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Old 21 Mar 2021, 09:16 (Ref:4042039)   #1
SpartacusF
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Advice for a novice - single seat or sports

I'm retiring soon, and campaigning a 1960s historic is a life ambition. I recognise there is a learning curve and an investment in time, but years (like a decade), may not be on my side. I'd like to be handy in an FJ or similar one day. Am I better off learning the craft in a 750MC MX5 or Locost series or similar, or jump straight into Historic Formula Ford, or something else? Or is this a pipe dream? (The tuition is in hand.)
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Old 21 Mar 2021, 13:06 (Ref:4042071)   #2
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Tricky one. If you want to limit financial exposure in case it turns out to be not for you, then a season or at most two, in something like an MGB or Sprite / Midget could be useful. MX5 and other one-make series are pretty competitive to the point of contact, damage and cost. I've always believed learning the art of racing without banging into people is a better way to start, and will be invaluable if intending to move into historic single seaters.
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Old 21 Mar 2021, 13:55 (Ref:4042079)   #3
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I'd avoid "modern" series like the plague. I think a time spent with the CSCC in a road sports car of some kind would be ideal while learning to drive the F Ford in test days. You'll find your relative pace and learn plenty against more mature drivers. Many youngsters are fresh out of karting and have different ideas as to driving styles to us older ones - often because they're not footing the bills!

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Old 21 Mar 2021, 14:33 (Ref:4042083)   #4
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Hi,

I'm 3 years in to racing and having been driving a midget in the MGCC midget/Sprite series, but have now got a formula ford and will be racing with classic formula ford with HSCC this year also. So, I can perhaps relate to your question quite well.
My suggestion would be that the FF is not ideal for a first time racer. With a dog hewland box, and much more adjustable set up, they are not as easy to gel with straight off as the midget. The other thing is that the FF series generally do not allow wet specific tyres so when it rains, they really are a handful and again, not ideal for a newbie.
I agree with the suggestions above to avoid the moderns (mx-5, caterhams and definitely the radicals)....but then this is the historic racers area and we are biased . Midgets and other similar classics are relatively forgiving in race trim - think of a normal classic but much faster. Yes, you need to adjust to driving north of 4000rpm but most other things are similar such as a synchromesh gearbox. I can recommend the midget/sprites as a good way to get experience without spending a fortune. CSCC are good similarly and with swinging sixties, you clearly have more choice of vehicles. If you like the more period-authentic racing (so those running 'close to' FIA appendix K), the Equipe series are good and have good grids. These cars are generally dearer though.
Just my thoughts and happy to be PM'd if you'd like to discuss as I was in a similar position a few years' back.
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Old 21 Mar 2021, 19:10 (Ref:4042113)   #5
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The Morgan Challenge is competitive, friendly and not know for bumping in to each other, however, Moggies are not cheap, and the series is quite limited as to the number of races, but there is still the HSCC Road Sports. One advantage, is several Tenthers do take lots of pictures of Morgans, so you could get a fair bit of coverage. Fame awaits.

In the unlikely event you want to go that route drop me a PM I have the contacts.

What ever you decide always remember (I think) Bernie Ecclestone's advice;
"If you want to make a small fortune in motor racing - start with a big one"

Best of luck,

Bauble.
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Old 21 Mar 2021, 19:49 (Ref:4042120)   #6
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I would look and see what the 750 M/C have to offer. Get along to race meetings and talk to competitors. Formula junior is an excellent formula but you need a hefty budget to buy even the bottom of the ladder car.
I would need to know bit more about you but there is still good racing to be had with a Caterham. They also hold their price very well.
We shall look forward to hearing about your progress. As Bob said "good luck".
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Old 22 Mar 2021, 14:15 (Ref:4042215)   #7
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I wouldn't say jumping straight into a HFF is the best option.

Everything is budget dependent of course...but if your ambition is FJ...go for a lower end (not front running) FJ, front engined would be more forgiving.
You will get to meet all the people and be learning using Dunlop tyres.

Otherwise I would learn on something else on Dunlops like MGB as suggested.

HFF cars/tyres less forgiving than a FJ, the cars are also much closer in performance (smaller window of years, less options) so can be demoralising for a complete novice.
That said if you're good in HFF you'll do well in FJ!
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Old 22 Mar 2021, 16:53 (Ref:4042259)   #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 am another advocate of CSCC and if you chose a MGB or midget, depending on spec, it could be a good route from CSCC (including their Appendix K series) through to the MG car club or midget/spridget series and Equipe GTS etc at some nice meetings at home and abroad.
CSCC race are invariably 40 mins with the option of two drivers so you can get loads of track time or share with someone to either keep costs down or to share with your instructor (useful to get real world coaching).
Something quicker that isn’t always considered might be Classic Clubmans which runs on the HSCC programme and there are two classes for 1700cc Crossflow 180(ish) Bhp cars or F Ford 1600 Kent engined cars, both front engined so a bit more forgiving. Possibly less expensive to run than an FJ and easier to drive than a HFF but still eligible for some nice historic meetings.
Depending on your budget, you could probably run both for the cost of an FJ!!
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Old 22 Mar 2021, 17:21 (Ref:4042268)   #9
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I tend to agree with Will. Buy an FJ (front engined or drum-braked rear engined are probably the best value) and just have fun. Should travelling to the EU become easier in the future, then you'll have some great events to enjoy. There is a huge difference in performance between a Brabham BT6 and a Stanguellini which means that drivers of differing abilities in cars of different potential can still have a great race together.

In Historic or Classic FF there is very little performance difference in the cars which could well erode your enthusiasm if you continually get lapped by teenaged hotshoes.
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Old 22 Mar 2021, 21:51 (Ref:4042310)   #10
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Thanks all, very helpful. A Midget-ish car sound like the way to start. I had a couple a long time ago and never really liked the things! Not a fan of Morgans either (I don't want to sound fussy and am sure they are adored by many, just not me!).

What is similar to the Midget, in terms of engagement and learning experience? Budget is sorted.
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Old 22 Mar 2021, 22:54 (Ref:4042322)   #11
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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
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Originally Posted by SpartacusF View Post

What is similar to the Midget, in terms of engagement and learning experience? Budget is sorted.
A Turner? 3 on race cars direct.com from an ex works cars at £75k to a Modsports car at £45k to a pre-Crossflow engined car at £28k.

Alfa 105 Giulia or Bertone GTV

I am sure plenty of people will be along with alternatives.

Last edited by andy97; 22 Mar 2021 at 23:13.
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Old 23 Mar 2021, 05:58 (Ref:4042351)   #12
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Gerard C should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridGerard C should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridGerard C should be qualifying in the top 5 on the grid
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Originally Posted by SpartacusF View Post
I'm retiring soon, and campaigning a 1960s historic is a life ambition./ Or is this a pipe dream?
If budget is sorted, storage-transportation-maintenance sorted too, you're sure to love door to door racing, can wait measuring your muscles: Lotus Cortina, Alfa 105 only if GTA, Jaguar Mk1,2, E Type coupé or cab', Big Healey or 100, Lotus Elan only if 26R, TVR Grif' or Grantura… all are very competitive in category, parts ans specialists available, clubs, races, market…
Tempted by one make ambiance but want to stay historic? May be A35 Academy will open Goodwood doors (if A35 races still exist) and GW St Mary's grid will show you how to have fun.
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Old 24 Mar 2021, 06:41 (Ref:4042611)   #13
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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
Marcos 1800GT is another option.
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Old 24 Mar 2021, 08:39 (Ref:4042618)   #14
Gerard C
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Gerard C should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridGerard C should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridGerard C should be qualifying in the top 5 on the grid
Indeed, just have to check about the retro homologation thingy and know if you want to enter it as GTP or GTS.
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Old 24 Mar 2021, 09:38 (Ref:4042631)   #15
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One consideration might be how many races/circuits you want to do in a season. Are you looking for a type of 'full time' career, or a limited number of events. Choosing a series to suit your ambitions may be worth considering, you said you did not fancy the Morgan route, i understand that, I only mention it because it has a limited number of rounds so suits someone who wants an occasional outing, HSCC classes would offer a fuller season for instance.

Just a thought.At least you are not spoilt for choice.
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