So after 3 years of VX ownership and 13 track days, I've decided that rather than keep spending money trying to turn the VX into a race car I should just buy a race car.
The original plan was to get a cheap ex race Caterham and use it for track days for a year or two but a few events recently have made me realise that life is short and there's no time for procrastination. As I've always wanted to race then I should just get on and do it rather than keep putting it off.
So if I'm getting a race car then it needs to be eligible for a championship I want to race in.
There's a few Caterham race series to choose from:
- Official Caterham series - for current spec cars (http://uk.caterhamca...orsport/academy)
- Caterham Graduates which allows current and older spec Caterhams (https://www.graduates.org.uk/)
- CSCC's Magnificant Sevens - all seven types allowed and arranged into classes by power
My initial preference was to go for the official series and enter the Caterham academy. With this route you buy a 125bhp 1.6 car from Caterham directly and build it yourself (something I’ve always wanted to do). The price includes entry to the races in year 1 and includes trackside support. A really nice element is that everyone in the championship is a novice and completely new to racing so you start on a relatively even level and get to learn together (and have agood chance of doing well).
Downsides are that it's booked up a year in advance, actual costs are a lot higher than the initial cost of buying the car/package from Caterham and you only actually get 5 20 min races. Also the follow on championships require further car mods and allow track support. There's money in the paddock and it looks like it might turn into chequebook racing.
I ruled out the CSCC Mag sevens as it was an 'open' championship which has very few restrictions on modifications except to group by bhp. I was worried this would turn into chequebook racing as well although it would be a great championship for anyone with a modified or non-Caterham kit car.
So I've chose to go into the graduates racing. I posted a request for advice on their forum and was snowed under with people trying to help out. It seems like a very friendly club that is a true 'Grass Roots' motorsport club with respect for each other in the paddock and on track. Costs are also tightly controlled with very specific regulations ensuring close racing and that no-one has any great advantage including specifics like only allowing 3 sets of tyres for the whole season.
To be continued...