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Discussion Starter #1
Anyone thought of selling and moving to full time race car like DSR or Formula car class?
I have built basically a perfect track day car with the help of this forum and the great vendors like primary BOE and Sector 111. I am at the point that no matter the car club track event type of cars I am the fastest in group one to the point of lapping the other cars in group one. I have not run my Elise in any races basically the car perfect and don't want to ball it up.

I am starting to think about moving to DSR or a Formula car/class and try some race events and possibly selling my car

But before I get to much into this has anyone else switch from Lotus to something like DSR, FF, FS, F1000, FC class racing? Kind of looking into what the pro and cons are if I make this change or stay with what I have.

My goal would not be winning any championships just take part in the events runing some events at tracks within 300 miles of me (Waterford Hills is 15 minutes from me and Grattan-Gingerman-Mid Ohio 2-3 hour)

I have a dedicated trailer custom built for Elise or smaller car and about as much tools as I can get already. I have enjoyed working and setting up a car as much as driving.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Picture of my 2005 Elise also has side skirts now not in picture
 

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You might try racing the Lotus in TT/Time Attack first. I recently did a checkout ride for a fella local who was in your boat. Always the fastest cat at the local DE... I put a transponder on the car so that I could grd him correctly should he pass my checkout ride.

After the ride, I compiled my thoughts and looked at his time. I came back to him and said, "Congrats. Welcome to TT and welcome to the middle of the pack" :) I said it jest, but it was true. Once you get into a timed series of any kind, the driving steps up significantly and it can be quite humbling!

Cheers,

Phil
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks Phil, I know for sure it’s my car set up and not my driving skill :eek: on why I am passing all in local DE. Your guys (BOE power and Sector 111 suspension/Aero) just make too good of upgrades.:bow:

Do you have a site I can check out TT/Time Attack? Where when how to get started kind of stuff.

I am normally in the 1:16.2 – 1:17.3 at Waterford Hills. I don't have a much track days at Grattan but in the low 1:27 lap times at Grattan

The local DE events are still fun, I guess I am ready to be humbled now :)
 

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Absolute power does what?
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Subscribed - as I'm getting to the same point. While I hope to keep my Exige for life I do plan on getting something I can go wheel-to-wheel with (already plan to TT the car next season). Personally I'm looking at a Formula Ford as I want to go to something *different*. I've driven lots of fast street cars and none of them (even full race cars) are as much fun as my car. So if I'm gonna go race I want to experience something totally different.

That said I've never been in a Formula car so maybe I'm just asking for trouble!
 

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www.theapexinn.com
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I am normally in the 1:16.2 – 1:17.3 at Waterford Hills.
Wow....what more would you want ?? 1:22 is my best at WHRRC.
 

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BUT, I've thought about getting rid of the Elise for an Atom or Radical.
 

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Moving into wheel to wheel competition from track days is like night and day. Totally different! Not saying it can't be done or your driving skills are not on par, it's just not the same. You've got two types of drivers, one with a large budget and one who does not. Hopefully you're not the latter. Reason this is an important matter is that the guy with a big budget won't think twice about turning in on you when going into a corner! Unfortunately its not the best driver who wins it's the one with the most money, because when you're out there looking at damage versus your budget, the other guy (big budget) is climbing into his backup! This is the truth, and if you're ok with it I wish you the best of luck!


Sent from my Autoguide iPhone app
 

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I've done the opposite of what you are asking -- many years of Formula Ford and Formula Continental both SCCA and pro-series in the US, and Vauxhall Supersports in the UK. Now, in my old age with less disposable income, I have an Exige for track days and pleasure cruising.

It is important to be clear to yourself and potential advisors regarding what you hope to get from road racing or TT that track days aren't giving you. Is it faster lap times, wheel-to-wheel dicing, spend more money/time, more risk/danger? Decide what you want to experience and how much you are willing to spend and then talk to current participants in the possible classes/events. Success and small budget (relative to other competitors) in road racing generally are mutually exclusive.

I would say that FF has about the best speed/$ ratio, but grid size is way down nowadays (I remember two qualifying groups at Road America because of 130 FF entries in the 1970's). FC is significantly quicker but so are the $$. DSR is super cool and fast (Stohr/West) but also probably another level of $$ over FC.

Don't overlook the fact that you and your Lotus can enter multiple types of events -- track days, TT, and Solo2/autocross.

Good Luck,
Bob L
 

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Given how expensive our cars are to repair, I think you have the right idea.

Nothing quite like an open wheeled race car.

I know ppl that have sunk tens of thousands of dollars in their Lotus cars just to do DEs.

To me, pointless unless you are at 10/10 pretty much everywhere.

Some of those cars are towed to track, so FF makes much much more sense to me.

2 cents.
 

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I have the same story as Formulabob, cars and bikes, basically.

My 0.02

If you want to race then race. It is $ and a lot of work for a small amount of driving time. An FF is a great experience as far as handling and cheap speed.

You could get a fast lap time car like an FF and do track events for the thrill if you don't want the wheel to wheel risks. Open wheel driving is a more "pure" experience, but accidents are more risky with less around you. Go carts are even more intense and can fit in the back of a pick up truck.

The Lotus handles with race car characteristics, just not the higher speeds. It is cheaper to run. Negatively, which you know, if you wreck it is likely to cost a lot of $. A spec Miata is about the same lap times as a N/A Elise, but cheaper to run and trash. Best $ to fun ratio. Could do everything with one in theory.

Try what you want to do, life is experience. :)
 

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Too bad there isn't LotusCupUSA in MI - that would be your answer. They have TT and W2W. You have to ask yourself what you want out of tracking - improve skills, competition, speed, fastest car?
We all start with DE's but they get boring after a while. I progressed to TT and now W2W in LotusCup. True there is nothing like W2W, but as mentioned, you need a budget and have to be prepared for the cost of wadding up your car.
I did SCCA for a short time in an SRF, and if you want to become a good driver, buy a low HP momentum car like a miata or SRF and learn to drive.
Everyone is addicted to high speed cars, but a DSR and the like are expensive to buy and maintain and you have to be a good driver to reap the true potential of these cars.
 

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dsr, fastest class in scca

jumping to dsr is a huge step. its very expensive to run up front. I build the chassis for west race cars. been around dsr sense 06 when west split from stohr. there are some less expensive cars out there. At the run offs this year. level 5 and scott tucker are moving the bar big time. they have 2 complete cars with turbo power and the full ALMS pit setup. testing starts Thursday. Look for some wicked fast times.

west wx10 on the grid for the 09 run offs
hyabusa header ec.lotus front grill 095.jpg
 

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You should talk to V2 Motorsports in Sterling Heights, they do DSR and Lotus....and other stuff too. I am sure they can help with tons of hands-on experience in all fields. I would love a DSR some day if I can find the time and $ to commit to it. Let me know what your future plans are since we are not too far apart
 

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First, figure out your budget. Rule of thumb, car cost x2 to run a season. You are going to crash. It is a tool so don't be in love with it. I prefer spec cars as you just add development costs to the already significant prep, maintenance, repair, setup, tire, travel and entry fee costs. I bet Tucker is throwing way into 6 figures for his DSR National Champ bid, you have that kind of budget?

I suggest you get a comp license and rent a few races and see what you think. I personally race primarily SRF and SM. I might consider GT2 in a Cup Car with a very abbreviated schedule

I also bought a Radical SR8 and it is beyond belief. But I won't race it very often. It is mostly a track car. Remember the 2x rule for racing. I am not joking.
 

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amber and serena run SRF.. not FF.

for sports racers, i would recommend the same SRF to start out in. for formula cars i would recommend FF.

rather than get into trying to convert my elise into a race prepped car... i opted to keep it street and buy a real race car. (i have Zink z10) that is a mid 70's "club ford'

there are a number of reason i went this route....
i didn't want to get into bumper car racing, because i like old vintage cars, not modern stuff so much. with the decision to get an "old" race car and do historic events (not SCCA) that made formula cars far more attractive. the old folks tend to try to NOT tangle wheels.

if you want modern FF, SCCA is route - i would check into your region to determine in vintage or modern has the best "attendance" and FF only races. (we DO here in socal) apexspeed.com is your goto online community for such info

another reason i went FF is i wanted to learn about the technical side of real race cars. how to drive a hewland, open wheel set up etc... i also wanted to spend my time learning how to drive with mechanical grip, and didn't want a wing car - so again, FF

you could opt to do less expensive formula vee... but, (while awesome an class and tons of fun and great people) they are are much cheaper because because, well... they are very cost compromised and not really full on real race cars in a post war sense... (nothing wrong with that btw!)

FF is awesome! just complicated enough cars to keep you technically busy but not overwhelmed... very much a drivers class - essentially its a "spec" class. (even though every manufacturer is a bespoke chassis, suspension, bodywork.) engine is spec, no aero, tires are spec, brakes and dampers while 'open' are limited to 'a' spec. etc...

all you need to do is decide what class of FF fits your desires...

SRF is a great option, and that would be scca. no harm in considering spec miata as well.


https://vimeo.com/44714056 - some track footage here... mostly i like to post my bad driving! hahahaha
 

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In regards to racing a Lotus.....

Subscribed - as I'm getting to the same point. While I hope to keep my Exige for life I do plan on getting something I can go wheel-to-wheel with (already plan to TT the car next season). Personally I'm looking at a Formula Ford as I want to go to something *different*. I've driven lots of fast street cars and none of them (even full race cars) are as much fun as my car. So if I'm gonna go race I want to experience something totally different.

That said I've never been in a Formula car so maybe I'm just asking for trouble!
Go the the NASA racing website and hit up your local TT director. I'm the TT director for our region in case you ever venture out to KS again, Ross:)

to the OP, et al:

IMO!

TT or TA is what Lotus cars are made for... With bodies and frame so fragile, W2W with anything other than other Lotus cars is pretty insane. A 3,000lb + car bumping into a Lotus makes pretty short work of our little Liz's...

That said, be PREPARED for big $$ when compared to DE... When you start to really push the envelope, everything breaks. I mean everything. Tranny, cooling, suspension, engine. It all gets taxed MUCH harder than even the most aggressive DE'er. To that end, to be competitive, you'll be best friends with the local tire rep. Tires, Tires, Tires, Tires... At DE level, you'll "put up" with some heat-cycled tires that "might" be getting a little loose (let alone really loose!). When the clock is running, putting up with slightly loose tires ain't part of the deal. I take two sets of tires with me to every race. After 4-6 cycles, they're done--- if that, BTW! I race 1-2 times a month and pepper in an occasional DE for setup changes. THe wear and tear is ridiculous. After doing this for a while, you'll sort out what oils, maintenance, etc to do to keep things together and that makes a BIG difference. But there's still the catastrophic items.... and did I mention the tires? :D... Let's not forget about 10-12$/gal fuel, transporting the car to various tracks on the circuit and hotel... Also the wine and food in the evenings...

Despite all that, wouldn't trade it!!!!!

Cheers,

Phil
 
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