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Old 20 Nov 2005, 22:51 (Ref:1466022)   #1
gravel_monkey
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trackday car

hi all, iam looking into a new trackday car, the sole purpose of the car is for the track so when i get my hands on it i will be stripping as much dead weight as i can and of course putting in the usual cage, seats etc etc.....
i was looking at an old mx5 as there nippy anyway and rear wheel drive but wondering if there were any other suggestions?
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Old 20 Nov 2005, 23:40 (Ref:1466038)   #2
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Originally Posted by gravel_monkey
hi all, iam looking into a new trackday car, the sole purpose of the car is for the track so when i get my hands on it i will be stripping as much dead weight as i can and of course putting in the usual cage, seats etc etc.....
i was looking at an old mx5 as there nippy anyway and rear wheel drive but wondering if there were any other suggestions?
Vauxhall Carlton 3000GSI or Nissan 200SX. Unless your name is Tarquil and you cut hair for a living, get something proper.
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Old 21 Nov 2005, 08:31 (Ref:1466260)   #3
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As someone who has owned all of the these - may I comment?

Forget the Gsi - too much dead weight & too costly to modify & finding one that hasn't rusted away & hasn't got starship mileage is nigh-on impossible.

The 200 SX would be good & is very much in favour with the drifting crowd.

The MX5 makes a great trackday car for the following reasons.
It is relatively cheap.
It is light in weight.
It is rear-wheel drive with excellent steering, brakes & gearshift as standard.
It has fully adjustable suspension as standard (caster, camber, toe-in ) on all 4 wheels & believe me this does make one hell of a difference.
There are lots & lots of tuning goodies available for the 5, with the right supercharger or turbocharger you can easily take these to over 200 bhp for 1500 or so - 300 bhp is in reach if you want to spend a say 5000. Enough for a car that weighs a ton?

There is the Spec Miata racing series in the US which is a goldmine of information re different suspension settings, wheels tyres etc.

And lastly its different - people do get very wound up by being beaten by a "hairdresser's car" - which makes it even more fun.

Have a look for more info on this forum http://www.mx5ocforum.co.uk/viewforum.php?f=16
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Old 21 Nov 2005, 10:24 (Ref:1466365)   #4
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Dave Brand is going for a new lap record!Dave Brand is going for a new lap record!Dave Brand is going for a new lap record!Dave Brand is going for a new lap record!Dave Brand is going for a new lap record!Dave Brand is going for a new lap record!
How about a kit car - a cheap 'Lotus Seven-inspired' car would be a good track day car. You'd have to be very careful buying second-hand, of course, but there are some gems out there among the dross.
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Old 21 Nov 2005, 11:01 (Ref:1466404)   #5
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What about a Multisports Van Diemen? They were built for track use as a racing car, so no conversion is needed. I believe they are quite cheap to buy and are used by some racing schools for High Speed Passenger rides, so you have an ideal 'scare your friends' machine. I would guess they could get round Fosters at Oulton in about 1m08.0s, so aren't slow either.
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Old 21 Nov 2005, 13:12 (Ref:1466523)   #6
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Circuit Driver recently ran their budget trackday car appraisal, and rated the Multisport very highly indeed. 5k to purchase, runs like a donkey, decent performance (135bhp pushing 550kg) even in standard spec, and will take more abuse than a Gordon Ramsey trainee.
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Old 21 Nov 2005, 19:00 (Ref:1466779)   #7
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Very much depends on the budget. Most people I know have gone for 205s or 106 GTis (or Rallyes with the GTi engine), but I would pick one of the Nova variants - Sport, GTE, or XE conversion (if done properly). Or a late Astra GTE if you wanted something bigger.

All cheap to modify, loads of parts about, and pretty easy to work on.
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Old 23 Nov 2005, 15:50 (Ref:1468484)   #8
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You could always look for a MX5 racing series car.
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Old 24 Nov 2005, 15:08 (Ref:1469395)   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Brand
How about a kit car - a cheap 'Lotus Seven-inspired' car would be a good track day car. You'd have to be very careful buying second-hand, of course, but there are some gems out there among the dross.
I agree with Dave - for the money - there's nothing potentially faster or better handling than one of the bike engined 7's, particularly secondhand. Just get someone really competant - if you arn't sure - to check it out for you. At the end of this years racing season there are also some ex-racers that have had huge sums spent on them up for sale, have a look at http://www.750mc.co.uk/ for the classifieds in there. I've a factory built Stuart Taylor 'Blade that was bought in this way for exactly the reasons you describe. Why I've got the General Lee Cortina (that also appears in the budget article mentioned earlier in Circuit Driver) is a bit harder to explain, however. Orange cars are definately faster!
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Old 25 Nov 2005, 11:27 (Ref:1469996)   #10
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I supppose a lot of the choice is whether you want fun or fast.
A standard MX5 or 2.8 litre capri for instance, are not particularly fast around a circuit, but are very entertaining with easily approachable limits & forgiving handling, allowing you to "play" with oversteer.
Whereas other faster options can be very much more "sudden" & scary.
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Old 25 Nov 2005, 16:49 (Ref:1470234)   #11
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The MX5 is great option. I own one myself BUT be warned in a straight line you will have one the sowest cars bar none. Even Standard 205 Pug's are slightly quicker on the straights. The corners however are a very different mater but with overtaking rules such as they are on track days you might get fustrated. In short a great car, loads of fun but needs at least 30bhp extra to bring it upto the pace of the average track gowers car.
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Old 25 Nov 2005, 17:24 (Ref:1470257)   #12
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Originally Posted by jim..c
I agree with Dave - for the money - there's nothing potentially faster or better handling than one of the bike engined 7's, particularly secondhand. Just get someone really competant - if you arn't sure - to check it out for you. At the end of this years racing season there are also some ex-racers that have had huge sums spent on them up for sale, have a look at http://www.750mc.co.uk/ for the classifieds in there. I've a factory built Stuart Taylor 'Blade that was bought in this way for exactly the reasons you describe. Why I've got the General Lee Cortina (that also appears in the budget article mentioned earlier in Circuit Driver) is a bit harder to explain, however. Orange cars are definately faster!

Ahh, I knew I had seen you before Jim!! ( we did speak at the circuit driver budget track day @ Snetterton)

I didn't twig at Cadwell that's who you were!

Gary
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Old 12 Dec 2005, 08:12 (Ref:1482146)   #13
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SpawnyWhippet has a lot of promise if they can keep it on the circuit!
Why not look at an ex-rally car? For around 7k, you can get a proper thing (eg 4WD, Group A tarmac Ford Cosworth) with all the right bits, not much will be faster than you, and with the gentle life of a 'once a month' track car, it will last forever. I reckon I could lap any circuit in the UK in a sub-10 grand Cosworth rally car faster than any production road car (and that includes the exotic stuff).
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Old 12 Dec 2005, 11:58 (Ref:1482261)   #14
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Having driven one of the school Elise at Thruxton I decided that a series one would be my choice, especially as there is now a good choice of cars advertised for less than 10k.
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Old 12 Dec 2005, 12:01 (Ref:1482267)   #15
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SpawnyWhippet has a lot of promise if they can keep it on the circuit!
sweet handling things, thats for sure. A tarmac rally car would kill it on laptimes, but you probably wouldn't have any less fun in the Elise.
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