Low budget entry into motorsport

Low budget entry into motorsport

Author
Discussion

RatLad

Original Poster:

266 posts

160 months

Monday 21st October
quotequote all
andrewcliffe said:
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.
Thanks Andrew. Good comments. I thought even with sprinting, I'd need the basics (full cage, yellow earth cable, cut off and fire extinguisher), they seemed to state this here - https://www.hillclimbandsprint.co.uk/allabout.asp

RatLad

Original Poster:

266 posts

160 months

Monday 21st October
quotequote all
Thank you, everyone, for your help on this one.

This has given me a few things to look at in preparation for next year - massively appreciated!

carl_w

6,301 posts

205 months

Monday 21st October
quotequote all
RatLad said:
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.
Maybe take a look at what ACSMC are doing? https://acsmcsite.wordpress.com

andy97

3,652 posts

169 months

Monday 21st October
quotequote all
fat80b said:
Indeed - low budget pretty much rules out circuit racing imho.
I suppose that depends on your definition of budget. Yes, entry fees for a 40 min race can be about £400 but if you share a car in a 2 driver race you can halve entry and running costs and can “earn” a hire fee for letting someone share your car. I have done this numerous times and it significantly lowers the cost of racing.

Choosing your car and series is also key. You don’t have to drive a Porsche or BMW. There are low budget options which are still great cars like Pumas or Clio’s or MX5 etc. I would even argue that my Caterham is low budget - it cost about £10kto buy but probably hasn’t depreciated, and running costs are very low in terms of brakes, tyres,,fuel and spares costs.

fat80b said:
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.
Really, what the hell are you doing to it? You can enter circuit based rallies at places like 3 Sisters for £165, brakes and fuel costs will be low; tyres can be expensive but a set of List 1C Toyos will last probably 3 rallies, and your co-driver might even make a contribution.

As always pick the car and event/ series carefully, accept that you are there to have fun and not win the world championship and it can be done.

Jim Spencer

90 posts

169 months

Tuesday 22nd October
quotequote all
RatLad said:
Thanks Andrew. Good comments. I thought even with sprinting, I'd need the basics (full cage, yellow earth cable, cut off and fire extinguisher), they seemed to state this here - https://www.hillclimbandsprint.co.uk/allabout.asp
Hi

No and Yes..

You'd need (as it'd be a Road Car, made in more than 1,000 units a year):-

Ignition cut off switch marked 'Off/On' (Sticker by the ignition switch)
Yellow Earth Cable (PVC Tape or heat shrink round the current one)
The Tow point fitted and a nice Red 'Tow' Sticker
Second throttle return spring (if an Elise hasn't got 2 already?)
A Timing Strut (folk make this out of Ally or Carbon, a little angle bracket and bolt to number plate or similar)
Race Numbers

Plus
Your PPE - which IS being reduced for 2020 for 'Standard Road Cars' - I'd just pause before you rush out and buy that kit while people determine just exactly how the change is going to work (and what a Standard Road Car actually is in practice!), the info has only just been issued to the championship organisers.

Fire Extinguisher is 'Recommended' not Mandatory (in all Hillclimb & Sprint classes)
(And in my direct experience the Marshals get to a fire Really Quick.. been there.. and the small onboard AFFF extinguishers are about as much use as an incontinent mouse..)

I'd suggest that a good mix of Speed events (Hills and Sprints) as per the HSA's speed series or similar is a really good route into the sport, it's easy to do in the car you have, you'll get plenty of experience (especially when you add some track days in) and you can then determine what path you wish to take.

I'd also suggest (as they're a BRILLIANT day out if nothing else) that a Hillclimb school day would be a good call (Prescott, Shelsley, Loton and others all do them) as that'll be in your car you're effectively doing your 'first event' with somebody taking you step by step through it.

HTH

fat80b

885 posts

168 months

Tuesday 22nd October
quotequote all
andy97 said:
fat80b said:
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.
Really, what the hell are you doing to it? You can enter circuit based rallies at places like 3 Sisters for £165, brakes and fuel costs will be low; tyres can be expensive but a set of List 1C Toyos will last probably 3 rallies, and your co-driver might even make a contribution.

As always pick the car and event/ series carefully, accept that you are there to have fun and not win the world championship and it can be done.
I assure you I am at the budget end of the field in a road rally spec pinto and I tow to and from with the family estate car. I've only once ever stayed in an hotel the night before an event so we generally end up with a 4am start to save the hotel costs.

Tyres for me last about 2 events (fronts get swapped to the back). I use fairly cheap Hankooks at ~£130 a corner and carry a couple of dry spares.I end up buying 2 new slicks nearly every event I do.

Plus I carry a set of wets. My wets lasted a season and cost £600. I bought second hand wets at £15 a pair at Anglesey to keep me going at one point.

Event entry fees are £300 ish. I'll look up the 3 sisters one but that is a lot cheaper than any other stage rally I have seen round our way.

Tesco 99 race fuel is ~£100 for 45 competitive stage miles.

Towing to and from an event averages out at another £100 of fuel. (Cadwell, Brands, Anglesey, Snett, Rockingham etc)

I drop the oil (£60) roughly every 3 events and do very little other maintenance. This still works out at an average of £100 in bits and pieces a month when competing to keep the car going.

Plus fire and safety gear spread out over the number of events you do.

It soon adds up and £1K per event is definitely at the budget end of stage rallying. Anyone who says they can do it significantly cheaper than that is lying.

andrewcliffe

496 posts

171 months

Tuesday 22nd October
quotequote all
Not all sprinting requires cages. If run under MSUK then production cars in excess of 1000 per year don't and under does - according to the first website for Lotus Elise production numbers suggests that from 1997 to 2008, was over 1000 per year.

Javelin's sprint series has different requirements, they don't require a timing strut either. Most of the regs are common sense.
http://www.javelinsprintdays.co.uk/sprint/image/Do...

I did a Javelin sprint earlier this year and it was well run and you got a lot more runs for your money - some sprints you just get a sighting lap, an untimed practice and two timed runs, Javelin gave us at 6 timed runs - but Javelin isn't run under MSUK regs, they run under the auspices of the IOPD, so no need for an ARDS or an MSA race license.

If you've been out and got your ARDS, I'd recommend keeping license up to date, and that may require having to do a race in something, but for a one off, an arrive and drive would be best option, unless you buy a race prepared but road legal hatchback and race that. Save the Elise.

andy97

3,652 posts

169 months

Tuesday 22nd October
quotequote all
fat80b said:
I assure you I am at the budget end of the field in a road rally spec pinto and I tow to and from with the family estate car. I've only once ever stayed in an hotel the night before an event so we generally end up with a 4am start to save the hotel costs.

Tyres for me last about 2 events (fronts get swapped to the back). I use fairly cheap Hankooks at ~£130 a corner and carry a couple of dry spares.I end up buying 2 new slicks nearly every event I do.

Plus I carry a set of wets. My wets lasted a season and cost £600. I bought second hand wets at £15 a pair at Anglesey to keep me going at one point.

Event entry fees are £300 ish. I'll look up the 3 sisters one but that is a lot cheaper than any other stage rally I have seen round our way.

Tesco 99 race fuel is ~£100 for 45 competitive stage miles.

Towing to and from an event averages out at another £100 of fuel. (Cadwell, Brands, Anglesey, Snett, Rockingham etc)

I drop the oil (£60) roughly every 3 events and do very little other maintenance. This still works out at an average of £100 in bits and pieces a month when competing to keep the car going.

Plus fire and safety gear spread out over the number of events you do.

It soon adds up and £1K per event is definitely at the budget end of stage rallying. Anyone who says they can do it significantly cheaper than that is lying.
I can assure you i am not lying:
Entry (3 Sisters) - 165 (stage mileage is less, though at about 25 miles)
Tow fuel - 50
Rally fuel - 50
Tyres (last 4 events so 1 per event) - 150
Support - 150 (and thats optional if handy with spanners or mates who do it)
Maintenance - 100
Helmet/ overalls/ extinguisher etc (amortised over 5 years, and my overalls are 15 years old) - £50
Total - 715
Minus £100 contribution from co-driver = 615
And if you dont need to pay for support = 465
Lets call it 500 as a round figure as i have probably forgotten/ underestimated something, but definitely not to the tune of 50%.
Car is also a Mk2 Escort (1600 Vauxhall).

Costs for a 40 min Caterham race are probably similar except the entry fee is 400 and i dont get a contribution from a co-driver. Tyres probably cheaper and will last a season. Maintenace almost certainly not 100 per race. So 800-900 per race.

Edited by andy97 on Tuesday 22 October 13:15

fat80b

885 posts

168 months

Tuesday 22nd October
quotequote all
andy97 said:
I can assure you i am not lying:
Entry (3 Sisters) - 165 (stage mileage is less, though at about 25 miles)
...

Lets call it 500 as a round figure as i have probably forgotten/ underestimated something, but definitely not to the tune of 50%.
Car is also a Mk2 Escort (1600 Vauxhall).
I apologise for saying that you must have been lying - what you have done though is demonstrate that half an event (by stage mileage) costs half to enter with half the fuel costs and half the running costs (tyres).

So whilst a 25 mile event can be done for ~£500 (excluding safety and other bits and pieces), a 50 mile event does cost double that as everything (fuel, tyres etc) scales with mileage (including the entry cost it seems).

It seems like we agree entirely on the costs to run a budget entry in a stage rally to me. The only thing that differs is the length of the stages. (The MSN circuit Rally champ events are usually 6 or 8 stages at ~9 miles in length.)








andy97

3,652 posts

169 months

Tuesday 22nd October
quotequote all
I think that there are costs which arent double, as not linear such as maintenance and even tyre wear. And a contribution from the co-driver would be more, too. I have also used 2nd hand tyres but i agree that for the same stage mileage costs are more than my 500. Nearer the 800 cost of a Caterham race, i would say.

As an aside, i have been talking to the MSVR circuit rally coordinator about an additional class for older cars (pre81?) running oem engines and h pattern boxes. Too late for this season but if you are interested, tell other people with similar spec cars and tell MSVR thats what you want!
Drop us a pm if you want to discuss some more.

Fishy Dave

577 posts

192 months

Tuesday 22nd October
quotequote all
RatLad said:
Turn7 said:
Javelin sprint series maybe ?
Thank you, having a look at this now.
I sprinted in a couple of Javelin rounds this year, my first time returning to sprinting for more than ten years. I drove the Corvette there and back and double drove with my Father. Javelin have very simple rules, basically the gear and car that you trackday in is good enough. Biggest disadvantages are a relative lack of tracktime and the northern based tracks.

I also race my CSCC RX-8 Trophy car, driving this to and from the circuits (I don't have a trailer or tow car). I paid £800 for for the car and built it, ready to race for £4500ish. It's been totally reliable so far and has finished all races, trackdays and commuting miles (aside from my stupidity with too high an oil level once). Circuit racing isn't cheap, but the thrills are worth it.

Drumroll

1,521 posts

67 months

Tuesday 22nd October
quotequote all
andrewcliffe said:
Not all sprinting requires cages. If run under MSUK then production cars in excess of 1000 per year don't and under does - according to the first website for Lotus Elise production numbers suggests that from 1997 to 2008, was over 1000 per year.

Javelin's sprint series has different requirements, they don't require a timing strut either. Most of the regs are common sense.
http://www.javelinsprintdays.co.uk/sprint/image/Do...

I did a Javelin sprint earlier this year and it was well run and you got a lot more runs for your money - some sprints you just get a sighting lap, an untimed practice and two timed runs, Javelin gave us at 6 timed runs - but Javelin isn't run under MSUK regs, they run under the auspices of the IOPD, so no need for an ARDS or an MSA race license.

If you've been out and got your ARDS, I'd recommend keeping license up to date, and that may require having to do a race in something, but for a one off, an arrive and drive would be best option, unless you buy a race prepared but road legal hatchback and race that. Save the Elise.
One of the reasons the Javelin series is cheaper than a MUK series is there isn't as much safety cover.

Actus Reus

3,466 posts

102 months

Thursday 24th October
quotequote all
I started MSUK run sprinting this year and I've loved it. I'm just North of London and in Herts Auto and Aero Club. Most of the sprints are within an hour's drive of home (and none more than 2hrs), and I entered my almost standard and totally road legal VX220 Turbo.

The big outlay was the suit, helmet, gloves and boots, but these are built to last and also there for my own safety so I wore them in a Javelin organised sprint too.

Re: Javelin vs MSUK sprints, the Javelin events seem a bit more relaxed and attract a slightly younger crowd and the safety gear needed is really just a helmet and a seatbelt. MSUK stuff has more stringent rules (and the classes arguably aren't that clever sometimes), and you're likely to get one or two less goes as well. MSUK sprints are a good bit cheaper (usually about £80 - £90 each) and will be local. Javelin use a lot of 'proper' tracks, but that means a much longer drive if you're based down South and probably a hotel or camping the night before. MSUK events do run on proper tracks too (Lydden Hill next weekend for example, or Hethel), but also on old airfields (North Weald for example).

There's pros and cons for both, but being a dad to a young son having sprints take place local to home means I get to spend more time with my boy at weekends and he can also easily come and watch me.

ETA: I read this site seldom, but if you'd like to PM me for more info very happy to chat over email!

andrewcliffe

496 posts

171 months

Thursday 24th October
quotequote all
I suspect the slightly less formal nature of the Javelin style sprint appeals to total novices and members of one make car clubs - eg Toyota Sprint Series (for whom I was official photographer for several seasons), and the MSUK sanctioned sprints now cater for those taking it a bit more seriously.

Either way, they're a comparatively safe, comparatively cheap entry into motorsport. Everyone I've met at both Javelin and the various MSUK Sprints I've competed in have been very friendly and accommodating for newcomers.


j13myd

13 posts

125 months

Friday 25th October
quotequote all
RatLad said:
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
I'm in a pretty much identical situation. I don't want to sacrifice my S2 Elise either. Not sure how it would work logistically but I wonder if there's any mileage in splitting the costs in running a car for a season between 2/3 people? Either one person using it for a given weekend or a multiple driver endurance event?

Are you going to the motorsportlive thing at Silverstone? I'm going to speak to the different series there locost/116 etc and look into arrive and drive options.

andrewcliffe

496 posts

171 months

Friday 25th October
quotequote all
Some series have longer races (40 mins - 1hr) with option of a driver swap which gives two people the chance to drive.

Others share the car, one races it one weekend, the other spanners. Then next time out roles are reversed.

For 3 drivers sharing the car, best to consider Citroen C1 or Enduroka or similar

RatLad

Original Poster:

266 posts

160 months

Friday 25th October
quotequote all
Jim Spencer said:
RatLad said:
Thanks Andrew. Good comments. I thought even with sprinting, I'd need the basics (full cage, yellow earth cable, cut off and fire extinguisher), they seemed to state this here - https://www.hillclimbandsprint.co.uk/allabout.asp
Hi

No and Yes..

You'd need (as it'd be a Road Car, made in more than 1,000 units a year):-

Ignition cut off switch marked 'Off/On' (Sticker by the ignition switch)
Yellow Earth Cable (PVC Tape or heat shrink round the current one)
The Tow point fitted and a nice Red 'Tow' Sticker
Second throttle return spring (if an Elise hasn't got 2 already?)
A Timing Strut (folk make this out of Ally or Carbon, a little angle bracket and bolt to number plate or similar)
Race Numbers

Plus
Your PPE - which IS being reduced for 2020 for 'Standard Road Cars' - I'd just pause before you rush out and buy that kit while people determine just exactly how the change is going to work (and what a Standard Road Car actually is in practice!), the info has only just been issued to the championship organisers.

Fire Extinguisher is 'Recommended' not Mandatory (in all Hillclimb & Sprint classes)
(And in my direct experience the Marshals get to a fire Really Quick.. been there.. and the small onboard AFFF extinguishers are about as much use as an incontinent mouse..)

I'd suggest that a good mix of Speed events (Hills and Sprints) as per the HSA's speed series or similar is a really good route into the sport, it's easy to do in the car you have, you'll get plenty of experience (especially when you add some track days in) and you can then determine what path you wish to take.

I'd also suggest (as they're a BRILLIANT day out if nothing else) that a Hillclimb school day would be a good call (Prescott, Shelsley, Loton and others all do them) as that'll be in your car you're effectively doing your 'first event' with somebody taking you step by step through it.

HTH
Jim, you are an utter legend sir. Incredibly helpful, thank you👍

RatLad

Original Poster:

266 posts

160 months

Friday 25th October
quotequote all
j13myd said:
RatLad said:
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
I'm in a pretty much identical situation. I don't want to sacrifice my S2 Elise either. Not sure how it would work logistically but I wonder if there's any mileage in splitting the costs in running a car for a season between 2/3 people? Either one person using it for a given weekend or a multiple driver endurance event?

Are you going to the motorsportlive thing at Silverstone? I'm going to speak to the different series there locost/116 etc and look into arrive and drive options.
Hey, I won’t be there but report back what you find, I’d be open to looking into splitting it.

j13myd

13 posts

125 months

Tuesday 29th October
quotequote all
Will do!

AndyF52

25 posts

37 months

Saturday 9th November
quotequote all
Just thought I would contribute my experience. I raced a Morgan in the Morgan Challenge over a number of years. Initially i prepared my road going Plus 8 for Class D, which was for early carburettor fuelled cars. The car was basically standard with the usual safety features added. I towed it to meetings simply as a reassurement method of getting home if I had issue with car. In 5 years of racing I did approximately 25 races and never failed to finish. I estimated the cost to be around £1000 per meeting as had previously been mentioned. I latterly prepared and drove another Morgan to and from races but never felt entirely comfortable and probably didn’t give it my best. It’s a great introduction to racing and the racing is competitive but fair and the drivers look out for each other. It’s probably similar to Locost and MX5 racing, the main difference being the initial cost of the car. To buy and prepare a Morgan will be not less than £25,000 and ready prepared ones seem to start at around £30,000.
I started late, mid 50’s, but loved every minute, so I would always encourage anyone to give it a go.