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noid 09-11-2008 10:28 PM

Want to get into racing
I would like to get into some kind of racing. My dreams lie on rallying but from what i figure it would probably be easier to start out on pavement.

I know absolutely nothing in terms or who to talk to/where to go/when to go, ect.

Please school me!

98Dinan3 09-11-2008 10:33 PM

the easiest way to get into some actual racing is to join a karting league... that, and start hitting up all the autocross/HPDEs/lapping days you can get to. Karting is where most people get started...

doogee 09-14-2008 09:00 PM

Went to my first lapping day about 2 weeks ago and had a blast. Gives you a feel for your car and shows what it can really do.

Great place to start. Try to make it out this Saturday or Sunday at Dunnville. I may be at both.

Bruno 11-24-2008 08:23 AM

Solo I and II is a good way to start racing.

But you should 1st see if you really enjoy it, go to a couple of driving schools (many car club have them, the BMW Club of Canada has a reputable one) and get some proper instruction. Lapping days are nice but you keep perfecting your mistakes instead of learning the proper way. But lapping days are much cheaper.

Another thing, make sure that you have lot's of play money. Racing is very very expensive.

legger 11-24-2008 11:16 AM

Hey Noid, good to hear you want to come racing!

I respect the guys that say karting, thats fine, I started there too but I dont think it is a necsesary step. ( I will elaborate more if you want) I might recomend differently if you were 16 and a noob to driving.

I raced in karts at the club level for 3 years, and regionally for 3 years, mostly 2 stroke stuff. That being said I did begin my karting career in one of those "arrive and drives" leagues as noted above though....I just would recomentd it unless money was REAL TIGHT.

If you have a suitable car I would attend a racing school, something like the CASC sanctioned school in Calabaogie in the spring...not only do you get great driving instruction but you also get training that is capable of qualifying you for a race licence to road race regionally eventually.

What kind of $$$ do you want to invest in this hobby, or will it be more than that? ($$$ will be a big factor)

What do you have for a car?

Is it your daily driver?

I may have a nice E30 325 completely race prepped for sale, it will be sold over the witner for well under $10, has almost $30,000 invested in the build, with reciepts to validate.

Let me know if you need anymore info on going racing, I will do my best to steer you in the right direction.

I went from Karts, to Formula VEE, to BMW sedan racing at a regional level...that was my path.

BigD 11-24-2008 11:35 AM

I think the first question you have to ask yourself is why you want to do it. If you have aspirations of becoming some kind of champion, or even some day making a little money at it, then you have to start in Karts. The thing is that this is not for everyone... If you're not winning at Karts after your first or second season (and doing so at each level when you're moving up), then it's time to pass on the dream unless you're loaded.

If you just want to compete for the sake of competing, then I'd say start with some good HPDE schools, like the ones put on by BMW Club at the bigger tracks like MoSport and Tremblant. It sounds like you've never been on the track, so you will really want to try these first because you will find that it's an entirely different ball game from being a badass on the street. You may well find yourself progressing quickly and being just as comfortable being on the edge at the track as you are blasting through twisty public roads but in many cases that is far from reality and you may just get pissed off and frustrated - so it will just be a cheap way to find out if it is or is not what you really want, before you start dumping $ into a track car, which, like Bruno said, is endless.

legger 11-24-2008 11:51 AM

I am not saying this because I have a car for sale either...LOL.

Most racers, definetely if you spend some time around them at the track, and almost certainly when instructing or mentorring a noobie...will all tell you the same thing.

"Buy don't build" is just sooooo much cheaper that way until you really know that you are doing....and can do most of the work yourself and/or have really good connections, or REALLY DEEP POCKETS!

Buy/race something you can afford to "write off", and walk away from it without being suicidial, as you will think it can't happen to you, but as many have found out it happens real fast!

BigD 11-24-2008 11:58 AM

The problem is that for most people, buying a car that's ready to go for cash is not feasible. But putting one together over time, doing the work themselves, is. For many including myself, it's also the more interesting step vs the actual driving (I'm no racer btw, just a track junkie).

Bruno 11-24-2008 12:08 PM

I do agree, even if you do the work yourself, it is much cheaper to buy than build.
The only drawback is that you don't really know what the previous owner did.

It cost me well over 20 000 to build my E36 328is from scratch, and below 10 000 to build my Turbo 635csi race car (I bought the car fort it's cage, good shell and race suspension). I would never build a car from scatch ever again even if I win the lottery. There is a lot of E30 and E36 race prepared for cheap now with a lot of money invested in them. Building a raceproof cage alone will cost 3 000Cdn and above...

The only Pro of building a car from scratch is that you can start with your daily driver and modify it until you need a trailer to bring it to the track (stifff suspension and such).
But at the end it will cost way more.

But Legger is right on the money...

MiroE36 11-24-2008 12:27 PM

this is a helpful thread

BigD 11-24-2008 12:48 PM

Actually you guys are right, I take it back. I still say if you are patient, you can build a car for cheaper than the average ready car price... but if you're equally patient you can also find a car for a better deal than a build. I got lucky with a lot of things I got for mine and it ended up costing me under 10k including the car itself, when the same thing would cost a lot more to buy (granted it has no cage but the cars for sale I looked at didn't either). And like Bruno said, I didn't fork that over right away. It started life as an eta, then it got a full suspension swap, diff, then wheels/tires, then the S52 driveline.

legger 11-24-2008 12:48 PM

I hear you Big D, I love modding cars too...

I originally took my 2.5L NA Subaru Impreza (my daily driver)...from a base model car to the brink of being my Castrol Touring Car.

I had the engine swapped for a JDM 2.0L turbo, acquired low km used cusco race suspension, 4 pot brakes for all 4 corners, 2 sets of light racing wheels, race seat and steering wheels...and was ready to have the cage welded in within a month...then it donned on me..." I am going to have a $35,000-40,000 race car???

I ended up selling the car, and sold off all the bits and pieces, and bought a multiple championship winning E30 race car that was built two years earlier (for twice what I paid for it.)

I raced a $16,000 car instead of a $35,000 build...and man am I glad I did one year later. I ended up renting out that car most of the year as I had a friend with some good $$$ approach me about it...and then went out and bought another E30 for sub $10,000 that I raced...the guy I bought it from spent $28,000 on it over a 5 year period.

Building race cars is fun, but expensive...why not benefit from somebody elses long hours and endless bills...$$$$$$.

BigD 11-24-2008 12:58 PM


Originally Posted by legger (Post 1230740)
Building race cars is fun, but expensive...why not benefit from somebody elses long hours and endless bills...$$$$$$.

...and all that time, money and worry spent debugging it... you're right. I think if I ever got serious about racing and needed a fully prepped machine, with stripped interior, cage etc, the end price would just make find one that's ready or almost ready to go. But I guess for now I'm a tinkerer first, driver second.

Bruno 11-24-2008 01:09 PM

No matter how you slice it, building is more expensive than buying... Even i you buy all the bits and pieces used. There are people going out of racing or upgrading all the time. (either because they go broke or get a kid or two or have lots of play money.)

There is a lot of deals out there because a race car is an asset that depreciates extremely fast and there is a limited market for a play car that needs a trailer to be moved around.

Even your modified car Big D, you would loose a lot of money if you wanted to sell it, even though you did most of the work yourself, or it will take a long time to find the right buyer.

With the economy going down... it is the best time to get a play car for cheap...

Legger, what engine do you run on your E30? What series would you race this year?
I am going to run vintage, but not until the economy is better, will keep teaching driving school and finish the car in the mean time.

BigD 11-24-2008 01:15 PM

Actually until recently I would have made a significant profit if I sold it (especially if I put in another 1k or so to clean up the old paint). Now you're probably right, no one's buying things like this. I like how a friend of mine put it recently about selling a car you have so much time and emotion invested in, for "fair market value": I'd rather just set it on fire. :)

By the way, post any updated pics of the 6! Did you start on the schematic paint job?

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