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looking for advice at getting into circuit racing


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#1 sam

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Posted 10 July 2007 - 08:05 PM

After purchasing my first zed a few months ago I am hooked (obviously). Now my father and i are looking at getting into track racing and are considering purchasing a race prepared Z. Can anyone explain how the categories work, like would it be better to stay with a lower powered l24/6 or go with a conversion, given that we are reasonably inexperienced (I have none and my father has been involved in rallying) and just want to have some fun. Does anyone know of any available cars for around $15k or so? I know what I am asking seems fairly vague but I am just after any information on track racing a zed, maybe a link to a club or something?

Sam

#2 Zeddophile

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Posted 10 July 2007 - 09:33 PM

Well, the car you buy greatly depends on what sort of racing you want to do.  If you just want to do some laps for the hell of it, theres nothing particularly wrong with using your current car, and just heading out for some lap sprints (say in the associate class with the Alfa Club or similar, and I believe NDSOC run some sprints other than Marque sports).

However, if you want to do actual racing, and compete for placings rather than times, then you need to look very carefully at the regs for the class you are looking at, and work out how much you can afford to spend.  Some of the categories might be Historics (Not sure if zeds eligible), Group S (again, not sure on Zeds), and Marque Sports (highly competitive)

Staying in a less modified class to my mind doesn't necessarily mean it will be easier to win - it just means the car is slower.  It also means that it handles worse when compared to a modified car (depending of course on how little you are permitted to modify for the class).  The skill level in that less modified class isn't guaranteed to be lower than the class above it, the driver may just have not enough money to make the car competitive in the next bracket, or may enjoy running a close to standard car.

Thats just my opinion/observation, and there are a few people on here with likely much better advice.  Personally, I'm going to mod my Alfa how I want, and run in whatever class in the Alfa club sprints that ends me up in, as fuel injecting it alone puts me in a fairly high category.  Maybe in a couple of years I might look at running on a more competitive basis, but I just don't have the budget, nor the interest in building to class regs.

#3 PZG302

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Posted 11 July 2007 - 08:02 AM

Sam,

My advice would be to look at doing sprints first to see how you like it. Your current car will be suitable and quite competitive. All you will need to play is a fire extinguisher, a level 2 licence and be ready for fun. If you are in Victoria jump onto the Winton website for dates on their next track day where you can go out and do some laps for very little cost and have a great time and see if you want to play from there.

If you are looking at starting out get in touch with CAMS and see what and where the sprint series rounds are near you, this will be events like hill climbs, lap dashes and supersprints. These are timed events with only one car on the track at a time, or with supersprints a couple of cars. They are very safe and car friendly, plus you and your dad can double enter the one car and both get the same number of runs.

Car preparation will be minimal to be competetive, but if you are getting serious it would be advisable to get a second set of wheels and some R spec tyres, new around $250+ each or there are plenty of second tyres about.

I would be joining a club like the Marque Sports Club or similar, preferably with an emphasis on motorsport and get out to an event to watch and talk to people about what they run, preparation needed and costs. At this level just about everyone will encourage you to get involved and give you plenty of help.

If you decide to go racing in your Z, basically you have two categories to run in, Historic Sc or Production Sports, both categories require the L series motor to run, however a RB conversion can run as a Group 2a sports car and then be invited to run with Marque sports. Be warned that in Marque sports there is some very quick and very expensive machinery and a Z is not really competitive against a 400hp Cobra replicar or a GT3 Porsche. Historic Sc is very competitive, much more restrictive, but a Z is very competitive, and you should find a good 240 or 260 built for Sc at around the $15k budget you have in mind.

Personally I run a 240Z occaisionally, but will hopefully be back doing around 4 meetings a year next year in the NSW FOSC series if it is running again. My car was built for production sports about 10 years ago and was competitive then, but nowadays I get blown away by MX5's with number plates attached, and it has been modified too much to bring back to group Sc specs. When I get to run at the FOSC meetings I should be up to where I was previously as I will be running aginast some of the same cars, plus I will have some dollars to do a little more work on the engine.

Matt

#4 620Z

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Posted 11 July 2007 - 08:46 AM

Sam, 15K will get you a great L28 with triples 240 or 260. Buying one already done would save you heaps of time and money. If you pay 15K for one then you can ber around 30K or more would have been put into it. Try and get one road reg etc and you will find for that sort of money you will be up the top end of the field depending on your driving ability.
As suggested above I agree you should do a couple of sprints in the car you already have for a year and then if you and the old man are still into it go to the next level. Hope to see you on the track.

#5 Scando

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Posted 11 July 2007 - 12:59 PM

I agree with the others.  Do some sprints in the car you have and see if you like it and then decide if you want to go further.

I run my car in a class we have here in Tassie called Targa class.  It was set up to give people who run Targa Tasmania a chance to do something else with their cars for the rest of the year.  The rules are it has to be a make of car eligible to run Targa Tasmania and you're not allowed to run slicks.  Unlike Targa Tasmania, Modifications are unlimited as long as you don't start chopping the body up too much (no space frame cars, no moving the firewall, etc).  This enables me to run my car which has an engine conversion but I don't think any other states run a class like this (I'm sure people will correct me if I'm wrong).

I reckon PZG302's advice is pretty good.  Historic Sc would most likely be the way to go.  Historic racing is very big in Australia at the moment and the class should be around for a while.  The last thing you want to do is build/buy a car and then find you have nobody to race against!  I would also take Craig's advice and buy a race car rather than build one from a road car.  Unless you have lots of contacts in the motorsport industry then building a car will cost you a fortune.  Just a basic roll cage will be around $3000-$5000.

I would suggest you go and watch some racing at the tracks you intend on racing at and see what classes are popular which a Zed would be eligible to run.  Also talk to drivers at the race track.  You'll find most people at race tracks seem to be very friendly and more than willing to give advice to somebody starting out.

#6 sam

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Posted 11 July 2007 - 02:02 PM

Thanks for your help guys. I have considered doing a few runs in my car but was unsure on the effect it would have on it. Am i likely to be replacing and breaking things much more regularly? because i don't want to do something to it just because it isn't properly prepared. It is also my daily driver so i cant really have it off the road all the time, although i use public transport to get to uni so its not a great problem.

Where would i find a prepared car? obviously the forums but carsales and those sites dont seem to have many track cars.

#7 620Z

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Posted 11 July 2007 - 02:43 PM

Track Cars (Zeds) probably come up every couple of months. You will need to keep in the loop and let it be known you are looking for one. One will turn up although I wouldn't call it a track car as you might limit your self. There are plenty of road reg cars that get used on the track and hold there own. Even contact other Zed clubs interstate if you are really serious or in a hurry. Everything is for sale at a price and someone might be thinking of getting out and if someone like your self made an offer before they go public then you might get a good deal.
Good luck.

#8 sco_aus

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Posted 11 July 2007 - 03:22 PM

http://www.carsales....eTime|1&trecs=2
Bit more than you have, but maybe worth it, dunno.

#9 sam

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Posted 11 July 2007 - 03:45 PM

That one is out of my budget. Doesnt really seem like a great deal either, especially compared to RB30-ZED's car.

What kind of costs per year would it be to race in most of the relevant events in Victoria? I know it would vary widely but just an idea for tyres, entrance, etc. And how often are there races to enter in each group? I know maybe CAMS or something would be a better place to find that kind of info but i just wanted opinions from people who actually do it.

Sam

#10 620Z

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Posted 11 July 2007 - 04:14 PM

Usually if you have to ask how much you can't afford it. I would wait till you get your car first. It varies from maybe $800- to thousands per year depending on a million things. Entry fees, tyres, brakes, upgrades (if you want to go faster and you will), fuel, wear & tear, windscreens, breakages, accidents etc etc.

#11 Scando

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Posted 11 July 2007 - 05:54 PM

If nothing goes wrong then it costs me $1,000+ a meeting.

$500 for brake pads
$50 for fuel
$170 entry fee
around $400 tyre wear ($1700 for tyres and they last me around 4 meetings)

If I have to fix something after the meeting then it's more.

It's expensive but well worth it  :)

www.my105.com is a good place to look for race cars


#12 zedevan

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Posted 11 July 2007 - 06:34 PM

mayb look into getting a go kart - less panel damage lol, very competitve classes, and about 4g a yr to run a 5g kart semi competitively depending how excited you get with buying new tyres.  Yearly membership at oakleigh, and prob some other clubs is $300ish and you get your own set of keys to the track

i've been wondering about the same sorta thing, but mainly just for hillclimbs and other events where its not directly against other cars, and was debating modifying my car more as i'd like to do it anyway, or a go kart, i still havn't really decided anythign but to do both. i have the same issue of it being my daily driver but using public transport to get to uni etc.  My brother has a 100S kart and it cost him as much as my suspension is...and i want to get better suspension anyway now lol

sell your car and buy the rb30 zed? :D

#13 PZG302

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Posted 11 July 2007 - 09:37 PM

As Scando says racing can be expensive, it costs me about $1000 a meeting.

In NSW state level entry fees around $300-350.

A set of tyres is $2500, lucky I can get near around 4 race meetings if serious and can stretch to about 8-10 if I have to.

Brake pads, about $150 a set for Hawke Carbon Metallics, maybe you should see if they have a pad to suit your calipers Scando. These last me around 4-5 race meetings.

Consumables are oil change every meeting, fuel, I use about a litre a lap around EC, thanffully I can get away with 98 PULP, spark plugs get thrown at the car every couple of meetings and whatever breaks.

I have been running a gearbox with shot syncros for as long as I have driven the car, I just take my time getting into 2nd from 1st or down from 3rd, I never got around to getting the box rebuilt as I find 2nd easy enough.

For sprints and hillclimbs I have done it for the cost of the entry fee, 1/2 tank a fuel and a wheel alignment in my old ZG Fairlane, and was reasonably competitive for what it was, suspension set up and tyre pressures made a big difference with some not believing the only thing done to the 302 was a 500 holley, even running the original C4 auto and 2.92 diff :o.

To prepare a daily driver for some track work is easy, get a fire extinguisher, make sure nothing is loose, brakes in good condition, I would suggest getting a pad like Bendix Ultimates, and up your tyre pressures to around 42psi front 40psi rear on standard road tyres, and have fun. When you come off the track don't use the hand brake.

Sam, your right about the Z in carsales, a nice unit, too nice for track work. To find a good track car you need to keep a look out through the racing clubs or buy Auto Action for the classifieds. Most track cars seem to go by word of mouth.

Take your time in making sure you know what you want and don't rush into anything. You might be better off looking at something like an Improved Production Car, they give really good bang for your bucks, for $15K you can pick up a good car to use for sprints and learn to drive and then step into circuit racing with all the hard work done in car prep and you knowing how to drive something with a bit of squirt.

#14 sam

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Posted 11 July 2007 - 10:20 PM

Thanks for all your help. I think i will take your advise on doing some track days in my current car and see how i go but i have looked at some track websites and none of them seem to have anything scheduled for a while. I will keep an eye out for any cars and if anyone sees one I would be interested to hear about it.

#15 620Z

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Posted 12 July 2007 - 12:07 PM

There is some State racing on this weekend at Sandown. My brother and about 4 other Zeds will be racing on Saturday and 2 races on Sunday. I will be down there for a look Sunday. MSA usually have regular sprint days but you will need to be a member of a club like NDSOC.

#16 Scando

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Posted 12 July 2007 - 12:49 PM

I've had a few people recommend the Hawke pads to me.  I'll have to try a set thanks PZG302.

Improved Production is a great class, good fields right across the country.  You can't run a Z in IP though can you?  You could probably run a 2+2 but it would be too heavy to be competitive.

#17 PZG302

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Posted 12 July 2007 - 01:51 PM

Z's are ineligible for IP, though a Stanza, cheap as chips, with a SR20 would be quite competitive in U2 litre ;D, or even better shoe horn a SR20 into a Sunny.....

For Hawke barke pads try VSI Imports, phone (08) 8277 4244. These guys are the importers and will work out what is available for your calipers and recommend the best compound based on the car type and what you're doing with it.

#18 zr240

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Posted 12 July 2007 - 05:24 PM

I could go on for hours about racing zeds but Ill be brief (sort of)

In the Vic state series you car run in Marquesports or sports sedan classes. with a $15,000 car (thats actually close to what I paid for my 240z race car) you would have been competative in marquesports about 10yrs ago :(. Now its all very highly modified cars. You need to be doing under 1:41 at the island and around 1:14 at Sandown to be in with a chance and a zed to marquesports regs wont do that. On the sports sedan side I havent looked into it to much but the rules changed this year and not zeds can run but it would cost heaps to get a zed up to those specs.

After yrs of racing in marquesports I decieded I would put a bigger motor in my 240z and enter as an invited car under 2A sportscar rules. even with the 2A rule freedom I cannot afford to get down to the lap times the really quick Marqusportscars are doing. So If basically if you want to run in state series you wont win in a zed (at least not in  Victroria ) so you have got to be doing it for  fun (which is hopfully the path I am going down) and cause you love zeds.

On the go kart front I wouldn't bother. I had a stint in karts a few yrs ago and its got really pricy for your licence (more than circuit racing cams) and track fees and the racing is really rough.

The other option could be to build  or buy a historic zed race car which can be fairly competative.

In 2002 I ran a whole season (6 rounds) and spent around $9,000.00
this included and engine refresh, second hand slicks, entry, accomidation etc etc this was doing all the work on the car incluing engine rebuild myself as it would probably cost another few grand if I paid someone else to do it.

Ash




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