Anyone run in SCCA GT2 class? If so what car are you running? How do you like the class/car?
My dad and I have been toying with the idea of building up a GT2 car and getting our SCCA licenses. We are trying to decide what class we want to be in, but right now GT2 seems like a very good starting point. We want to be able to tweak the car, so Showroom Stock is out. Personally, I would like to stay with a "German" product, and GT2 allows VW Corrados/GTI VR6s, 944s, and 325s...all of which I am familiar with in one way or another.
If anyone here runs in this class any insights that you might have would be greatly appreciated.
Before I list the pros and cons of GT cars, tell me why...
...you think you want to run a GT2 car. I don't currently run GT cars (current race fleet here includes SRF, ITB, E Prod, SSC and vintage cars), but I've got several good friends/paddock buddies who run GT2, so I've got lots of insight and understanding of what it takes to keep one alive and keep it competitive.
So....why a GT2 car ? (hint: my first comment about GT2 will be "BRING YOUR WALLET")
GT cars are fast, but from all the races I've attended, I've gotten a good look at some of them, and they are almost 100% custom. If you look up custom in a car dictionary you'll see "expensive as hell". You can tell who the GT guys are, even without stickers. They're always wrenching on the damn things, or worrying about something or other blowing up.
Then there's stuff like SSB, SSC, SRF and SRX-7, and recently Spec Miata. I go by these cars and I can't even find the damn owners. They're off galavanting around, trading bull**** racing stories. You stick oil in the engine, put gas in, and maybe inflate some tires, and that's about it. Crewing for these cars is cake, because there's nothing to do! Oh yeah, and you won't go deaf.
Listen to John! Actually, I think the best thing to do would be to crew for some cars in the class that you're seriously thinking about. See what goes into making a car competetive in that class.
Why GT2? Um, well, I dunno. Seriously though, I was reading the 2001 SCCA rule book and looking at what cars go into what classes. From past experiences I know more about the cars in GT2 then in other classes and I'd LIKE to be able to tweak the cars with mods and things. Other then that, there really isn't a reason....that's why I was asking my original question of what people thought about this class. I'm just beginning this process and any info/insight/words of caution are helpful right now.
There is a race coming up next weekend that I am planning on going to. I want to walk through the paddock, see the cars, talk to the guys, and watch them run. I want to see how involved each car is and how it performs. I think this will give me a much better idea of what I'd be in for. Warren, your idea of crewing for a car is a good one and something I will look into.
As I said, I'm just beginning this process and I have a long way to go. I'm getting my SCCA paperwork done this week, have my physical next week, and then I can send it all in. I'm trying to schedule a driving/racing school for June/July. Then, after all that I can worry about what car I'm going to drive and what class I want to be in....
Should be an interesting, and FUN process either way. So, keep the info coming, cause it ALL HELPS! :-)
Be aware that you'll need to rent, borrow, or steal someone else's fully SCCA prepped car for the driver's school. Also the schools aren't really schools. They're races, with some edumacation thrown in
HAHA, yeah, the seat breaking and me smacking my head into the door knocked this idea into my head!
Not really, but close! And it was only ONE lap in your car...you lasted three laps before you got too excited! :-)
My dad actually got the idea into my head. I was going to build an Audi track car, but he suggested that WE ( he used to rallye and autocross with my mom ) go do this together. He's retired and wanted something to do. I'm getting more and more into this. He thinks that I drive well....I'm not so sure! :-) So, he suggested going to school and building a SCCA car and have some fun.
The ride in your BMW didn't help much at all! NOT! :-P
...you don't have experience running and maintaining cars prepped to GT class rules, and especially if you have no racing experience, you need to stay far far away from GT cars. To build a competitive GT2 car will cost you $30k - $100k+++. The GT cars you might think you're familiar with are a far cry from anything you've ever seen. Other than a roof clip, engine block & body shape, they share virtually nothing with their model "designation". There are a lot of fwd cars that are actually rwd GT cars, with sequential transmissions and unbelieveable trick parts. Even in GT5, if you could convince Joe Huffaker or any of the other recent Nat'l champs to sell you their car for $100K, they'd still be losing big money.
Sure, you might find a used GT-2 car for sale for $15-30k, but it's been beat and it's a dog and it's one lap short of exploding a motor. The owner just decided to sell one big chunk instead of a lot of little chunks. What's it cost an hour to run a GT car ? Probably $800-$1500/hr. hard & soft costs....kinda steep if you're just learning, and if you're not going to be competitive, why bother doing it at all ?
Even bigger problems in driver development....you spend too much time working on the car and too little time driving. You need to spend time developing and tweaking the driver, not the car. GT cars are maintenance and $$$ intensive, while everyone else is out on the track playing, you'll be scratching your head wondering "...why won't this thing start....and why did the gearbox fail....and what is that odd-looking hole in the side of the block with a connecting rod sticking out ?....etc...." Don't fall into the "I want to tweak the car" trap. Fix the damn driver first. It'll take you years before you'll be able to tweak and have the tweak make a difference.
Everybody here gets all wet when they talk about Mike Galati and the Audi's in Speedvision Cup racing. I used to race against Mike when he was driving SSB Miatas. He was really good then, but he got to spend lots of time making the driver better, not worrying about whether the car will go three laps before exploding. Why do you think you're smarter than him ?
Find a RELIABLE IT car, or an SRX-7, or Spec Miata. Something that will run whenever you turn the key, that won't eat you out of house and home, that will keep your operating costs down to $100-300/hour. It'll give you time to make the driver better. Buy one of whatever you see a lot of at the track - not just what you think you want to race. There is safety in numbers. Lots of Mazda and VW parts and knowledge at the racetrack every weekend...which means you can probably join that pool party and quickly learn what they've learned. Drive something uncommon and you'll spend cubic dollars for race parts, if you can find'em or find somebody to make'em at all.
GT is very expensive and will suck up all your time as well as the $$$. IT and the RX-7 classes are good ways to start, but I like SRF. Built as a race car, very strong (safe) and reliable. Lot's of competitors in SRF, so you really need to learn to drive just to get to the middle of the pack at the regional level. There are many places you can rent one, which is a great way to get started. The last thing you need when you are doing schools and learning to race is the hassle of keeping the car running.
Where are you located? If you are in SCCA CenDiv, I would be glad to introduce you to some folks who could help you get started with a rental, if interested.
I have done Skippy and think they do a great school. However, if you are going to race SCCA, I strongly suggest you also do one of their schools. That will give you better insight into SCCA procedures, flagging, etc. Also, the SCCA schools give you valuable experience with race conditions, such as open passing. Skippy only allows passing on the straights, with point-bys so you never really get to race in their school.
The cars are few and far between, depending of course in which part of the country you race in. They are the least populated of the GT classes. At the 2000 Runoffs, there were fewer cars in GT2 than the other GT classes.
You can still go German in GT3, and you can run in a semi-pro (NASPORT) series with the car.