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Thread: Spec Miata or Karting?

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    Wanna be fast driver Randall's Avatar
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    Default Spec Miata or Karting?

    So I've been debating about going into these two forms of racing for a while now but just can't seem to choose. I have a miata right now that I plan to build into a spec miata from scratch which would take about $10k or more and probably at least 1-2 years to build.

    While on the other hand, competitive karting (like the rotax series) seems to have a cheaper initial start up cost with just as much wheel to wheel racing experience.

    I'm a 21 year old full time college student thats working part-time. Some of you have been into karting and some have been club racers, I was wondering if you could give me your opinions on what would be the best route. thanks!
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    Senior Member .:Made in OC:.'s Avatar
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    Senior Member No Lotus's Avatar
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    I just joined the Reno Kart club for $275 a year which gives me year-round access to a fantastic kart track for no extra charge. That is about the same price for a single track-day at Reno-Fernley (even their simple "test-n-tunes" are about that price). As far as bang for buck, the choice is obviously karting. The question then is whether racing spec Miata is that much more fun than racing a kart. For most people the answer would be no.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randall View Post
    So I've been debating about going into these two forms of racing for a while now but just can't seem to choose. I have a miata right now that I plan to build into a spec miata from scratch which would take about $10k or more and probably at least 1-2 years to build.

    While on the other hand, competitive karting (like the rotax series) seems to have a cheaper initial start up cost with just as much wheel to wheel racing experience.

    I'm a 21 year old full time college student thats working part-time. Some of you have been into karting and some have been club racers, I was wondering if you could give me your opinions on what would be the best route. thanks!
    1-2 years my ass. I did it in less than 2 months. Karting isn't cheaper than spec miata. The only catch might be less and easier collision repair on the kart, but I am not sure.

    Karting can be unpleasant. I had coughing fits from the vibration when I tried to drive one.

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    Senior Member R Motorsports's Avatar
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    I know alot of F1 drivers start out in karting. Also, you'll learn more from karting and you'll have to be in much better shape to race karts. Good luck.
    Last edited by R Motorsports; 10-30-2009 at 08:37 AM.

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    Chest hair required Olitho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robburgoon View Post
    Karting isn't cheaper than spec miata. The only catch might be less and easier collision repair on the kart....

    I think this is the key thing.

    My son's race weekends have run as high as $600-800 when factoring everything in. Those were the more expensive weekends when the kart needed a new top-end, etc. Most of those karting parts seem to be Italian, etc. It is like you are buying parts for a 200 pound Ferrari!


    Oli


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    Master of Disaster SteveLevin's Avatar
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    Autoblog recently ran a three pat series on getting into karting, and, frankly, I was stunned at the numbers. I expected it to be MUCH cheaper than what racing a "car" costs, and it really wasn't (other than the lower purchase price). The costs were right in line with what it costs me to run my SRF.

    If you own and maintain your own Miata and don't get near Rob ( ) I bet you can race the Miata for less.

    Steve

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    Senior Member bellwilliam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olitho View Post
    Most of those karting parts seem to be Italian, etc. It is like you are buying parts for a 200 pound Ferrari!
    Oli
    best explanation for karting cost.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveLevin View Post
    Autoblog recently ran a three pat series on getting into karting, and, frankly, I was stunned at the numbers. I expected it to be MUCH cheaper than what racing a "car" costs, and it really wasn't (other than the lower purchase price). The costs were right in line with what it costs me to run my SRF.

    If you own and maintain your own Miata and don't get near Rob ( ) I bet you can race the Miata for less.

    Steve
    Was indeed a pretty good series of articles - I think in four parts.
    http://www.autoblog.com/2009/10/05/i...arting-part-1/
    http://www.autoblog.com/2009/10/09/i...arting-part-2/
    http://www.autoblog.com/2009/10/16/i...arting-part-3/
    http://www.autoblog.com/2009/10/23/i...arting-part-4/
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveLevin View Post
    don't get near Rob ( )
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    The only way you are going to know is if you go and find out for yourself. Do you have a race license? If yes, here is what i would do, and its very simple. Go rent a SM and race in SM for a weekend. Ive rented karts, but i dont know how it works for racing karts. If you can rent a kart for racing, then go do the same with a kart and do some racing for a weekend. That is what i would do.
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    Senior Member No Lotus's Avatar
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    Are you guys factoring the cost of track time? There's no comparison between a kart and a car.
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    Senior Member R Motorsports's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by No Lotus View Post
    Are you guys factoring the cost of track time? There's no comparison between a kart and a car.
    Don't forget about tires too.

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    Master of Disaster SteveLevin's Avatar
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    Oli can speak to his experiences with tires...I can obviously only go by the autoblog article, where they talk about using a $200 set of tires in a race weekend. Sometimes even 2 sets.

    Tires for my SRF cost $800/set but you can get about 10 competitive sessions out of them, plus a good 5-10 test sessions out of them. (i.e., 2 double race weekends and two test days).

    based on the Autoblog numbers, I'd say the operational costs of karting are every bit of 80% of what it costs to run my SRF.

    Steve

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    Senior Member No Lotus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveLevin View Post
    based on the Autoblog numbers, I'd say the operational costs of karting are every bit of 80% of what it costs to run my SRF.
    And what about track time?
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    Chest hair required Olitho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveLevin View Post
    Oli can speak to his experiences with tires...I can obviously only go by the autoblog article, where they talk about using a $200 set of tires in a race weekend. Sometimes even 2 sets.

    Tires for my SRF cost $800/set but you can get about 10 competitive sessions out of them, plus a good 5-10 test sessions out of them. (i.e., 2 double race weekends and two test days).

    based on the Autoblog numbers, I'd say the operational costs of karting are every bit of 80% of what it costs to run my SRF.

    Steve

    As a general rule I would say karting is less expensive than car racing, but not by much, especially if you are talking about classes like ITA and SM.

    Karting costs a bit less for tires. Track time is much less. Entries a bit less, unless you bring family as spectators cost in karting unlike with cars.

    What costs on karts are pistons, honing, clutches, sprockets, chains, carb kits, spark plugs, spec fuel/oil and spec tires, etc. All those things need to be replace uber often and you would be surprised what they cost. A stupid clutch kit on Kristjans kart is about $80 and $60 for the two parts as I recall. They need changing often. even more frequent is the cost of a sprocket and chain at around $50 almost every weekend. Having different axles is important for handling and then of course you can bend one once in awhile. It goes on and on. Karts are high consumption motor vehicle appliances.
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    Chest hair required Olitho's Avatar
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    We were looking at a Tony Kart frame at the races last weekend. New it is over $5,000. Even a used one was $3,500. Don't crash and bend a frame!
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    Senior Member R Motorsports's Avatar
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    Don't know about u guys but my set of R888s r good for three full days at the most in a 2k lb car.

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    Pro Lurker GreyFocus's Avatar
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    but NT01's and RA1's are good for like 10

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    Racing a car will require a trailer and tow vehicle. I imagine you could get away with just a truck racing a kart.

    e

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