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    Need a track tool - but which one?

    Looking for something to use exclusively on the track - primarily trackday use.
    Therefore it has to be sharp, direct, responsive, light, fast, easy and affordable to maintain, low consumption of tires/fuel.
    Budget around 25.000 Euro .
    I am looking at
    * Lotus Elise (preferably new model)
    * Lotus 7
    * Caterham
    * Donkervoort (probably way too expensive)
    * Renault spider
    * Opel Speedster

    Right now I am leaning towards an Elise or Opel Speedster.

    Any input or other suggestions would be appreciated

    Has to be left-hand drive, so I wont buy a British car

    Re: Need a track tool - but which one?

    The Elise would be the best choice, not one cent of hesitation about that, having driven it a few times.
    And , you will be able to fine tune it very easily when more $ get available again.

    Lotus 7/Caterhman are fun..but way too scary. Imagine your legs if you have a slight crash in one of those....

    Donkervoorrt will be much more expensive then your budget.

    Renault spider will be a problem when it rains or really cold.

    Opel speedster..ok, as it is an Elise... but it has the Opel badge ( but if I would find a real cheap one , I would probably get it anyway)

    Re: Need a track tool - but which one?

    The other day, on the track in Dijon, a few people had old and new CLIO CUP cars... they were realy fast ( not on straights) but in the curves it was impossible for me to follow them.

    That would also be a real good option as they are real track cars ( can't go on the road at all with them) . Inside there is only a bucket seat, and tha't it ! Plus they run on slicks

    Re: Need a track tool - but which one?

    When we go to tracks, we always have a Renault Spider with to rent. So we will do again on 1./2. May.
    The Renault is not to expensive an the repairing is also not to expensive - even the maintenance is cheap. The participants, who rent the renault for the track are very pleased and they say "That's the right "fun-car" for tracks". Maybe it's possible for you to rent such a car on a track to try.

    Greetings s'Drifterle

    Re: Need a track tool - but which one?

    Ariel Atom?
    Radical?

    Re: Need a track tool - but which one?

    Quote:
    Gnil said:
    The other day, on the track in Dijon, a few people had old and new CLIO CUP cars... they were realy fast ( not on straights) but in the curves it was impossible for me to follow them.

    That would also be a real good option as they are real track cars ( can't go on the road at all with them) . Inside there is only a bucket seat, and tha't it ! Plus they run on slicks



    I saw the new Clio cup on a track in south of France...they are impressive in the curves indeed! Was there a big difference with your 4S?

    Re: Need a track tool - but which one?

    Quote:
    easy_rider911 said:
    Ariel Atom?
    Radical?



    Hardcore!

    Re: Need a track tool - but which one?

    Searchin for the Radical homepage, I came across this, the most cheesy homepage Ive seen in a long time...lol!
    http://www.radicalauto.com/index2.html

    Re: Need a track tool - but which one?

    Quote:
    BC911 said:
    Quote:
    easy_rider911 said:
    Ariel Atom?
    Radical?



    Hardcore!


    Well I'm racing a Radical SR3 since 2006 and I don't regret it. The fun/EURO ratio is unmatched.

    Cheers
    Thomas

    Re: Need a track tool - but which one?

    Dr Phil, I have been toying this idea myself. Unfortunately I just don't have the time right now to justify it. Anyway, what I have narrowed down to is a Lotus Exige or a Mitsubishi EVO IX. I like the EVO IX as it is relatively cheap here. The idea is to strip the car of back seats and most interior trims. It is much faster than most things on the track! But some people prefer a purer rear drive machine whereas I love the traction of a EVO. I may do this next year.

    Re: Need a track tool - but which one?

    Quote:
    Dr. Phil said:
    Searchin for the Radical homepage, I came across this, the most cheesy homepage Ive seen in a long time...lol!
    http://www.radicalauto.com/index2.html



    Do You Have Credit Problems???

    LOL cheesy indeed

    Re: Need a track tool - but which one?

    I assume you will get a car without registration for public roads in order to avoid the insane Danish taxes, right ?

    If so, you indeed may look for a "hardcore solution", though I think a Radical (even a used one) might not fit into your budget

    The Cup Clios are really fast (and I'm sure they are fun to drive also), though you might ask some owners about reliability/maintenance costs etc.

    I'd put the Elise on number one of my short-list for the reasons already mentioned by Gnil
    It's a good track performer out of the box - though the Ring-maniacs claim, that the suspension is perfect for NoS, but could be a bit "sharper" for a real (smooth) track.
    Also maintenance seems to be not big $$$ (some Ring-maniacs do 500 laps/10k km p.a. without any extraordinary expenses other than brake pads/tires).
    The Opel Speedster would be my budget solution (definitely less money compared to the Elise, but not that focussed - e.g. heavier than Elise).
    I guess the Renault Spider might be harder to find (seems to be more a collector's item).

    Let me know your decision I have started to look myself (will let you know what I'll find out during the search process)

    Re: Need a track tool - but which one?

    WAY, the EVO is a cool car for rally, but not my taste for track. It's a bit too neutral/understeering for me, and nowhere near as precise as an Elise/Speedster/Radical etc.
    But the sound is sweeeeet!

    Thomas, I am concerned about safety, and about being as protected as possible if I crumble the car. Any thoughts on the Radical in that regard?

    Safety also makes me wonder if the Lotus 7-type cars will make my shortlist.
    They dont seem awfully trustworthy to me...
    Thoughts?

    I was actually talking to a friend of mine and Porsche-Jeck about the idea of getting a shared trackcar, since I dont have time to race it every other weekend.
    If people agree on sharing the responsabilities and cost, this would be a great solution.
    Maybe we should get a shared Rennteam Northern Europe trackcar? Thoughts/ideas?

    Re: Need a track tool - but which one?

    Quote:
    WAY said:
    Dr Phil, I have been toying this idea myself. Unfortunately I just don't have the time right now to justify it. Anyway, what I have narrowed down to is a Lotus Exige or a Mitsubishi EVO IX. I like the EVO IX as it is relatively cheap here. The idea is to strip the car of back seats and most interior trims. It is much faster than most things on the track! But some people prefer a purer rear drive machine whereas I love the traction of a EVO. I may do this next year.



    You'd actually be suprised to see how much faster even the most basic of racing cars are compared to exotics.

    I used to race custom open top racing cars with just about standard opel 2litre motors (few mods like exhuast, blueprinted, etc) and it was quite interesting to see a car test a magazine over here published. The compared cars like the new 911 Turbo and Vantage amongst others. The 911 set up the fastest lap (obviously ) but the lap time was about 7sec slower than my fastest time around that track ...

    If you really want a car to throw around and use ust for the track, I'd advise going for the real deal

    Re: Need a track tool - but which one?

    Quote:
    Porsche-Jeck said:
    I assume you will get a car without registration for public roads in order to avoid the insane Danish taxes, right ?

    If so, you indeed may look for a "hardcore solution", though I think a Radical (even a used one) might not fit into your budget

    The Cup Clios are really fast (and I'm sure they are fun to drive also), though you might ask some owners about reliability/maintenance costs etc.

    I'd put the Elise on number one of my short-list for the reasons already mentioned by Gnil
    It's a good track performer out of the box - though the Ring-maniacs claim, that the suspension is perfect for NoS, but could be a bit "sharper" for a real (smooth) track.
    Also maintenance seems to be not big $$$ (some Ring-maniacs do 500 laps/10k km p.a. without any extraordinary expenses other than brake pads/tires).
    The Opel Speedster would be my budget solution (definitely less money compared to the Elise, but not that focussed - e.g. heavier than Elise).
    I guess the Renault Spider might be harder to find (seems to be more a collector's item).

    Let me know your decision I have started to look myself (will let you know what I'll find out during the search process)



    Danish taxes could be avoided by getting the car on German plates.
    Then I canot drive the car on Danish public roads, but I can drive it anywhere else in Europe.
    So, we get a shared Elise. U take it half the time, drive it on the Ring - go to Denmark, drop it off at my place, have dinner and beer. I drive it, drop it off in D-dorf, dinner, beer....whats the problem?

    Re: Need a track tool - but which one?

    Quote:
    BC911 said:
    Quote:
    WAY said:
    Dr Phil, I have been toying this idea myself. Unfortunately I just don't have the time right now to justify it. Anyway, what I have narrowed down to is a Lotus Exige or a Mitsubishi EVO IX. I like the EVO IX as it is relatively cheap here. The idea is to strip the car of back seats and most interior trims. It is much faster than most things on the track! But some people prefer a purer rear drive machine whereas I love the traction of a EVO. I may do this next year.



    You'd actually be suprised to see how much faster even the most basic of racing cars are compared to exotics.

    I used to race custom open top racing cars with just about standard opel 2litre motors (few mods like exhuast, blueprinted, etc) and it was quite interesting to see a car test a magazine over here published. The compared cars like the new 911 Turbo and Vantage amongst others. The 911 set up the fastest lap (obviously ) but the lap time was about 7sec slower than my fastest time around that track ...

    If you really want a car to throw around and use ust for the track, I'd advise going for the real deal




    I hear u. Standard out-of-the-box sportscars are no match for even old racers. Seen that over and over again. E.g. I got owned BIG TIME by an old 140bhp Alfasud last time on the local track

    What's the "real deal" to u?

    Re: Need a track tool - but which one?

    ..too little beer...

    Re: Need a track tool - but which one?

    Quote:
    Dr. Phil said:

    Danish taxes could be avoided by getting the car on German plates.
    Then I canot drive the car on Danish public roads, but I can drive it anywhere else in Europe.
    So, we get a shared Elise. U take it half the time, drive it on the Ring - go to Denmark, drop it off at my place, have dinner and beer. I drive it, drop it off in D-dorf, dinner, beer....whats the problem?



    Sounds like the ideal solution I just wondered, after reading your post about a shared "Northern Europe" track car, whether Adenau still belongs to Northern Europe
    My proposal: I'll use the car during summer for Ring-duty, you use it during winter on a "Northern track" - sounds like a fair deal, ey
    To be serious: I like the idea of a shared track-tool very much. We should further discuss how we can realise this idea

    Re: Need a track tool - but which one?

    Quote:
    BC911 said:
    Quote:
    WAY said:
    Dr Phil, I have been toying this idea myself. Unfortunately I just don't have the time right now to justify it. Anyway, what I have narrowed down to is a Lotus Exige or a Mitsubishi EVO IX. I like the EVO IX as it is relatively cheap here. The idea is to strip the car of back seats and most interior trims. It is much faster than most things on the track! But some people prefer a purer rear drive machine whereas I love the traction of a EVO. I may do this next year.



    You'd actually be suprised to see how much faster even the most basic of racing cars are compared to exotics.

    I used to race custom open top racing cars with just about standard opel 2litre motors (few mods like exhuast, blueprinted, etc) and it was quite interesting to see a car test a magazine over here published. The compared cars like the new 911 Turbo and Vantage amongst others. The 911 set up the fastest lap (obviously ) but the lap time was about 7sec slower than my fastest time around that track ...

    If you really want a car to throw around and use ust for the track, I'd advise going for the real deal




    Yeah I agree that race cars are much faster. I used to track with a couple of Formula Ford cars here locally. They are so damn quick! These are the most basic single seater race cars above a go-kart. However, I don't want a race car as I want something that I can drive to the track and back (and not much else), and participate in tarmac rallies and autocross.

    Re: Need a track tool - but which one?

    Quote:
    Dr. Phil said:
    Quote:
    BC911 said:
    Quote:
    WAY said:
    Dr Phil, I have been toying this idea myself. Unfortunately I just don't have the time right now to justify it. Anyway, what I have narrowed down to is a Lotus Exige or a Mitsubishi EVO IX. I like the EVO IX as it is relatively cheap here. The idea is to strip the car of back seats and most interior trims. It is much faster than most things on the track! But some people prefer a purer rear drive machine whereas I love the traction of a EVO. I may do this next year.



    You'd actually be suprised to see how much faster even the most basic of racing cars are compared to exotics.

    I used to race custom open top racing cars with just about standard opel 2litre motors (few mods like exhuast, blueprinted, etc) and it was quite interesting to see a car test a magazine over here published. The compared cars like the new 911 Turbo and Vantage amongst others. The 911 set up the fastest lap (obviously ) but the lap time was about 7sec slower than my fastest time around that track ...

    If you really want a car to throw around and use ust for the track, I'd advise going for the real deal




    I hear u. Standard out-of-the-box sportscars are no match for even old racers. Seen that over and over again. E.g. I got owned BIG TIME by an old 140bhp Alfasud last time on the local track

    What's the "real deal" to u?



    Maybe a Clio Cup like Gnil stated or something like that. All depends on whether you wanna use it for road purposes as well. Having a car thats not road legal can be a pain sometimes though as you'd either need a trailer to kart the car around or a garage at the track to store it there. We'v got storage at the track so its cool for me.

    Radicals road legal right??? That's just about a racing car too.
    Nothing wrong with a Elise/Exige though

    Re: Need a track tool - but which one?

    Does anyone know if there is a website like Mobile.de where people sell track-specced cars? Have only seen British sites like this...

    Re: Need a track tool - but which one?

    Quote:
    BC911 said:

    Radicals road legal right??? That's just about a racing car too.
    Nothing wrong with a Elise/Exige though



    I think this baby will be road legal also - unlike with P-cars you can have it with a DSG-tranny also
    Rumor has it that after the launch of the first 100 cars (later this year) for appr. 45k Euro next year a less expensive series (35 k Euro ) will be launched.

    http://www.ktm-x-bow.com/index.602.1.html

    Re: Need a track tool - but which one?

    I didnt understand a word of what was written there but that is on mean looking machine. DAMN

    Re: Need a track tool - but which one?

    Here is the English version
    http://www.ktm-x-bow.com/index.602.0.html

    Re: Need a track tool - but which one?

    Thanx Didnt see the option at the top
    Nice... 0-100kph:3.9sec, 700kg...

    Re: Need a track tool - but which one?

    I think that a mk1 exige would be a good bet...great to drive and bit more 'hardcore' than the elise..

    Re: Need a track tool - but which one?

    Quote:
    Dr. Phil said:
    Thomas, I am concerned about safety, and about being as protected as possible if I crumble the car. Any thoughts on the Radical in that regard?




    Well you get FIA certified crash structures in the front and on the sides. Besides from that less mass of a car means less energy to be absorbed by tire walls etc. I feel a lot safer in a purpose built race/track-day car as compared to stripped down street legal cars. If you take a look at some track-days or test days it's mostly the guys with the high powered street legal cars that suffer the crashes etc. as compared to the guys with the formula cars or sports prototypes. If you have ever driven a down force car you'll most likely never want to drive a 'regular' car again.

    Cheers
    Thomas

    Re: Need a track tool - but which one?

    This is the BEST site I have come accross

    http://www.race-cars.com/

    Re: Need a track tool - but which one?

    Quote:
    Thomas said:
    I feel a lot safer in a purpose built race/track-day car as compared to stripped down street legal cars. If you take a look at some track-days or test days it's mostly the guys with the high powered street legal cars that suffer the crashes etc. as compared to the guys with the formula cars or sports prototypes. If you have ever driven a down force car you'll most likely never want to drive a 'regular' car again.

    Cheers
    Thomas



    That makes a lot of sense to me. I had once the opportunity to do some laps in a F3 & F1 car and I never felt safer (of course I did it as a humble bloody amateur only, but the the precision and the ultra road-connected feeling is so much more confidence inspiring compared to a normal car).
    On a more normal "car level" I feel just the same: on NoS I somehow feel safer in an Elise than in my 987 S, though I'm sure that the absence of Airbags etc. and maybe an even weaker crash structure does not speak for the Elise (at least on paper or based on common sense)

    Re: Need a track tool - but which one?

    Also, a couple quick points from someone with about 100 track days under his belt in a variety of cars over several years.

    In the end, whether you decide to pick a street car or a true race car, are you willing to lose all your money in case you crash it? Put maintenance and running costs aside for a moment...

    With a race car, insurance is expensive and hard to find, especially on something historic. And insurance will not cover you in wheel to wheel racing...you are on your own. If you plan to do only track days, then you can get track day insurance, but it is still expensive and the deductibles are VERY high (like $5000-$10,000k).

    The advantage for using a street car for track days are two:

    1) Insurance - You can get normal, relatively cheap street insurance that will cover high speed driving schools as long as they are not timed or there are no winners/losers. Most insurance companies will cover you (make sure) and your premiums are no more than simple street insurance with normal deductables.

    2) Warranty...this is PRICELESS for track days. What happens if you blow the motor, rear, trans...have leaks, electronic problems. Most track day cars (radical, Atom) don't come with warranties. The question is not if you will break something, it is WHEN. So as long as you don't heavily modify the car, your warranty should cover the problems. Just take out your harness before you go in for warranty work.

    If you can afford to lose $25k and are not worried about maintenance cost, you still need to choose a car that compliments your technical ability. You don't want to buy some very complicated sports racer with pushrod suspension, a complex sequential transmission, and quad carburated Hayabusa motor that need maintenance/adjustments every step of the way. You will be wrenching more than driving.

    So, in my advice your choice should be based on your technical ability to maintain/prepare the car, your threshold to walk away after a crash and lose all your money, and MOST importantly SAFETY. Most track cars never had to pass ANY safety test or crash tests. Keep this in mind!

    So, for me personally, after 100 track days and driving many types of cars, with a decent purse, after going back and forth several times, I have decided that a fast street car under warranty, with no mods (except safety), is the best way to go. I get a well engineered vehicle with crash/crumple zones, airbags, a warranty, cheap street insurance, and I can drive the car to and from the track all day long. I don't need to worry about maintaining complex suspension or sequential transmissions.

    For this I have choosen and always did a Corvette, simply becuase it is so fast for the price, but is a factory warrantied car that any Chevy dealer in 1000 towns can work on.

    So, when looking at buying a track car, don't just use your heart, use your brain and buy something you can REALLY live with.

     
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