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Hello All,

I used to own a 2018 Camaro SS 1LE. Loved the car but left me wanting more since I don’t have the cash to risk crashing but or damaging it on the track. I sold the car to make way to purchase an older which I can actually track and maybe even eventually get into real racing from HPDE’s. I’ve looking into C5 Z06’s but since discovering this Spec-Z I’ve gotten interested in the car again since owning my 03 Touring Z. 

If I were to buy a Z again what should I know about this series? It’s availability in NE Ohio, Total investment needed, licensing need, things of that nature.



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In the midwest (great lakes region of NASA), Spec-Z is essentially dead, unfortunately.

A 350Z can still be a good choice, though.  Most likely, you would want to build it for the ST4 class, which has a significantly more open rulebook than specZ (aero, suspension, etc).

Some downsides to the Z:  It's heavy, and hard to significantly reduce weight.  Because of its weight and its suspension geometry, its quite hard on tires, so your consumable cost will be higher than for other cars.

Investment, I am not sure, but at least 20k to build a competitive ST4 car (doing most of the work yourself).  Best bet would be to buy an already built car.

Licensing:  just start doing NASA HPDE.  You will advance through the levels of that until they determine you are ready to take a test for a race license.  Plan on 2-4 years of HPDE before getting a race license (gives you time to slowly build up the car).

C5 corvette is also a popular choice.  That would most likely be built to ST3 class rules.  It would be similarly expensive and hard on tires, just like the Z.

There are many cheaper options (BMW, Mazda, Honda, etc), but it all depends on what you want.  Look at recent NASA Great Lakes results, to see which classes are popular here.


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  • 1 year later...

I've had fun with a pair of 350Z's which cost around 10k each, and put about 10k into them both during the year. Then I bought a 2006 Cayman S and the Z's didn't hold the same appeal. The Cayman was a fair price for the performance. Basically got out of the box with the Porsche what cost me 5k in upgrades to replace all the bushings and suspension and arms in the Z, doing the work myself. However, the Z is a rewarding platform because it challenges you to make it work. These cars can get down to 2950 lbs (the factory weight of a 987 Cayman) with some basic cutting and stripping. But the cost is about the same. I couldn't choose so I kept both for now. and kept them both streetable. 

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