Low budget entry into motorsport

Low budget entry into motorsport

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Discussion

RatLad

Original Poster:

266 posts

160 months

Sunday 20th October
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I’m fairly sure this topic has been covered before, but searching is not throwing up the answers I’m looking for.

I’ve just passed my ARDS and looking to get involved with some competitive motorsport, albeit in a casual way. (I’m 33 and have 2 young kids, so time and money is already pretty well spoken for.)

I currently own a very nice S1 Elise, that I could race prepare (it would be a bit of a shame to do that to an immaculate road car though and I also am a bit concerned about the potential costs to damaging the thing too.)

Alternative is to sell the Elise and get a prepped Caterham as it would be even more fun on the road and the repair costs are less of an issue.

I’d want this also to be road registered as I don’t want to trailer a car about.

So, ideally I need a newbie friendly race series where I could compete in occasional races in a road registered car.

I was thinking sprinting or hill climbing might be a good one to get started with.

None of my mates are into motorsport, so I’m a little lost!

Any advice as to where to start and what car to buy (I do live Caterfield type cars) would be much appreciated!

Andy

Turn7

16,349 posts

168 months

Sunday 20th October
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Javelin sprint series maybe ?

carl_w

6,301 posts

205 months

Sunday 20th October
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Whereabouts in the country are you? You could have started sprinting and hillclimbing without doing an ARDS.

BertBert

13,080 posts

158 months

Sunday 20th October
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Get an ex academy car and go racing with the grads?

ribiero

421 posts

113 months

Monday 21st October
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BertBert said:
Get an ex academy car and go racing with the grads?
Is this cheaper than getting a locost and going racing with 750mc locost?

finishing touch

636 posts

114 months

Monday 21st October
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Google your local Motorsport Club ( or even join ) and see what they do. I'm a member of West Suffolk.

There are sprints, hill climbs, auto tests, autosolo's, stage rallies, targa's, that can all be done in a sub £1k car. Obviously you can spend more.

The moment you switch to track based sport then the cost goes up, but then it depends on what you call "low budget."


Paul G

andrewcliffe

496 posts

171 months

Monday 21st October
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Your Elise would be suited to Sprinting and unlikely to result in damage, or at least, no more likely than a spirited A / B - road blast. Doesn't need any major modifications that detract from its originality.

If you wanted to race (and make use of your ARDS) then it would be a shame to race prep a really nice Elise, but there are plenty of cheaper cars out there.

fat80b

885 posts

168 months

Monday 21st October
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finishing touch said:
Google your local Motorsport Club ( or even join ) and see what they do. I'm a member of West Suffolk.

There are sprints, hill climbs, auto tests, autosolo's, stage rallies, targa's, that can all be done in a sub £1k car. Obviously you can spend more.

The moment you switch to track based sport then the cost goes up, but then it depends on what you call "low budget."

Paul G
Indeed - low budget pretty much rules out circuit racing imho.

I'm a member of Chelmsford MC. This opens your world up to:

Autosolos - £30 entry plus any cheap car.
Targas - £50 entry plus any cheap car, (or a prepped one for a few £K)
Sprints / hill climbs - similar entry costs but slightly more rules / suit and helmet required etc.

With the above, you can be competing nearly every weekend if you wanted to and it won't break the bank.


Stage Rallies & Circuit racing require a more expensive / prepped car and are £300 entry plus tyres etc. I compete in stage rallies very much at the budget end in a Ford Escort. One rally costs about £1K assuming nothing goes wrong with the car which it frequently does.

To go circuit racing / stage rallying, the costs are just way way higher than entry level club motorsport, I now need new seats & belts, a race suit, boots, helmet, hans etc every 5 years. just this is ~£2.5K for the budget choices and you need to spend it to get to the startline on the first event.

As ever on these threads, the answer is an MX5 and Targa rallying as the best bang for buck........You could buy a bog standard MX5 Mk2 1.8iS for under £1K and enter the upcoming Bonfire Targa and you'd be in a car capable of winning with no modifications.


finishing touch

636 posts

114 months

Monday 21st October
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Quote fat80b:-

"As ever on these threads, the answer is an MX5 and Targa rallying as the best bang for buck........You could buy a bog standard MX5 Mk2 1.8iS for under £1K and enter the upcoming Bonfire Targa and you'd be in a car capable of winning with no modifications."


Didn't like to mention that for fear of being accused of being biased. ( I have a Mk 2.5 Sport )


I marshal at a few events your club run at RAF Weathersfield and also the Clacton/ Tendring closed road rally.

Paul G

Galveston

561 posts

146 months

Monday 21st October
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It sounds to me like hillclimbs and sprints would be perfect for you and an Elise.

The HSA have a good introduction page... https://www.hillclimbandsprint.co.uk/sport.asp

There are classes that cater for standard road cars - all you need is to add a timing strut (a vertical surface at the front to break the timing beams), a bit of yellow tape on your battery earth lead (so the marshals know which to cut in a hurry) and a sticker by your ignition switch showing how to turn it off. You'd also need to check that the tyres are on one of the approved lists. Get a helmet, overalls, gloves, an MSUK licence... and you're good to go.

n3il123

1,644 posts

160 months

Monday 21st October
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RatLad said:
I’d want this also to be road registered as I don’t want to trailer a car about.
This is going to be the issue with any sort of circuit racing stuff.

carl_w

6,301 posts

205 months

Monday 21st October
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Galveston said:
It sounds to me like hillclimbs and sprints would be perfect for you and an Elise.

The HSA have a good introduction page... https://www.hillclimbandsprint.co.uk/sport.asp

There are classes that cater for standard road cars - all you need is to add a timing strut (a vertical surface at the front to break the timing beams), a bit of yellow tape on your battery earth lead (so the marshals know which to cut in a hurry) and a sticker by your ignition switch showing how to turn it off. You'd also need to check that the tyres are on one of the approved lists. Get a helmet, overalls, gloves, an MSUK licence... and you're good to go.
If you wait until next year (it's pretty much the end of the season now anyway) it looks like you won't even need gloves in the standard classes. You can already use Proban overalls although I'm not sure where to get them since AWS shut up shop.

Galveston

561 posts

146 months

Monday 21st October
quotequote all
carl_w said:
f you wait until next year (it's pretty much the end of the season now anyway) it looks like you won't even need gloves in the standard classes. You can already use Proban overalls although I'm not sure where to get them since AWS shut up shop.
I understand that MSUK aren't proceeding with the proposed regulation changes. At least, not for 2020 anyway.

carl_w

6,301 posts

205 months

Monday 21st October
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Galveston said:
I understand that MSUK aren't proceeding with the proposed regulation changes. At least, not for 2020 anyway.
Not all of them, but a revised set has been sent to organizers and the "no gloves" rule still seems to be in it. I guess the blue book will be out in the next 6 weeks or so so we'll know for sure then.

Edited by carl_w on Monday 21st October 17:33

ol

2,151 posts

155 months

Monday 21st October
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I've been racing with the 750MC for the last 4 years, in Locost - basically a 'seven' type 'kit car' with a 1300 crossflow engine. The racing is fantastic and very close, as the regulations are tight so everyone has the same car. In the end it was a bit too slow for me, and I keep going through engines, so I've helped the club set up a new series called MA7DA which is basically a Locost with an MX5 1800 engine and gearbox and sticky tyres. We shared a grid in 2019 with Sports Specials, however it's grown in popularity so quickly that we have a standalone grid for 2020.

The cost is cheap, the cars are fast and fun, and your car could be road legal if you wanted it to be. Have a look at the FB page, and join the Facebook driver group. Everyone is really friendly and I can't recommend it enough

https://www.facebook.com/750MCMa7da/

Jez-i9scb

12 posts

5 months

Monday 21st October
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Not useful for your Elise but there are quite a few series where cars are sufficiently in modified they can retain an mot and be driven to/from the circuit.

We race in the 116 Trophy where a few of the cars are driven to and from races.

It depends what you want to do, but sprints and hill climbs are, IMO, no match for door to door circuit racing.

126 trophy car can be built for £7-8k. 90 minute race entry fee is £400-500. Tyres designed to last a season.

Alternatives are to go arrive and drive route. Weekend racing in a series such as 116, or civics, or tegiwa is likely to be £600-£1000 and might work better for ad hoc events

BertBert

13,080 posts

158 months

Monday 21st October
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ribiero said:
BertBert said:
Get an ex academy car and go racing with the grads?
Is this cheaper than getting a locost and going racing with 750mc locost?
Nope, probably more expensive

BertBert

13,080 posts

158 months

Monday 21st October
quotequote all
fat80b said:
To go circuit racing / stage rallying, the costs are just way way higher than entry level club motorsport, I now need new seats & belts, a race suit, boots, helmet, hans etc every 5 years. just this is ~£2.5K for the budget choices and you need to spend it to get to the startline on the first event.
Or you could read the rules and save a fortune biggrin

RatLad

Original Poster:

266 posts

160 months

Monday 21st October
quotequote all
Turn7 said:
Javelin sprint series maybe ?
Thank you, having a look at this now.

RatLad

Original Poster:

266 posts

160 months

Monday 21st October
quotequote all
carl_w said:
Whereabouts in the country are you? You could have started sprinting and hillclimbing without doing an ARDS.
Just outside of Reading. I'd always had it on my list to do an ARDS anyway, so even if I don't need it, the tuition I had as part of it was game-changing for me.