Budget track cars are the future. Fact.
It would be a dream to have a works WRC car for track fun, but that’s all it is, a dream. It’s not possible for the normal lad out for a spot of track fun.
Having been drawn into a depressingly long winded, big budget build myself. I spent lots of time listening to drivers complain about “needing more power” before daring to venture out on track. Or that they “wouldn’t be competitive”. That’s the wrong attitude to trackdays for a start. They are simply for safe fun with your car, and to learn new skills. Not racing.
I set about my one man crusade to try and change peoples perceptions on track time, and of course, get plenty seat time before my planned 300bhp Fiesta hits the circuits.
Choose a solid base
The weapon of choice? A humble Escort Bonus! I’m not suggesting that the Mk4 Escort is a track warrior, not at all. Merely the concept, that massive laughs can be had, without a massive credit card bill.
Has it worked? Of course! I have got a solid little base, and had an absolute riot along the way. It’s been a complete hoot, and with the knowledge that spares are freely available at the scrapyard and almost all damages can be fixed for peanuts is a complete weight off the mind.
The principal is the same regardless of the marque you choose. Thankfully the late 80’s and early 90’s produced a raft of hot hatches to choose from. Even the non-sporty models may be worth a look if they are structurally sound and cheap enough. It will leave you cash left for an engine swap, should you need it.
Money left over for performance mods
You can take your pick of project bases. From £200 to £1000. The remaining cash can go on brakes, tyres, suspension and bushes. If you shop wisely you’ll still have change to kit yourself up with seats, safety gear, lightweight wheels and performance mods. Just remember the UK’s harsh noise regulations, or you won’t be allowed to play.
Using the basics above, my personal outlay is in the region of £1300. For that I have chalked up several full days of action in the Escort. I don’t believe I’ll lose much money when I sell either. At this price level, depreciation is minimal.
Sure you have to move over every now and again for faster cars, but that happens anyway and it’s good etiquette. The main thing is I am feeding my addiction to tinkering and car abuse, without resorting to selling my worldly possessions on auction websites.
Along with seeing the Great Wall of China and making it with two sexy twins, every man should own a budget track car before they die.