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Old 09-27-2010, 02:04 AM   #1
lejeunebimmer
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Thinking about getting into SCCA Club Racing

So, I am seriously thinking about going for it. I want to get my license, and must first attend two driving schools, I need to have my own race car for this and at a minimum one will cost 500 to rent/lease for one school so that's at least 1k down the drain. If I do this I will throw away that 1k and have no car to show for it (granted I will complete my schools). Then it still puts me in the position of needing a race car. So I am thinking about building one on an E30 or E36 chassis for the touring class (I don't know anything about the classing really, I just assume that is where it would go). Can anyone reccomend to me a good chassis to start with (I'm def. thinking e30 325) these aren't too old to race are they? Point in the direction of some good information on the classes the rules and somegood places to start buying the saftey stuff I will need and of course what I will need to be competitive. I really want to do this, I am tired of "just" auto crossing I want some true road racing (and a small part of me hopes that maybe I can be really competitive and shine out there and maybe turn this into a career). I know silly right? I'm ready to give it a shot though, and yes I do realize this is going to cost a LOT of money... Maybe one day it will all come back to me (yeah right, but I can dream darn it!) either way it will be fun
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Old 09-27-2010, 08:19 AM   #2
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I would talk to the guys in your region that road race. They'll be more than happy to help out. Look at your region's schedule probably done for the year... maybe some october VIR events?) and head out to watch.

Honestly, if you want to be competitive and have a lot of fun, buy a Spec Racer Ford. Very little you can do to those cars, so your initial $20-25k will make you capable of being a regional pack leader. Just gotta get the loose nut behind the wheel tightened up

More good racing is in Spec Miata, and those are a dime a dozen. You can buy a pretty good used one for $10k. You won't win the national championship without a very very expensive miata though. As spec as that class is, it's still a class for the haves and have-nots.

Now, if you want to get into touring, you might look into IT racing. IT classes are incredibly popular. You'll have a pretty expensive car if you want to run at the front of ITA or faster. But, you could build a pretty damn competitive ITB or ITC car for not a huge amount of money.

But yeah, talk to the local guys for advice on what's big in your area, then once you pick a class you want to compete in, go online and search all sorts of results for that class to see what cars do well and which dont.
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Old 09-27-2010, 09:34 AM   #3
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1. Do some research first - Building an E30 is not going to be any cheaper than an E36 or an E46. This is because people spend whatever their budget allows and race components (seat, belts, fire system, cutoff switch, etc..) cost the same no matter what car they go into. The biggest difference is the car cost up front. There are tons of E36's out there and that's because those cars are old enough that you can pick up a junker pretty cheap. Then there are a huge amount of used parts readily available.

2. Whatever you build, make sure it can cross over to BMWCCA and NASA. This will allow you to not be stuck in one series (SCCA is full of classes that the cars don't fit into something else).

3. Forget SCCA National Racing. Stick with regionals and don't forget BMWCCA and NASA. Reason is, there are plenty of regionals out there that allow you to get plenty of track time (enduros). Just look at the SCCA runoffs. You get a total of 60 minutes of practice and then get a 40 minute race. This is 100 minutes of racing spread over a week (In Grand-Am there are times that we have 100 minutes of practice before noon on the first day). Also, with an enduro, you can share expenses with another person who is going to drive with you.

4. Don't go off of the deep end when you build a car or be super cheap. You don't need some super duper trick rollcage or a high strung motor. On the other hand, don't be cheap when to comes to basics (wheel bearings, axles, clutch, control arms, cooling system, fuel pump, battery, wiring, etc...).

5. You want the car to be reliable. BMW's are great because they have a low cost/hour operational cost, only if you have the key items (like what I mentioned before) that are new to start with. I can't tell you the amount of times that I have watched people tinker with their car more than they actually drive it. Keep it simple.

6. Use proven products that are easy to get from reliable sources. Buy parts from companies that "actually" race, as opposed to some dude off of Ebay that has the latest cross drilled brake lines from China.

7. Consider buying a used racecar. There are plenty out there.

8. Start thinking about how you are going to get your car to the track. This is probably more important than the actual racecar. Most people end up under-buying in this area and then regret it. Racingjunk has plenty of options and is a good place to start getting an idea of what you can afford.

Cross Drilled Brake Lines:
http://kalecoauto.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=1

Racingjunk.com
http://www.racingjunk.com/
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Old 09-27-2010, 02:41 PM   #4
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My NASA/BMWCCA race car is for sale: http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=793315
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Old 09-27-2010, 09:41 PM   #5
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NASA's SpecE30 is the cheapest (and probably most reliable) racing with a Roundel on the hood.

http://spece30.com/
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Old 09-27-2010, 09:55 PM   #6
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Sub'd...great info here.
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Old 09-28-2010, 12:21 AM   #7
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...

Cross Drilled Brake Lines:
http://kalecoauto.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=1




I need one of these: http://kalecoauto.com/index.php?main...products_id=28

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Old 09-28-2010, 07:43 AM   #8
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NASA's SpecE30 is the cheapest (and probably most reliable) racing with a Roundel on the hood.

http://spece30.com/
Red Baron > *
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Old 09-28-2010, 07:57 AM   #9
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So, I am seriously thinking about going for it. I want to get my license, and must first attend two driving schools, I need to have my own race car for this and at a minimum one will cost 500 to rent/lease for one school so that's at least 1k down the drain. If I do this I will throw away that 1k and have no car to show for it (granted I will complete my schools). Then it still puts me in the position of needing a race car. So I am thinking about building one on an E30 or E36 chassis for the touring class (I don't know anything about the classing really, I just assume that is where it would go). Can anyone reccomend to me a good chassis to start with (I'm def. thinking e30 325) these aren't too old to race are they? Point in the direction of some good information on the classes the rules and somegood places to start buying the saftey stuff I will need and of course what I will need to be competitive. I really want to do this, I am tired of "just" auto crossing I want some true road racing (and a small part of me hopes that maybe I can be really competitive and shine out there and maybe turn this into a career). I know silly right? I'm ready to give it a shot though, and yes I do realize this is going to cost a LOT of money... Maybe one day it will all come back to me (yeah right, but I can dream darn it!) either way it will be fun

First off welcome to the addiction. Have you done any track days at all or have you only been autocrossing? If I were you I would start off doing some track days and get some experience there. Second what is more important to you? Racing a BMW, or racing against a large field of other cars and a huge talent pool? I would stick to either a spec e30 or a spec miata. Where your at I recall spec e30 has some rather large fields, up in the north east not so much. I am in the middle of building a spec miata now and I can tell you that its not cheap, even doing everything myself. I am going to be into the car for about 10k by the time its done, and that is not a pro national prep. Also keep other expenses in mind, you need safety gear, helmet, suit, gloves, shoes, hans and how are you going to get the race car to the track? Dont forget about a tow vehicle and trailer. It all adds up very quickly and its definitly not a cheap endeavor but it is a ton of fun. It is also highly unlikely that you will be able to make a career out of it, a wise man once said to make a small fortune in racing you must start with a large one.
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Old 09-28-2010, 09:08 AM   #10
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Whatever racing you get into, here's usually what happens:

1. Excited about racing and just happy to be there.
2. Start getting better and moving more toward the front.
3. Really get competitive and taking it serious.
4. Some other dude is at the same stage but has a budget that's twice what you have.
5. You get unhappy because "this class has changed as all it takes is money to run up front."
6. You end up quitting because you feel that you need to spend the big bucks and can't afford it.

This has been going on since racing began. It's not that the class has changed or this is the first time that someone has decided to throw tons of money at racing. Racing hasn't changed, your attitude did. If you have the right attitude, step 5 will be:

5. I don't care if someone wants to spend a ton of money, I can still run with them, I need to improve myself as much as I can and make sure my car is prepped as good as possible.
6. You end up racing up at the front with the dude who just blew a ton of money in that class. He ends up moving up to a class with a bunch of horsepower (SCCA GT-1 is full of them)

One other thing. At least in SCCA club racing, there is so much downtime, the imagination starts to run wild. People start looking at other cars and try to come up with some sort of reason why that guy is so fast. It won't take long, all of the other back markers will join in and the topic of conversation will be like this:

You know why Russ Wheeler is so fast? It's because he is running the wrong year tail lights and he should be protested for that.

As you start running up front, all of those "buddies" of yours will stop talking to you but will be talking about you. Sooner or later you will be protested because you don't have the drivers side sun visor in your car.

Don't believe me, that's why I stopped running SCCA Nationals in 1992. I got booted from two races for those exact reasons.
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Old 09-28-2010, 09:34 AM   #11
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^Absolute truth. You could make countless docu-dramas on motorsport. Motorsport is one of the largest conceivable contradictions - a collection of the manliest, bitchiest men. It's a real clash of hormones.

I've even seen the shit-show begin during drivers' meetings at HPDEs - before the cars hit the track...
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Old 09-28-2010, 11:19 AM   #12
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I've even seen the ****-show begin during drivers' meetings at HPDEs - before the cars hit the track...
I beg to differ. The HPDE Champ Richard Alistar is always put into the slow group even though he has a Yellow Porsche GT2. Then some clown in a white Miata keeps dogging him for many laps. Life is so unfair.
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Old 09-28-2010, 01:51 PM   #13
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I beg to differ. The HPDE Champ Richard Alistar is always put into the slow group even though he has a Yellow Porsche GT2. Then some clown in a white Miata keeps dogging him for many laps. Life is so unfair.
Aint that the truth! I'm not worried though because when I go to the track I drive flat out. That is how I drive flat out. . . and I've heard about that miata, its got some crazy engine swap turbo thing with like 600hp.
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Old 09-28-2010, 03:20 PM   #14
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Aint that the truth! I'm not worried though because when I go to the track I drive flat out. That is how I drive flat out. . . and I've heard about that miata, its got some crazy engine swap turbo thing with like 600hp.
I think he even stripped the interior out...
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Old 09-28-2010, 03:29 PM   #15
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One other thing to be very very aware of when going road racing:

Take your race car, all the time and money you spend building it. Are you willing to push it off a cliff on the first corner of your very first race? If not, this isn't the sport for you. It is very possible that some other idiot's mistake will cost you your entire car. Keep this in mind. You can definitely drive with high awareness of the low intelligence of the guy next to you, but you can't always prepare for everything...
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Old 09-29-2010, 09:33 AM   #16
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Case in point, here's a video of the start of the race for T1 class at the 2010 SCCA Runoffs. One guy's transmission blows up and gets the car sideways, and 6 $150,000+ cars come away with major damage.

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Old 09-29-2010, 01:00 PM   #17
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I beg to differ. The HPDE Champ Richard Alistar is always put into the slow group even though he has a Yellow Porsche GT2. Then some clown in a white Miata keeps dogging him for many laps. Life is so unfair.
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Aint that the truth! I'm not worried though because when I go to the track I drive flat out. That is how I drive flat out. . . and I've heard about that miata, its got some crazy engine swap turbo thing with like 600hp.
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I think he even stripped the interior out...


What makes this even funnier is that "I drive flat out" was a gag among the instructors at our last HPDE

Of course, the laughter stopped when one's student put the car into the armco at turn 11 (this was at the Glen)

Needless to stay, the rest of us kept driving Flattt Outt...because that's how we drive. Flattt Outtt.

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Originally Posted by trippinbillies4 View Post
Case in point, here's a video of the start of the race for T1 class at the 2010 SCCA Runoffs. One guy's transmission blows up and gets the car sideways, and 6 $150,000+ cars come away with major damage.

That's racing...

Matter of fact, anyone remember Watkins Glen back in '08 when all 3 Bimmerworld cars got collectively taken out? Now that's a big "ouch"...
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Old 09-29-2010, 03:14 PM   #18
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What makes this even funnier is that "I drive flat out" was a gag among the instructors at our last HPDE

Of course, the laughter stopped when one's student put the car into the armco at turn 11 (this was at the Glen)

Needless to stay, the rest of us kept driving Flattt Outt...because that's how we drive. Flattt Outtt.



That's racing...

Matter of fact, anyone remember Watkins Glen back in '08 when all 3 Bimmerworld cars got collectively taken out? Now that's a big "ouch"...

Was that at the Glen last week with I think Patroon chapter? I was supposed to be there instructing but I had totally forgot about the event and we just got married and were on our honeymoon.

I remember that event when all the Bimmerworld cars got knocked out, was not fun at all.

Look at the runoff's this year and spec miata. Half the race was run under FCY do to knock out's and everyone is up in arms about what to do to try and tame it down a little bit as it seems there are a ton more incidents in spec miata. But on the other side of it, as one person put it, you've got 3 different motor's, 2 different chassis, all different builders out there and drivers, and the top 10 were .5 apart and the next ten were only .5sec apart. That's some close racing.
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Old 09-29-2010, 03:33 PM   #19
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Was that at the Glen last week with I think Patroon chapter? I was supposed to be there instructing but I had totally forgot about the event and we just got married and were on our honeymoon.

I remember that event when all the Bimmerworld cars got knocked out, was not fun at all.

Look at the runoff's this year and spec miata. Half the race was run under FCY do to knock out's and everyone is up in arms about what to do to try and tame it down a little bit as it seems there are a ton more incidents in spec miata. But on the other side of it, as one person put it, you've got 3 different motor's, 2 different chassis, all different builders out there and drivers, and the top 10 were .5 apart and the next ten were only .5sec apart. That's some close racing.
Nope, that was at the Glen over labor day weekend (Monday and Tuesday) with Chin Motorsports. I was actually thinking about leaving my car in the pit garages until the event you're talking about (the one last week) because I wanted to run in that one as well, but I've been super busy and knew I wouldn't be able to make it

Anyways, yeah, that's some close racing you're talkin' about...
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Old 09-30-2010, 10:05 AM   #20
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The guy who won in SM, had an interesting sponsor "jacked up on mountain dew beatch"
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