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KidA

Want to race but am no mechanic...

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KidA

I want to race but I need a car other than my daily driver. I know very little about car maintenance and building, the most I know how to do is oil changes and brake jobs. Being a n00b, can I just learn as I go, or am I doing something stupid by trying to get a car before I am ready? I don't have the money to pay a mechanic to do everything.

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getfast

There's a lot more to it than just having a racecar. Namely, the many weekends of HPDE training, most of which is done - at least in the beginning - in daily drivers. See https://www.nasaproracing.com/hpde/

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KidA

Thanks for the reply! To be more clear, I guess I was thinking end game, down the line, higher up in or past the HPDE ladder. I feel like I don't want to invest the time and effort with the daily in HPDE if in the end I am not going to be continue onward in the sport on account of my lack of maintenance ability on my own track car. Seems like such a tease! So trying to see if I can do it or not.

 

I did not know that HPDE was often daily drivers though, good to know.

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getfast

When the time is right, your best bet is to buy a built/completed racecar and find friends or shops who can help you maintain it. Or learn from your new friends at the track.

 

In the meantime, climbing the HPDE ladder gives you many weekends to learn the ropes about the driving, the rules, the car maintenance, all of it.

 

You will see anything and everything in HPDE. Daily driven econoboxes, rental cars, bright green Lamborghinis, many old BMWs and Miatas, whatever.

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KidA

Thanks!! Very helpful. Guess HPDE socal is about to see a Honda fit trying hard to look fast.

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427R
Thanks!! Very helpful. Guess HPDE socal is about to see a Honda fit trying hard to look fast.

Many in NASA started off in HPDE using daily drivers (DD's). That's one of the nice things about HPDE, its car friendly and at the end of the day or weekend, you can drive it home and be ready for work the next day. As time goes by, your experience grows and you begin to think about the future, where you and the car are heading. You'll find many took their DD's and turned them into race cars while others saved some money and bought a race car already built. As you grow in this sport, so will your thoughts of what to do and how to do it.

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t500hps

I started this journey using a completely stock SRT8 Charger. Yes, a fast car but that's irrelevant (most cars in HPDE 1 were street cars, including a Honda accord WAGON).

 

Only thing you DD really needs is good brake fluid and if it's fast, good brake pads.

 

I eventually progressed and BOUGHT a finished racecar. By then I had a good relationship with a group of guys who helped me find a car so I could race with them.....and help educate me on servicing the car as I went. It might seem daunting......but if your a good guy to them you will find a shocking amount of help.

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KidA

Thanks guys, this very much encourages me to get started now and use the community support.

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gobuffs

You can either do it (or learn how) or pay somebody to maintain your car. Some basic troubleshooting and mechanical aptitude is beneficial to have at the track.

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