If not be sure to understand the roll cage rules to make sure what you are buying will work within the rules

6) Since you are new to endurance racing, I emphasize making your first focus on making the car reliable (and safe), and having the right spares and tools so you can maximize track time

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1) come see a race in person before you do anything

 

2) rent a seat from a team before you do anything. Spend 1 to 1.5k for a decent ride that has spares and a history of finishing most of a race

 

3) once hooked, look up notes here, ask people questions, and once it is released look up our technical advice videos to give you details on how to build, prep and tune your ride.

 

4) try to justify the money you spend on this habit to your family\friends

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Agree with most of the advice posted. If you volunteer, you get race credits. ::cough::

 

We set up a Google docs spreadsheet with all the team members and we track our expenses there. Who owes what is visible to everyone, so it keeps the complaints about money down. Plus peer pressure ensures that people pay up. 

 

More importantly, do you drink beer and if so, what kind? 

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I'd go with what you know... if you are an import gut go that way, V8 guy do that. whatever you do you want to make sure parts are cheap and available. A race weekend can get pricey BUT it is worth it. Entry fees are $1200ish. our Firebird will burn up gas so it might cost us a few more $$ than say Team miata. You can also save by camping out instead of a hotel. Plan on a 4 day event.... and don't build something you are afraid of balling up.. See picture.  If you can buy a "done" car do it, plenty around. a good solid build will be 5-6k. FWIW a Gen II f-body (GM) is probably the best way to go. Asinine amount of parts, good balance and TONS of drivetrain options. Plus you can walk into any parts store and walk out with what you need for under $50. wreck2.jpg.4683eb9dbac89b98599d8af04ffbd6e1.jpg

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