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Old 16 May 2003, 21:50 (Ref:601416)   #1
gadgit
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buying a single seater?

I think I have the bug for a single seater race car for track days. I have considered this option due to the fact that I do not have a race licence and would need to gain some knowledge for a year or so before moving in any direction. Having looked through fast car and road race, there is a formula renault on there for 3850 with a trailer which would appear to me as a novice to be a bargain, as a new Go Kart(125) is 3000. My problem is I have no idea of costs just to keep one of these things running. I am experienced machanic and have just rebulit a TVR S2 and am happy to tackle jobs as they come along.
I am in my late forties and have no illusions as to my ability and just want to be able to be involved and keep the thing in my garage. I really feel it would be a privilege to own one and look after it. Please don't take the micky, is ther anyone out there that does this sort of thing that can advise me on what I could do to get started, and the costs involved for a first year of track day running, with care!

I've read with interest that F/Ford 1600 is on the wain, and feel that formula renualt is a proper looking race car ( attempting not to be rude to FF) and attended the last FR meeting at brands hatch.

I would appreciate any advice from all, and some ideas that would help me along the way.

with thanks to all.

gadgit.
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Old 16 May 2003, 21:58 (Ref:601422)   #2
JR Ewing
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Hmmm, assuming this is an old, old FR1700, as racing cars they are a bit of a nightmare but they should be quite cheap to run as they are effectively FF1600 chassis with wings and road based engines/gearboxes.

Change the oil regularly, check all nuts/bolts everytime you go out and, if you don't bend it, it should cost bagger all to run. They have little s/h value - so buy cheap, sell cheap. For trackdays a good car, for any racing: hopeless engine/box (especially the awful sloppy gearbox)
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Old 17 May 2003, 09:45 (Ref:601669)   #3
gadgit
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Thanks for the reply JR, you have given me encouragement, which is what I wanted at this stage. I note that you have Veteran against your name and wondered what this would mean?

Is there a site where I can get information on the cars components and costs, for say the engine parts, suspension, ect.
Again, thanks for the reply, I half expected a pasting for even suggesting that I went ahead with this venture. would it be an advantage to get a race licence before starting out and if so which one and why?

With thanks for a reply,

Gadgit.
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Old 17 May 2003, 09:59 (Ref:601677)   #4
gadgit
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Car for sale at the moment is a RF 94 swift.
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Old 17 May 2003, 17:41 (Ref:601905)   #5
JR Ewing
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A Swift 94 FR??

For spares prices try Ken Thorogood at URS on 01953 789223 (Norfolk).

If you want to do trackdays why need a licence.

If you wnated to progress to race, I would recommend an FF1600 over a FR1700 any day - better driving car.

Novices love wings as they look good. In reality they will confuse you, block you view and cost loads if you bend them.

A 94 swift complete with engine/spares is three grand value absolute tops. Nobody wants them. They have no racing use in reality.

Even a Swift 2 litre 1995/6 car is only worth about 4,500...
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Old 17 May 2003, 19:38 (Ref:601997)   #6
gadgit
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Thanks JR, I'll no doubt be back to pick your brains at a later date.
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Old 19 May 2003, 07:38 (Ref:603135)   #7
Bob Pearson
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The problem with 1700,s is tyres, Michelin no longer do them, I believe there is a Yoko that fits, but I don't know details. The Swift JR refers to is actually a 95, there wasn't a 96 Swift and only about 1 97 and that was a 95 chassis with different bodywork. Actually they are a much maligned car ( often unfairly)which if you could find one would give you much more pleasure than the 1700 and parts would be easier as they are still eligable for a current formula.
JR is right, the 1700 was never a nice car, but if it is cheap and for a trackday it will still be fun.
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Old 19 May 2003, 08:23 (Ref:603161)   #8
Morcilman
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I would go for a FF 1800, they are cheap, modern and you will learn a lot, plus you can buy anything for those and get all the info that you can imagine.
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Old 19 May 2003, 08:54 (Ref:603189)   #9
Bob Pearson
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When I first brought a single seater many years ago I had the belief that it had to have slicks and wings to "look right". The sense in that is debateable but never the less those thoughts are still in many purchasers minds and I suspect in gadgits too.
Ten single seaters later I still think they need slicks and wings, but I know that isn't the view of everyone.
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Old 19 May 2003, 09:09 (Ref:603201)   #10
GM Man
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you should all exchange phonenumbers, that is my best advice!
For someone who starts out I too would recommend a FF 1600, there are loads out there and parts too.
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Old 19 May 2003, 09:33 (Ref:603232)   #11
Ste
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While on the subject I'd like to join in too.

How much would it roughly cost to buy a mid 90's FF? How much mechanical knowledge would I need to keep it running? Are parts ridiculously expensive? and how much does it roughly cost to take it to a track day or amateur race, and how long would i get to play with it on the track?

Thanks in advance for any help.

Steven
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Old 19 May 2003, 10:56 (Ref:603345)   #12
Jensen
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Originally posted by Ste
While on the subject I'd like to join in too.

How much would it roughly cost to buy a mid 90's FF? How much mechanical knowledge would I need to keep it running? Are parts ridiculously expensive? and how much does it roughly cost to take it to a track day or amateur race, and how long would i get to play with it on the track?

Thanks in advance for any help.

Steven
Somewhere around 3000 - 4000 should get a fairly good 90's FF1600, good places to look are Autosport, and on the web, www.monoposto@freeserve.co.uk is a good one to try. when you get the car contact the manufacturer and get a base set-up from them, then pay someone to set it up for you, from there you have a good starting point to learn from on subjects such as Camber / Castor / Tracking / Ride height / Bump / Rake angle / Droop etc.etc.etc All things which are very important to making your machine go well. Advice would be to log all the settings from your set up guy when he is finished and then during outings make small adjustments and see how it feels, it really is the only way to learn as a owner / mechanic / driver. My first was a Van Diemen RF 85, she was fun but very difficult to work on the set up but it was my first car and along with videos, books and some friends in the trade tought me a lot of how the above is set and how it effects the car. ~A good championship to enter to race it is the Mono racing club ( see above web site address ), they also have a race at SPA !!!!
Parts can be purchased through a few outlets and second hand parts are always flying aound the forums, new can be a little expensive but relative, and average race entry would be around 150 which would give you a 20mins qual and a 15 lap race, test days are usually around 200 average.
Good luck.
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Old 19 May 2003, 12:56 (Ref:603477)   #13
jonathanc
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In answer to the original posting, its worth noting that hardly any of the track day companies (except Bookatrack) allow open wheeled cars to take part. They claim its too dangerous to run open wheeled cars such as SS out with saloons and the rest...... bah humbug is all I can say.

Anyway, my vote is with Jedi cars especially if you do not have much mechanical experience as they are very easy to work on (if you have the time). Parts are cheap and easily available unlike some other cars on the market these days.

Whatever you buy.... have fun

Last edited by jonathanc; 19 May 2003 at 12:56.
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Old 19 May 2003, 15:56 (Ref:603691)   #14
Ste
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thanks Jenson. I'll look into it.
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Old 19 May 2003, 19:23 (Ref:603846)   #15
gadgit
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Its time perhaps to move this on to the next level, as I keep looking at F3 cars as well. can you put my mind at rest concerning the running costs of these beasts. My mate who runs a Go Kart says running a F3 would be totaly out of the question due to the cost of the parts, is this true? I know they are more to buy 7-10K but would the extra cost be worth it just to run one for a year, or am I mad even to think about it. (what a year that would be)

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