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Masterclue1988

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Masterclue1988

Hello,

I am thinking of joining NASA, and since I live east of Kansas City, I will be joining the Central Region. I've been lurking and reading for a while now, and I have decided I want to go racing again. In college I ran in SCCA events in North Carolina with an 02 Trans Am. For 2 years I worked with Top Fuel dragsters after college, and once the economy tanked in 08, I stepped away from racing. The bug has bitten me again, and I am thinking HPDE would be a good place to start over. I currently have a Porsche 944s that I could use. My main question is; can the car be used without any major modifications (IE roll cage, etc), and if it can't, what all would it need? Eventually I want to build a true race car for ST or SU, but for now I think I'll start small.

Jon

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kpearson

Hello and welcome!

 

For HPDE, all you need is a car that has functional OEM safety equipment (i.e. 3pt seat belt), working brake lights, no dripping fluids, no worn out tires or brakes, and a SA rated helmet.  You don't need to, and shouldn't go all out modding your car to get started.  :)

 

The next event is in June:

https://drivenasacentral.com/schedule/

 

If you have more question, post them up!  I would also recommend that as you get to the point of wanting to move into racing, it will be cheaper and easier to find a race car that is already built.  If you really enjoy 944's, there is a racing division called 944Spec.  You can find those race cars for sale for around $10k.  To turn a street car into a race car, you'll pay half that amount just for the cage.

 

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NASA HPDE is perfect for those just stating out in road racing or even those getting back into it after a while.  As skills and experience improve, desire for more may come a knocking and there's lots of avenues available and they're all at your pace.

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Masterclue1988

Thank you guys for the welcome! I will post questions as I come up with them. As far as a race car goes, I am getting ready to start a kit car project and I thought it might be fun to build it into a race car rather than a kit car. It will take some time to build, so I'm not in a huge hurry. Does NASA have rules governing space frame chassis?

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Tansar_Motorsports

A kit car would be considered a "non-production" car, which essentially means that your options are ST3, ST2, ST1, and SU.

It can be difficult to be competitive in those classes with a non-production car, because you will take a small penalty (less hp and/or more weight).  Also, kit cars can have some downsides compared to production cars.  For example, a kit car probably won't have ABS, while some of your competitors will have very good modern ABS systems that work well in a race environment.  Also, kit car bodies don;t tend to be as aerodynamic as they look, unfortunately.

However, there is a class for spec factory five cobra kits, if that interests you.

What kit did you have in mind?

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Masterclue1988

At first I was leaning to and looking at the RCR 917 or their Lola T70, but since I'm 6'2" I figured I wouldn't fit in the 917. Instead I have a 3d scan of a Mclaren P1 that I can turn into a full sized body. I just haven't decided to build it for the street or track yet. I am planning on using as many off the shelf components to as I can, including an ABS system, LS based engine, control arms, suspension, etc. I'm still in the planning stages at the moment.

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  • 1 month later...

So from what I have seen, for a new driver, is it better to just use a stock car until I move up to HPDE 4 and then look into building a car for a certain class? New to all of this and looking to get started soon. As of now, all I have is a 2016 Ford Focus Hatch, aftermarket exhaust and that is it. Everything else is stock. Thanks!

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2 hours ago, C_Holt said:

So from what I have seen, for a new driver, is it better to just use a stock car until I move up to HPDE 4 and then look into building a car for a certain class? New to all of this and looking to get started soon. As of now, all I have is a 2016 Ford Focus Hatch, aftermarket exhaust and that is it. Everything else is stock. Thanks!

Thats a good and typical plan.  As you move thru HPDE, you'll get a feel as to where you might want to go, lots of classes to choose from.  Some have a car built for their particular class, some buy one already done and ready to go, some take what they have and do the Frankenstein approach, a little here, a little there, till its where you want it.  And then you change classes and start all over.....😲

 

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@427R Thanks. Where can I find more about the overall process? How do you move up through the ranks of HPDE? I currently live outside of Charlotte, NC and was looking to attend either CMP or VIR. As for the car, I eventually want to have a mustang for the AI/AIX and SI class. I even was thinking Spec Miata to get started since they are cheaper. Overall, I feel like having my focus on track is bad practice especially since it is an automatic.

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Being a part of NASA and HPDE you'll get lots of information about lots of things, to include moving through the HPDE ranks.  By time you reach HPDE 4, you should have a good base of knowledge and skills and be able to plan where to go next.  Talking to drivers in classes you are considering is a big plus and very educational.  It'll also give you a sense as to whether that really is the right route for you and the car, or should you...re-direct.  I will tell you lots of drivers starting out have big thoughts and ideas about what the future may hold, but as time goes by, those initial thoughts and ideas change.  Once you decide where you want to go next after HPDE, there's lots of experienced Drivers, Team Leaders, National / Regional Champions that will help you.

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18 hours ago, 427R said:

Being a part of NASA and HPDE you'll get lots of information about lots of things, to include moving through the HPDE ranks.  By time you reach HPDE 4, you should have a good base of knowledge and skills and be able to plan where to go next.  Talking to drivers in classes you are considering is a big plus and very educational.  It'll also give you a sense as to whether that really is the right route for you and the car, or should you...re-direct.  I will tell you lots of drivers starting out have big thoughts and ideas about what the future may hold, but as time goes by, those initial thoughts and ideas change.  Once you decide where you want to go next after HPDE, there's lots of experienced Drivers, Team Leaders, National / Regional Champions that will help you.

Sounds great! Thanks for the help and all of the provided feedback. 

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