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interested in joining a club for club track racing ... advice on where to start?

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interested in joining a club for club track racing ... advice on where to start?

 
Old 02-11-2019, 11:20 AM
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JMG2
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Default interested in joining a club for club track racing ... advice on where to start?

been thinking about doing this for awhile.. kids are a little older now so I have more time, we've been spending more in CT, at a place we have about an hour from Limerock. I've gone to that track a few times for paced laps with the SRT program and once or twice with a club, absolutely loved it. Bug's been getting bigger and bigger.

I've been thinking about signing up for a race day with a pro for one-on-one or maybe getting involved with a club. Looking for general advice.. how do you guys get started?

Also.. something more specific.. my '00 vette is a convertible. I read scca and limerock rules, and understand that they require at least a 4-point roll bar. This is not a problem, I have zero issues welding one in (I barely use my c5 since I bought a c2 a few years ago), question though, which bar do you guys recommend that will pass rules but doesn't impact putting top up/down? I don't really care about storage (I'll likely be trailering the car anyway), just want the top to still function.

Thanks!!!
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Old 02-11-2019, 11:26 AM
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Have you done a school yet? There's a lot to be gained from doing a school focused on teaching you fundamentals while you don't have to worry about anything other than getting to and from the track for the day.
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Old 02-11-2019, 12:10 PM
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I haven't -- and that's something I'd definitely consider. any recommendations? I think limerock runs skip barber... and I assume even for a school you're running your own car? (for skip baber, looks like you are )
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Old 02-11-2019, 12:19 PM
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Been tracking/racing/instructing in Corvettes for nearly 20 years. Step 1 - Ditch the convertible. Unless you're 5' nothing there are no roll-bars that allow the top to work and provide adequate room for a seat and head clearance.

I instruct/race with NASA. You can check out the Northeast Region here - http://nasane.com/

Last edited by Tool Hoarder; 02-11-2019 at 12:20 PM.
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Old 02-11-2019, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Tool Hoarder View Post
Been tracking/racing/instructing in Corvettes for nearly 20 years. Step 1 - Ditch the convertible. Unless you're 5' nothing there are no roll-bars that allow the top to work and provide adequate room for a seat and head clearance.

I instruct/race with NASA. You can check out the Northeast Region here - http://nasane.com/
I hear that, and I agree that down the road if I get competitive it's something to do, but doing that just drove the price of entry up considerably. I've seen a few --- wolf -- that claim to be scaa compliant and allow the roof to work.
And to be honest, I wouldn't be adverse to a bar that prevents the roof from being used. getting rid of this car and buying a hardtop just isn't happening right now.
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Old 02-11-2019, 12:40 PM
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All convertible roll bars are garbage... Wolf just bolts to the composite floor. I'm sorry, but convertible Corvettes are just not compatible with the trackday hobby.
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Old 02-11-2019, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by JMG2 View Post
...but doing that just drove the price of entry up considerably.
This isn't exactly a cheap sport...I have a friend who used to track AND play golf, and he said the cost of entry is about the same.

Really, the bar and harness are but the bare minimum safety requirement for tracking a convertible. Having instructed for BMW CCA for over 10 years, my inclination is the same as Tool Hoarder, although BMW CCA rules regarding convertibles are far more strict. The roll over protection must extend well past the top of the helmet and clear by at least 2" if you were to draw a plane between the top of the roll-over protection bars to the top of the strut tower. That means the roll-over bars need to extend about 4-8" above your helmeted head (for both the passenger AND the driver) along with at least a 5 point harness and seats designed to be used with the harness.

Already you're looking at a suitable set-up for a convertible, including installation cost, of well over $5,000 for bars, seats, and harnesses. Most of the people that I've given rides with, that has convertibles that ask about trying this sport out? I've given them the same advice. If you like it enough...

TRADE YOUR CONVERTIBLE IN FOR A FIXED TOP CAR. Or go rent a fixed top car and do a few events first to make sure that this is indeed what you want to spend 4-6 weekends a year on, otherwise you'd be spending a lot of money tearing up a pristine convertible, and if you're not doing at least half a dozen events a year, you're basically wasting the money to convert a nice convertible into something that can pretty much only be enjoyed on track.

I've never seen a convertible with roll-over protection that will meet most club's rigorous rules regarding roll-over protection in a convertible, and still retain a usable convertible top, regardless of make and model.
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Old 02-11-2019, 12:52 PM
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ok, so you're saying there's no way to even enjoy weekend racing at all, under any circumstances, in a convertible? that I'm just **** out of luck, and need to get a hard top? There are weld-in bars, wolf is just one of them, what about a pro shop to make a custom one? like I said, keeping use of the convertible is a hope, not a requirement.

if there's really no universe in which I can even have a little bit of fun with this car, then maybe I will just ditch it any buy a c7...or maybe just race my trackhawk :-)

Last edited by JMG2; 02-11-2019 at 12:54 PM.
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Old 02-11-2019, 12:55 PM
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Wolf makes bars... they restrict the heck out of seat travel and your head is right up against the bar. This makes the car completely unsafe for any further street use as you won't be wearing a helmet.

I have had 4 C5s, two being full caged race cars. Now I have a C7 that I am making a TT2 car; no cage. The nice thing about Corvette coupes is the targa... you can have 90% of a convertible feel, but still be track legal.

I would keep the vert as a fun weekend car. Get a cheap < $10K C5 coupe and make it a trackday car.

However, before you do that, rent a car a few weekends and see if you even like it. You don't need harnesses and all that stuff to do a HPDE in a coupe. Just rent a Corvette from Hertz and rock n' roll.
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Old 02-11-2019, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Tool Hoarder View Post
Wolf makes bars... they restrict the heck out of seat travel and your head is right up against the bar. This makes the car completely unsafe for any further street use as you won't be wearing a helmet.


I would keep the vert as a fun weekend car. Get a cheap < $10K C5 coupe and make it a trackday car.
Thanks, I'll look into it. The c5 has been sitting in my garage for the past two years unused since I bought a c2. It's either use it and have fun, or get rid of it. there's really no situation in which I'm going to be using it on the street anyway, shame to get rid of it (and knowing myself, I'll end up getting a c7 before I get another c5 at this point).
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Old 02-11-2019, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by JMG2 View Post
ok, so you're saying there's no way to even enjoy weekend racing at all, under any circumstances, in a convertible?
There are ways. I have seen guys at local racetracks with convertibles. But it's a commitment both financially and, well, mechanically.

You either have to give up the ability to put up and down the convertible top, and go top down all the time to accommodate the roll-bar for safety, or pay $$$ for extensive modifications like seats, seat rails, harnesses...etc that allows you to sit much further lower in the cockpit to allow for a low-sh bar. Custom bars and cages are not cheap, and they're certainly not going to be reversible and will require a lot of holes to be cut in the interior of the car.

Those are your choices and sacrifices. When presented with such choice most convertible owners choose to buy, lease, or rent a fixed top car. But there are quite a few that are stubborn enough and with enough resources to try and make it work and have.

Where there's a will (and $$$ or time), there's a way.
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Old 02-11-2019, 01:11 PM
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When the car is sorted you should definitely check out Palmer. They have a school and lapping days coordinated by the track, with and without affiliate groups. Good option for track time when you're ready.
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Old 02-11-2019, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by MR Turco View Post
When the car is sorted you should definitely check out Palmer. They have a school and lapping days coordinated by the track, with and without affiliate groups. Good option for track time when you're ready.
I will, thanks!
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Old 02-11-2019, 01:18 PM
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Originally Posted by The HACK View Post
There are ways. I have seen guys at local racetracks with convertibles. But it's a commitment both financially and, well, mechanically.

You either have to give up the ability to put up and down the convertible top, and go top down all the time to accommodate the roll-bar for safety, or pay $$$ for extensive modifications like seats, seat rails, harnesses...etc that allows you to sit much further lower in the cockpit to allow for a low-sh bar. Custom bars and cages are not cheap, and they're certainly not going to be reversible and will require a lot of holes to be cut in the interior of the car.

Those are your choices and sacrifices. When presented with such choice most convertible owners choose to buy, lease, or rent a fixed top car. But there are quite a few that are stubborn enough and with enough resources to try and make it work and have.

Where there's a will (and $$$ or time), there's a way.
ok thanks, that's helpful. I'm going to look into it.. TBH, even if I had a targa, I'd want at least a 4-point in there anyway. granted, it's probably a hell of a lot easier to fit that into a targa than a 'vert..
Another alternative I've seen is to get a 4-point that fits a FRC, remove the convertible completely, and use an aftermarket FRC-like hardtop as a removeable hard top.

Last edited by JMG2; 02-11-2019 at 01:19 PM.
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Old 02-11-2019, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by JMG2 View Post
I haven't -- and that's something I'd definitely consider. any recommendations? I think limerock runs skip barber... and I assume even for a school you're running your own car? (for skip baber, looks like you are )
I did the 3 day Skip Barber school out at Laguna Seca over the holiday and they're running 05-09 era Mustang GTs. I'm not ruling out regular track days with an instructor I run those too but for me focusing on learning taking out a lot of the other variables of a regular track day helps a lot. You might also find some local get-togethers and ask around for who does regular track days. Most of my track days are with people I met through a local coffee and cars group.
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Old 02-11-2019, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by JMG2 View Post
ok thanks, that's helpful. I'm going to look into it.. TBH, even if I had a targa, I'd want at least a 4-point in there anyway. granted, it's probably a hell of a lot easier to fit that into a targa than a 'vert..
Another alternative I've seen is to get a 4-point that fits a FRC, remove the convertible completely, and use an aftermarket FRC-like hardtop as a removeable hard top.
Respectfully, you're going about this all wrong. You're creating barriers to entry. You don't need a rollbar and harnesses and race seats to get started. Get a stock C5/6/7 coupe and go to the track. Use the OEM seat belt cinch feature and have fun. The coupes have an integrated roll-hoop i.e. the b-pillar. It's not like a unibody car.
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Old 02-11-2019, 05:27 PM
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thanks all for the input.
I think I'm going to back-burner doing anything with the car. Sign up for a skip-barber three-day course at limrock, see how that pans out, if I continue, likely just ditch the 'vert and get a solid c6 coup.
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Old 02-11-2019, 05:39 PM
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He could make the vert into a Z06 easily enough. Weld in a halo, bolt/glue on the roof and he's good to go. Or skip the halo and have a proper roll bar put in.
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Old 02-11-2019, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by JMG2 View Post
thanks all for the input.
I think I'm going to back-burner doing anything with the car. Sign up for a skip-barber three-day course at limrock, see how that pans out, if I continue, likely just ditch the 'vert and get a solid c6 coup.
A C6 GrandSport is a great car. I wouldn't get a Z06 (LS7) w/o having the heads redone. My $0.02.
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Old 02-12-2019, 10:51 AM
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Some tracks do not require a roll bar for convertibles. Summit Point, Shenandoah Circuit doesn't (or at least they didn't in the recent past, I don't exactly keep up on the latest since my car has a cage). Some configurations of Pocono don't either. The reason in Shenandoah's case is the relatively low speeds. Pocono, not sure but suspect because its so open...not much to hit. When the track doesn't require it, then its left to the club hosting the event and I've been to a few events at both those tracks with vert's in attendance. But getting an instructor to sit right seat in a vert may be a problem. I've done it, once, instructed in a vert camaro at Pocono. Pocono is very flat and pretty hard to get into trouble and it didn't really bother me. I would absolutely refuse to get in the right seat of a vert at most tracks however. So if you are willing to drive south and do a little homework, you can probably find an opportunity to get your vert on track.
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