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Considering the car for TTE and PTE


banderaz

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Hello Everyone,

 

I am in the market for a track car to run through HPDE's => TTE => PTE and was hoping I could get some suggestions and recommendations here. I'm looking for something fairly new 2002-2006 and fairly cheap ~$5000. Another requirement is reliability, low running costs and minimum level of modifications required to make the car competitive. I want something that's fairly good out of the box, so I can just slap on nice R-comps for most of my points and have a capable front runner. I'm not a mechanic so I have to pay a fortune for most of the modifications and its another reason I don't want cars from the last decade, no matter how good they are they will need more maintenance than I want to deal with.

 

So far it looks like the following options fit my budget nicely. Please let me know if some would suit my needs better than others or if I should stay away from certain models.

 

2002-2004 Focus SVT

2003-2005 Focus 2.3l (Might be a bit underpowered)

 

2005-2007 Cobalt SS S/C (It's a bit out of my budget, but I might score an ugly but functional one on Salvage auction)

 

2002-2006 Sentra SE-R

 

2001-2004 Civic SI

 

Anyone had any luck with Tiburons? I know its a Hyundai, but its dirt cheap and seems to make fairly decent HP.

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I'd pick up an already built car if I could... but barring that maybe picking up someone's aged-out SCCA Showroom Stock racecar could be another route

 

Why the aversion to anything prior to 2002? There are plenty of solid cars that are older, its more about what the car was designed for, how it was used in its prior life, and factors like that than how old/young it is.

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Picking up a pre-built car is an option, but I would want the car to be:

1) Street-able to drive to and from track.

2) Slowly modify car myself to experience how certain modifications affect it's dynamics.

3) Resell-able in case I lose interest in racing after my first season. So I would want it to be as unmolested as possible, no cages and other irreversible modifications. It would be easier to install one down the road if I'm ready to graduate into PTE then pull it off and shop for original interior after a few months of racing.

 

Why the aversion to anything prior to 2002?

I want a low maintenance car that looks fairly modern. I would hate to deal with leaking gaskets, hoses, aged-electrical and suspension components on weekly basis. I love older, lighter cars, but I've had my share of problems with the above. Mileage is another concern, too low is problematic just as too high is. While its easy to find 2002-2006 model with ~50k on the clock that has not been sitting for years.

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I see - makes sense. I know its not on your list - but I'd look for a Miata. Actually designed to go fast, pretty solid simple car, plentiful, etc. Might have to go back to 99 or so to find one in your budget range though. From just that list the Sentra SE-R.

 

I'm sure others will chime in with thier picks

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Miata is lovely, it would have been my first choice. But I need something to haul four tires, spare parts, groceries and other things to and from track. That's why Focus is first on my list, hatchback would work the best for these duties.

 

Trailer is an option, but finding unabused NB miata with ~50k miles, trailer, hitch and roll bars would pretty much double my budget.

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I plugged that criteria in autotrader, and found nothing that I think would be competitive in tte. I think you may be a little optimistic in what you are trying to get. If you are going to be into diving cars on race tracks you need to learn how to work on cars, or have enough money to pay somebody to do it. Even new cars break, I am about to replace a cv on my non-tracked 08 with 22,000 miles.

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I plugged that criteria in autotrader, and found nothing that I think would be competitive in tte. I think you may be a little optimistic in what you are trying to get.

 

Are you saying that these cars would not be competitive in TTE? Or that I'm underestimating their value? (If its the price that's in question, I resell things for living and have salvage auction license where Vandalism/Theft recoveries can be picked up for 1/3rd of their market price in decent shape. I've actually researched the prices for a month or so to come up with this list)

 

If you are going to be into diving cars on race tracks you need to learn how to work on cars, or have enough money to pay somebody to do it. Even new cars break, I am about to replace a cv on my non-tracked 08 with 22,000 miles.

 

I will have to learn as I go. So far I've had 7 track days and a bunch of auto-crosses on my 08 and luckily nothing has gone wrong. But on the other hand I'm not running it anywhere as hard as TT drivers due to the lack of experience / safety concerns for the car.

 

I was hoping to get some feedback on the above listed cars or alternative suggestions within the same criteria.

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If you up the ante a little you may get into a streetable but slightly built Mustang. They do break alot but are very easy and cheap to fix.

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The cars you listed are fine, I just think they might be hard to find at that price. The cars I found on autotrader were kias, and elantras etc.

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Its doable in my area if you look hard enough. Almost bought a 2007 Cobalt S/C for $2300 last week with Vandalism damage. All of the body panels hammered in, but other than that it was a complete and solid car. Decided to limit my bid to $2000 since I did not have a chance to see the car in person. Sold for $2300 to buyer in Peru. It could have been registered and road legal here for about $3000 OTD if I won it... Who cares about a few dents here and there as long as they are not visible from 50ft at 50mph.

 

Someone got a hell of a lucky deal on that thing...

 

 

The cars you listed are fine, I just think they might be hard to find at that price. The cars I found on autotrader were kias, and elantras etc.
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Been driving a mustang for three year's now on track and the only thing I've had to go bad was the fuel pump.The other part's that I added was basic sus mods.

 

Robert

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I did calculations on a bunch of cars a couple years ago when i thought about getting a different car.

The ones I remember for TTE are:

99+ Miata (need a tire trailer)

Mazdaspeed Protege (other Protege could also work)

 

Older cars that would be good:

MX6

CRX

Mercedes 190 Cosworth 16v

BMW E30 3series

Suzuki Swift (too much custom stuff needed, but I think it would be fast)

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*****Waiting on KBrew's shameless MR2 plug****

he said TTE not TTF

 

besides, these cars are harder to do than Miatae. Worth it tho

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I'd love to have a speedprotege, but they are extremely rare and sought out.

I am a big Mazda fan, I currently have a speed3, but I am afraid of something bad happening to it, way too much money invested.

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Thanks for advice Joe, Sentra's looks the most realistic of the bunch.

Could you shed some light on the car and rules for me please? I have tons of questions about the car and its point allocation for TT.

1) What is the major difference between Spec-V and nor regular SE-R?

2) If I understand correctly Spec-V is listed in TTF with two stars. So I would have 26 points remaining to keep it in TTE?

3) Racing weight is 2710, Power to weight ratio allowed for class is 16.50 TTE base -1 (FWD) - 0.4 (SEDAN) + 0.3 (Weight Penalty) = 15.4/1

Please correct me if I'm wrong.

4) From what I've read Spec-V has ~145whp, so I have to somehow squeeze another 30 out of it to get the maximum allowance (2710 / 15.4 = 175whp)? or I can theoretically strip it to 2233lb and keep the engine stock (145whp * 15.4 ratio)?

5) It looks like you have worked hard on your Sentra to get to TTB, what are the cheap power mods for these cars to get +/- 30whp both cash and point-wise?

6) Which tires would I be able to run? 215mm TTF or 235mm TTE?

 

02-03 Spec-Vs can be had for 3K-4K. And as far as TTE goes, not much can touch it. 50+ races and only the MAF went bad.
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A little weight was added to the car this year by National because it does so well in TTE. When the SER was in TTE (National Champ car before the V6 swap) it put down 181whp @ Miller in SLC. These cars are very easy to mod, have great tq and stick amazingly well for a FWD. Dont let the solid rear beam get you down, my car is neutral to loose.

 

The main difference with the SER v the Spec-v is the brakes, 6th gear (not used), HLSD and 5hp. If you can find a non sunroof SER, jump on it. Take the points and purchase the Wilwood 12.2" brake upgrade. Hawk DTC70 (circle track) pads are $45 and the 2 piece rotors are $17. The rest is suspension and bolt ons. You'll be able to get the weight down easily and still have door glass and panels installed.

 

PM me and I'll give you my contact info. I'd be happy to share the right parts you'll need to win in TTE. Main thing, maximize the freebies.

 

BTW, last year 22 races, 21 1st place wins. The car is really that good.

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I'd love to have a speedprotege, but they are extremely rare and sought out.

I am a big Mazda fan, I currently have a speed3, but I am afraid of something bad happening to it, way too much money invested.

 

Yeah, I didn't realize the Mazdaspeed Proteges were still hanging around $7k. With the new 5 point hit for forced induction and considering all of the suspension pieces which are different will be changed anyway I would think a Protege ES or a Protege 5 could be a great TTE car.

 

The Sentra or Miata do seem to be the easy way to go though.

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The Mazdaspeed Protege will also require regular and irregular maintenance. They are a finicky car. A hoot to drive when running well though

 

Does the Focus SVT have an LSD?

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Does the Focus SVT have an LSD?

 

No. Quiafe and OBX each make one. And I've always wondered if you could get a Mini Cooper LSD to work on a SVTF - they have the same transmission.

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Thank you, but I'm in Northern California.

 

I've got a SVT Focus daily driver I've been considering getting rid of if you're anywhere near Chicago.
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