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Old 10 Jul 2017, 20:13 (Ref:3750262)   #1
Plantagenet
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Plantagenet should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
Classic racing newby request for guidance

Hi all,

Apologies in posting such a broad-themed question amongst relative focussed posts.

In a nutshell, I'm a youngish chap with classic car experience but no formal racing experience. I'd love to start classic racing but would value some guidance about where would be a good place to start. I have seen recent CSSC and Equite GTS racing and have experience with MGs, so one route would be via a MGB or midget into one of these series.

One reservation I have though is that having got a realistic idea of costs involved, they are significant (to my budget at least with 3 kids and most of a mortgage remaining....). Is this realistically the lowest entry point in terms of costs for classic racing and do I simply need to readjust to the realities that motorsport is dear? It is worth pointing out that although I can do some stuff mechanically, the bulk would need to be paid for. I have considered track days etc but they just don't quite scratch that itch which I am sure most on here can relate to. I'm also doing a rally later this year (HERO Challenge) but again, I suspect that track racing will continue to demand my attentions.

Does anybody know of anyone who can 'lease' a car for a weekend to at least see if I enjoy it - the last thing Inwant to do is invest 40-odd k to realise it's not for me, or that I'm truly c**p !!

Any advice on the best way to gain experience and good entry points would be really appreciated.
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Old 10 Jul 2017, 21:58 (Ref:3750280)   #2
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MGDavid has a real shot at the podium!MGDavid has a real shot at the podium!MGDavid has a real shot at the podium!MGDavid has a real shot at the podium!MGDavid has a real shot at the podium!
If you define classic racing as pre_1965 FIA Appendix K then I can understand the 40k comment. However there's lots of classic 'old car' racing at lower budgets, look at MGCC series and championships for a start. You can pick up a decent 1275/1380 Midget race car for sub-10k.
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Old 11 Jul 2017, 11:04 (Ref:3750373)   #3
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For someone looking to start racing with no ambition to climb the ladder in to Formula 1 you could not do better than to look at classic/historic racing. I have been involved in this sector for nearly 30 years and can tell you that for the most part they are the most friendly and helpful bunch of folks you could wish to meet. I agree with David to look beyond the pre-65 FIA type cars where development has pushed up the costs of acquisition and running of the cars. HSCC/HRSR also provide several series for 1960s and 1970s sports and saloon cars as well as proper (old) racing cars.
I would try a track day first to make sure you like it and I think there are some companies that can arrange 'arrive and drive' cars (not sure what they are called, though) but make sure you do it at one of the proper circuits rather than non-race venues such as Elvington, Bedford or the place in Lincolnshire that I forget the name.
One way of cutting costs is to find a friend or acquaintance that has similar ambitions and share a car. Many race series do two races for each category at race meetings or have 2 driver races.
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Old 12 Jul 2017, 05:57 (Ref:3750619)   #4
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andy97 should be qualifying in the top 10 on the gridandy97 should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
Of course racing can be expensive but I would suggest that something like CSCC is one of the most affordable ways to do it, particularly if you can find someone to share a car with you.

That's what I tend to do - half all the weekend costs and the co-driver also gives me a few quid as a "hire" fee.

If classic/ historic racing is your thing then an MG is a decent choice as quite a few available and you can get almost anything for them so they are less problematic to run than something rarer. An MG could often be used in a wide variety of series too.

If you ring David or Hugo at the CSCC office they may know someone who is looking for a co driver in their car for an event or two.

Finally, don't write off some of the other CSCC series like Future Classics for cars from the 70s and 80s, A car like a Pprsche 924 is good fun in that series and not expensive to buy or race (warning, blatant plug coming up! and I will have a 924S for sale soon!!!)

Good luck.
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Old 12 Jul 2017, 09:22 (Ref:3750651)   #5
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Thanks everybody for their responses. You are correct - I had been looking at the pre-65 FIA cars. Beautiful as these are, they are more expensive and also seem to have been inflated with the current classic car prices. Let me have a chat with MGCC to see if any of their other series are more doable.
James
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Old 12 Jul 2017, 15:37 (Ref:3750724)   #6
PeterMorley
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PeterMorley should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridPeterMorley should be qualifying in the top 5 on the grid
One advantage of historic cars is they tend to keep their value (assuming you don't pay over the odds), so if you try it and find it isn't for you there's a good chance to recoup most of your investment.
As for not being good enough, there are plenty of decent instructors (and other competitors who will offer advice) who can get most people up to a respectable speed.
Becoming a front runner is a different matter, that has a lot to do with how much you spend on the car and there are a lot of very wealthy people racing old cars at the moment...
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Old 12 Jul 2017, 20:02 (Ref:3750784)   #7
terence
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terence should be qualifying in the top 10 on the gridterence should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
You dont mention whether you have a licence or not?
Have you considered the cost of your licence,race suit,helmet etc etc.All of which you will need before you ever compete on a circuit race.
I wish you luck and hopefully you will chase your dream.
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Old 12 Jul 2017, 20:45 (Ref:3750797)   #8
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andy97 should be qualifying in the top 10 on the gridandy97 should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
I actually think the most important thing is to remember to enjoy whatever you choose to do.

99.9% of us will never race in big events at Spa, Monaco or even the Silverstone Classic but we can still have fun.

I don't think I have ever been up the sharp end of the grid and I only race 5-6 times a year in a good year, but I love it, even when I come 20th out of 25, or something similar!!!

Take your time to look around, attend meetings, ask questions, talk to competitors and then Pick a series that you think you will enjoy being part of.
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Old 13 Jul 2017, 06:49 (Ref:3750861)   #9
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Originally Posted by andy97 View Post
Take your time to look around, attend meetings, ask questions, talk to competitors and then Pick a series that you think you will enjoy being part of.
Another very wise advice here. If you have no or few mechanic skills, go for a simple to maintain and reliable car, all parts available and a lot of experienced blokes to help. May be you should consider storage for the car and the trailer and check if your actual car can tow. Try to build a business plan, main lines are travel with hotel and tires, maintenance and time spent out of the office. As andy said, bear in mind that pleasure is the goal.
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Old 14 Jul 2017, 21:20 (Ref:3751287)   #10
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Lancsbreaker should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridLancsbreaker should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridLancsbreaker should be qualifying in the top 3 on the grid
Agree with a lot of what Andy said - unsurprising as we race with CSCC - did a few years with a 944 Turbo in Future Classics, and now run an Alfa 75 V6 in the same series....outclassed by the Porsches, but still enjoying it!.

These races are good if you can get to share - otherwise at 40 minutes they might be a bit much for a first race, and of course entry fees are higher - typically 385 for a 40 minute race. Good bunch of competitors, though, and driving standards are well enforced.

You will need to spend around 1k on basic kit to get started, as well as doing your ARDS course, after that its rather up to you. There are certainly cars around (buying a ready-prepared one is much more cost-effective!) for well under 5K, and if you avoid accidents and can resist the temptation to buy new tyres too often (we've had a season out of a set, but we aren't exactly cutting edge) you can keep costs down. Realistically though, if you compete at a range of circuits rather than just your local one, by the time you've added in travel, accommodation, fuel and a little socialising to the entry fees and routine maintenance, you are probably looking at about 1K per meeting, maybe a bit less. Can be much more of course if you outsource work on the car and are unlucky with the mechanicals.......

Trouble is it gets into your blood, like all motorsport, which is why after starting rallying aged 23 I'm still competing over 40 years later.......
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