Race Weekend Expenses

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Steffeazy
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Location: Burleson, Tx

Race Weekend Expenses

Postby Steffeazy » Wed Oct 07, 2015 7:47 am

I don't currently have a CMC car, but I am strongly considering building one. I've been a big fan of this class for a long time and I want to join in on the fun. I think I've talked a buddy of mine that I work with into building a car together that we can co-drive. I think I have a decent idea of what it will take to build the car, but I'm not sure what estimates to use for expenses to expect during the season.

Is anyone willing to share what their costs are over a typical race weekend? I know someone has to keep track of everything their spending in a spreadsheet (I know I will). I'm just trying to get an idea of how to plan my budget when I start racing.

Thanks for the help!

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BADVENM
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Postby BADVENM » Wed Oct 07, 2015 8:04 am

I'll give you my typical costs:

1) Race entry fees - about $320 for a weekend
2) Fuel - $75 for gas in the race car (20-25 gallons per weekend)
3) Fuel - tow vehicle, depends on distance to track for that weekend
4) Lodging - usually during the year I'll sleep in the back of my truck (covered bed) or my teammates enclosed trailer saving about $125-150 for 2 nights of lodging in a hotel.

The other major costs for a season are tires - around $1000 for a set of Toyo RR's and brake pads - $375 for a set of Hawk (front and rear).

We usually go through a set, maybe two of tires a season. We've been lucky enough to get some Toyo bucks for good finishes which are finally (after 7 or 8 years of racing) allowing the tires to pay for themselves. As far as brake pads, usually 2 sets of front pads per season, one set for the rear.

Those are my significant costs.
NASA Rocky Mountain - Camaro-Mustang Challenge car #8 Team Incidental Contact
3rd Place CMC - 2010 NASA National Championship
3rd Place CMC - 2015 NASA West Coast Championship PTB

D. Francis
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Postby D. Francis » Wed Oct 07, 2015 8:24 am

Woo Hoo...

Similar expenses here.

If you're seriously looking, come to TWS next weekend and hang out.

I'm in for a set of tires, and 1 1/2 set of front Carbotech XP10 @ $225. I am lucky/skilled/slow to run O'Reilly house ceramics out back.

I too find sleeping arrangements at the track. Food and beverage expenses are yours to choose.
David Francis
#39 CMC Camaro
Orange is FAST!

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Al Fernandez
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Postby Al Fernandez » Wed Oct 07, 2015 8:42 am

IMHO the biggest mistake people make when getting into racing is misjudging the money. Talking to the drivers and through threads like this you can get a good idea of the obvious costs: consumables, fees, fuel. Those are easy to quantify but it is the two other types of costs that I'll group together into maintenance/repairs and finishing results improvement.

Maintenance/repairs:
Engines cost money, and you will need to rebuild yours on a regular basis. The same goes for your trans, brakes...everything on the car and the trailer and maybe the tow vehicle. That is for regular race duty use but on top of that you have to factor in the occasional kaboom. You can choose to lump that all into an annual fund, or add an additional amount to your "per event" cost, but either way you need to account for this because in my experience this is higher dollars than the obvious costs above.

Finishing results improvement:
Going fast costs money, and the amount of money increases exponentially with the lap time decrease. Depending on the series and the region, finishing on the podium could cost two to four times as much as finishing 8-10 or lower. This manifests itself in things like tires, shock rebuilds, tires, dyno time and engine rebuilds, driver coaching, tires, cheating bastard practice, etc. BUT it is IMHO a personal decision. Running mid pack maybe you use 1.5 to two sets of tires a year. Finishing at the podium maybe you use four or five sets of tires a year, plus a set of fresh rains. Will you be satisfied running mid pack, how much more are the guys up front spending, and can you afford to run at the front?
Al Fernandez
CMC Chief National Director

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BADVENM
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Postby BADVENM » Wed Oct 07, 2015 9:31 am

Although not a weekend expense I'll add another item that isn't exactly cheap...fixing/replacing body panels, fenders, nose, rear bumper cover etc.

We'll call these items a result of "Incidental Contact"...see where I went with that ;)

Anyway, I've done a few trips to the local body shop to get the frame checked/straightened and have had each front fender replaced, the front nose piece and a rear bumper cover from contact with other cars while on track. Finding a good parts car is cheaper compared to buying individual pieces, just in case.
NASA Rocky Mountain - Camaro-Mustang Challenge car #8 Team Incidental Contact
3rd Place CMC - 2010 NASA National Championship
3rd Place CMC - 2015 NASA West Coast Championship PTB

Glenn
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Postby Glenn » Wed Oct 07, 2015 9:39 am

I live just north of you in Ft Worth. Feel free to set-up a day/time to drop by and talk about the series. Been racing CMC since 2005.
Texas Region AI/CMC Series Director
Inferior Driver, Superior Platform…. since 2005.

Steffeazy
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Location: Burleson, Tx

Postby Steffeazy » Wed Oct 07, 2015 12:10 pm

Thanks for the replies. That's exactly what I'm looking for.

I completely agree with you Al. I'm an engineer by trade, so I tend to look at the budget the same way. Race weekend costs, consumables, planned maintenance, and contingency. As far as "how fast do you want to spend" goes... I'm just looking to get on track and have some other cars to race. I don't think I'll need a new set of tires every weekend (,yet). We'll see what the future brings.

The funny thing is I actually have a CRX race car that I am mounting a seat in right now. It needs a little work, but it's basically track ready. I figure that will be the quickest way to get seat time. I went to the race at MSR Cresson this year, but I was disappointed to see a lack of cars in the CRX's class. I don't want to just turn laps by myself... I want to get into some real wheel to wheel racing!

Unfortunately, I won't be able to make it this weekend. I work at a power plant and we are currently in an outage. That means extended work hours and the potential to be called in at any time. TWS would probably further away from the plant than I need to go. I won't miss the next race in the area, though.

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TX#11CMC
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Postby TX#11CMC » Wed Oct 07, 2015 12:52 pm

As others have said, your basics are:
Entry fee, tow vehicle gas, race car gas, food / drink, tires, brake pads, lodging (if needed), and various misc items. If you camp at the track and budget you could get away with $1,000 / event.

You can also ask around for take-off tires to get started. I typically run mine for 3 events and then switch to a new set. Mine usually still have enough tread left to get another event in if needed. You might even be able to pick up a set for just a case of Keystone Light. :wink:

Last, I"d consider buying a previous race car. The cost could easily be less than $.50 on the dollar vs building. You could get on track faster and use the money saved to update/modify to your preference.

Welcome to the fun!!
-Michael Mosty
TX region #11
"Fox" driver and lovin it!!!
Texas Region - CMC Director

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cozog
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Postby cozog » Wed Oct 07, 2015 2:48 pm

I think a good rough estimate is $1k-$1.2k per weekend. The big factors that can increase/decrease are:
    Towing distance
    Track entry fees/Fri practice
    Instructor Discount
    Lodging/Food

Sleep in your trailer, cook your own food and instruct to reduce costs.
Can't do much about consumables like track fees, tires, brake pads, diesel, gas, etc. A Fri-Sun at Road America or NCM is now $750. A Sat-Sun at Autobahn is $450. At least in our region, the days of $250 track weekends are long gone.

But really, being in the middle of a start of a 10+ car CMC field is priceless!
Todd Johnston, #59

t500hps
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Postby t500hps » Wed Oct 07, 2015 3:03 pm

I don't track it......nor want any records for my wife to find!

However, planning on $1,000 per weekend is a fair number with tow vehicle and trailer costs being addl.

Glenn
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Postby Glenn » Wed Oct 07, 2015 4:19 pm

My annual budget for 6 weekends was about $5k total.
Texas Region AI/CMC Series Director

Inferior Driver, Superior Platform…. since 2005.

Supercharged111
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Location: Colorado Springs, CO

Postby Supercharged111 » Wed Oct 07, 2015 8:17 pm

We're spoiled here in CO with 3 local tracks and a longest local pull of 120 miles. I spend around $550 for a weekend per below:

$330 entry
~$150 gas (tow pig is a gasser too)
$50 food/beer
Free lodging in my trailer

Hallett 2014 was around a $1500 pull and Hallett 2015 was closer to $1200 since gas was cheaper and I didn't end up running to OReilly's to replace broken shit. It's 630 miles one way for me and I get around 7mpg pulling. Still cheaper than a truck payment!

Tires: I've gotten away with 1 set of RRs this year because last year's cycled out RA1s were still fast and didn't cord, so I ran them for 2 of my races plus a practice day. Some tracks will let you do this. I only did this at one of the tracks, they don't work at the others and I get pulled on. Next year is all but set for tires now too, the new contingencies are great depending on where you place.

Brakes: for 2 years in a row, I've run 1 set of Raybestos ST43 and they've gone the whole season. Last year I did 5 race weekends and 4 practice days. This year I'll have done 5 race weekends and 2 practice days. I'll have enough brakes for winter practice and then some. I use Catrol SRF and flush it once a year. Pedal is rock solid all year long.

The occasional kaboom? Fingers crossed. I had one this year, ended up rebuilding my existing motor for $800. Next time it goes will be cheaper as I grabbed a junkyard spare. After that who knows, T56s don't fall off of trees at the pull and pay like LT1s. I got off cheap on the motor since the block was able to be honed and reused. Ended up sourcing a virgin rotating assembly and plopped it in.

I bought a used race car myself and hit the track right away. I have been dealing with un-ghetto-ing the whole car bit by bit though, so either consider that or be more selective if that's an option. It's cost me more time than money. Also, comb the car real good, I've found more than 1 non-compliant item on this car. None that will really give me an advantage, but it's certainly enough to buy a DQ! Especially if it used to be AI.
Rocky Mountain CMC Director
#45 Camaro Challenge Race Car

BryanL
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Postby BryanL » Thu Oct 08, 2015 6:09 am

Steffeazy wrote:Thanks for the replies. That's exactly what I'm looking for.

I completely agree with you Al. I'm an engineer by trade, so I tend to look at the budget the same way. Race weekend costs, consumables, planned maintenance, and contingency. As far as "how fast do you want to spend" goes... I'm just looking to get on track and have some other cars to race. I don't think I'll need a new set of tires every weekend (,yet). We'll see what the future brings.

The funny thing is I actually have a CRX race car that I am mounting a seat in right now. It needs a little work, but it's basically track ready. I figure that will be the quickest way to get seat time. I went to the race at MSR Cresson this year, but I was disappointed to see a lack of cars in the CRX's class. I don't want to just turn laps by myself... I want to get into some real wheel to wheel racing!

Unfortunately, I won't be able to make it this weekend. I work at a power plant and we are currently in an outage. That means extended work hours and the potential to be called in at any time. TWS would probably further away from the plant than I need to go. I won't miss the next race in the area, though.

Ahh-you work at Comanche Peak......little do you know that the Harry Hogge of CMC lurks out there. He (or I) can point you in the direction of the perfect car that you should buy to get on track. You could be winning races with it next year-very affordable and one of the best builds out there plus it's in Texas. All it needs is fresh fluids, tires, and belts and it's ready to be a podium contender at the first race next year.
The numbers being thrown out are accurate. Do you have a truck/trailer that is reliable and can tow a few hundred miles?

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AllZWay
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Postby AllZWay » Thu Oct 08, 2015 8:51 am

BryanL wrote: Ahh-you work at Comanche Peak......little do you know that the Harry Hogge of CMC lurks out there. He (or I) can point you in the direction of the perfect car that you should buy to get on track. You could be winning races with it next year-very affordable and one of the best builds out there plus it's in Texas. All it needs is fresh fluids, tires, and belts and it's ready to be a podium contender at the first race next year.
The numbers being thrown out are accurate. Do you have a truck/trailer that is reliable and can tow a few hundred miles?


I know where a race ready car for sale just happens to be sitting.
James Proctor
2007 Texas Region - Rookie of the Year
2009 Texas Region - CMC2 Champion
2012 Texas Region - CMC Champion
http://www.jp-motorsports.com

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mitchntx
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Postby mitchntx » Thu Oct 08, 2015 12:11 pm

I'm too busy eating ice cream.

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