DNF Racing Team (24h of Lemons) "Cheat to Win" NA Miata - Miata Turbo Forum - Boost cars, acquire cats.

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Old 09-22-2014, 11:24 AM   #1
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Default DNF Racing Team (24h of Lemons) "Cheat to Win" NA Miata

Good morning all,

I have been a lurker for some time but have finally decided on becoming a member here.

My name is Chris, and I'm a member of a 24 hours of lemons team called DNF Racing

We are located in northern Connecticut.

Although we have been a team since 2011 we were finally able to finish our second attempt at a car (changed from a subaru to a miata) and raced in the August race "There goes the neighborhood" at NJMP running the usual configuration of Thunderhill raceway (with the chicane).

I think I'll post a build thread at some point soon but I at least wanted to start the ball rolling.

Also I'll note that although of us are mechanically inclined, this is our first mazda platform, so tips, and tricks you have would be helpful.

We will be racing at Loudon in October for Halloween Hooptiefest.

and some pictures to hold you over until the build thread.

dnf profile by CTSparky1, on Flickr

10314637_10100123091989886_7561577380401277225_n by CTSparky1, on Flickr
24Hours92-4 by CTSparky1, on Flickr
Attached Thumbnails
DNF Racing Team (24h of Lemons) "Cheat to Win" NA Miata-15134536858_0f5ef680af_b.jpg   DNF Racing Team (24h of Lemons) "Cheat to Win" NA Miata-15134426250_411d5b5923_b.jpg   DNF Racing Team (24h of Lemons) "Cheat to Win" NA Miata-15298091666_e0f151b8ec_b.jpg  
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Old 09-22-2014, 12:16 PM   #2
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Welcome. I really want to get into chump or lemons racing. What's your experience with it so far. Any advice when starting to form a team and get started?
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Old 09-22-2014, 12:18 PM   #3
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make it FWD
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Old 09-22-2014, 12:59 PM   #4
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Default getting into Lemons/Chump

Quote:
Originally Posted by cyotani View Post
Welcome. I really want to get into chump or lemons racing. What's your experience with it so far. Any advice when starting to form a team and get started?
Caveat: Understand that we have 1 race under our belt.

The questions you want to ask yourself are:
Do I really like racing (karting, Auto x, etc)
Do I have money to spare? If no then you'll have to rob a bank... just focus on the community ones since they have less security..
Do I want to turn a large fortune into a little one? then yes.... racing is for you.

But seriously;
Lemons/ Chump are probably some of the cheapest forms of wheel to wheel racing that is available. But that cost isn't cheap, so you need to be prepared to spend time and money in order to race.

The first thing you should do is what is called an "Arrive and Drive". This is where you spend a nominal fee (usually around $400 to $600) for a share of seat time on an already established team, usually racing one of their hoopties around the track.

Often these aren't the super fast, or super cool cars, but you are out on the track, mixing it in with traffic, and absolutely having a blast.

When you are doing this you will get to see firsthand how a successful team operates, and what it takes to race in this environment.

And for this first race you can rent equipment... You will need personal safety equipment:
  • SA 2005 or above Helmet (not a motorcycle helmet)
  • SFI Fire suit, a single layer with under layers, or a multilayer suit
  • SFI gloves
  • SFI shoes
  • Nomex or better socks
  • SFI neck protection or Hans or similar

Then if you have done a race, and want to form your own team that is great. But do understand that most cars are going to cost $5000 or so to get into "Basic" race trim, and it will be at least 100 man hours worth of labor to do so.

Those costs don't include race costs, or registration costs as well.
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Old 09-22-2014, 01:29 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CTSparky View Post
Caveat: Understand that we have 1 race under our belt.

The questions you want to ask yourself are:
Do I really like racing (karting, Auto x, etc)
Do I have money to spare? If no then you'll have to rob a bank... just focus on the community ones since they have less security..
Do I want to turn a large fortune into a little one? then yes.... racing is for you.

But seriously;
Lemons/ Chump are probably some of the cheapest forms of wheel to wheel racing that is available. But that cost isn't cheap, so you need to be prepared to spend time and money in order to race.

The first thing you should do is what is called an "Arrive and Drive". This is where you spend a nominal fee (usually around $400 to $600) for a share of seat time on an already established team, usually racing one of their hoopties around the track.

Often these aren't the super fast, or super cool cars, but you are out on the track, mixing it in with traffic, and absolutely having a blast.

When you are doing this you will get to see firsthand how a successful team operates, and what it takes to race in this environment.

And for this first race you can rent equipment... You will need personal safety equipment:
  • SA 2005 or above Helmet (not a motorcycle helmet)
  • SFI Fire suit, a single layer with under layers, or a multilayer suit
  • SFI gloves
  • SFI shoes
  • Nomex or better socks
  • SFI neck protection or Hans or similar

Then if you have done a race, and want to form your own team that is great. But do understand that most cars are going to cost $5000 or so to get into "Basic" race trim, and it will be at least 100 man hours worth of labor to do so.

Those costs don't include race costs, or registration costs as well.
Ya, based off what I've read its pretty consistent with your input. What do you recommend for team size driver wise? I guess that would probably depend on the length of the race you plan on entering. It seems like once you get a built car the fees for each race and consumables aren't too bad.

I was hoping to get four people and get a car built for about $1.5k investment per team member to get a running car. Hopefully I can find a caged spec Miata shell or something else already caged since that will probably be the biggest cost.

Thanks for the info and good luck with the races.
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Old 09-22-2014, 02:09 PM   #6
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Default additional info

Quote:
Originally Posted by cyotani View Post
Ya, based off what I've read its pretty consistent with your input. What do you recommend for team size driver wise? I guess that would probably depend on the length of the race you plan on entering. It seems like once you get a built car the fees for each race and consumables aren't too bad.

I was hoping to get four people and get a car built for about $1.5k investment per team member to get a running car. Hopefully I can find a caged spec Miata shell or something else already caged since that will probably be the biggest cost.

Thanks for the info and good luck with the races.
Well let me address a few issues....
We had one driver quit, because he couldn't fit inside the cage (A miatacage spec cage) and we have the 20 degree seat reclined back an additional 10-20 degrees.... I'd recommend a driver be no longer than 5' 11". We also had to extend the steering column with hexagonal bar stock.

The cost of miata's that are already to a spec state are not cheap. Also a miatacage spec cage is not enough for the safety rules of lemons. Now miatacage did give us additional stock to reinforce the cage but lemons is VERY SPECIFIC when it comes to safety.

personally I'd recommend geting an already prepped car: Road Racing Cars, 24 Hours of LeMons: Cars for Sale for sale on RacingJunk Classifieds - 21 available take note that the owners will sell the car for $500 and the safety eqipment inside the car for the remainder of their asking price.

and having a go from there. Now a miata is a great car for racing, but you will be put into class A, hence racing with the big boys.. from your first time out. and if you do go with a miata make sure you have a good theme..
LeMons New Jersey Inspections: Jurassic Park Ford, Smokey and the Bandit BMW, Game of Thrones Acura | Car and Driver Blog

We made C&D.

Your budget sounds good for prepping the car.. How are you going to transport it? Most lemons races are around 16 hours of racing.

We planned on 80 gallons of 93 octane gas
tires will last a season BFG Rivals 205/50/15
brakes and rotors will last a season HPS Blues
Oil changes after every day approx $50 per oil change (Amsoil heavy duty to keep the engine from blowing up) yes I know we are losing hp that way
Rear diff oil change every event $15 Amsoil...
Brake bleed after every event
replace water in radiator every event $$Free$$


etc...
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Old 09-22-2014, 02:19 PM   #7
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Old 09-22-2014, 02:33 PM   #8
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As much as buying a already built car would be make more financial sense, I don't think I ever would. To me building a car is just as fun as racing it and if something goes wrong you are the only person to blame and you get to learn from the failure.

But maybe getting a team together and buying a built car for the first race or two to get some experience, then building our own car later would make sense.
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Old 09-22-2014, 04:05 PM   #9
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watch out on the **** miata cages. I raced Lemons with GRM @ barber. They had a miata cage..cage.. Lemons had just put a new rule out that stated the cage needs to be 2" taller than the driver. everyone knows a spec miata cage runs right past your head. they almost didn't let us race, but gave us a slide because the rule was new. If we brought that car back today it would not pass.
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Old 09-22-2014, 05:06 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OGRacing View Post
watch out on the **** miata cages. I raced Lemons with GRM @ barber. They had a miata cage..cage.. Lemons had just put a new rule out that stated the cage needs to be 2" taller than the driver. everyone knows a spec miata cage runs right past your head. they almost didn't let us race, but gave us a slide because the rule was new. If we brought that car back today it would not pass.
Yes we are aware of this rule. many a sleepless night actually, and it wound up that one of our drivers and friends had to quit the team because of this.

We solved it by mounting the seat to the floor and angling the seat back so that we gained the amount needed to secure the 2 inches.

Our seat is really laid back.

you can see in this picture how far back the seat is positioned: 20140724_115414 by CTSparky1, on Flickr

also we brought up the middle bar to raise up the clearance.

The rule specifically states that you need 2 inches from the top of the bar to the top of the helmet and we achieved it barely.

Chris.
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DNF Racing Team (24h of Lemons) "Cheat to Win" NA Miata-14599825899_b041a24201_b.jpg  
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Old 09-22-2014, 05:08 PM   #11
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Figured I'd share this also... part of our theme...

05-UG-NJMP_Fall_14 by CTSparky1, on Flickr
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DNF Racing Team (24h of Lemons) "Cheat to Win" NA Miata-15134582417_447a1c9e4a_b.jpg  
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Old 09-23-2014, 03:05 AM   #12
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CTSparky, congrats on signing up at the best site on the web!
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Old 09-23-2014, 09:52 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CTSparky View Post
Yes we are aware of this rule. many a sleepless night actually, and it wound up that one of our drivers and friends had to quit the team because of this..
that sucks!! that rule hurt a lot of teams that were currently running. on the flip side it is a good rule to have. word or warning to people building cars, take it to a cage builder, with your seat and tallest driver.
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Old 09-23-2014, 08:02 PM   #14
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As someone that bought and started to build a chump car, I cannot wait to read more about this whole process.

Did you have any racing experience before this?
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Old 09-24-2014, 10:49 AM   #15
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that sucks!! that rule hurt a lot of teams that were currently running. on the flip side it is a good rule to have. word or warning to people building cars, take it to a cage builder, with your seat and tallest driver.
OG,
AS I'm sure YOU know, but to others in the process you need to select and purchase your seat first, and then fab up the roll cage. We bought our cage from Miatacage.com, and we happen to have as friends two people that helped us immensely.

First is Rokkit: NASA multile race winner, and great driver. If you are in the northeast you know him as Mike. He used to race a subaru rs (and yes some of us have subaru's) and now races a E36M3. Here is his youtube channel:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdm...X5d2YhWsHEmf5A

Another great friend is Miata Mike He is a welder, and fabricator. He has worked as a technician in performance automobile shops, and welded a spec miata cage for EFILogics, a subaru based tuning and performance shop in the Northeast.
we honored both of them by putting their names on the car:
20140724_123701 by CTSparky1, on Flickr

Both of them helped us put in the cage. We paid in beer, food, and in support on New Years eve..... you know who you are.


Quote:
Originally Posted by bremaine View Post
As someone that bought and started to build a chump car, I cannot wait to read more about this whole process.

Did you have any racing experience before this?
Our group had minimal experience driving before this. Our captain was in a Formula SAE, and one of our drivers has done some driving schools.

I, myself do karting when I can, have done a very little drag racing, but in my defense I'm a student of race driving. Also with the help of other racers we talk about the race line, and driving in traffic.

Here is a time lapse of starting the roll cage.
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DNF Racing Team (24h of Lemons) "Cheat to Win" NA Miata-14599849698_b39341907e_b.jpg  
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Old 09-26-2014, 05:02 PM   #16
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Default Some early pictures

here are some early pictures when we got the car:
1913491_955051796806_569391883_o by CTSparky1, on Flickr
1421021_927122247846_129581741_o by CTSparky1, on Flickr

We ultimately decided on having the shorter ram setup.
Attached Thumbnails
DNF Racing Team (24h of Lemons) "Cheat to Win" NA Miata-15362339082_0ca8d11883_b.jpg   DNF Racing Team (24h of Lemons) "Cheat to Win" NA Miata-15175950140_dffc78383f_b.jpg  
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Old 09-26-2014, 05:37 PM   #17
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The super cold air intake. nice.

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Old 09-30-2014, 05:34 PM   #18
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Welcome to the forums, we race a 94 in ChumpCar! When and where is your next event?
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Old 10-04-2014, 11:00 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slammed200 View Post
Welcome to the forums, we race a 94 in ChumpCar! When and where is your next event?
Our next event is at NHMS at Loudon New Hampshire.
It is October 25th and 26th.

We will have the same livery but with the addition of these:

20140918_145705 by CTSparky1, on Flickr
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DNF Racing Team (24h of Lemons) "Cheat to Win" NA Miata-15134432930_03b2a505f6_b.jpg  
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Old 10-06-2014, 09:23 AM   #20
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Default work from yesterday

So yesterday we worked on the car.

What we are doing between our last race, and the one coming up in two weeks are:
  • Flush radiator (water)
  • Change Rear diff gear oil
  • remove key mechanism and install ignition switch and starter button
  • Move the fuel pump wiring to the center of the car
  • add cigarette lighter outlets and power to the rear main tube for GoPro and Radio
  • Purchase and install a radio communications system
  • Replace and install Bilstein suspension
  • Slot lower control arms to get more camber adjustment
  • add aerodynamics (Front Splitter, undertray, rear spoiler)

There may be things I'm missing as well.

So we are halfway through the list.

and here is a short time lapse of what we did yesterday.
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