The Boy's 2009 Race Season - Mercedes-Benz Forum

View Poll Results: What Should G Race This Year?
Mini-Cup (NASCAR Style, Oval racing) 0 0%
Quarter Midget (USAC Style, Oval & dirt) 3 33.33%
Thunderbolt (IndyCar Style open wheel, Oval racing) 2 22.22%
Karting (Traditional road racing) 6 66.67%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 9. You may not vote on this poll

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post #1 of 41 (permalink) Old 02-16-2009, 01:38 PM Thread Starter
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The Boy's 2009 Race Season

For those with an interest or passion for motorsports, please help me decide what course we should pursue with my son's nascent racing career. Here are the options:

Mini-Cup

These are small scale full bodied NASCAR Nationwide Series replica cars. They have a full suspension, centrifugal clutch/single gear transmission to a solid rear axle with fully independent coil-over suspension. They run approx. 13hp 4 cycle sealed engines, have fully adjustable camber/toe/ride height/weight capabilities, rules for car weight with driver that specify ride height, cross weight, etc. They are very safe cars, and look very realistic with full fiberglass bodies. A set of tires should last a full season. Car cost would be around $5,000 and includes a few spares plus a great data acquisition system. I'd need to get a trailer, some additional tools, and do much of the work myself. Track is 1/4 mile paved oval. Races would be twice a month, on Saturdays, but at NOON. In the summer. There has been a falling out over this, and the field may be very small or non-existent.


Quarter Midget

These "point two five" cars are literally 1/4 the size of a USAC sprint / midget car the likes of which compete at the Chili Bowl in Tulsa, etc. Lots of fast open wheel and NASCAR guys came up from midgets, including Jeff Gordon. Full coil-over suspension, direct drive 160cc two stroke motor. Track is primarily a 1/20 mile paved flat oval. A set of right side tires will last 3-4 races, and the season includes nearly 20 including some travel. Chassis can run on dirt with the right tires. Car cost would be around $4,000 - would need trailer, tools, lots of tires, additional travel costs, would have some help figuring out the car (might be able to lease it from the builders). Uncertain as to actual schedule as far as time of day is concerned. Field size is probably 6 or more cars regularly.


Thunderbolts

These are roughly 1/2 scale open wheel cars, but with rigid chassis, using roughly 350cc snowmobile engines and centrifugal clutches. Only tuning available is tire pressure, and handling is much more kart-like. Speeds are faster here than any other option, but cars are custom built by the promoter (a respected instructor and former IMSA racer) and safety might not be what we'd want. Car would be acquired on a lease program, so no tools or trailer would be involved - expecting around $2,500 a year to race. Field size is probably 4-5 cars tops. Track is same 1/4 mile paved banked oval, race time is still NOON on Saturdays.


Karting

These are the traditional racing go karts by Birel, etc., probably not shifters yet, with 2 stroke motors and centrifugal clutches. Very lightweight and fast. Uncertain as to size of the field & classes or car costs, but there is an active club in town that does road racing on a challenging paved track at least twice monthly. Travel may be involved. This is of interest because it's a more traditional route to open wheel driving - the fast pace and short laps better prepare one for pro racing / endurance / GT. Cars drive in the wet unlike the other classes, which presents unique learning opportunities. No new investment in driver gear is required, unlike other classes that need specific SA / SFI certified uniforms & helmets.



We do have some sponsorship money to apply to any of these options, but most of the funding comes from the Bank of Hip Pocket. Costs that are common to all options are not reflected.

Thanks in advance for your considered input.
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post #2 of 41 (permalink) Old 02-16-2009, 01:45 PM
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Q, If the boy is really serious, go with the Midget cars. He will learn agreat deal more, and enjoy it at the same time.
post #3 of 41 (permalink) Old 02-16-2009, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Brentwood MB View Post
Q, If the boy is really serious, go with the Midget cars. He will learn agreat deal more, and enjoy it at the same time.
Q's son is 6'2" will he fit in those cars?
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post #4 of 41 (permalink) Old 02-16-2009, 02:30 PM
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6'2'' Doubtful, maybe?
post #5 of 41 (permalink) Old 02-16-2009, 02:33 PM Thread Starter
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Sheesh...he's 5'0". CLKMan's nose is 6'2", and so is my pecker, but my son is just 5 foot tall.
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post #6 of 41 (permalink) Old 02-16-2009, 03:09 PM
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I started in shifter karts

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post #7 of 41 (permalink) Old 02-16-2009, 03:27 PM
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You know what I think...Karts!
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post #8 of 41 (permalink) Old 02-16-2009, 05:45 PM
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Other than one summer where I was really big into H.O. slot cars, I have no practical auto racing experience and therefore am unable to offer reliable advice. I just didn't want you to think I was being stuck up or rude by not replying.


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post #9 of 41 (permalink) Old 02-16-2009, 05:52 PM Thread Starter
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^ I'd never.
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post #10 of 41 (permalink) Old 02-16-2009, 06:02 PM
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Hell I don't know. I only street raced my brains out for over a decade. That included just about every form of racing type sooner or later but is frowned upon by just about everyone and everything and wrongly considered naive. I would simply say follow the winning leaders and see what they did in their childhood in respects to the field of racing he thinks might be most relevant.
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