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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Re: Looking to Start Rallying

I am currently looking to start rallying some time in the next couple of years, and I need some advice on how best to go about this. Any advice would be greatly apprieciated. I also need some help on which car would be the best to start out rallying in. Right now I have narrowed my choices down to a Golf, Civic, or Escort, all late '80s early '90s. Thanks in advance. -Adam
 

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Everyone on this board will tell you to buy a Pre-Prepped car. And you should if you want to start racing right away. It doesn't sound like you are in too much of a rush, so your options may be a bit more open. You can run RallyCross with a totally stock car, you just need a helmet. If you like working on cars and have the tools you can do much of the prep yourself.

I'm just starting myself...first with RallyX then to RallySprints and finally to ClubRally. But working/building cars is just a hobby for me. Racing a car that I prepped is icing on the cake. I'm sure that train of thought will change once I catch "the bug".

I'm starting with an A2 GTI. Lots of people run them so there is a large knowledge base. I'm kind of a VW guy though. I think a Neon would be a great car. There are lots out there and parts are cheap and plentiful.
 

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Hi Adam and welcome,

The Golf is the best choice on the list your supplied. I think the Neon suggestion is good too. NOT everyone will advise you start with a preprepped car; it depends a lot on your abilitles and preferences. (Sometimes another car is buying someone else's problems; caveat emptor.)

Do you have a good idea on car classes and the differences between Club and Pro? Any idea what you want to achieve? Have fun? Be the next world champ? Give us few more clues to what you want/like, what your car experience is, how much wrenching you like to do, etc., (if you know all this yet!) so we can guide you as best as possible.

Mark Bowers
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Currently I am planning on shooting for Gr2 when I am all said and done. Honestly right now I am not completely sure what all the differences between Club and Pro Rally. Probably the biggest difference is that Pro is a whole lot more competitive, and based more on results then fun and enjoyment. Also right now, I am looking to get into rallying for fun and something exciting to do before I think about starting a family, which won't be for a while considering I am just a freshman in college:) , but a dream would be if I could turn this into something that I could make enough money a year to live comfortably. As far as technical know-how, I am not the best when it comes to cars, but since I started into my major, Automotive Engineering/Tech, I have learned a great deal more which should make maintainance easier, and keep costs down. Also as part of my major I have nearly unlimited access to the equipment we have at school, so I should be able to keep costs down while I am in college. I will be going to my first rally this summer, so that should give me a better idea of where I stand on a lot of things. I also hope to have my car purchased by that time as well.
 

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<<...but a dream would be if I could turn this into something that I could make enough money a year to live comfortably.>>

That's a nice dream, but boy have I got bad news for you. The average rally will cost you somewhere northwards of $2000 to compete in (not counting the cost of your car) and you can expect winnings in the range of, oh...a nice insulated mug, an very cool piece of acryllic in the form of a trophy and maybe credit towards a free tire or set of springs once in a while.

There are probably only 3 people making ANY money at this in the U.S. and their names are Higgins and Lovell. And they don't make enough to do this exclusively. Wanna make money driving cars? Try your local demolition derby. It pays more.
 

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During our 1st season (2000) we averaged over $1100/event on a very tight budget. That included 2 events that were nationals. Entry fees have about doubled since then. So, I would expect that the average stand alone ClubRally would cost well over $1000 (including hotel, food, gas for tow vehicle at 11 mpg, gas for rally at about the same, entry fees, incidentals) and over $2000/event for a national. This is assuming you are watching your expenses. The average person cannot afford to be married and rally at the same time. I really don't miss her that much.
 

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Hi again Adam,

A few replies:
1) I think your choice of G2 is a good one. It is relatively cheap (note I said "relatively"!), and you can do a lot of things to the car and be pretty fast and certainly have fun.
2) I think you got a pretty good handle on the Club/Pro situation with your fun vs. results assessment.
3) While I won't be as blunt as Mr. Jerry of the "Dukes o' Hazard Citation that never grew up", I will say "Don't quit your day job or your schooling quite yet!" You might be that next whiz rally driver, but the odds are long.
4) Any and all things you learn in auto school will be a BIG help. That is good.
5) As far as the marriage, just do what I did many years ago: make continued rallying a contingency of offering the marriage proposal. If she really loves you, she'll be so emotional at that moment that you can actually pull it off! Worked for me, and she has kept her end of the deal, God bless her! Then all you have to worry about is to make enough $$ to pay for formula, disposable diapers, a mortgage, and a bad rally habit, all at the same time, without going to debtors' prison.....:7

Do you have any specfic plans as to what first event you might attend? It would be good to volunteer under the "Crew" topic to crew fopr someone; you will learn LOTS!

Regards,
Mark Bowers
 

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Pete Morris (building "Son of CoROLLa.) In response to Jerry's comments regarding costs for weekends of bliss (rallying), I beg to differ on the costs. I am on a BUDGET, but according to my calculations, I could comfortably complete the CRS rallies including Prescott for less than %5,000. That includes hotels, gas, entries, food, but excluding any parts that need to be replaced due to damage. So far, I have been able to do it. Ok, I don't win big time but I do have FUN! I have no service crew but I do ask politely if someone will carry a can of gas and a spare wheel to service if they have the room. If I break, if I can't fix it myself, I go home. Back in the '80's I used to drive the car to events and home again. Even cheaper. It can be done, otherwise I wouldn't be doing it.
 

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Pete, I think we are much more lucky than most on this forum being in CRS country. The tow to Treeline is 15 minutes for me, Rim 1.5 hours and Gorman 2 hours.

I feel for all the others out there.;-)

Bradney A. Boli
Over Exposure Racing
Honda Accord #311
 

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Very true. I'm in CenDiv (the 2nd most populated rally region) and our average event is over 500 miles away. Not only does that add a huge amount to the tow cost, but it generally adds another day of hotel stay to the budget. Those of you lucky enough to be in the CRS area really have it good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well, the rally I am planning on attending this year is the Ojibwe Forest Rally in Bemidji this August. It is ten hours away, but it is the closet rally to where I live. I know that making money off racing is basically a pipe dream, so I have no illusions of quiting school or not getting a job. In regards to costs, I should be able to keep some things down because I have a friend that owns a machine shop who has already given me free range to hone my skills on his machines, and the even better part is he is an old racer and knows people all over the place that might be able to help me. In regards to fuel, my school is big into Ethanoel use and research so my plan right now is to run the car on E85. And, I might be able to get a deal on fuel, because a kid's family on my floor just invested in an Ethanoel refining plant, and he says that he would be willing to get me a meeting with someone if I actually decided to rally. The best part is that he has sponsored karters before so he is no stranger to racing sponsorship. I was wondering if car auctions are a good place to find low priced cars. Thanks, alot for all of the help so far.

PS. No need to worry about a wife yet, no ladies in my life yet, but trust me they will have to put up with my racing addiction.
 

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ofpr is a great first rally to go to lots of fun and lots of cars! as far as the wife thing mine she loves it and that is the key, she actually like driving a service van at 55mph. she is even in favor of naming our fist born son (if its a boy) Race Bannon Donovan. any johnny quest fans out there? or race xavier so he can be Racer X. it can be done cheap but it is frustrating to do it that way. just ask jim and kaari cox, last year Grassroots Motorsports' rookies of the year. it will take longer than expected to build a car but rallyx is a blast and a great way to get into the sport for little money. be sure to get some used rally tires and go the prepared route. it is worth it. less worries about tire damage and it hooks up so much better. and rallyx is so twisty that you actually have a shot at beating rally cars. our last event was won by a golf on street tires. sure there was 3 inches of snow on the ground and the course was optimal when he went but he was the fastest on that day! and thats all that matters. on june 9 we will be hosting the second LoL rallyx at our farm near rochester MN if you are willing to drive to OFPR you should check out our event and the others at the Arkansaw wisc. site. where exactly is urbandale? i drive from fargo to compete and it is worth all 350 boring cd playerless miles. we have a group of guys that regularly drive up from chicago area too. there abunch of fancy boys though w/their audis and wrx's.
just teasing mike you know i love you! but in a strictly non threatening way!
greg
 

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Then all you have to worry about is to make
>enough $$ to pay for formula, disposable diapers, a
>mortgage, and a bad rally habit, all at the same time,
>without going to debtors' prison.....:7
>
I have often said that a drug habit might be cheaper, and less addictive...:+

Brian Flanagan
Fastech G2 #842 BMW 323is

p.s. If you can find a co-driver who is willing to split expenses (like I did, THANKS DAVE!!!), it will lessen the financial burden considerably!);-)
 

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>it is the closet rally to where I live.

OFRP is still in the closet? When is it going to come out? Sorry, couldn't resist; with my typing I hade better watch myelf.


>In regards to costs, I should be able to keep some things
>down because I have a friend that owns a machine shop who
>has already given me free range to hone my skills on his
>machines, and the even better part is he is an old racer and
>knows people all over the place that might be able to help
>me.
Excellent deal; this is good.

In regards to fuel, my school is big into Ethanoel use
>and research so my plan right now is to run the car on E85.

Doensn't methanol have a significantly lower engery content per volume of fuel? If so, that is a good reason not to use ethanol.

>And, I might be able to get a deal on fuel, because a kid's
>family on my floor just invested in an Ethanoel refining
>plant, and he says that he would be willing to get me a
>meeting with someone if I actually decided to rally.
You may not want to haul 30 gallons of ethanol over a 1000 mile tow, for safety. And if you run out, could you use pump gas?

I was wondering if car
>auctions are a good place to find low priced cars.

If you are careful. Remember, many cars at auctions are problem cars, especially older ones. If you are a wrencher, then this is a fine way to get bodies and parts cheaps, but count on rebuilding everything fully. If you look at damaged cars, make sure there are no wrinkles in the firewall, floorpan, or roof columns; these will create weak spots, even if straightened, that rallying will really work on. I may get some wrecked shells for the next car, but I will be REALLY picky.


>PS. No need to worry about a wife yet, no ladies in my life
>yet, but trust me they will have to put up with my racing
>addiction.
Be careful; they're tricky! :7

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Well, if I don't have to work I might look into to heading to one of the rallyx events in Minnesota. My friend who lives in Austin keeps telling me that I should look into it, because he has been to a few and he says they are good fun. Urbandale happens to be a suburb of Des Moines, Iowa, so I have to make a long drive regardless of what I want to do. So, once I get my car built, I imagine that I will probably spend the whole year living in Mankato, so travel distances will be less. I hope to have a car purchased, or at least a possible car some time before June, but there aren't a large number of used Golfs or GTIs in Des Moines.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
You are right, Ethanoel does in fact have a lower BTU per gallon reading than normal gasoline, but it doesn't have any methanoel in it, it is in fact derived from corn, which means that if I race with it I help out all the farmers in my family too. E85(85% Ethanoel, 15% Gasoline), has about 30% the combustibility of normal pump gas, which means that it has a fuel effieciency(sp?) 30% less than gas. But, the good thing about it is that it has a much higher octane than comparable gasoline, and to tune the engine to run on it all I have to do is add injectors that flow 30% more fuel, and adjust the timing I believe. Hauling the fuel is something I have thought of, but I am interested in E85 because it could easily help me when I have to do my senior design project. I am not sure, I will have to ask my professor, but I do believe that if I ran out I could use pump gas, the engine would just be running insanely rich, (which makes its own problems). You don't have to tell me about women being tricky, I have already had some experience with that side of them;) .
 

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OK.

I guess I should have resisted the "tricky" crack. Let's tone it down here, Adam, or Daphne and Jamie will show up and give us what-for!

Ooops, my honey just revoked my internet priviledges! Hey sweetie, I was just kiddin...........

Markie's in the dawghouse now......:eek:
 
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