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Long history of track driving in all sorts of street cars. Just sold a Spec E46 race car after 3 years and want to build something i can drive on weekends but also do TT in with NASA.

I'd like something with a DCT/PDF/DSG...but am fine with a manual (getting older and like tech). I'd prefer something that doesn't need a ton of mods to make it fun and fast at the track. I'm thinking seats, belts, tires, pads and fluid is all i'd do at first. Lastly, i want something that makes me smile.

Here's my short list. ~$30k budget. I'd prefer something towards the bottom of the depreciation curve with is in the Vette, Cayman and BMWs favor, the RS will continue to plummet.

RS - plenty around DFW - you guys know the pros/cons
BMW E9x M3 - v8 sound and DCT
Gen 1 Cayman - PDK and great steering but low power
C6 Z06 - V8 yum but i refuse to wear a Corvette jacket
Golf R - seems boring but they make great power with a tune and DSG is nice. lowest on list.

Thoughts from anyone who races?
Thanks
 

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I think you're going to have a hard time getting into clean title RS for 30k, let alone prep one for racing. Even salvaged title cars are going for mid 20s.

Check out the build by @Hank where he's put almost 20k into his, and has had some pretty good success at AutoX

 

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Autocross? Yes absolutely. Dedicated track day car? Absolutely not. Not saying it isn’t s great car, but it’s one issue after another with the RS on track.
 

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I've driven 4/5 of your choices, but mostly on the street (canyons) and only the RS at the track. I would say if this car will be mostly for track driving, I would go with the Corvette or Cayman.

The Corvette has plenty of aftermarket support and consumables would be more affordable. I don't know how the auto trans feels tho.

The Cayman just handles so we'll, but consumables and modifications would be $$$. PDK is superb in this car.

The BMW (technically, I drove an M4) was just too heavy to have fun with.

The Golf R is fast but not very exciting. I would recommend this if it was the other way around (daily driver with some track). The DSG is quick, but not as fun as the PDK.

The RS is the same as the Golf, but a little more rowdy.

What about the Civic Type R?

Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I think you're going to have a hard time getting into clean title RS for 30k, let alone prep one for racing. Even ....
Yeah i'd have to buy one then add things over a year....hmmm

Autocross? Yes absolutely. Dedicated track day car? Absolutely not. Not saying it isn’t s great car, but it’s one issue after another with the RS on track.
Thanks, i'm here learning about issues. Don't really know any shops around who support these cars so there's that too.

I've driven 4/5 of your choices, but mostly on the street (canyons) and only the RS at the track. I would say if this car will be mostly for track driving, I would go with the Corvette or Cayman....

What about the Civic Type R?
Civic R is way too boy racer although the RS is closer. Plus i don't want a strictly FWD car.

Cayman is probably the way to go.

I read that thread posted and was shocked the car was so heavy and with little that can be lost easily. My E46 sedan was 2625 with a full cage. Granted it was gutted but cars have gotten way too heavy in general.
 

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You can easily buy an already TT spec built C5 or C6 for somewhere between $20-$30k. Much cheaper than building it yourself. Check on CorvetteForum under platform for sale ads and race/autocross for sale ads.

Both platforms are phenomenal on a road course. Still hold a number of track records to this day.

Cheap to buy, reasonably good on consumables, tons of used parts available if you want upgrades, rather bulletproof if cooling needs are addressed (engine, tranny, diff), take off slicks can be had for $125 a piece ( I ran 305 square). Fun, powerful cars with incredible potential. Well built Vette will be around 3k lbs and anywhere between 400 and 600 whp.
Fit might be an issue if you are over 6’ tall, as there isn’t a ton of headroom with a cage installed.

It was my choice for a track car before and it probably will be again, once I decide to get back to it.
 

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Another option is to go with a retired stock car, if you like HPDE track time. Simple and cheap to run, quite cheap to buy, and insanely fast.

Many Corvette guys have gone that route due to performance vs. cost benefits. I almost did, until life threw me a curveball.

Once your ‘street’ Vette gets properly built, it becomes a trailer to the track only tool. Might as well get a tubular chassis designed for racing and spend less, wrench less, and win more. Lol

Not sure what state you live in, but most places don’t consider time trial sanctioned event prepped cars ‘street legal.’

So having fun on a weekend in a fully caged car without 3 point belts, SRS system, emission-less engine and exhaust, etc, becomes hard to do. ;-)
 

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RS is a fine DD HPDE compromise - not fast, but fun

I'm in BC so heat issues on the track only happen on the hottest days - just once last year. It also rains a lot here so AWD facilitates a little wet day fun . . .

Cayman if I had a garage and lift!

Winding road showroom is always fun for ideas
 

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Ever thought about getting into club racing? What about that one car that "Is Always The Answer"? You could pick up a Spec Miata w/ great race history and go wheel to wheel while giving you more money to play around with. If you aren't into that type of thing and need more herspewrs ... LS-swap that summabitch.

Miata is always the answer -- regardless of what engine is under the hood.
 

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XLR8, I raced Spec 944 with NASA for years and eventually sold it when my son started racing karts. Race car, tow vehicle and trailer is a commitment, plus daily driving a truck is well...a truck.

I got the RS as it's my "everything car". Daily driver, a blast to drive, 4 doors and a hatch to put a ton of stuff in...and track days. I am not doing TT in a road car without a cage as I know myself and will drive 11/10ths...

The RS is a blast on the track. I have had a lot of fun with it, and it always surprises people by how capable a car it is. Plus AWD, nice suspension(I prefer it in drift with dampeners set hard, as its easier to rotate the car) and decent HP. It's not a race car, but a lot of fun on the track. Coming from a momentum race car, it's very different and enjoyable. Nice to not have to constantly be under the car making adjustments all weekend too.
 

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I'm late to the game here, but here's my take. I bought my RS last year, swapping it for an old hawkeye WRX. I had some initial regret. It's pretty bouncy, I lost the ground clearance that I liked on the WRX (I do outdoorsy stuff), I had various Ford interior qualms (little droplets of rain will stain the door panel leather... it kind of fades after a few weeks), and the seating position is too high for my liking (and I generally don't mind "higher up"... I was coming from a WRX!), the headunit had little issues where it would reboot randomly (this has stopped), and I could tell the front wheel bias to the AWD system, especially on initial throttle.

Anyway, it's been roughly a year now... and I think I've changed my mind.

I've taken my RS on the track... but I don't think that's where it belongs.

The RS lets you get away with murder in daily driving.

Literally. Just throw it into whatever corner. It will handle it. Take a sweeper at absolutely absurd speeds. It will do it until your butthole puckers so hard it partially retracts into your abdomen. Example: I have a huge sweeper on my way back from work everyday, and I can take it comfortably 20mph faster in my RS than my 987.2 Boxster S.

And yet, unlike the other "superhero" cars like the GT-R, the Focus RS is unassuming. 95% of the people out there will have no clue. And it's small enough that it doesn't feel like a boat on public roads. Even 911s are getting massive these days. Caymans don't seem too far behind.

And it's practical. It fits a lot of junk in the truck. While, unlike the Golf R, feeling alive while you drive it.

So, while it still has a lot of downsides (imo), and you'll want to carefully vet any candidates you're looking at for the headgasket issue, I think it's the best thing we have right now, and I'm pretty sure I would buy it again.
 
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