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Old 01-09-2009, 11:09 PM   #1
impre25ive
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Default Rallying: Getting Started

Is rally racing a sport that you need to be wealthy to get involved in?
Is it even possible to start from the bottom and work your way up in this sport?
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Old 01-10-2009, 12:26 AM   #2
OBShahn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by impre25ive View Post
Is rally racing a sport that you need to be wealthy to get involved in?
Not necessarily (you can rally on a reasonable budget) but being wealthy helps. Plus you don't have to actually race to be involved in it...

But rallying is like most other motorsports, you can do it with modest means, or it can be easier to do with a bank account that exceeds FDIC insurance limits...

Quote:
Originally Posted by impre25ive View Post
Is it even possible to start from the bottom and work your way up in this sport?
Depends on what your aspirations are. If you want to work your way up from Joe Schmoe to a career driver that makes their living from driving, that is virtually impossible in the US. If you want to be a top 5-10 national guy or a regional champion that is certainly possible (helps if the answer to number one includes you having strong finances).

The biggest problem with rallying, from a sustainability standpoint, is that you have to travel great distances to do it. It isn't like road racing where you might have 5-20 event weekends within 5 hours. Many teams that do more than 2 or 3 events a year spend 1/4 to 1/2 of their overall season expenditures (assuming car costs are out of the season to season budgetting since you don't have to build a new car each year unless you keep destroying cars) getting to the actual events.

Unless you are in certain parts of New England, the Pacific Northwest, or some parts of the Southwest (or live in or close to Colorado and can handle including other rally like events) you will only have a couple of events within 5-8 hours of towing. The upper midwest is also an option but their event availability seems to be fading.

If you can use the same car for multiple years and not damage the car too bad each event you could do a lot of events for 3-10,000.00 (cost of the Colorado Rally Cup for instance (not counting major car expenses), is somewhere between 2 and $7,000.00 and that is 7 events over the course of the year (if you camp, use used tires, and eat ramen you might be able to do it for under 2,000.00)).

It all depends on what it will take in rallying for you to be happy and enjoy it. You could spend $20,000.00 a year and be miserable, of $5,000.00 a year and love it and be perfectly happy...
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Old 01-10-2009, 12:55 AM   #3
impre25ive
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Originally Posted by OBShahn View Post
Not necessarily (you can rally on a reasonable budget) but being wealthy helps. Plus you don't have to actually race to be involved in it...

But rallying is like most other motorsports, you can do it with modest means, or it can be easier to do with a bank account that exceeds FDIC insurance limits...



Depends on what your aspirations are. If you want to work your way up from Joe Schmoe to a career driver that makes their living from driving, that is virtually impossible in the US. If you want to be a top 5-10 national guy or a regional champion that is certainly possible (helps if the answer to number one includes you having strong finances).

The biggest problem with rallying, from a sustainability standpoint, is that you have to travel great distances to do it. It isn't like road racing where you might have 5-20 event weekends within 5 hours. Many teams that do more than 2 or 3 events a year spend 1/4 to 1/2 of their overall season expenditures (assuming car costs are out of the season to season budgetting since you don't have to build a new car each year unless you keep destroying cars) getting to the actual events.

Unless you are in certain parts of New England, the Pacific Northwest, or some parts of the Southwest (or live in or close to Colorado and can handle including other rally like events) you will only have a couple of events within 5-8 hours of towing. The upper midwest is also an option but their event availability seems to be fading.

If you can use the same car for multiple years and not damage the car too bad each event you could do a lot of events for 3-10,000.00 (cost of the Colorado Rally Cup for instance (not counting major car expenses), is somewhere between 2 and $7,000.00 and that is 7 events over the course of the year (if you camp, use used tires, and eat ramen you might be able to do it for under 2,000.00)).

It all depends on what it will take in rallying for you to be happy and enjoy it. You could spend $20,000.00 a year and be miserable, of $5,000.00 a year and love it and be perfectly happy...
it just kind of sucks that its a sport that relies so much on money. like basketball you can start from the bottom, and have a shot at going to the NBA, as you advance from highschool through college.

I know were talking about two totally different events here. I realize racing costs a lot and isnt just buying a $30 basketball from a sports store.

But it just kind of sucks, that its almost impossible for "joe schmoe" to get involved on a larger level.

----------------------------------------------
On sort of a side note, Do you think that its possible to race small local rally's on a reasonable budget? Is it likely that you'll have to replace parts after each day of rallying?

And do places exist where you can take your budget car and "race" for the day? Sort of like a drag strip, but for rally racers. Just show up, and use the course.
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Old 01-10-2009, 01:07 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by impre25ive View Post
it just kind of sucks that its a sport that relies so much on money. like basketball you can start from the bottom, and have a shot at going to the NBA, as you advance from highschool through college.

I know were talking about two totally different events here. I realize racing costs a lot and isnt just buying a $30 basketball from a sports store.

But it just kind of sucks, that its almost impossible for "joe schmoe" to get involved on a larger level.

----------------------------------------------
On sort of a side note, Do you think that its possible to race small local rally's on a reasonable budget? Is it likely that you'll have to replace parts after each day of rallying?

And do places exist where you can take your budget car and "race" for the day? Sort of like a drag strip, but for rally racers. Just show up, and use the course.
Well you can't compare a basketball and a hoop to a race car in terms of cost.
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Old 01-10-2009, 01:09 AM   #5
impre25ive
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Well you can't compare a basketball and a hoop to a race car in terms of cost.
haha yea i know, thats why i said that.

i was just wondering if its moderately affordable, for the average person, to have a say weekend "rally car".
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Old 01-10-2009, 01:29 AM   #6
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the typical costs for a rally weekend vary greatly but it is really hard to do any regional event for under a grand. Entry fees vary from ~$350 for a coeffecient 2 rally to well over $1000 for a national coefficient 3 rally. Add in tow costs, fuel for the rally car, hotels and food for the crew and costs can go through the roof. When we totalled up our costs from last season we spent about $7500 to do 6 events not including replacing some parts and tires. That doesnt' take into account the cost of the car and up to date safety equipment (seats, suits, helmets, head & neck restraint, fire extinguishers, first aid kits etc etc)

You'll need to better define what "affordable" means to you.....
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Old 01-10-2009, 10:07 AM   #7
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I started saving 5 years ago. $60 a week goes in the bank. I've got a good shell, 2 very nice, very safe seats and I can finally afford my cage. I figure it will be another two years almost before I make it to the stages - BUT, I'll make it! I'm building a modest car, a '94 1.8l Impreza. Most of the money I've saved has come from buying old, or crashed subarus when the price is low and selling off the valuable parts to people who want them. I keep the parts I can use for spares.

Bottom line, if your budget is small, you have to be commited for the long run.

I've been co-driving for the last two years to keep me from going insane. I had no idea it could be so much fun. And, it is such an important role in rallying! This is a team sport. Get a helmet and a race suit, see if you can co-drive for someone...

Good luck and have fun.

Daniel
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Old 01-10-2009, 02:49 PM   #8
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If you have good access to rally cross events, that can help ease you into loose surface driving without a significant investment, but you'll still face that point where you want to transition to stage rally and the costs jump up an order of magnitude.
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Old 01-10-2009, 03:26 PM   #9
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I own and drive a production class neon. I work full time as a waitor, and go to college full time. This year I plan on doing 5 rallies. Though expensive, it is well worth it between the places you go to the people you meet. Check out specialstage.com the rally forum. They also have a classifieds section

E Hansen
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Old 01-11-2009, 10:06 AM   #10
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Rallying is expensive to get into... well, any motorsport is. But depending on your region, you can get into Rallycrossing.
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Old 01-11-2009, 10:14 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by impre25ive View Post
On sort of a side note, Do you think that its possible to race small local rally's on a reasonable budget? Is it likely that you'll have to replace parts after each day of rallying?
I bought a cheap Impreza rally car, fixed it up and did two rallies for about $15,000 (total - each event was ~$2k), but that was with the support of the team I had crewed for. Yes, you will have to replace parts DURING pretty much every rally you run, which means you have to own spares for virtually any part that can break and take you out of the rally. Which is worse, having to buy spare control arms to carry around, or being forced out of the rally you paid $900 to enter?

Is there an easy way to post a spread sheet as a table on here? I'll post my actual expenses if it's easy.
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Old 01-12-2009, 01:13 PM   #12
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No offense, but you need to hang around for 6 months to 2 years and you'll discover all the ins and outs. You don't just decide one day, "boy that looks cool, I think I'll go do it" unless you are wealthy. Visit www.specialstage.com daily, frequently, severals times a day for a while. Attend events. Work events. Etc.
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Old 01-12-2009, 11:25 PM   #13
akuhner
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No offense, but you need to hang around for 6 months to 2 years and you'll discover all the ins and outs.
6 months?! It took me 4 years starting with working as a marshal at STPR 2002 and working up to being Crew Chief for Otis Dimiters running most of the 2005 Rally America Championship (where I paid my own way to events all over the country). Meanwhile I ran as many rally crosses, serious TSDs and ice races as possible. Only then did I dare think I had enough support and knowledge to dare to think I could make it to the start line, much less finish!

I finally made it to Rally NY 2006 as the 2nd NC Rally entry (with full team support piggy-backing on Otis' setup) and Rallye Defi 2006 on my own (but using Otis' SUV, trailer, and lots of his gear). I also had full access to the NC Subaru shop and the various skills of the rest of the NC Rally team (I don't weld, which seems to me to be a critical part of maintaining a rally car!). It can be done without that kind of support and experience, but man it's tough!
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Old 01-13-2009, 12:02 AM   #14
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A good way to get into it and practice is to rallycross. Usually you can meet people who are in the stage rally scene there as well. There is a subaru based rally website also that could provide info. But like said before, specialstage is the best place to start for stage rally.
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