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View Poll Results: Which car for real life and lots of track days
Spec / track prepped MX-5 Miata 84 18.79%
Lotus Elise S or Exige S (used) 95 21.25%
Porsche 911 (996 c2s? 996 gt3?) (used) 70 15.66%
Porsche Cayman S or 986/987 boxster S (used) 26 5.82%
Honda s2000 86 19.24%
NSX 44 9.84%
C5 corvette Z06 113 25.28%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 447. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 10-20-2009, 03:28 AM   #1
scottjua
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Default Track car: the sti just won't do forever... What to get???

Ok, this isn't for my immediate plans but more like something to look forward to in the next few years plus. I've been tracking my sti since I got it new back in December of 2005, and although I love it and it is rewarding to drive, the costs and realities of lots of track time in the heavy sti do take their toll.

After driving many other cars over the years and some great student cars at the track, I'm now contemplating what would be a good daily driver track car with more emphasis on track duty and reduced wear items costs for track duty.

My first reaction is spec/track prepped miata, but honestly since it would be a car to take out on regular life drives too, that may be a little hardcore and small for me daily (6ft 190lbs). Same with an Elise. I love both and know they're easy on tires and brakes (in the sti I go through pads every 2-3 track days), but the light weight small car trade off is less easy to deal with in life. Not to mention crash worthiness in SUV land. That said too, whatever it would be would be a second car. Not primarily a daily chore car, but would need to serve duty 3-4 or more days of a week... Life depending and may play the role of daily chore car at times.

So what about a c5 Z06??? The notion that consumables are cheap and can be had at napa, is that a reality? What about Porsches? 911? Cayman S?

All used of course. Anything else to consider? S2000, Nsx, etc.

I like the idea of reliable, easy on parts, light-ish weigt, but I know you have to compromise something. I just want more or a planted sports car feel at the track that I get in other cars and something that won't totally destroy my wallet or be prohibitive cost-wise to enjoy on the track or in life. Don't get me wrong I love the bear climbing a tree feel from the sti out of turns, but you know... The grass is always greener and all that.

Mid, rear, front engined doesn't make much difference, awd or rwd is fine.
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Last edited by scottjua; 10-20-2009 at 03:40 AM.
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Old 10-20-2009, 03:47 AM   #2
inthenameofweez
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In all seriousness, I think you'd love an S2000.

Light, reliable, VERY easy on parts, and can still be daily driven. Me being 6'3", I have no problems being comfortable in one. That may come as a surprise to some, and I will admit that I do sit a little closer to my steering wheel than most, but I noticed that you drive in somewhat of the same position.
I plan on doing the exact same thing someday. I have always been in love with the little roadster. It is a lot more fun to drive and it feels larger that the Miata. Not to mention the power diff. 237 N/A is awesome.

My recommendation is to find a prepped car that someone is trying to get out from underneath of. S2k or not. There are great deals out there if you know the right people and keep your ears open. Being at TMR as often as you are (unless that's changed), I'm sure you could find something nice.

/rant.

Btw, I've done quite a few tings to my car since Harry Potter. Can't wait to be home for Christmas break and give you a ride/drive.
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Old 10-20-2009, 03:50 AM   #3
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No Corvettes. I did NOT enjoy driving a family friend's when I was doing work on his brake system. Esp going from the Sti, the interior feels so bleh. Obviously it's not a huge concern. But plastic everything combined with a radio that never works, antennas that are crap, and a finicky transmission, it makes the STi looks AMAZING.
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Old 10-20-2009, 03:50 AM   #4
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Oops.

Last edited by inthenameofweez; 10-20-2009 at 03:52 AM. Reason: Double post.
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Old 10-20-2009, 04:15 AM   #5
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Old 10-20-2009, 09:25 AM   #6
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If you can swing a track only car, look at a Radical SR3.

http://www.radicalextremesportscars.com/

If the car needs to do double duty (road and track) the Elise/Exige or Boxster/Cayman are hard to beat for the cash. I pulled my street cars off the track about a year ago, using the Radical and have never looked back.

Feff
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Old 10-20-2009, 10:00 AM   #7
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You could probably pick up an IT prepared car for very short money. You'd get something reliable and cheap to maintain. The trade off being they aren't powerhouses, but you FEEL like you are driving a million miles an hour in them.
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Old 10-20-2009, 10:28 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Feffman View Post
If you can swing a track only car, look at a Radical SR3.

http://www.radicalextremesportscars.com/

If the car needs to do double duty (road and track) the Elise/Exige or Boxster/Cayman are hard to beat for the cash. I pulled my street cars off the track about a year ago, using the Radical and have never looked back.

Feff
seconded. if you're not prepared for a tow vehicle/trailer which would open up track dedicated vehicles(sports racers and simple formula cars), then a used se7en type car would be a better bet for being able to drive to a track and drive home.

jack of all trades, master of none.
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Old 10-20-2009, 10:36 AM   #9
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If you're trying to keep costs down, I'd take any Porsche off your list. I think bang for the buck you can't really beat a c5 Z06.
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Old 10-20-2009, 11:09 AM   #10
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The bottom line is that light and slow = cheap to race! Most however can't deal going from an STi to a car that runs 10 seconds a lap slower.

If your main costs are brakes and tires on the STi then maybe you should address those areas. With Toyo coming back with the Toyo RA1 as long as stick with a 17" wheel these are cheap and can last a whole season.

The Brembo setup on the STi uses very expensive brake pads and is really too small for a high HP STi. One option is to work on your brake ducting and possibly adding blower motors. I haven't bleed my brakes on my race car all year after installing blower motors so I can attest to how much of an improvent they offer. When I did this I was also able to use my brake pads down to about 1/8th of an inch when I used toss them after I used about 1/2.

The ultimate is to use a 355mm brake kit like the StopTech ST40. Brake pads alone are about $75-100 less than the Brembo and due to the larger rotor they last about 2-3 times longer.

It sounds like if you can afford a NSX, or a Porsche you really should just consider buying a prepped race car like a Miata or a Honda Challenge car. Both are cheap, light, easy to maintain but the Honda will be much quicker due to higher power potential.

Good luck!
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Old 10-20-2009, 11:33 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Element Tuning View Post
The bottom line is that light and slow = cheap to race! Most however can't deal going from an STi to a car that runs 10 seconds a lap slower.

If your main costs are brakes and tires on the STi then maybe you should address those areas. With Toyo coming back with the Toyo RA1 as long as stick with a 17" wheel these are cheap and can last a whole season.

The Brembo setup on the STi uses very expensive brake pads and is really too small for a high HP STi. One option is to work on your brake ducting and possibly adding blower motors. I haven't bleed my brakes on my race car all year after installing blower motors so I can attest to how much of an improvent they offer. When I did this I was also able to use my brake pads down to about 1/8th of an inch when I used toss them after I used about 1/2.

The ultimate is to use a 355mm brake kit like the StopTech ST40. Brake pads alone are about $75-100 less than the Brembo and due to the larger rotor they last about 2-3 times longer.

It sounds like if you can afford a NSX, or a Porsche you really should just consider buying a prepped race car like a Miata or a Honda Challenge car. Both are cheap, light, easy to maintain but the Honda will be much quicker due to higher power potential.

Good luck!

sorry to jack...these blower motors I am interested in incorporating when I do ducting for my brakes...I am concerned that at speed they will only hinder airflow as I don't see the little fans moving enough air at highspeed. What fans do you recomend?

Back on topic c5 vette's are very easy to find right now for not alot of monay...Prob the cheapest of the options you listed at least for what you get out of the box with the z06, also a car I have thought about tracking.

In the back of the scca mag's I get there is always a page or two with classifieds...track prepped cars in various classes, usually all include trailer and spares from guys getting out, or moving to the next class...THIS is where I see the absolute best deals, and have almost sold my car many times to buy one of these package deals. Best of luck!
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Old 10-20-2009, 02:59 PM   #12
scottjua
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Element Tuning View Post
The bottom line is that light and slow = cheap to race! Most however can't deal going from an STi to a car that runs 10 seconds a lap slower.

If your main costs are brakes and tires on the STi then maybe you should address those areas. With Toyo coming back with the Toyo RA1 as long as stick with a 17" wheel these are cheap and can last a whole season.

The Brembo setup on the STi uses very expensive brake pads and is really too small for a high HP STi. One option is to work on your brake ducting and possibly adding blower motors. I haven't bleed my brakes on my race car all year after installing blower motors so I can attest to how much of an improvent they offer. When I did this I was also able to use my brake pads down to about 1/8th of an inch when I used toss them after I used about 1/2.

The ultimate is to use a 355mm brake kit like the StopTech ST40. Brake pads alone are about $75-100 less than the Brembo and due to the larger rotor they last about 2-3 times longer.

It sounds like if you can afford a NSX, or a Porsche you really should just consider buying a prepped race car like a Miata or a Honda Challenge car. Both are cheap, light, easy to maintain but the Honda will be much quicker due to higher power potential.

Good luck!
Thanks... and thanks to all responses so far! I appreciate it.

As for my braking set up, I do have ducts sorted, and a two piece rotor, but still find that with the speeds this car can make, its weight is the major factor against it.

more on my car and my journey here: http://www.iwsti.com/forums/gd-membe...ate-defis.html

When I consider a Porsche or NSX, I'm definitely not thinking new-ish, and for me probably about 45K max on spending budget. Granted this would be a few years down the road, and everything will change, but I can't help think about it now of course, and try to mentally plan ahead and get as much info as I can.

I don';t think at this point a dedicated track car is a reality, but you never know. I'd love to consider a radical, or something that could be trailered out, but that means having to get a vehicle capable of towing, a trailer, and all the paraphernalia that goes with a track only car. Not in the cards for me I think.

I need something that treads the line like the STi can, but isn't quite so hard on its parts.

It's a conundrum for sure. Fast? Powerful? Hard on brakes... Light, small, hard to live with day to day? OR... not as fast as I am used to. That said... driving Elises and spec Miatas is just as fun on the track as my car. They just feel a little anemic on straights... maybe forced induction would solve that.

I find myself rationalizing new parts for the STi, then thinking... save it for the next car at this point. Whatever it will be, will have to driven regularly, so that alone makes some less likely than others.

Quote:
In all seriousness, I think you'd love an S2000.

Light, reliable, VERY easy on parts, and can still be daily driven. Me being 6'3", I have no problems being comfortable in one. That may come as a surprise to some, and I will admit that I do sit a little closer to my steering wheel than most, but I noticed that you drive in somewhat of the same position.
I plan on doing the exact same thing someday. I have always been in love with the little roadster. It is a lot more fun to drive and it feels larger that the Miata. Not to mention the power diff. 237 N/A is awesome.

My recommendation is to find a prepped car that someone is trying to get out from underneath of. S2k or not. There are great deals out there if you know the right people and keep your ears open. Being at TMR as often as you are (unless that's changed), I'm sure you could find something nice.

/rant.

Btw, I've done quite a few tings to my car since Harry Potter. Can't wait to be home for Christmas break and give you a ride/drive.
I actually almost owned an S2000 at one point... when I wanted an NSX, but also wanted a warranty... long story, but I do really like them.

Let me know when you're back in town, maybe we can get together.
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Old 10-20-2009, 03:01 PM   #13
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Ariel Atom
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Old 10-20-2009, 03:27 PM   #14
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Corvette hands down will be the cheapest car per mph

They are actually great cars, easy to work on, great aftermarket and they have very few problems. The C5 is a great platform for a track car. If you want any reasoning behind this, shoot me a PM or search for my previous posts about this. I race a C5 as do other members here and I'll never go back to a subaru because of what a true sports car can offer.


I also voted for a miata, they are cheap and fun!
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Old 10-20-2009, 03:39 PM   #15
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I love the sti!
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Old 10-20-2009, 03:39 PM   #16
sachilles
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One point to consider is that convertible have all sorts of additional hoops in terms of safety requirements for track days.
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Old 10-20-2009, 06:12 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blazzin06wrxdude View Post
sorry to jack...these blower motors I am interested in incorporating when I do ducting for my brakes...I am concerned that at speed they will only hinder airflow as I don't see the little fans moving enough air at highspeed. What fans do you recomend?
Forget what all the posers and naysayers tell you. I've had nothing but brake problems for years and the Element Tuning STi is one of the fastest Time Attack Subarus in the US.

I used to have to bleed my brakes every race using Motul 600 and my pads only lasted maybe 2 events or so even with a 355mm StopTech kit and 3" brake ducts.

Added the Coolshirt blower motors into my ducts and I haven't bleed my brakes all year and I've been able to push my pads longer than ever before. My brake pedal stays rock hard all session long. Nuff said!

I bought another set to use on my 08 WRX which has Brembos in hopes I can get more than 1 event out of the front brake pads.

I love the Corvette and have even considered building one but maybe Ross can explain how they are cheaper to run when the tires are more expensive and the car is just about as heavy so I would imagine brake pads have similar life. I'm interested and not trying to play devils advocate.
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Old 10-20-2009, 06:16 PM   #18
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If you go with a very light track car, you don't need a huge P/U truck to tow it. Most minivan's can tow 3000lbs.
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Old 10-20-2009, 06:50 PM   #19
blazzin06wrxdude
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Element Tuning View Post
Forget what all the posers and naysayers tell you. I've had nothing but brake problems for years and the Element Tuning STi is one of the fastest Time Attack Subarus in the US.

I used to have to bleed my brakes every race using Motul 600 and my pads only lasted maybe 2 events or so even with a 355mm StopTech kit and 3" brake ducts.

Added the Coolshirt blower motors into my ducts and I haven't bleed my brakes all year and I've been able to push my pads longer than ever before. My brake pedal stays rock hard all session long. Nuff said!

I bought another set to use on my 08 WRX which has Brembos in hopes I can get more than 1 event out of the front brake pads.
Thanks for the tip...I will def look into these when I finally get the ducting run in my system...I'm just looking to be competitive in Time attack's street class next year and know brakes,and front wheel bearings are going to be my biggest obstacle! Working with what I have though.
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Old 10-20-2009, 10:25 PM   #20
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if youre just looking to do track days, I would cross the miata/SM off your list. If youre looking to get into club racing, then its an awesome choice
I sold my 04 STi track rat and built a SM, and have loved it. If just as fun as any other car, its cheap and cheap on consumables, and the racing is good. But if youre going to be doing track days, you will be getting killed on the straights and being held up in the corners.

I vote 996 GT3. A good friend has one and its tons of fun. They're sexy as hell to. Expensive to mod. Like 8k exhaust and 10k for a set of motons, but theyre awesome stock so that doesnt have to come right away
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Old 10-20-2009, 10:28 PM   #21
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S2000. An absolute blast and absolutely reliable.
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Old 10-20-2009, 11:00 PM   #22
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Scottjua, on the note of the MX-5, I am speaking from experience. I don't know how a hard top would effect it, but my track built 99 mx-5, is just to short in the cabin. I'm 6'2 205, and with my helmet on, I hit the ceiling. So, I have to brave the cold if I want to do track days in the winter. I don't know if you being two inches shorter gives your clearance, but it's something to be considered.
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Old 10-21-2009, 12:25 AM   #23
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Many good points. Has anyone spent time tracking an NSX regularly? Need comments on consumables and reliability points. What about availability of upgrade parts?

On another note, if the purpose is for a dual duty, i.e. legally registered, what about insurance costs?
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Old 10-21-2009, 12:50 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 02bugeyeFTW View Post
Scottjua, on the note of the MX-5, I am speaking from experience. I don't know how a hard top would effect it, but my track built 99 mx-5, is just to short in the cabin. I'm 6'2 205, and with my helmet on, I hit the ceiling. So, I have to brave the cold if I want to do track days in the winter. I don't know if you being two inches shorter gives your clearance, but it's something to be considered.
Stock seat? I wonder what an aftermarket seat/rails would do. I know that they make aftermarket seat rails for the S2k that lower it substantially. Not to mention aftermarket seat possibilities.

I'll definitely be getting one of the two when I graduate and pick one up.
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Old 10-21-2009, 12:57 AM   #25
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The only car I would want to daily drive as much as 3-4 days a week out of that list is the Porsches. They seem to be about the best out there for double duty. I have no idea about how much they cost to run but surely there are cheaper mod options than Motons and $8k exhausts. haha
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