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I don't start threads very often, but in the wake of all this safety talk, I will share my latest musing on the subject...

I think I am going to retire the lotus as a track day car. Basically, in order to feel safe on the track, i would have to spend $5-6k, and then I really can't drive it on the street. And it still wouldn't be as safe as a racecar, and a lot more expensive.

The reality is that HPDE's and open track days do become somewhat boring after awhile, just like doing tennis drills, or driving golf balls can be. Time trials probably increase the fun factor a bit, but eventually wheel to wheel competition is the most satisfying. In addition, driving skills can take a big jump when presented with another car next to you on the track, hopefully.

For most of us, the lotus just doesn't work here. It's too fragile and expensive. And possibly unsafe. And I beginning to agree with the sentiment that open track days are no less dangerous, particularly in our hybrid street/track cars.

So, currently, my next move is switching to cheaper street tires so maybe I can enjoy the lotus's handling on the streets a little more, without all the grip from the r-compounds, and then I am really considering the Jim Hall Karting school and race series. But is that safe? Maybe racing batman's Tumber. No that was just a joke...

I just feel like my driving skills have plateaued, even though they aren't that good yet, and maybe competition will improve things. But I have to feel safe, and all of these safety threads have convinced me that I am not in the lotus.
 

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I have struggled with this, too. I decided that getting a dedicated race car is the way to go and save the Lotus for street driving. Consider:

1. Wrecking your ~ $50k Lotus on a track. Unless you have very expensive track insurance, you're hosed. A $10k beater for the track? I wouldn't bother insuring it.

2. Making a Lotus safe for the track seems dodgy to me. Getting a full on race Miata, with a cage and a proper harness and seat setup is much more well understood.
 

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I absolutely understand where your coming from and I think wheel to wheel racing will be in my future someday.

But...
Karting as an alternative to making your Lotus safe? :huh:
I'd love to kart, don't get me wrong but blazing around at 70 mph without so much as a seat belt doesn't seem like a viable alternative. I think I'd either get a dedicated, true race car or just enroll in a Skip Barber racing series.
 

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Same here! I've been looking hard at spec racer ford... relatively low cost, arrive and drive options, track day friendly, competitive based on driver skill not $$$, full race protection, big field, regional and national series... lots of pros.


Talk to Steve Levin... he is a wealth of info on SRF!
 

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So I am with you on this one. I have the same sentiment.

In fact, I already am running the base suspension and AD07's for the street and am signed up for Day 2 of Jim Hall this Sunday. I plan on doing the arrive and drive series starting in September.
 

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Same here! I've been looking hard at spec racer ford... relatively low cost, arrive and drive options, track day friendly, competitive based on driver skill not $$$, full race protection, big field, regional and national series... lots of pros.


Talk to Steve Levin... he is a wealth of info on SRF!
+1
 

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How about keeping your street tires and throwing in a little autocross? So you don't have to give up all of your 'performance driving fun'?

That is what my wife and I plan to do, with a few laps around a track few and far between.
 

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My observations of many Lotus owners.
1. Many unexperienced drivers with a lot of money that think you can buy fast. WRONG
2. Car is so awesome, you should truly be able to drive a base model at the limit before upgrading. Too much tire can get you in a lot of trouble before you even know it!! The only thing stiffer struts, sways, bushings etc do is make an ultra precise vehicle even more difficult at the limit unless your skills also improve. (Go to a racing school)
3. HPDE is just that. Drive at 95+% and bring it home.
4. Lotus is at its fastest in corners which is precisely where the most skill is needed. Driver's need to check their egos at the door far more often in a Lotus.
5. As far as racing costs, you just got back to how fast do you want to buy?
ex. I can knock out 63-65 second laps all day in my STI depending on use of DotR's or slicks and have a little extra in reserve. Dipping below 65's in my Elise requires complete committment and focus!!!! It is far more rewarding when it all comes together just right but getting it wrong produces far more pucker than in my STi. That being said, I can only keep one and it will be the Lotus, because its the coolest car on the planet esp for the price!!! Besides a 65 second lap in the Lotus is far more exhilerating than a 63 second lap in my STi!!-eek-
 

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I don't start threads very often, but in the wake of all this safety talk, I will share my latest musing on the subject...

I think I am going to retire the lotus as a track day car. Basically, in order to feel safe on the track, i would have to spend $5-6k, and then I really can't drive it on the street. And it still wouldn't be as safe as a racecar, and a lot more expensive.

The reality is that HPDE's and open track days do become somewhat boring after awhile, just like doing tennis drills, or driving golf balls can be. Time trials probably increase the fun factor a bit, but eventually wheel to wheel competition is the most satisfying. In addition, driving skills can take a big jump when presented with another car next to you on the track, hopefully.

For most of us, the lotus just doesn't work here. It's too fragile and expensive. And possibly unsafe. And I beginning to agree with the sentiment that open track days are no less dangerous, particularly in our hybrid street/track cars.

So, currently, my next move is switching to cheaper street tires so maybe I can enjoy the lotus's handling on the streets a little more, without all the grip from the r-compounds, and then I am really considering the Jim Hall Karting school and race series. But is that safe? Maybe racing batman's Tumber. No that was just a joke...

I just feel like my driving skills have plateaued, even though they aren't that good yet, and maybe competition will improve things. But I have to feel safe, and all of these safety threads have convinced me that I am not in the lotus.
Jim Hall's Karting school in Oxnard is the BEST.

Fast, fun, and a great place to train for racing or just plain race.

I've been many times and yes, it is safe. :D

For costs and info: Jim Hall Kart Racing School
 

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I am reaching the same conclusion about my Lotus. It is one of the best street cars you can put on the track, but it is too expensive for me to keep as a dedicated track car. After a close call at last weekend's DE I am thinking about other options for the track. Spec E30 looks like a much cheaper option than risking a (all too easy) total loss on the Elise.

Or maybe I have just been reading too many of Fish Guy's posts. :wallbang:
 

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I fly a 20 Million dollar jet with President and vice presidents on it in bad weather; snow & ice covered runways etc...... IF I took the time to think about it, I'd panic :panic: .......some things you just don't think about........you just DO it.
 
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