BMW M5 Forum and M6 Forums banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
663 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I've been tracking my friends supercharged M3 for about a year now, approximately 1 to 2 times a month. Personally I have never thought of bringing my M5 to track days, sure it is capable but certainly not optimal especially when factoring expensive consumables. I've done one HPDE day after I got my PSS9's but am looking to get more active without destroying my wallet. Currently still a student so I don't think I could splurge for an M3, but something like a little Miata would be alot of fun to throw around on the weekends. To those of you who have purchased a track car, what do you got, how much did the build cost, and is it worth it to pick up another car? Given you can pick up a Miata for 2k and mods, tires, and brakes are dirt cheap what should I do.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,014 Posts
Right after you ask that question ;)





PLEASE NOTE THAT I DO NOT OWN AN M5 AND THIS POST IS NOT INTENDED TO BE ARROGANT. PLEASE READ THE IMPORTANT REVISED DISCLAIMER THAT APPLIES TO THIS POST
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
78 Posts
Generally speaking, tracking someone else's car isn't great simply from a liability perspective. You'd better be prepared to cover it if you ball it up.

1-2 times a month is definitely often enough to justify a track car, and you will likely find that switching to something with a little less power is more fun and gives you more opportunity to play. (Past a certain performance level, it gets MUCH harder to find people to have fun with.)

Miatas are great track cars. So are various other inexpensive vehicles. If you want to stay in BMW land, an E36 M3 is inexpensive and quite good. An e46 330i would also be cheap and ready for you to move to SpecE46 if you decided to go racing.
 
  • Like
Reactions: gsfent

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,355 Posts
Get a Miata and beat the hell out of it. You can get into them for quite cheap and you have tons of parts available with great aftermarket support.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
364 Posts
Miata is great but if you want to keep it in the family, can't beat the value of the E36 m3
 

·
Registered
DinanS2+ e60m5 6MT, s38b38 e28m5 TT/ST3, e30 TT/ST4
Joined
·
6,253 Posts
Another vote for a SpecE30...or any car with a Spec series because of the aftermarket support.

Also, if you build your car to a Spec series, you will have a better secondary market to sell your toy -- when you're done.
 
  • Like
Reactions: CSBM5

·
Registered
Joined
·
265 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,529 Posts
A simple e36 sedan 5 speed will do with suspension mods. They do last long time.
 
  • Like
Reactions: DesertTech

·
Registered
Joined
·
380 Posts
E30!! Cheap to build or fix. It would be great if you turbo charge it. Now in most tracks, you won't be able to hit boost often but when you do... you're golden! Plus... it's still a BMW!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34 Posts
I say do it! I have my e46 m3 for getting around as well as track days, the other cars suit their chores as well. But once you have your own track day car it puts things into perspective. No need to drive the DD or whatever other vehicle so hard when you get the itch, etc.

If you are on a Miata budget, grab one. Personally, if I was looking for something on a smaller budget I'd look at E30 3 series, e36 M3. For any upgrades go brakes and tires, suspension (bushings and braces) components, gut it and stay away from power modifications until you are confident and understand what the car and why it is doing it at 7/10s or better.

Best of luck!
 

·
Registered
DinanS2+ e60m5 6MT, s38b38 e28m5 TT/ST3, e30 TT/ST4
Joined
·
6,253 Posts
How can I start to get into going to track days? Might seem like a dumb question but I just have no idea!
Start with BMWCCA and attend one of the AutoX or HPDE events.
 
  • Like
Reactions: mfizzlee and gsfent

·
Registered
Joined
·
588 Posts
The answer is always a Miata.
I went through same thought process. I realized I could buy a Miata for what a set of tires and brakes cost (one weekends worth).

So I did.

Bought a track prepped street legal 1991 for $3000. Already had hardtop, big brakes, ss brake lines, roll bar. It had 192,000 miles.
I ran it for two years once a month, drove it hard and put it away wet. Reliable as anything. More fun than anything, especially in that I didn't need to worry about scratching or denting it.

Race wheels cost $600. Sold spare wheels that came with car for $300, for $300 net cost. Race tires are $600 (204/50/15 on 15x8 wheels). Tires and brakes last a year. Rotors are $15 each, race pads are $250 for all 4 corners.

Finally blew the motor. Used 60k mile JDM motor complete with all accessories cost $650. So easy to work on I installed it myself. Upgraded of course. Then I blew diff. Also cheap and installed myself.

Installed a new race seat I bought used on Craigslist, $300.

I've had the car 3 years with total invested still under $6k.

Car is street legal too. I pay about $60/year to register it and nearly nothing to insure it. I drive the car to and from the track.



Race wheels strapped in trunk.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
663 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
pantablo, this is exactly what I'm looking to do thank you so much for sharing.
 
  • Like
Reactions: pantablo

·
Registered
Joined
·
588 Posts
Depending on how ready the car is for the track will determine how much you have to invest to get it on track. The only thing you really need is a legal roll bar. Not all bars are allowed. Has to be 4 point and has a few other requirements or limitations (like some don't fit under the soft top).

Suspension is a good idea but really you can run the car as is. Car this old you'll probaby want to replace all 9 cooling hoses and possibly the radiator.

Mine with track shoes on:


Also, I run in a Miata Challenge series. I figure if I'm going to the track anyway might as well go when a bunch of other Miatas are there too. Its a really great community. At Fontana one day I blew the one cooling hose I didnt replace when I swapped engines (lol) and I had one guy give me a spare hose and 3 other guys helping me replace it (under intake manifold).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
934 Posts
Just one thing before you fall in love with Miatas....

it is a very small car and if you are tall, there is no way you will fit using standard seats and cage. And since there is no (structural) roof, you actually do want to pass the broom test in one.
There is a way around it - using a fixed seat, basically screwed into the floor. Disadvantage is that now only you can drive the car (unless you one day sell it to another tall guy).

It is a very intriguing way to do it, and you can buy a fully prepared, rebuilt, race ready Miata with such a seat for $15k. For a car that is refreshed and can be driven for years.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top