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Last Post 02 Feb 2001 09:37 AM by  7racing
Getting started
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Janny
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25 Jan 2001 03:25 PM
    Hi all:

    I am considering the notion of taking my old 1984 GTI off the road soon, and going racing with it. Maybe not this coming year, but soon. I am a big fan of auto racing, and I have come to the point where I am no longer content to sit in the stands and watch the big boys play. I have a lot of questions, many that I can't even formulate in a coherent way, but let me get started with this:

    A friend who has considerable knowledge about these things suggested that with my 84 GTI, I would be in ITB class, I suspect he is probably correct, if not let me know. In any case, what I want to know, is wether or not there is a place for a 40+ year old man with a ~20 year old car in this form of racing.

    Bottom line, I don't really care if I win races, I just want the experience of driving competitively and learning about driving competitively. Would I be the rolling chicane that annoys the hell out of everyone with my presence?

    I would also like to know what sort of changes I would have ot make to the car to go racing. Can I use a stock clutch, stock brakes, etc. Are there people that go racing with these things in basically stock form?

    Am I in the right place?

    TTYL
    Janny
    jvriesin@tct.net

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    dplore
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    25 Jan 2001 04:38 PM
    I would say you're in the right place.
    Many of the road race competitors are
    around your age and have a similar attitude.
    Particularly in regional races, most are
    out there to have fun. A few are out to
    win no matter what.

    -Darren


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    -Darren Loher
    SCCAForums Image
    ILenhart
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    25 Jan 2001 08:26 PM
    Do not worry about being a rolling chicane. At the regional level of competition, there are many drivers starting out just like you. Speed will come with experience and car prep. The main objective for any amatuer road racer should be to go out onto the track and have fun and improve your driving.
    As far as the topic of converting your GTI to an ITB car, I have a few interesting points you should consider. Presently the market is full of relatively inexpensive ITB Volkswagens (see my posting below, "why can't I give away my ITB Rabbit") ready to race, or near ready, for your first Drivers School. The reason I bring this up is because it is cheaper and you will experience fewer head aches by buy a race ready car then put hundreds of man hours and thousands of dollars into buying all the parts you need to build your street car. If your heart is set in building up the GTI you presently own, good luck and I hope to see you out on the track.
    Feel free to email me with any questions on building or buying an ITB Volkswagen.
    Ian Lenhart email:lenhart06@yahoo.com
    Scott Malbon
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    26 Jan 2001 02:42 AM
    You sound like a grassroots racer to me. Another suggestion is to participate in a few 'high performance driving schools' like Car Guys. You can get on track with your current car and get good basic instruction on driving technique. (Also, you will then be completely hooked.) Then find out who sanctions races in your area. Attend a few races and get a copy of their rule book. There is a lot to learn and every step is a blast.

    Scott
    Dave Ebersole
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    26 Jan 2001 09:34 AM
    Janny, I did the same thing last year in a '76 BMW 2002 in ITB. I'm 45, by the way. You may want to consider the advice of some earlier posts and look for a car that's already built. Otherwise, go for it. I ran 8 races in my rookie season and had a blast. I can't wait til this season starts.
    Dave
    David Dewhurst
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    26 Jan 2001 11:59 AM
    Janny, none of us are geting any younger and we all need to fulfill our needs.

    Short story: in 1991 at 49 years of age I started racing Karts (100 cc Yamaha)for the first time in my life. Lots of laughs from others as in "Where does the old man think he is going". Enought said, in 1992 half way through the 18 date race season 3-4 of my class mates (16 to 30 years old) approached me & stated they were racing for 2nd place because if i did not break there was no way they could beat me. 12 to 15 Karts in the class each Sunday.

    Year 2000 was my first year to race a car and I totaly enjoyed every lap. SCCA Spec-7, limited prep 1981 through 1985 Mazda RX-7. I have no intentions of boasting about my abilities with this car but I sure do enjoy each learning lap and all the folks are great.

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    David Dewhurst
    CenDiv, Milwaukee Region
    Spec-7 #14
    Janny
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    26 Jan 2001 12:26 PM
    Hey:

    It sounds like I am in the right spot!

    The reason I want to hold off for a bit is because I just sent 2 boys off to University this year. Nuff said I'm sure.

    The main reason I am considering building up my own VW is because this car is still my daily driver, during the bad weather seasons. I figure I can take the next 1 1/2 year to get it in some sort of shape to go racing.

    I presently own a 1995 Z28, that I bought with the intention of doing some racing, but I've found that it is very expensive to repair, and what is more, this car is the car I always dreamed of owning when I was a kid, so I really don't have any desire to smash, or hurt it.

    I have taken the Z on a few track adventures, and MAN it was FUN. But, I want more fun, hence the notion of racing the beater.

    I also did take a driving course at the Russell school a few years back. That was a real gas too.

    Anyway, I'm rambling mindlessly, here. I do appreciate the advice re buying a race ready car. It is probably the cheapest route by far, but it just won't work for me right now, so I ask: What is the bare minimum that must be done to the car I have to make it ready to go play.

    I figured the interior would have to go, a roll bar added, some good race tires, but then what?



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    TTYL
    Janny
    Silkworm
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    27 Jan 2001 12:48 AM
    Janny,

    Seriously, please strongly consider their advice about buying a prepped car, I'm already a year into my project, with at least another 6 months to go before it'll even run, and thousands of dollars in that would have bought me a prepped ITS car (ironically the same car that won the SFR ITS regional championship)

    Then look for 6 more months of fine tuning and sorting to get the car remotely as fast as the field is. Buy the car from someone who has already gone through this, you're paying pennies on the dollar for the equipment alone, the expertise in setting it up is a bonus.

    Regards,

    PaulC


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    99 Bright Red Trans Am, M6, not stock
    88 Mazda RX-7, PS-1/ITS racecar, construction underway
    87 GMC Suburban, 454, tow vehicle
    Check out my website: [url="http://www.lcaf.com"]http://www.lcaf.com[/URL]
    Come see pictures of Pro/Club Racers/Open trackers at NorCal tracks: [url="http://www.headonphotos.com"]http://www.headonphotos.com[/URL]
    Janny
    New Member
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    27 Jan 2001 10:47 AM
    Paul and others:

    YOu guys are probably right. I shall probably have to give the idea a re-think. I can't see much sense in spending more to fix what I have, than buying a ready made car.

    Thaks for the advice guys.



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    TTYL
    Janny
    ITA-MR2
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    29 Jan 2001 07:16 PM
    Janny,

    Buy, don't build. If you want to get the maximum benefit from your car, sell it and put the money toward an already built car. There are several IT cars in the "for sale" section that you can probably buy for what you sell your car for plus the cost of a cage! You really can buy a sorted car for less than the cost of the parts that are on it - never mind the price of the original car.

    I was all set to build a Toyota FX16 GT-S from one I had. I found a MR2 with all the right go-fast goodies on it already, for less than the price of the goodies alone, and sold the FX for half of what I paid for the MR2. That doesn't even take into acocunt the hours of labor I saved.

    And, yes, I've built one from scratch, too. That car is still around, and is one of the ones that is for sale (2 owners later).

    Cheers,
    Norm
    FASTNBLU
    New Member
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    01 Feb 2001 09:53 PM
    where were you guys last year?

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    DARYL
    BRIGHTWELL
    PRO-7 #90
    CSCC SCCA
    7racing
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    02 Feb 2001 09:37 AM
    Janny,

    If you do decide to build, do it in stages. To get to the driver's school, the car needs to be safe. Get a good cage, seat, belts, etc. Make sure the car will make it for the weekend (bearings, brakes, radiator, clutch, etc). It sounds like you don't care too much about being competitive, and at a school you don't need to be. You don't need the high dollar tires (buy some used Yok's from some Spec Racer guys, hell, they may even give them to you).

    You can get on the track fairly easily. Going fast is where the big money comes from. When I did my school, and for the first year, I did the safety stuff, and brakes. That's it. My biggest concern was making the car stop and if it didn't, I wanted to make sure I could survive the impact.

    Whatever you decide to do, good luck. Remember, everyone at the bar says they can race, you are actually going to do it. It doesn't matter if you win or lose, just that you are out there. Everything else is second.



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    Jeremy Sheppard
    ITA Mazda RX7
    New England Region, SCCA
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