Author Topic: Anyone looking to get into trackdays? Here's an offer...  (Read 2437 times)

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Offline Bad Kid

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Anyone looking to get into trackdays? Here's an offer...
« on: November 30, 2014, 17:55:31 PM »
As some of you may know I'm really into my UK trackdays and trips over to the Nurburgring.

Although I've been racing all sorts of performance cars and karts since I was 12, I still remember all those that helped me learn my skills and learn about how to build and set up a car to be quick. So, I'd like to give something back. Do a good deed as it were.

So I'm basically offering two things:

Firstly - if anyone has a Calibra they are looking to modify for track useage I'm happy to provide as much help as I can, from sourcing parts to advice on setup and fitting etc. If I have enough free time I may even be able to lend a practical hand as well. If not I have a lot of contacts for all aspects of chassis and engine preparation

Secondly - I'll be doing half a dozen trackdays next year which I am happy to give tuition for, free of charge. The same goes for passenger rides, you are welcome to join me for sighting laps, warm-up laps and perhaps even a hot lap (depends how fat you are).

There is also a week in Germany at the Nurburgring where again I'm happy to give unlimited (within reason) circuit tuition. I am by no means an expert, but feel my lap times show at least a reasonable understanding of what is a very complex and demanding track.

Costs
I firmly believe it's possible to track a Calibra on a very minimal budget. It really is a law of diminishing returns - eg a £5000 Calibra will only be a few seconds a lap quicker than a £1000 Calibra. I think you could turn a normal Calibra (except maybe an 8v!) into an enjoyable and reasonably quick track car for £500 at a push, although £1000 would be a comfortable budget. This could be spread over several months, and the car can be improved between track events to suit your driving style.

In my opinion, the key areas are:
1) Tyres (ideally semi slicks of a decent width)
2) Brakes - not just braking power but durability. If you drive quickly your standard brakes will fade quickly
3) Weight loss - It's free, and gives benefits to acceleration, braking, handling and fuel economy
4) Suspension - Not just stiffness, but the condition of bushes and your wheel alignment
5) Safety! A motorcycle helmet (£30 new) is the minimum requirement for most UK trackdays

To cover the above points using good quality parts I think you could do it on a budget of £500-£1000

If any of you would buy a second Calibra just for this, I would recommend buying one as cheap as possible due to engine failure, cosmetic issues or MOT failings on items you are due to replace. I would then suggest using the Saab B204 engine, a very cheap (£150) and powerful unit that is reliable and easy to fit. Failing this, given that Calibra Turbos are rare, my next choice would be a Calibra V6 - with the caveat of the gearbox and flywheel being binned for something more performance orientated, eg a lighter fly and a shorter ratio box. You don't need a 160mph Calibra on track, you need something that is punchy through the gears. Given that a V6 isn't any dearer than a 16v Calibra, I would not consider one of these. In short I recommend a B204 or modified V6.

Moving on to the key points for modification outlined above

1) Tyres - If you're on a shoestring budget - the minimum I'd recommend for tyres is 205 or 215/40/17 Toyo Proxes T1-R. On a moderate budget, go for Federal RS-R (road legal semi slick) in as wide a possible size that will fit on your wheels. 17" wheels are the best compromise here. Choose something light if funds allow (2nd hand set of Team Dynamics is ideal)

2) Brakes - On a budget - you want 288mm discs. Use standard late turbo/v6 discs if you're on 5-stud, or Lotus Elise 4x100 288mm discs if you're on 4 stud. Either way with late V6/turbo calipers to suit. Vectra B 288 calipers also work. The key here, even on a budget is the pads. As a bare minimum some fast road pads are sorely needed. Ideally you want track pads such as Ferodo DS2500. If funds allow, the next step is the same as the above but 308mm, or ideally an aftermarket 4-pot brake kit. ATE super blue brake fluid is cheap, and a must for any budget.

3) Weight loss - lose as much as you can live with. A second hand bucket seat is not expensive, nor are harnesses. These have the added bonus of keeping you in position on track, which actually makes a major difference to your lap times. Lose the spare wheel, sound deadening and rear seats as a minimum. Relocating the battery to the boot is fairly straightforward too.

4) Suspension - As a minimum, some lowering springs are required. Ensure your balljoints and bushes are in good condition throughout the car. Pay attention to the rear subframe donut buishes, your track rod ends etc. Get your tracking set to toe-in to encourage a sharper turn-in. Another cheap modification is fitting thicker anti-roll bars from bigger engine'd / newer Calibras.

5) Safety - This is personal choice. I'm happy with just a helmet for UK trackdays, even when doing fast laps. Beyond this you can look into roll cages (Weichers Sport in Germany do them), HANS devices, fire extinguishers etc.

***

What I would love more than anything else is if the Calibra scene took a few steps forward, in the direction of making quick cars. We can keep note of various lap times and aim to improve our cars, our driving and most of all have a good time. You only live once! So maybe instead of that £35 a month phone contract for 2 years, you can spend that £840 preparing your Calibra for the track :) We all waste lots of money, I believe it is possible to fund things like this purely through not smoking, drinking, gambling etc and all the rest. I've just cut it down to the occasional hooker and I'm able to spend on cars instead.

Any feedback / questions welcome, let's do this :)
NURBURGRING CHALLENGE :-D

Offline Bad Kid

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Re: Anyone looking to get into trackdays? Here's an offer...
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2015, 12:03:14 PM »
Quick bump with an offer of free tuition and passenger laps at the Nurburgring next month!
NURBURGRING CHALLENGE :-D

Offline drakos

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Re: Anyone looking to get into trackdays? Here's an offer...
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2015, 19:44:09 PM »
nice offer and good info..

if my trackday car is ready the next time i'll join you..
at the moment i'm building a omega b v6 trackday car.. purely for the track so doesn't going to be road legal.
(unlike my calibra , no compromises and more important, no regret if i park it in the gravel or upside down  :P)
gonna take you op on your offer for the setup info  ;), have no idea how to choose the springs, overall ride height an geometry.

but first gonna make the car as light as possible and get a cage in to get the end weight an corners weight before i can think about the suspension
only started the stripping today so have a long way to go,
first job on the list is to remove the sound deadening and take out the inside of the doors, impact bars and make some lightweight fix't windows







Offline Bad Kid

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Re: Anyone looking to get into trackdays? Here's an offer...
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2016, 23:05:44 PM »
Bump for 2016. Last year in just one session I managed to shave someone's lap times at Cadwell from a 1min 58 to a 1min 54 with just 3 laps of tuition :) I have 3 apprentices this season (mainly Vauxhalls!) and have time for a couple more.

It's not expensive and it's a lot of fun!

Nurburgring and Cadwell Park dates available.

Thanks

PS - Drakos sorry didn't see your reply. How's the build going?
NURBURGRING CHALLENGE :-D