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Haggis

Suggestions for next track toy?

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I've been tracking a Miata for about 6 years and am considering a change. Wife is onboard but no budget agreed yet. Would need to be driven to/from the track, so must pass ODB II inspection (:-() and AC is a must since I'm in Texas.

I've been browsing streetable race cars on rackingjunk - Corvette, BMW, Cayman. Obviously running costs will be much higher than the Miata.

What HPDE car would you suggest?

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41 minutes ago, himself said:

996 GT3. Great track/street. 
 

-td

That's a great one! Really this depends entirely on things like: budget, usage (how much track time we talking about, and how long is your commute), and personal preference.

I love my BRZ for a daily and track car, it's sharper than a Miata and I can fit all the track stuff I need in the car with the seats folded down (full set of wheels and tires plus tools). I ran mine at 30 HPDE's in 2019, 10 autocrosses, and used it as my only car all year. I have a blast with it and have no reservations recommending it as a track car. They're faster than Miata and respectable on track, but you won't be the fastest car out there. They are a ton of fun to run though, and as long as you aren't primarily running on a giant track (like COTA) they're great. Running costs are higher than a Miata (about the same as an ND really) but not by too much, and cheaper than just about anything else. 

For a similar car but upgraded in every way, you can go with a Cayman/Boxster (they won't fit much and running costs will be higher, but it's your money not mine). 

It's hard to beat a Corvette for speed per dollar, of course tires would bankrupt me but again your money. You can choose which flavor fits your budget and speed requirements and go from there. The C5-C7 have all been out long enough that any issues are well known and parts/information should be easy to find.

I don't see too many 911's that are tracked regularly (lots at PCA that are tracked occasionally), but I'd love to run one if I didn't have to pay for it. I talked with one of the mechanics for a spec 911 series and he said they're much easier to work on than you'd expect as long as you've got access to a lift (dropping the engine is super easy with a lift and taking it out makes just about anything easy to get at).

For BMW's, you either have to go old with an E36/46 or they start getting pretty tough to work on and maintain, if you've got experience with BMW's and you know what you're getting into they can be great but personally I keep my distance.

I've also been impressed with the Civic Type R (or Si if you can't live with the image), the Golf GTI or R is another contender in the same vein if you aren't doing too many trackdays or if you need a backseat.

For me my list is like this:

Under $25k budget get a BRZ, prep/mod to taste and enjoy (they're fine stock with just pads and fluids, but I think an oil cooler, brake upgrade, upgraded suspension, and wheels and tires make sense) if you want power there are a few supercharger kits that are track capable. Best bang for your buck is a 2015/16.

Under $45k, go with a Cayman S, C6 Z06, or C7 depending on personal preference and taste. The Porsche is the handling and prestige choice while the Vettes are the power and speed kings.

Above that, go with a C7 GS or a 996 GT3, or 997/991. The 911's are fantastic machines and they hold their value well. Parts and consumables cost more but it's just money.

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3 hours ago, Haggis said:

I've been tracking a Miata for about 6 years and am considering a change. Wife is onboard but no budget agreed yet. Would need to be driven to/from the track, so must pass ODB II inspection (:-() and AC is a must since I'm in Texas.

I've been browsing streetable race cars on rackingjunk - Corvette, BMW, Cayman. Obviously running costs will be much higher than the Miata.

What HPDE car would you suggest?

MazdaSpeed3

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Another thing to consider is an off track excursion repair bill.  Camaro fenders, hoods, front fascia, headlamps, etc. are MUCH cheaper than what they are on a Vette or Porsche.  Also, way easier to find on Craigslist, eBay, the forums, etc.  I took this into account when I bought my 17 SS 1LE over some others.  While we never plan for "custom" body work via a tire wall, etc., it is something, in my opinion, is to be considered.  You will go through tires, gas, and brake pads at a higher rate than a car like a Miata with such a quick and heavy car, but, they have an excellent track warranty and don't need anything but good brake fluid out of the box to be very quick.

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3 hours ago, Hollywood said:

(in before BRZ master race shows up)

In before Matt tries to peddle off his 240Z

 

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Pretty sure this kind of thread immediately becomes a justification of our own rides.  Best advice I can think of is that speed costs. How fast do you want to go?

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3 hours ago, BRZ4Science said:

That's a great one! Really this depends entirely on things like: budget, usage (how much track time we talking about, and how long is your commute), and personal preference.

I love my BRZ for a daily and track car, it's sharper than a Miata and I can fit all the track stuff I need in the car with the seats folded down (full set of wheels and tires plus tools). I ran mine at 30 HPDE's in 2019, 10 autocrosses, and used it as my only car all year. I have a blast with it and have no reservations recommending it as a track car. They're faster than Miata and respectable on track, but you won't be the fastest car out there. They are a ton of fun to run though, and as long as you aren't primarily running on a giant track (like COTA) they're great. Running costs are higher than a Miata (about the same as an ND really) but not by too much, and cheaper than just about anything else. 

For a similar car but upgraded in every way, you can go with a Cayman/Boxster (they won't fit much and running costs will be higher, but it's your money not mine). 

It's hard to beat a Corvette for speed per dollar, of course tires would bankrupt me but again your money. You can choose which flavor fits your budget and speed requirements and go from there. The C5-C7 have all been out long enough that any issues are well known and parts/information should be easy to find.

I don't see too many 911's that are tracked regularly (lots at PCA that are tracked occasionally), but I'd love to run one if I didn't have to pay for it. I talked with one of the mechanics for a spec 911 series and he said they're much easier to work on than you'd expect as long as you've got access to a lift (dropping the engine is super easy with a lift and taking it out makes just about anything easy to get at).

For BMW's, you either have to go old with an E36/46 or they start getting pretty tough to work on and maintain, if you've got experience with BMW's and you know what you're getting into they can be great but personally I keep my distance.

I've also been impressed with the Civic Type R (or Si if you can't live with the image), the Golf GTI or R is another contender in the same vein if you aren't doing too many trackdays or if you need a backseat.

For me my list is like this:

Under $25k budget get a BRZ, prep/mod to taste and enjoy (they're fine stock with just pads and fluids, but I think an oil cooler, brake upgrade, upgraded suspension, and wheels and tires make sense) if you want power there are a few supercharger kits that are track capable. Best bang for your buck is a 2015/16.

Under $45k, go with a Cayman S, C6 Z06, or C7 depending on personal preference and taste. The Porsche is the handling and prestige choice while the Vettes are the power and speed kings.

Above that, go with a C7 GS or a 996 GT3, or 997/991. The 911's are fantastic machines and they hold their value well. Parts and consumables cost more but it's just money.

What is your daily cost of consumables? I probably average around $250/d plus a tank and a half of gas for about $75

 

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14 minutes ago, El_Tortuga said:

Pretty sure this kind of thread immediately becomes a justification of our own rides.  Best advice I can think of is that speed costs. How fast do you want to go?

Joe, agree with the above.  For the OP, what is your budget overall, speed goals, willing to work on it yourself, budget for consumeables, etc.?

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14 minutes ago, El_Tortuga said:

What is your daily cost of consumables? I probably average around $250/d plus a tank and a half of gas for about $75

 

I worked out my total costs for 2019 and I came out to $175/day but that included SCCA entry fees and $40/day for gas (a little more than a full tank's worth). That was running the Falkens for the first part of the year and RS4's for the rest (which lasted nearly twice as long as the Falkens). 

I'm looking right around $100/day plus gas with the consumables I plan on running for 2020, without factoring in the Time Trial fees.

Tires are about $700/set (including mounting and balancing) and I'll use at least 2 full sets next year, I'll use up a full set of front rotors at $300, 5 sets of front pads (at $160 each) for a total of about $800,  and 1 set of rear pads for $150. Puts me at $2650 for a planned 30-40 days plus gas, oil, other fluids, and I have to do spark plugs this year (60k mile maintenance). Throw in other miscellaneous costs plus the fractional costs of carryover supplies and I'm still planning on $100-$150/day plus gas.

The NC/ND Miata run the same tires as I do, but they are usually a little cheaper for brakes, but I'm very happy with my costs (a huge reason I chose and recommend the BRZ).

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As a reference point for fuel:  mine's not even a supercharged Camaro (ZL1), and it eats a full tank (19 gallons) of 93 per hour on track typically.

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2 hours ago, RUQWIKR said:

As a reference point for fuel:  mine's not even a supercharged Camaro (ZL1), and it eats a full tank (19 gallons) of 93 per hour on track typically.

That's twice what I go through, I'm burning about 3gal per session (a full tanks 12 gallons and I'm ready for a fill up after an hour on track but not actually out of gas).

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Nice Sam, the consumables are insidious and can really pile up over time. I'm in for $28.5K over the last 6 yrs (97 trackdays/37 AX), not including gas or entry fees. When you include those, I've spent nearly as much on the cost of the car (less mods). 

Let me amend my question to OP. Speed costs, how fast do you want to go and how often?

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What are you looking to get out of the change? BRZ will have a similar driving experience. The only way to feel a change is find a car that drives differently. IE, more power. For example, I have to drive tracks differently when I drove my 350Z vs an NB miata. You will change braking zones and having to brake more. Throttle steer on corner exit will need to be managed too. So finding a car that is a few seconds faster will change the driving experience. I wouldn't change cars unless the driving experience changes. Otherwise, the miata is the smartest option and you'll just be throwing away money for no reason. My 2 cents. 

Sorry, I didn't suggest a car other than it has more power. 

 

Edit: I learned Hallett in a NB miata and I tried to apply what I learned in my 350Z when I returned. It was awful. I had to throw everything away and start over fresh. It was a completely different experience. 

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  • ask to drive friend's rides at the next events
  • drive at least 5 different rides at speed over period of time
  • measure smile upon exiting car
  • vehicle that provided largest smile wins
  • place beating heart and wallet on the alter of the hobby and light both on fire
  • profit

 

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"next" track toy .. for fun trackdays and DEs the C6 Z06 is underway to become a potent, but not that focused, candidate. @Hollywood well 1 of the 5 you try will have to be my car (scores high on smilies and "oh s**t" factors when you lose traction)

awaiting on an Ultima RS but this will probably arrive in 2021 

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Hmm.

Something different than the Miata...

THE ANTITHESIS to the Miata is...Camaro ZL1 1LE.  Rip snorting, heavy, organ bruising beast. You need Zero modifications to go stupid fast.  You will reset all of your PB while napping during warm up lap.

Lots of tires and fuel is all you need.

You could probably tow your Miata with it.

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1 hour ago, KevinDB said:

Hmm.

Something different than the Miata...

THE ANTITHESIS to the Miata is...Camaro ZL1 1LE.  Rip snorting, heavy, organ bruising beast. You need Zero modifications to go stupid fast.  You will reset all of your PB while napping during warm up lap.

Lots of tires and fuel is all you need.

You could probably tow your Miata with it.

Gen6 1LE is pretty legit.

Add brakes. My Mustang has consumed 30 pairs of pads, and 11 pairs of rotors.

I drove a friends Miata to experience the low power/all handling thing and it was disappointing/boring to not have to lift/drive some corners. E.g. Wagon Wheel-Ricochet and  Boot Hill-Tombstone. But I can now say I've driven those corners FLATOUT. With the big girl I'm on eggshells in every corner and that's half of the fun.

That has become my defining moment for whatever is down the road. Ideally its got to have enough power /weight that I have to drive ALL the corners. 

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I think a well set up BMW E36 M3 is hard to beat, the stock brakes are sufficient and the engine has good power. The E46 M3 is going to be quite a bit faster but more expensive. I ran PSS 2’s on the street and track, as well as dedicated RE71’s and NT01’s on track and they all worked great. I drove mine to and from the track for several years and it was a blast. I’m campaigning a Spec E46 now so a 330ci might be a good choice too. 

Call Greg Smith at GSR Motorsports and he can give you a good idea of the costs to upgrade with a roll bar, fixed seats and an estimate of running costs.

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19 hours ago, Hollywood said:

(in before BRZ master race shows up)

As a member of the master race of which you speak, I am surprised that no one including you Hollywood has said CTR yet (since you own one ;) They're some cooling ducting 18's and tires away from excellence, yeah?

If you want a change from the NB experience, a FWD turbo hatchback styled after Voltron that fits 4 honest sized human adults seems like a fairly radical departure to me...

Oh and the obligatory BRZ pitch - cheap, light(ish), fun, Toyota, easy on consumables, sublime handling but the power called in sick, light, tires are cheap, did I mention cheap?

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2 hours ago, joesurf79 said:

As a member of the master race of which you speak, I am surprised that no one including you Hollywood has said CTR yet (since you own one 😉 They're some cooling ducting 18's and tires away from excellence, yeah?

If you want a change from the NB experience, a FWD turbo hatchback styled after Voltron that fits 4 honest sized human adults seems like a fairly radical departure to me...

Oh and the obligatory BRZ pitch - cheap, light(ish), fun, Toyota, easy on consumables, sublime handling but the power called in sick, light, tires are cheap, did I mention cheap?

 

Maybe one of those fake vents can be taken out, led to a pasture and shot in the fucking face in front of the rest of the fake vents.   Then ship a piece of the cold carcass that once was the most ridiculous thing ever halfheartedly tacked onto a vehicle to every single automotive designer on the planet as a warning. 

Then use that new hole for your ducting.   otherwise CTR seems like it would be a lot of fun. 

Driving an FRS at NOLA taught me that things like throttle modulation is unnecessary and "oversteer" isn't really a thing.  

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, lobster said:

Driving an FRS at NOLA taught me that things like throttle modulation is unnecessary and "oversteer" isn't really a thing.  

Sounds like you were driving it pretty slowly 😂

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Guest lobster
Just now, Solo_S14 said:

Sounds like you were driving it pretty slowly 😂

lol i mean power oversteer.   

you can just kind of smash the gas as hard as possible

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