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      08-15-2019, 01:50 PM   #1
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Question Budgeting considerations & planning for dedicated track car

I've always wanted to make the move to a dedicated track car so I can finally get away from beating up my street car. It's always a challenge to try and find stuff that's streetable but also trackable. The C7 has been an amazing dual-purpose vehicle but it's probably too nice to be turned into a track car.

I'm thinking that within the next few years I want to get a dedicated track car and just relegate myself to a more mundane DD, possibly even a truck so I could tow the car if I want to. Obviously an E90/E92 M3 would be very high on my list of possible cars but I really don't know the first thing about picking such a vehicle.

Can we discuss some of the budgeting considerations for an E90/E92 M3 track car? My new coach/instructor was talking about the cost of repairs resulting from offs, like bumpers and radiators. That's not even something that had occurred to me. I generally just think of basic consumables like tires, brakes, gas along with the entry fees.
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      08-15-2019, 02:26 PM   #2
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I’m in to follow the comments, but I will say, I feel like most of the track e9x M3’s out there have taken some serious abuse and keep going. So I wouldn’t be scared of much beyond consumables, rod bearings, etc. I’ll let others chime in on their experiences, but of course getting the car fully track-prepped is a whole separate budget discussion.
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      08-15-2019, 02:49 PM   #3
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Personally I would keep tracking the GS.

I've 'dedicated' cars to the track but they have always been road legal and have been driven to and from the track. Right now I have two, the E90 and the F80 CS, but both have like 5 mods each and are still pretty damn fast.

Basically, if you have a decent suspension, BBK and race seats with 6 points that is a serious weapon even with a E9X, forget about a GS which is faster.

It's just an opinion but people lose themselves a bit building truly dedicated cars which are black holes of money and which can never be resold (giving them away when you're done with them doesn't really count) and that are not faster than the street cars due to infinite setup issues. It's like building a frankenstein.

There seems to be a lot of focus on lightweight, aero, solid everything, etc. Yet the cars that are all built up are seldom fast unless the driver is very, very fast themselves. In which case they'd be like 3 seconds slower with a streetable track build...
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      08-15-2019, 02:55 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SYT_Shadow View Post
Personally I would keep tracking the GS.

I've 'dedicated' cars to the track but they have always been road legal and have been driven to and from the track. Right now I have two, the E90 and the F80 CS, but both have like 5 mods each and are still pretty damn fast.

Basically, if you have a decent suspension, BBK and race seats with 6 points that is a serious weapon even with a E9X, forget about a GS which is faster.

It's just an opinion but people lose themselves a bit building truly dedicated cars which are black holes of money and which can never be resold (giving them away when you're done with them doesn't really count) and that are not faster than the street cars due to infinite setup issues. It's like building a frankenstein.

There seems to be a lot of focus on lightweight, aero, solid everything, etc. Yet the cars that are all built up are seldom fast unless the driver is very, very fast themselves. In which case they'd be like 3 seconds slower with a streetable track build...

You make a good point: setting limits and defining how far down that rabbit hole you want to go. The way I see it, I just want something with basic track upgrades. I don't plan on totally gutting and stripping it, but I'm not really that worried about how streetable it is.

I feel like the setup you described will make something quite formidable and enjoyable without being absurd: BBK, wheels, seat + harnesses, suspension, maybe some extra cooling. Stock motor.

But what sort of ancillary costs do I need to consider as far as extra periodic maintenance, getting the car up-to-speed on track maintenance, etc?
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      08-15-2019, 03:35 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dparm View Post
I feel like the setup you described will make something quite formidable and enjoyable without being absurd: BBK, wheels, seat + harnesses, suspension, maybe some extra cooling. Stock motor.

But what sort of ancillary costs do I need to consider as far as extra periodic maintenance, getting the car up-to-speed on track maintenance, etc?
If youíre looking for a decently priced, mostly setup one, I know one locally thatís for sale. Has everything but seats/suspension.
Maintenance hasnít seemed crazy to me yet, just normal fluids, I cracked a stock rotor, rod bearings, O2 sensors, etc
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      08-15-2019, 03:50 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dparm View Post
You make a good point: setting limits and defining how far down that rabbit hole you want to go. The way I see it, I just want something with basic track upgrades. I don't plan on totally gutting and stripping it, but I'm not really that worried about how streetable it is.

I feel like the setup you described will make something quite formidable and enjoyable without being absurd: BBK, wheels, seat + harnesses, suspension, maybe some extra cooling. Stock motor.

But what sort of ancillary costs do I need to consider as far as extra periodic maintenance, getting the car up-to-speed on track maintenance, etc?
A nice thing about not going nuts is that when you want to move to a different car/platform you can take the car back to stock and sell it, then sell the mods separately.

For basic track upgrades you can do what I had on the E92 M3:
MCS 2WNR 5k
Front PFC BBK Z54 4k (rear you can keep the stock caliper/rotor with the same compound as the front)
Sparco Ergo seats with removable halos 2k
BK Harness bar and seat mounting hardware 1k
Catless Bimmerworld Xpipe 1k
Engine tune 1k
Square 10.5" ET22 or ET27 wheels 1.4k
Bimmerworld front thrust bearing $400

So, 5+4+2+1+1+1+1.4+0.4 = 15.8

You don't have to do any cooling upgrades if you are manual unless you want to run a slick.
If the car is DCT for sure you need the cooling package from do88 and probable also do the slonik DCT pan. Figure 3k for all that.

For maintenance, the car lasts almost forever with oil changes every 5k miles, 6MT changes every 15k miles (no changes if you are DCT), diff fluid changes every 15k.

Of course the car should get rod bearings before it starts tracking unless they have been done already.
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      08-15-2019, 04:57 PM   #7
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Not looking to do anything now, but maybe in a few years once I can logistically support having a dedicated track vehicle or even a membership at a place like MSR Cresson or Harris Hill. I'm still having too much fun with the C7. :-)
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      08-15-2019, 05:09 PM   #8
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I started tracking an E92. I knew within 3 events I was going to need upgrades to be safe and to manage tires. The car was my DD so I opted to add an E46 M3 that was streetable. After 2 years, it was no longer streetable so I added a truck and a trailer. Cars been awesome though I have been through 1 engine rebuild and more than $50k in upgrades and consumables over the last few years. Car has broken 2:00 at WGI and VIR plus 4 other track records in southwest. There's not too many dual purpose cars that it can't keep up with. But it's a huge commitment. There are many days that I wish I had a dual purpose car.
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      08-15-2019, 06:49 PM   #9
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I bought my E92 specifically to track & every once in a while take out on the street. But very similar to ThunderMoose I found out quickly that in order to take the car to the minimum safety level that I felt comfortable with on the track I would lose that streetability. To me that alone goes a long way towards the value of a dedicated track car - halo seats, 6pt harness, neck restraint, all that good stuff is to me invaluable.

So if you go with the dedicated track car, truck, & trailer - certainly the upkeep on the truck & trailer needs to be added to the mix. I will say if you haven't had a truck as a DD before they are pretty awesome to have - so versatile. Plus you can dump money into it - lift it, big tires, etc and fit in with all us bubbas down here. Depending on what kind of tow rig / trailer setup you go with - need to factor in the costs of all the crap that goes in it. You're also going to have more room than you are used to which can lead to buying even more crap - it's really a vicious circle. Nice thing about towing the car around though - you know as long as you get it on the trailer you should make it home.

Extra costs for a track car vs dual purpose - its really up to you. You can go off in your GS and damage it just like a dedicated track car. Maybe you won't push the dual purpose car as hard - but shit still happens. You still have the consumables like you mention on either car. What it really comes down to is how far you want to go with the track car. There can be a big snowball effect here - I wouldn't have thought a year ago I would be in a full blown race car build already. Are you more likely to push a dedicated track car harder - it's going to live a tougher life so might see more breakage. You're working with an instructor & it seems like you are the sort that will push hard and keep working to get faster - which can easily mean money in upgrades as you replace parts that hold you back. This is where I think a dedicated track car gets you - that and soft tires...

Something that I believe is also worth thinking about - what car would you enjoy the most on the track? Would you enjoy being able to drive your GS more everyday and then on the track - vs going to a truck DD and occasionally driving your track car? Would you enjoy your GS more than an E92 on the track? It's all about fun - which would maximize it? For me I love my E92 on the track. I could put all the money I'm spending on it into something like my GT-R & have a car that will be ludicrous fast - certainly much faster than I will ever be able to get my E92 to. But to me the E92 is so much fun on the track that it was a no brainer making it my primary track car. Is your GS like that for you?

My opinion - if you can work it pick up a truck & trailer & turn the GS into a dedicated track car... That is a hell of a base you would be working with - and with a ceiling much higher than most cars including an E92. Unless you will enjoy another platform just as much then that is they way I would try to go even if it meant taking a little longer to get there.
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      08-15-2019, 07:46 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OG Shark View Post
Extra costs for a track car vs dual purpose - its really up to you. You can go off in your GS and damage it just like a dedicated track car. Maybe you won't push the dual purpose car as hard - but shit still happens. You still have the consumables like you mention on either car. What it really comes down to is how far you want to go with the track car. There can be a big snowball effect here - I wouldn't have thought a year ago I would be in a full blown race car build already. Are you more likely to push a dedicated track car harder - it's going to live a tougher life so might see more breakage. You're working with an instructor & it seems like you are the sort that will push hard and keep working to get faster - which can easily mean money in upgrades as you replace parts that hold you back. This is where I think a dedicated track car gets you - that and soft tires...

Something that I believe is also worth thinking about - what car would you enjoy the most on the track? Would you enjoy being able to drive your GS more everyday and then on the track - vs going to a truck DD and occasionally driving your track car? Would you enjoy your GS more than an E92 on the track? It's all about fun - which would maximize it? For me I love my E92 on the track. I could put all the money I'm spending on it into something like my GT-R & have a car that will be ludicrous fast - certainly much faster than I will ever be able to get my E92 to. But to me the E92 is so much fun on the track that it was a no brainer making it my primary track car. Is your GS like that for you?

That's right, I could have an off in the Vette if I push harder. I really don't drive it at 10/10ths for that reason -- it's my only car and the repair costs would not be cheap. I run with PTM in Sport 1 so I have a safety net.

Stuff like bumpers and radiators aren't really any more expensive than any other car, but it's when you damage the carbon fiber hood, splitters, and side skirts that you can very quickly take a $1000 oops (like a minor tap of the tire wall) and turn it into $5000+. The body-on-frame construction actually keeps repairs relatively cheap, assuming you can avoid the carbon bits. :-)

I always liked tracking my E90, but the GS is just on a whole other level performance-wise. It feels so visceral.

Again, not looking to do anything now, but just trying to understand if an eventual track car would work. Maybe in a few more years (once the GS is paid off and has depreciated thanks to the C8 being ubiquitous), I'll do a little bit more work to it and use it as a track car that can still be enjoyed on weekend street driving. There's a sizable aftermarket; I'm already eyeing adjustable rear toe links and swaybars.
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      08-15-2019, 08:37 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by dparm View Post
That's right, I could have an off in the Vette if I push harder. I really don't drive it at 10/10ths for that reason -- it's my only car and the repair costs would not be cheap. I run with PTM in Sport 1 so I have a safety net.

Stuff like bumpers and radiators aren't really any more expensive than any other car, but it's when you damage the carbon fiber hood, splitters, and side skirts that you can very quickly take a $1000 oops (like a minor tap of the tire wall) and turn it into $5000+. The body-on-frame construction actually keeps repairs relatively cheap, assuming you can avoid the carbon bits. :-)

I always liked tracking my E90, but the GS is just on a whole other level performance-wise. It feels so visceral.

Again, not looking to do anything now, but just trying to understand if an eventual track car would work. Maybe in a few more years (once the GS is paid off and has depreciated thanks to the C8 being ubiquitous), I'll do a little bit more work to it and use it as a track car that can still be enjoyed on weekend street driving. There's a sizable aftermarket; I'm already eyeing adjustable rear toe links and swaybars.

It sounds to me like you have a really good option in front of you right now. And this being down the line - maybe wait until then to see how it fits in your life.

Also financially - your going to have to put a decent amount of money into an E9x to match the performance of what you already have. If you had sticky tires at COTA your times would be real close to what I've run if not faster (thinking probably faster) - and you have seen what I have done to my car just to get to that point. Would you be happy taking a major step back in pace - or would you need to spend the money to bring it up to at least match your GS? By the time you are ready to make the move I bet the money would at worst be equal to get to the same place - if not in favor of the GS.

I'm not a corvette guy but that GS is a hell of a car. I think I would have a hard time stepping back from that current level - and it's potential - to move into something that doesn't at least start out its equal.
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      08-16-2019, 01:40 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by SYT_Shadow View Post
There seems to be a lot of focus on lightweight, aero, solid everything, etc. Yet the cars that are all built up are seldom fast unless the driver is very, very fast themselves. In which case they'd be like 3 seconds slower with a streetable track build...
I feel personally attacked
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      08-16-2019, 04:27 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OG Shark View Post
Something that I believe is also worth thinking about - what car would you enjoy the most on the track? Would you enjoy being able to drive your GS more everyday and then on the track - vs going to a truck DD and occasionally driving your track car? Would you enjoy your GS more than an E92 on the track? It's all about fun - which would maximize it? For me I love my E92 on the track. I could put all the money I'm spending on it into something like my GT-R & have a car that will be ludicrous fast - certainly much faster than I will ever be able to get my E92 to. But to me the E92 is so much fun on the track that it was a no brainer making it my primary track car. Is your GS like that for you?
So much this. Some people think the stroker build was way too expensive and that I should use X or Y instead... I have tracked a few cars and nothing makes me as happy as the E9X.
As bigjae1976 once said, if I have 100k to spend on a car I'll spend it all on an E9X and they'd call me the joker from the massive grin on my face whenever driving it
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      08-16-2019, 04:29 AM   #14
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I feel personally attacked
LOL, you shouldn't.

For every ThunderMoose , sg13 , warp10 , dogbone, Og Shark (forgive me if I'm forgetting about anyone) there are 3000 people with fully stripped out cars that don't know what the hell to do with them.
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      08-16-2019, 07:12 AM   #15
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Thought about this for a while. Different country, whole different ball game.
For one, no such thing as track insurance and our tracks (not high grade FIA spec) do not have huge run off. Have a big lose, and you'll meet concrete walls. That changes the criteria completely to what would I be prepared to lose, walk away and not care about. E9x/F8x would be too "good" as a dual-duty car, unless I could land and rebuild a total loss. No space to do that, yet.
Enter 86.
Something without ABS to get skills up would be cool. E36/S15/R33 etc. Spend more time fixing each one's specific problems than racing it though and panels while cheap if you look hard enough are surely NLA soon or already.
86 can be built to national spec for the 86 cup and some other smaller categories if I ever felt compelled to like compete with semi-pros/gentlemen racers in a couple of rounds. 15k/season, 30k for a prep'd car with spares. Can't really beat that here. Would be boring car to drive at COTA I bet though.
997.1 cup is 50-80k. They still make panels, shells for those. Unfortunately their boxes aren't cheap.
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      08-16-2019, 10:40 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dparm View Post
I've always wanted to make the move to a dedicated track car so I can finally get away from beating up my street car. It's always a challenge to try and find stuff that's streetable but also trackable. The C7 has been an amazing dual-purpose vehicle but it's probably too nice to be turned into a track car.

I'm thinking that within the next few years I want to get a dedicated track car and just relegate myself to a more mundane DD, possibly even a truck so I could tow the car if I want to. Obviously an E90/E92 M3 would be very high on my list of possible cars but I really don't know the first thing about picking such a vehicle.

Can we discuss some of the budgeting considerations for an E90/E92 M3 track car? My new coach/instructor was talking about the cost of repairs resulting from offs, like bumpers and radiators. That's not even something that had occurred to me. I generally just think of basic consumables like tires, brakes, gas along with the entry fees.
I had a good laugh at your topic! Budget.....that's funny!
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      08-16-2019, 10:53 AM   #17
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Well I have no interest in a Miata, so let's just say that my "budget" would be healthy.
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      08-16-2019, 12:14 PM   #18
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Budgeting considerations & planning for dedicated track car

Here's a car in Texas - https://showroom.windingroad.com/listings/product/4555/

IMHO, the biggest downside to the e9x is consumables. I'm going through a set of tires in two weekends and a set of front pads in three. I wonder how much better the tire and pad wear would be if my 3500 pound car was 300 pounds lighter?

I was in the market for a dedicated track car (e46), but then I started buying a WRL seat in a buddy's Boxter. The Boxter can run a full weekend (16 hours) on one set of tires and handles like a dream. I run a handful of races per year then instruct 7-10 HPDEs in the e92 M3 that I also still DD.

Is the GS really that much more expensive? I wouldn't think body-damage cost would be that much different, and most folks care less about looks and more about going fast with a track-dedicated car. How is the GS on consumables relative to the e9x M3?
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      08-16-2019, 12:47 PM   #19
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Here's a car in Texas - https://showroom.windingroad.com/listings/product/4555/

IMHO, the biggest downside to the e9x is consumables. I'm going through a set of tires in two weekends and a set of front pads in three. I wonder how much better the tire and pad wear would be if my 3500 pound car was 300 pounds lighter?

I was in the market for a dedicated track car (e46), but then I started buying a WRL seat in a buddy's Boxter. The Boxter can run a full weekend (16 hours) on one set of tires and handles like a dream. I run a handful of races per year then instruct 7-10 HPDEs in the e92 M3 that I also still DD.

Is the GS really that much more expensive? I wouldn't think body-damage cost would be that much different, and most folks care less about looks and more about going fast with a track-dedicated car. How is the GS on consumables relative to the e9x M3?

LOL that's Bruce Mowry's M3, everyone has been talking it up.

Lighter car = builds up more speed = brakes have to now slow the car down even more. Are you having brake heat issues? That will accelerate wear.

My consumables aren't terrible, but I've experimented to try and optimize. Understand that everything I've done has been to find solutions that will keep the car streetable, to an extent. Here's some ballparking of my costs.

Tires (Rival S 315/30R18 + 335/30R18): $1500, 4-5 track day lifespan = $300 per track day
Front pads (DTC-70): $350, 4-5 track day lifespan = $70 per track day
Rear pads (DTC-60): $200, 6-7 track day lifespan = $29 per track day

Front rotors (DBA): $700/pair, 15-20 track day lifespan = $35 per track day
Rear rotors (DBA): $700/pair, 30? track day lifespan = $25 per track day

Chevy's "track and competitive driving" recommendation is to change the MTF every 15 track hours, and the diff fluid every 24 track hours. Oil changes are about the same as the M3; I do it when the intelligent OLM shows 25%, which has usually been about 5-6k/once a year. It uses 11 quarts of 0w40.
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Last edited by dparm; 08-16-2019 at 12:57 PM..
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      08-16-2019, 12:53 PM   #20
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LOL that's Bruce Mowry's M3, everyone has been talking it up.
Not to derail the thread too much, but does that car conform to the TT rules now? I heard it may not anymore to stay in it’s same class...

Anyway, back on topic.
Seems like based on the thread so far if you budgeted 15-20k for the mods to have the car prepped to be a streetable-track car, and then 5k/year in tires and consumables...It wouldn't be far off?
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      08-16-2019, 01:14 PM   #21
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Personally I wouldn't build a fully stripped track car that required trailing just for HPDE, although I can see the appeal. May as well just stick to as streetable track car like Shadow mentioned above. You could even do all the listed mod's except the seats and just run Quick Fit Pro's.

I would however love to build one for NASA TT, racing, BMW CCA racing etc. It would probably be between an E46 or E92 depending on race classes.
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      08-16-2019, 01:35 PM   #22
dparm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Montaver View Post
Personally I wouldn't build a fully stripped track car that required trailing just for HPDE, although I can see the appeal. May as well just stick to as streetable track car like Shadow mentioned above. You could even do all the listed mod's except the seats and just run Quick Fit Pro's.

I would however love to build one for NASA TT, racing, BMW CCA racing etc. It would probably be between an E46 or E92 depending on race classes.

Me neither. If I have a car like that, I'm going to do TT, WRL, or whatever.
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