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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,
I would like to race in the Ontario performance rally championship this year.
I have a Pontiac firefly that I will be using; the car is completely stock right now.
I?m finding it a little difficult to figure out exactly what directions I have to take to get me to the first stage.
What I mean is that I can not find a straightforward map of how to prepare my car for racing and what I need as a driver (and my co-driver) to be eligible to race. What I want is a plain english check list from start to finish of the absolute minimum that is required for regional racing.
Anyone have a list like this?

Before people start commenting that I should buy an already prepped car and I need performance this and that?
I have a very minimum budget and I can do all maintenance and fabrication work myself.
I don?t care if I win any races this year. I just want to go out and have fun.
 

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That straightforward list you speak of is called the rulebook, and CARS will send you one for $15. Or try places like www.worldrallying.com and others for walk throughs of their own car build ups.

The reason everyone tells you to buy a prepped one, is that it WILL cost less almost all of the times. And i'm not really sure if the firefly is the best base for a rally car. You figgure if your gonna spend $5000 or more preparing it, it'd better last for more than 1 stage (questionable with that car), and you're not going to have the best results.

I think the big question here is the $$$. You say you wanna just go out and have some fun, and that's fine, but if you wanna play, you hafta pay....and what happens if it turns out you don't like it after you've done all this work? $5000 in prep, $300 for an event, god knows what else for hotels, crew, service etc.....it seems to add up. I'd say rallycross that car for now, and see if you can't codrive an event for someone, to make sure you wanna go through with it.

Just my $.02 tho.
 

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straight at T
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>Hi,
>I would like to race in the Ontario performance rally
>championship this year.
>I have a Pontiac firefly that I will be using; the car is
>completely stock right now.
>I?m finding it a little difficult to figure out exactly what
>directions I have to take to get me to the first stage.
>What I mean is that I can not find a straightforward map of
>how to prepare my car for racing and what I need as a driver
>(and my co-driver) to be eligible to race. What I want is a
>plain english check list from start to finish of the
>absolute minimum that is required for regional racing.
>Anyone have a list like this?

Start with the CARS rulebook. This defines the required modifications (and limits to modifications) to the car. It also defines the requirements for licensing and personal equipment (helmets/driving suits etc...).

Get a basic first aid certificate (its a license requirement).

Talk to one of the Ontario scrutineers about what they will look for in your car prep.

Talk to other competitors and look at their cars...

>Before people start commenting that I should buy an already
>prepped car and I need performance this and that?
>I have a very minimum budget and I can do all maintenance
>and fabrication work myself.
>I don?t care if I win any races this year. I just want to go
>out and have fun.

You don't need performance parts, but an already prepped basic car is usually cheaper to start with (especially if ACP is still selling his Lada... ;-) ).

Adrian
 

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Buy ACPs Lada

I agree with Adrian. Its best to buy ACP's Lada, save the headache of building a car with no rally background or development potential. Plus maybe the Sprongls will still service for you. If Andrew hasn't already sold the car, ask him to rent it for an event and see how much you like the sport.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the responses.

I should have been a little clearer. I do have a 2002 CARS rulebook and I?ve read through it several times. What I got from the rulebook the minimum things I need to compete in production class is a roll cage, safety harness, fire extinguisher, first aid kit and a towrope.
If I add it up I get $300 in materials for a cage, $600 for harnesses, fire extinguisher $50, first aid $50 and another $50 for a towrope. That all adds up to $1050.
This doesn?t include the cost the vehicle in safe running order. That?s why I want to use my firefly, I?ve driven it for several years and know the car inside out and the car would have no problem passing a safety test.

Where my confusing comes is that I keep hearing people saying that it will cost thousands of dollars to prep a rally car. I just figured I must have been missing something from the few items that I listed above.

I have no doubts that I will be hooked for life once I start rally racing. I grew up just east of Algonquin Park in Ontario where I learned to drive on gravel roads at the age of 14.

One thing that?s not extremely clear to me in the rulebook is exactly how to get a logbook for my car and how to get a CARS regional competition license.

Do I just buy a logbook and competition license or are there any prerequisites?
 

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Once the car is complete, you would need to get hold of a scrutineer look on the http://www3.sympatico.ca/pwatt/rsodocs/rso.htm
Ontario Rally Sport page to get contact info for that. A scrutineer will need to put the car though an inspection checking everything in order for you to get a logbook for the car. I've heard some people will get advice on cage drawing before they put them in to make sure they are legal.

Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
>I've heard some people will get advice on cage
>drawing before they put them in to make sure they are legal.
>

That's a good idea. I'm researching cage designs right now.
When I come up with a design I like I'll get a knowledgable person to take a look at it.
Thanks
Darryl
 

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>As slow as the Firefly is you really think I'm going to bust
>a shock?

No matter how slow a car is, given long enough to accelerate and you will often find yourself going much faster than you thought you ever would. Our second race we found ourselves at just over 100mph and the car has 95hp on a perfect day! Shocked the hell out of us!

Stock shocks will work fine, so long as the road is smooth, there are no yumps or bumps or rocks or waterbars and you always stay on the road and the chances of that are pretty slim.

There are a number of people who go out on stock shocks and drive easy but just be ready to do some replacing, ask Gabe Pari for his expert advice, he has replaced lots of them on his Rally Sentra.

First rule is to always keep it fun, next spend your money on safety, then reliability, then handling, then go-fast and looks.

Good luck.

Bradney A. Boli
Over Exposure Racing
Honda Accord #311
 

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Good call, get the car ready so it can pass tech, or else you won't be racing at all!

I think your expenses are going to be higher than what you listed above. Your going to need more materials than you have measured(account for screw ups and test peices). I paid $400 just my tubing and I am going to have to buy more. If you are doing it your self, you are going to need a whole bunch of tools to build it (tube bender, grinder or notcher, mig or tig welder, and other basic stuff). If your going to get someone else to build, thats going to be more money aswell. Mabye you already have that stuff.

Other things always seem to creep up and take money out of you wallet when your building a rally car. Its an on going process that just keeps draining your bank account. I think its worth it but other may not!

Have you tried a TSD rally before? Its a good intro to how a car handles on gravel/snow covered road. Though it sounds like you have driven on gravel a long time. They are a fun intro. Consider it.

Hope this helps you,
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks everyone for all the coments, very helpful.

I think I have to sit down again and rethink my budget.

I guess I could run on stock suspension until it fails then upgrade. I'll just have to put more money into the piggy bank each paycheck ;)

One other question, what about tires?

Do you think regular snow tires will do for a while?
That's what I have been planning on doing.
 

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I'm sure tires, like suspension, depends alot on where and how you are running. A number of people use AT tires and snow tires and don't seem to have too much trouble with them. It took me only 4 stages to destroy 3 snow tires and that was on a pretty snowy race. (I have been described as able to break a crowbar in a sandbox).

I think rally tires are well worth the investment, at least track down some used ones. I use Silverstones, they are durable, the price is very good and I like how they handle and last. It will all come down to your budget and a decision of how hard you want to run.

Bradney A. Boli
Over Exposure Racing
Honda Accord #311
 

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Have you joined a club yet? If you're still living in the Ottawa Valley the nearest is Motorsport Club of Ottawa, www.mco.org You'll need to be a member of an RSO affiliated club anyway, so maybe you should join soon. Also, you can come out to meetings and TSD events and talk with some people who have and are currently putting cars together and may have some advice. Some people may need crews for events like Tall Pines and Perce Niege, so you can see first hand what they go through if you help out.

Another investment you may want to consider is some type of rally computer.

I grew up on those same roads and know how much fun they are.

Good luck

Jodie
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
RE: Where do I start? Update

I stripped the interior out of my Firefly on the weekend and guess what I found or more accurately what I didn't find.
The floor is gone, very badly rusted!
I knew there was some rust but not as bad as what I found. The cancer is eating away at the frame.
So I made a decision to scrap the Firefly.
My current daily driver is an Eagle Talon AWD. My plan was to race the Firefly for this year to get some experience then race the Talon next year.
Change of plans. I'm going to rally the Talon this year.
The Talon will be just a little bit more fun then the Fireflee.

Next steps are join a club, first aid course and design a roll cage.

Thanx
Darryl
 

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RE: Where do I start? Update

Now you are playing with the big boys!
Talons are a good inexpensive starter car with a lot of potential to modified. The choice with the Talon is to either build it as a P4 car (Production 4wheeldrive large displacement and/or turbo) or as an Open class car. You may want to base the decision on fun, affordability and competition levels in those two classes.
P4 wins on the affordability and competition level if you want to win some class awards. Its also a relatively safe place to start out without gobs of power. The P4 Talons of Antonie LeStage, Bruno Laverideire (pardon my French, I don't know it), and Brian Scott's old Talon so that the cars are very competitve in class and overall. LeStage won the novice championship last year in his and usually finished top10 if not top5 in national events. The P4 Talon will smoke a P4 Subaru RS and is comparable to the P4 WRX which no one is compaigning in the Ontario championship. Tompson's WRX is GrN (open).
Open class is expensive and Open class Talons have reliability issues with turbos and driveshafts. And you can never build it to compete with the Open class Evos and WRXs that are competing in the Ontario championship (Townsend, ACP, Tompson) or the experience of the drivers like Dan Sprongl (Cosworth). Although you are more likely to finish higher overall in the Open class car which can help your seeding and road position later on.
Before you start major modifications on the car thus excluding yourself from P4, consider what you want out of it and how much you are willing to spend.
 

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Here's a novel idea ...
Start getting experience and knowledge by NAVIGATING first ... This is the route I chose and the scarry chair is MUCH more fun than you'd think! (and MUCH less expensive)
As a co-driver you'll learn much more about how the sport runs, be able to poke around and see what needs to be done to prep cars, the 'goodies' you'll be looking for and basicly what to expect in a rally!
Rallying your daily driver as a starter car is potentially a HUGE mistake (www.morison.ca/rally) and starting in a p4 Talon may not be the best bet ...

Cheers,

Keith Morsion
Navigator
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I'm a little intimidated to be starting out that high of playing field first time out, that's why I was planing on the Firefly. I'll definitely be running P4.
I thought that I wouldn't have a chance thinking that the Subaru's would out class the old Talon for sure, based purely on their winning record.
I'll be taking it easy my first year anyway. A good statement that's posted on another thread that I'll be following religiously is "Slow in, Fast out!"

Keith I thought about being a navigator first, like you said it's a lot cheaper. I just love to drive. As for experience I volunteered at the Tall Pines a few years ago and took the navigational course this past spring. I know that's not a lot of experience but I like to jump into things canon ball style. It makes for a really steep learning curve right of the start. I am going to take your advice though and do a couple TSD's before my first race.
 

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Talons have far more power than Subaru RS 2.5. The only chance the RS would have would be either a really twisty rally or slippery one where power isn't as important. i've rallied a couple RSs and the Talons could just walk away with the power they have. Now, the WRX is a different story and on the same playing feild. However, there are no P4 WRXs in the Ontario championship any longer. Tompson converted his to GrN, there are RS 2.5 like Greg Brady's.
 
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