track car vs street/track car - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
 
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-22-2006, 07:50 AM Thread Starter
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track car vs street/track car

I have been thinking about this for a little while and thought i would try to get opinions from others here on ET.
I have an 05 Elise that is in excellent shape, has 1,200 miles on it. I bought it without ever even sitting in one. i saw it, and knew it was for me, which after driving and owning it, it IS just what I wanted. My issue is that I have an MR2 spyder which i am going to keep, i love the little car, and am comfortable taking it , and leaving it anywhere in town. The elise was purchased to drive, but really to use for HPDE days every chance I get also. I have not done an HPDE day yet, but roadraced motorcycles for 5 years, and track stuff is in my blood. i like the idea of running the track non-competitivley at this stage in my life as well. The spyder needed a rollbar, so that was not an option to use for track days(i didnt want to cut the car up). After driving the Elise around, i am finding that (IMO) this car was made to be run on a track. when I drive it in traffic, I feel like I am taking a racehorse out and "forcing it to be walked on a long leash", so to speak. i get allot of unwanted attention( yelled at/tailgated, etc) I also dont need tickets, as my drivers license is my livelyhood. This brings me to my want for input in reguards to this thread................http://www.elisetalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=13650
How safe is the Elise(sport package) running on the track as delivered to us by lotus? 3 point belts, etc......... I have been looking at cash outlay, and been thinking seriously about selling this car before i modify it, or run the track with it, and getting one of the lotus factory race built Elises that I see at HRM. http://www.lotusofgreenwich.com/sold...tus&carid=1201 they sell from about $46K-52K and have ALL the stuff for the track done and are ready to go. One concern is what is the resale market like on non streetlegal Lotus cars(Exige and Elise). the $2,500 i pay for plate and insurance /yr would go a long way for HPDE fun, and USAA offers a garage storage full coverage policy for me for only $6/month for the race car.
I see allot of concerns about safely mounting seats, harnesses etc..........., and think if I committed to using the car for track only, that the extra cost would offset the mods i would do to my streetcar, like ohlins shocks, seats, and all the good stuff i would want. I wont skimp on safety
what would the thoughts be from others. I have $42,000 into my car right now, and think i could get very near that for the condition it is in, so I would essentially be trading up to a more specific usage car, but do have concerns about resalability of the track only versions. I already have a trailer that would get the track car where it needs to go to run.
Josh

Last edited by fishguy; 04-22-2006 at 07:57 AM.
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-22-2006, 08:12 AM
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I know that many people do track days bone stock, both LSS and non-LSS packages...If safety is your #1 concern, from what I understand, a CG Lock will give you 90% of the benefit of a harness. If you're not interested in hard-core competitive racing, be it autocross or otherwise, the car as-is is more than capable of handling almost anything that anyone besides a near-professional can throw at it.

If you're concerned about cost, there's a few things that can improve the general demeanor of the car cheaply/for free, e.g. removing the front shims, I've found that going 28/28 front/rear PSI (as suggested by Stan) makes a pretty big difference, many people seem to be happy with the BWR roll bar, and even the "Touring" () shocks can be lowered to dramatically reduce roll as well.

Hope that helps!
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-22-2006, 08:56 AM
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The CG lock is NOT a safety device and should not be used to replace a harness!!!

Josh if you want a track car only, I'd highly suggest getting one of the S1 Exiges that HRM has. Beautiful and rare car... it would be the talk of the town around here
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-22-2006, 08:59 AM Thread Starter
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Cg lock just came in yesterday, shims already removed, same line of thinking as you suggest Irish........... what is the bwr bar? does the sport package have adjustable ride hieght on it? I am not having any dreams of competition in the car, that said i just want to run the tracks(safely) at my own comfort zone. My last season roadracing i won all thre of the classes i participated in for the season, so been there done that, and have the damge to my body for a lifetime to "remind" me what competition can do to sound judgement and good intentions. as it is the car is hard (for me) to drive within the limits set by the law, i KNOW once i have tracked it, this will be 100x harder to drive within the legal guidlines. Once I raced the motorcycles, i never rode on the street again.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-22-2006, 10:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishguyAZ
Cg lock just came in yesterday, shims already removed, same line of thinking as you suggest Irish........... what is the bwr bar? does the sport package have adjustable ride hieght on it? I am not having any dreams of competition in the car, that said i just want to run the tracks(safely) at my own comfort zone. My last season roadracing i won all thre of the classes i participated in for the season, so been there done that, and have the damge to my body for a lifetime to "remind" me what competition can do to sound judgement and good intentions. as it is the car is hard (for me) to drive within the limits set by the law, i KNOW once i have tracked it, this will be 100x harder to drive within the legal guidlines. Once I raced the motorcycles, i never rode on the street again.
HAHA!! You have no will power.. thats awsome..
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-22-2006, 10:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bane
The CG lock is NOT a safety device and should not be used to replace a harness!!!

....Well, I sure look dumb.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-22-2006, 10:58 AM
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fishguy, I run my elise at sebring,moroso and homestead as much as I can.

many people have ruined a perfectly good street car modifing it to be a track car, the elise is a fine track car out of the box, that is why alot of us bought it. I think u will find it is very capable the way it is, as far as saftey that as you know comes down to your maturity on the track, if it is not competition but hpdes at 80-85% get a harness, and track wheels and tires, and tech your car and you will be fine. The roll cage and other saftey items should be available soon for our cars if you want to increase saftey. I would strongly sugguest a hard top if you do not have one.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-22-2006, 11:03 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irishfan04
....Well, I sure look dumb.
No irish your not dumb, and I agree with the CG lock idea. its not a substitue for a harness, i dont think anything is a substitue for a harness(installed correctly) but there is no substitute for being "able" to drive your car because you are not flying around in the cockpit, and trying to stay in your seat. I think the CG will go along way as a "preventitive " safety device to start with, which is why I bought it. again, what is the BWR bar?
Josh
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-22-2006, 11:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MitchT
fishguy, I run my elise at sebring,moroso and homestead as much as I can.

many people have ruined a perfectly good street car modifing it...
... SNIP...
...if you want to increase saftey. I would strongly sugguest a hard top if you do not have one.
Are you suggesting the hardtop increases safety? If so, how? ... or is a hard top an advantage in other ways?
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-22-2006, 11:12 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MitchT
fishguy, I run my elise at sebring,moroso and homestead as much as I can.

many people have ruined a perfectly good street car modifing it to be a track car, the elise is a fine track car out of the box, that is why alot of us bought it. I think u will find it is very capable the way it is, as far as saftey that as you know comes down to your maturity on the track, if it is not competition but hpdes at 80-85% get a harness, and track wheels and tires, and tech your car and you will be fine. The roll cage and other saftey items should be available soon for our cars if you want to increase saftey. I would strongly sugguest a hard top if you do not have one.
Mitch , thanks for the reply. i have the sport package, that should cover wheels and tires (right?). all the reading about harnesses has left me sure of what to get, then clueless all over again. I have the hardtop, but which harness specifically would you recommend to install , without modifying my car(much) I know i need a harness bar, and maybe new seat for the driver? I am not interested in drilling holes in the car, or my stock seat.......... is there a good solution for my needs? Also why do you recommend the hardtop for the track. i was leaning towards getting a bell GTX helmet for open top racing, and going "topless". does the hardtop provide safety, or just better aerodynamics? I also want to get a hans device, I guess there are harnesses that are/are not compatible with the hans? i would love to be educated before buying all my stuff and throwing down a wad of cash.
thanks in advance for further info.
Josh
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-22-2006, 12:35 PM
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fish,
1. some clubs require the top and or helment to be below the roll hoop.
2. the top will help keep your arms in the car,3. two open car death recently occured one in nasa and one I think in scca in open cars where the driver was hit by debris entering the car. I would wait on the harness until lotus releases the factory parts soon. There system is designed to work with the factory roll hoop and is tested by their staff, also FIA approved I understand. if you want more saftey I am currently working on a package to do the full cage with a reputable shop but do not have full details yet, but, the idea is to improve saftey at a good price for us track guys. I think in the next few weeks some of the questions will be resolved.

Last edited by MitchT; 04-22-2006 at 12:38 PM.
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-22-2006, 01:33 PM
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Hey Fishguy,
Take a look at this car I just posted........ http://www.lotusofgreenwich.com/cars...0&subcat=track
I will be at the track tomorrow and Monday but back in the office on Tuesday. Please call me and I'd be glad to go over pros and cons of a track only car. I would also be glad to help you with set up if you decide to keep your car and make it more track safe and better suited for that use.......... I can be reached on Tuesday at 914 939-7200............

Good judgement is based upon experience. Experience is based upon BAD JUDGEMENT!!!

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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-22-2006, 01:50 PM
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http://www.blackwatchracing.com/shop...at=ELISE+PARTS

The adjustable anti-roll bar...I don't personally have experience with it, but I've heard nothing but good things.
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-23-2006, 11:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irishfan04
....Well, I sure look dumb.
Sorry man didn't mean to come off as aggresive... just had to make that clear. The CG lock is more a "driver comfort" thing versus a real safety device. Fishguy has ridden in my car with the CG lock and apparently liked it

This car =

http://www.lotusofgreenwich.com/cars...s&subcat=track
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-23-2006, 12:19 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bane
Sorry man didn't mean to come off as aggresive... just had to make that clear. The CG lock is more a "driver comfort" thing versus a real safety device. Fishguy has ridden in my car with the CG lock and apparently liked it

This car =

http://www.lotusofgreenwich.com/cars...s&subcat=track
Bane,
truth is I didnt even know there was a CG lock on the belt i had on in your car. i was grabbing the seat bottom till my knuckles were white, and laughing histerically loud(not that you could have heard). i had fun on both runs, and you drove really smoothly and fast. i am NEVER the passenger in any cars i am in, and suddenly being one on the AX course was different for me. i had a blast with you, and will admit once you amazed me making the corner when i thought .............."no way were going to make this turn." the man(bane) can drive..........
yes, that link is the one i keep looking at and thinking about also as a track only car. i really prefer the 2 in the HRM section of previosly sold cars that are the factory prepped elises(the red one and yellow one are super nice) i am not sure if i would want the rover k engine, only because I am not a (pro)mechanic, and do like the idea of the Engine we have in our elise being used, as there much info on this site about them, and also a dealership that works with that engine all the time in phoenix. I am going to contact mark starr this week, and talk with him.
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post #16 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-23-2006, 12:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bane
Sorry man didn't mean to come off as aggresive... just had to make that clear. The CG lock is more a "driver comfort" thing versus a real safety device. Fishguy has ridden in my car with the CG lock and apparently liked it

This car =

http://www.lotusofgreenwich.com/cars...s&subcat=track

Not at all, seriously, I thought that that was what it was for!

Good thing I haven't done a track day yet!
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post #17 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-23-2006, 12:33 PM
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In regards to the CG Lock, I know that it can't be marketed as a safety device. But, I have seen the crash test dummy video showing a dummy in regular shoulder belt and one with the CG Lock on the same belt/seat. The CG Lock dummy stayed planted in the crash. The other one flopped around a lot more.

No, it is not a harness. No, it is not a safety device. But for the price, it works very well. And you are supporting a good friend of mine when you buy it. The guy who owns the CG Lock company is a great guy and we have been happy to help him out and display the lock at SEMA for him.

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post #18 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-27-2006, 03:07 AM
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After reading this thread for the first time, it is really all over the place, and I want to stray back to the original issue. I also bought my Elise to replace an MR2 Spyder, so that I could do HPDEs. I immediately became addicted to HPDEs, and the moddifying began! QS exhaust (loud as hell at cruising speeds), 4-point harnesses, then 6-point harnesses, which meant I had to cut holes in the original seats (anti-sub). Then a HANS device, which meant I had to cut more holes in the seats(shoulder slots)! Track pads, which are noisy and dusty. HnT pad. Spare wheels and tires. You get the drift.

Slowly, my car has become less and less civilized, and it is at the point where I haven't driven it on the street except for going to and from HPDEs. The fact that I can "arrive and drive" to a track, without the cost of a trailer and tow vehicle is great. But now I'm driving a delicate (in terms of clams vs. tire walls) $50k car on the track. I feel absolutely safe, but it's only a matter of time until we all have our first track incident. Do I want to do it in my Elise, or in a dedicated racecar that I don't mind banging up?

So now I'm thinking about buying a racecar and trailer (probably a BMW E36 M3, which can be had fully race-prepped for under $20k). If I stuff it into a wall, I tow it home and throw on a new fender and bumper. That same incdent in an Elise, and it's $20k. We all want a dual-purpose car that can go on the street or the track. The Elise is absolutely the closest thing to that, but there will still be compromises on both ends. Max

Racing Green w/yellow stripes, Hardtop, black touring, Starshield, SSR wheels w/ Yoko A048's, Quicksilver exhaust, 4tress harness bar, Schroth 6-point harnesses, dual oil coolers

Last edited by maxxfish; 04-27-2006 at 03:09 AM.
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post #19 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-27-2006, 03:39 AM
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Max, have you considered anything like a FF or FC? I figure that within a couple of years I'll be in the same place you are, but I think I'd want something as lively or more lively than the elise, and a formula car or sports racer would seem to be the way to go. Used ones don't seem to expensive, and at least you don't seem likely to mangle body panels on a formula car (suspension might be another matter. )
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post #20 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-27-2006, 10:21 AM
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If you hit a wall in a used M3 it will like be totalled; beyond a simple fender bender (which I rarely see; it's usually much worse if you hit something), the cost is quite high to fix a bent M3.

Clearly, you can total a couple of M3s before you get to the same replacement cost of an Elise, but really, you shouldn't be thinking "it's better to hit the wall in an M3 vs. an Elise". Don't hit things. The Elise is 10x funner to drive than an M3... I couldn't make that trade off.

Plus, you can get an Elise for mid-30's now.

Pete
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