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JDChristianson

What level of building is too much?

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If you want to spend 1000 hours and $50k on a super fast chumpcar than go ahead! The trophies are awesome! 

 

I would spend $10k and 100 hours on the car and the other $40k and 900 hours on something else..(like driving the car on every track in the US).

Edited by turbogrill
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21 hours ago, mender said:

Up a little from the $500 builds ten years ago ...

The $20k number was a SWAG of what I thought would be the edge of a high cost build and spending too much.  I've been racing with Champcar for going on 10 years now too.  10 years ago, we showed up with a $500 car, but we had spent about $3.5k on getting it to the race.  I honestly don't think we could have spent any less than that.  It was not the safest build, it was not the most reliable car, no radio, no cool shirt, no helmet blower, probably had blown shocks, but we did finish in P2 in our first race.  Two of our drivers also almost had heat stroke and that race was where the 2 hour stint limits started (at least it wasn't yet a written rule at the time).  The infamous Riley Probe won.  The only reason it was a competitive car at the time is because there wasn't 10 years of experience spread out over the field.  I'd say to a newbie that you can race and have a good car for ~$7500 today depending on your skill level and DIY ability.  You can have a podium car for $10k.  If you are spending more than $20k (in my opinion) you are going too far.  

 

In my opinion, we haven't strayed too far from the original formula.  It's still pretty cheap (about as cheap as endurance racing gets).  It's a lot of fun and there are a variety of platforms that are competitive.

 

Note that these numbers include a reasonable amount of spares.  So chop ~$1k to $3k off of those numbers for cost of the build alone.

 

I am not sure about this and I didn't really know him at the time, but I think @Ray Franck might have bought that first chumpcar.  It was a 240sx.  

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I'm speaking at a driver/builder and not as a BOD member, but the proper level of build is the one where it doesn't cause you to file bankruptcy nor does it cost you your marriage.  Quite a tiptoe haha

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$10-20K in to the car should yield great results. Most of that cost really is sitting down, reading the rules and really building the car to take full advantage of those rules.

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$10k if you build it all but dont get out into the weeds with blueprinting etc should be enough.   keeping it running over time adds to that.

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By my math we're $14,228 so far on the Supra. $2250 in entry fees (Gingerman + Nelsons), $2151 in consumables (fuel, tires, oil, brakes). Will need an oil change and a master cylinder before the next race but still have pads and tire left for another event or 2.

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What is it that everyone wants from this series?  Why are you here?

Do you just want to have fun?

Do you want to improve your driving skills?

Do you you want to learn how to make your car faster?

Do you want to satisfy your primordial urge to prove you are better than everyone else by collecting trophies made from scrap metal?

Everything except the last one is possible in Champcar with very little monetary investment.

 

I am pleased with the direction Champcar is going.

 

I am looking for a place to improve my driving skills by getting a lot of affordable track time.

I am also looking to put engineering theory to practice and learn from tinkering with my car.

 

If we make everything more like a spec series, than I won't get to tinker as much and will go somewhere else where I can.

If costs rise because we have to bring dyno's to every race, buy inspection equipment, and hire a bunch of technical experts, then I will probably go somewhere else that is cheaper.

 

Do I want to win? Sure. But I'm more content with getting to learn a lot from every race I do.

If someone spends $40k on a Champ build, I'd just assume that they must have overpaid for a lot of stuff instead of doing it themselves.

I have yet to see someone spend their way to the top. There will always be a level of execution that cannot be bought and can only be realized through preparation, experience, and ingenuity.

Look at teams like Tuttle and Sahlens. They are big money spenders that have only occasionally found themselves on the top step of the podium, but they are very fun to race against.

 

If I could only have one suggestion, it would be that maybe engine building should be limited by banning race fuel and keeping fuel capacity limits in place.  Everything else should fall into place with yearly VPI adjustments to keep any over-performing platforms in check.

 

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9 minutes ago, Scribe said:

What is it that everyone wants from this series?  Why are you here?

Do you just want to have fun?

Do you want to improve your driving skills?

Do you you want to learn how to make your car faster?

Do you want to satisfy your primordial urge to prove you are better than everyone else by collecting trophies made from scrap metal?

Everything except the last one is possible in Champcar with very little monetary investment.

 

I am pleased with the direction Champcar is going.

This pretty much covers it. 

Previous posts hit on a similar point. Everybody isn't going to be on the podium. If you want to have fun and race, spend as much as you want/can to go as fast as you want/can. 

We have far less money invested in our Mazda (even considering we bought an already caged chassis) than we do in our Cobra. Well wouldn't you know it...the Cobra is faster. But the Mazda has a solid record, routinely places in the teens and has brought home 3 class wins in the last year or so. 

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@Scribe I agree with 99% of the above. All except the comments on race fuel. As much as I hate to use it due to costs, I've documented on here a couple times how milling the head as little as .040" can raise the CR on a stock 10.25:1 motor, to over 12.7:1.  After spending a lot of money and time preparing a cylinder head for our engine rebuild, I found that our head was cut about .040" previously, BEFORE this car was ever used as a racecar. In the 4 races we ran it using 93 fuel, and 91 at the last race because that's all my teammate found, the knock sensor was apparently getting a good workout, continually dialing timing out and reducing power, until the 91 finally killed a couple of pistons.

So, it's entirely possible to have a fully stock engine, with a legal mod of a milled head, requiring race fuel.

 

Edited by mcoppola
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2 minutes ago, Snorman said:

This pretty much covers it. 

Previous posts hit on a similar point. Everybody isn't going to be on the podium. If you want to have fun and race, spend as much as you want/can to go as fast as you want/can. 

We have far less money invested in our Mazda (even considering we bought an already caged chassis) than we do in our Cobra. Well wouldn't you know it...the Cobra is faster. But the Mazda has a solid record, routinely places in the teens and has brought home 3 class wins in the last year or so. 

 

A couple weeks back, I looked at the Road Atlanta race results, and the InActive Mazda that finished 15th overall/ 1st in B class, was the 61st fastest car in a 71 car field.

You don't need to spend 15- 20k on a car to be competitive. Possibly not even 10k...

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1 hour ago, zack_280 said:

 

 

I am not sure about this and I didn't really know him at the time, but I think @Ray Franck might have bought that first chumpcar.  It was a 240sx.  

  If it was the tracks unlimited car yes I did with my teammates.  Car was put in a shed and many parts robbed off it producing 3 class wins and two championship opportunities with our other 240sx . Might just have to go dig it out and revive it and kick some butt ..

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@Scribe Yeah, I pretty agree with this.  In the end, its not sprint racing, 1/10ths of a second dont really matter (geez, even 1s per lap consistency can be tough for amateur drivers).  Its an endurance event, which I think keeps the whole deal in check.  No matter how much someone spends to find an extra 10 hp, etc, they still need to go out and run strong and consistent laps with no time off track to compete.

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It has been said that fishing isn’t about fishing at all - it just makes sitting on a lake drinking seem like a sporting pursuit rather than a drinking problem.  

 

I sometimes wonder if Champ/Chump wouldn’t be best described as a debating club that also holds races on weekends.  😂

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4 minutes ago, Ray Franck said:

If it was the tracks unlimited car yes I did with my teammates.  Car was put in a shed and many parts robbed off it producing 3 class wins and two championship opportunities with our other 240sx . Might just have to go dig it out and revive it and kick some butt ..

That's the one.  It was much crappier when I drove it the first time.  I believe the owner before you (who is no longer involved with TracksUnlimited) had north of $30 k in that car (but that included paying 100% of the labor).  Interestingly, the second owner had nothing to do with TracksUnlimited at the time or the initial build, but he did rent a seat with us in the car in that first race.

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6 hours ago, JC_CRapshoot said:

I don't like it.  I think the cars should have all of their panels.

 

Just a guess, but I don't think that the series changed its name from Chump to Champ with the intent of having more cars with 40% of the bodywork missing.

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Through both driver skill (We ain't got much!) and car prep (I won''t spend VTEC money, we run junkyard motors, and I leave some weight in the car) we will never be at the pointy end.  I hitched my wagon to the "build what you know" advice of yesterday and have a garage full of Honda parts and no desire to toss it all away for a different chassis. 

 

We do it for fun.  

 

But, and there is always a "but", we still want to feel competitive, at least in the midpack.  As long as we can continue to pass some cars then we will keep doing it.  Speed creep has been very real over the last few years and it gets a little frustrating at times.  I am firmly in the "nothing should be free camp" but that ship has sailed long ago.

 

I think it would be much more intimidating to start from scratch today.  

 

As the series continues to grow and speed creep, we will likely be left behind.  Circle of life and all that.  We have been doing 2 races a year but are only doing 1 this year.  We decided to do a second Lemons Rally instead.

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Sometimes spending less costs you more.

 

Also, we're talking about a very dangerous sport.  There was a mention of limiting cost to $3500.  WHAT?  Some of these cars are going 140 - 150 mph at Daytona.  Do you want to hit a wall at that speed in a race car that costs $3500.  I've seen expensive race cars turned into a wad of twisted metal at Daytona.

 

Spend money on safety and brakes, before you super glue that giant wing onto your car.  Please.

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1 hour ago, mcoppola said:

 

A couple weeks back, I looked at the Road Atlanta race results, and the InActive Mazda that finished 15th overall/ 1st in B class, was the 61st fastest car in a 71 car field.

You don't need to spend 15- 20k on a car to be competitive. Possibly not even 10k...

And NONE of those guys every drove the previously. We gave them all practice time on Friday, so that helped. But we ran spot on pit stops, the drivers kept the car safe and we had zero incidents during the race. They did a great job. 

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7 minutes ago, Round3Racing said:

Sometimes spending less costs you more.

 

Also, we're talking about a very dangerous sport.  There was a mention of limiting cost to $3500.  WHAT?  Some of these cars are going 140 - 150 mph at Daytona.  Do you want to hit a wall at that speed in a race car that costs $3500.  I've seen expensive race cars turned into a wad of twisted metal at Daytona.

 

Spend money on safety and brakes, before you super glue that giant wing onto your car.  Please.

Admittedly, none of us are fabricators that would install our own cage. So we had it done by a pro. We spent a lot more than $3500 for it. Plus a good seat, $600 harnesses (Schroth Profi's), fire system and other items and safety items alone are probably $5000. That being said I have seen mention of costs "minus safety". 

But again, I am no proponent of trying to limit, cap what people spend. Spending doesn't always put you on the podium. 

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2 hours ago, Racer28173 said:

It has been said that fishing isn’t about fishing at all - it just makes sitting on a lake drinking seem like a sporting pursuit rather than a drinking problem.  

 

I sometimes wonder if Champ/Chump wouldn’t be best described as a debating club that also holds races on weekends.  😂

 

QFT. 

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I would agree with the 10K - 20K range. We made (and continue to make) a lot of mistakes because we can't afford to pay a so-called 'professional'. We had a 'professional' install our first cage and there were enough things wrong with it that we got ourselves a bender and re-did the cage. So there's that. 

 

Read the rules. 

Don't build to the limit of the rules. Save a little wiggle room. 

Develop your drivers. Don't build something that exceeds your talents. 

Get your pit strategy down. 

Be organized and get the logistics down around what it takes to race. It's not just the car. 

Be clear about where to spend the money.... and where NOT to. 

Decide that you are going to have fun. 

It's not the fastest lap time that wins. He who turns the most laps wins. 

Don't worry about what other people are doing. Beat them. 

 

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2 hours ago, Round3Racing said:

 

Just a guess, but I don't think that the series changed its name from Chump to Champ with the intent of having more cars with 40% of the bodywork missing.

The intent was that when we started we were an offshoot of Lemons and wanted to siphon their teams to us.  As we got more and more serious about the racing product, it became embarrassing to many to the tell people they raced in Chumpcar.  I can tell you this-we would not have a title sponsor like the Tirerack as Chumpcar, and Indy would not have allowed us on the facility.  The body panel rule remains as always...

 

1 hour ago, Round3Racing said:

Sometimes spending less costs you more.

 

Also, we're talking about a very dangerous sport.  There was a mention of limiting cost to $3500.  WHAT?  Some of these cars are going 140 - 150 mph at Daytona.  Do you want to hit a wall at that speed in a race car that costs $3500.  I've seen expensive race cars turned into a wad of twisted metal at Daytona.

 

Spend money on safety and brakes, before you super glue that giant wing onto your car.  Please.

There won't be some low limit on spending.  That will never happen in this series.  

38 minutes ago, FlorahDorah said:

I would agree with the 10K - 20K range. We made (and continue to make) a lot of mistakes because we can't afford to pay a so-called 'professional'. We had a 'professional' install our first cage and there were enough things wrong with it that we got ourselves a bender and re-did the cage. So there's that. 

When I built the ecotec Miata it cost 7500 all in initially.  I have dropped another 4-5K in it since then.  Luckily I don't have much more to spend now.  The additional spend was for a 2nd set of rims, better suspension, spare motor, $1000 seat, better belts, etc.

 

Edited by Jer
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1 hour ago, Snorman said:

Admittedly, none of us are fabricators that would install our own cage. So we had it done by a pro. We spent a lot more than $3500 for it. Plus a good seat, $600 harnesses (Schroth Profi's), fire system and other items and safety items alone are probably $5000. That being said I have seen mention of costs "minus safety". 

But again, I am no proponent of trying to limit, cap what people spend. Spending doesn't always put you on the podium. 

Please don't take this wrong, but this is the attitude that I feel chaps a lot of the "original" teams butts.  They were around in the days of actually having a $500 car, struggling to learn how to make it work for the $$ allowed and loved it.  Then, with the evolution of the series and move from lemons towards a more legitimate race based vs. parade based approach we got the VPI and FPV list for mods, which allowed teams to spend $$ to be competitive as opposed to being creative and building with something $$ can't buy, ie: Knowledge. 

 

Now, I am not a fabricator, can't weld, know enough about electrical to start a small fire, but I can follow directions and use any tool you put in my hand.  I have no problem with teams spending as much money as they want on cages, fires systems, fuel systems, or the electrical on their cars.  Those things all impact safety and you should be able to be as safe as any other competitor.  That said, allowing teams to exploit rules to build tube frame cars has no place in this series, IMHO. 

 

While spending doesn't always put you on the podium, it sure does help to be able to go out in your $5k blue printed motor and run it to the max knowing if you blow it up you have a spare in the trailer and paid a crew to be there to put it in for you.  Yes, this happens and is probably low on the $ guess.  Is that wrong, nope, not one bit.  Is it intimidating, hasn't been for us when we pass them on the track.

 

 

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1 hour ago, hotchkis23 said:

Please don't take this wrong, but this is the attitude that I feel chaps a lot of the "original" teams butts.  They were around in the days of actually having a $500 car, struggling to learn how to make it work for the $$ allowed and loved it.  Then, with the evolution of the series and move from lemons towards a more legitimate race based vs. parade based approach we got the VPI and FPV list for mods, which allowed teams to spend $$ to be competitive as opposed to being creative and building with something $$ can't buy, ie: Knowledge. 

 

Now, I am not a fabricator, can't weld, know enough about electrical to start a small fire, but I can follow directions and use any tool you put in my hand.  I have no problem with teams spending as much money as they want on cages, fires systems, fuel systems, or the electrical on their cars.  Those things all impact safety and you should be able to be as safe as any other competitor.  That said, allowing teams to exploit rules to build tube frame cars has no place in this series, IMHO. 

 

While spending doesn't always put you on the podium, it sure does help to be able to go out in your $5k blue printed motor and run it to the max knowing if you blow it up you have a spare in the trailer and paid a crew to be there to put it in for you.  Yes, this happens and is probably low on the $ guess.  Is that wrong, nope, not one bit.  Is it intimidating, hasn't been for us when we pass them on the track.

Taking your last sentence into account, I don't understand the argument. There are a number of teams who spend a ton of money in the series and they haven't had any success. There are shops (like KSR) that build high quality cars that have been dominant for years because they have the resources and knowledge. Nine Four is racing a freaking Mark IV Supra for crying out loud. They've been in the series...again...for years. Both of those teams win. Conversely, there are teams that do it in a home shop that bring home trophies. 

You guys continue to refer to "tube frame" cars? You mean a "tube frame" like this...

NMwuxN.jpg

It's pretty ironic that you guys are running an Ecotech swapped (with a standalone?) Miata, with a full air dam, splitter, canards, side skirts and a big-@ss wing on it along with big Wilwoods while complaining about build costs and speed creep. 😄😉

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Minus safety, minus any sponsor freebies(I will assign value for the sake of argument) we are in process of building what many seem to believe can no longer be done, a sub $5000 competitive non conventional car.

 

It may take till Sebring but watch for it, the financial unicorn.;)

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