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Track Days..............Let's GO!!!

Busta Nut

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That dude was terrified lol. I have no clue why he was on a race track. He was the guy who asked if he could leave the track if he felt like he was "not in control" during the driver meeting. Goes to show you can buy a car but it won't make you fast haha.




You know, the funny thing is that I bet this guy in the orange STI speeds and drives like a maniac everywhere he goes. He's probably the type that thinks that the track is a "dangerous" place because it's a race track. The way people drive on the freeways around here, I'll take the race track any day of the week. On the track the drivers are much more aware and there is some sort of communication between them. But best of all, nobody is on the phone while driving.



Yeah its actually really good on track. I'm amazed at its ability. It's surpassed my expectations already.


I don't see any better place than the track to see what your car is capable of doing. I think just about any car will amaze you. Wish we could get more Ratsuners out on the track.




I will not be able to make any events this year. I should be ready for next year, however. I have to get all the suspension geometry issues out of the way. Tired of my ass end trying to lead the way entering a turn. I've bought a couple of items to correct it and still need to buy a couple more. Can't wait to get out there and blow off some steam.

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I had no idea there was a track day forum/post here; besides the couple of vintage races I do with the 1200 I also run & instruct at PCA track days at Spring Mtn Motorsports Ranch, we get an occasional 510 or Z car but most of the time I am the only Datsun. I always admit that it's a bit petty and small but I do enjoy running down modern cars with my 100hp wonder, granted I run it in an intermediate groups due to it being gutless (fellow instructors in Miatas do the same) and I'm well our driving is generally well beyond the intermediate level..........but it does get people to take your advice when you catch their new 911 or Z06 etc.


Track days are great, when I started out they only way to get on track was prep the car for SCCa club racing or something similar.  


I have a Formula car again, used for autocross, but I may use that for race weekends instead of the 1200.


Not having to keep the 1200 vintage legal means a more modern engine and transmission could go in it. although I do have a tom of A-series spare we've collected over the past 25 years.


I'll try to post up some pics for future events (my computer skills are seriously lacking)







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Yes, I have several but as mentioned I'm not sure how to load photos.  It's a F500 1986 Novakar; 3rd one built. It's similar to Formula SAE in size and uses 10" rims with super soft Hoosiers.  If you are not familiar with them they use rubber pucks as both springs and dampers. The drivetrains are snowmobile type, 2 stroke 500cc twin with CVT trans, solid rear axle like a Kart, 750-800lbs with driver. 0-60 times are in the 3-3.5 second zone and around 2G's cornering force. Lap times are similar to Formula Fords. I've had a Formula Vee (fun but a little slow) and a single seat D-Sports Racer (very fast but ferociously expensive). A friend let me drive his 06 Novakar F500 at an airport Autocross, I prefer road racing but the F500 made autocross really fun, my car came up cheap so I bought it. The maintenance is minimal, not to much more than the Datsun. The car is old enough to be vintage legal so if I run it instead of the 1200 I'd look at a modern motor for the 1200, something with around 135WHP would be more than enough. The 1200 does about 110 MPH before turn 4 at SMMR with the 100 WHP it has now (7800 RPMs in 4th).


Try these links......hopefully they work








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Dang, those both look like a lot of fun! What's your overall top speed in the F500? Our FSAE cars top out pretty early (80-110 depending on which year) so our times on some bigger tracks would be pretty average but I really want to drive a formula style car on a racetrack

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FiveSeventyZee the F500's top speed varies, like most classes, dependent on the track. At most tracks they are hitting around 135MPH but at place like Road America they are regularly hitting 145. At the Runoffs in Daytona this year the 600cc bike powered cars hit 155 mph, due mostly to bodywork optimized for Daytona, the Rotax powered cars were in doing 145-148. My car is geared for a shade over 130 and is a bit tall for autocross, the final gearing is easy to change as like FSAE the final drive is just a pair of sprockets.


To give you an idea on potential the lap records at


Thunderhill F500s 1:53 for the 2.8 and 1:17 & 1:12 for the other layouts.

Laguna Seca:

F500 1:34

GTL 510 1:43 (Troy Ermish)

Formula Vee 1:42

D-Sports Racer 1:21


Having run a D-Sports they are very fast, not really a good idea for a first open wheeler unless you have done a ton of Karting.


As for driving an open wheel car on a big track; the driving style between the cars is very different:


This first video is from a race at Spring Mtn, I would be the guy in the red 1200, two cars ahead of camera car, unbeknownst to me the axles in the H190 rear end were not shimmed properly. I never new how much the car really moved around until this video. Even with this resolved I skate the car around big time as it faster than trying to drive it like a formula car on slicks. I do not drive the F500 this way. I generally run between 4th and 6th.........I'm to cheap to put a full race engine in the car.



I found this video as it pretty much shows the difference in a single seater, albeit the driver being new to a single seat type car, if you chuck them around like a car on treaded tires you just scrub speed and cook the tires. 




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Yeah I actually learned driving "in anger" in the FSAE cars so when I stepped into a road car and tried to drive it fast it was a bit of a surprise. Especially going to the mini which is good but very squishy suspension...

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FSAE cars turn very very respectable times and going from something with gum ball slicks to a road car is a giant case of "hey these brakes aren't so good and oooooh it doesn't turn to well either". At our last track day I got caught out a bit driving someone else Audi RS4, I was just driving a friend's Exocet and the 2 ton Audi didn't quite turn in or slow down near as well.


When the new Mini first came out I instructed at a Mini track event and found them to be really chuckable place anywhere you want cars. At the time I was still running the black hole of cash D-sports racer but I still found the Mini to be great fun.


If you can scam your way into a F500 at a local autocross go for it but forewarned you'll find yourself shopping for one shortly afterward.



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 going from something with gum ball slicks to a road car is a giant case of "hey these brakes aren't so good and oooooh it doesn't turn to well either". 


This is pretty much what driving my MINI is to me haha. I'll be doing a little track driving in it back to back with the FSAE cars this weekend so that will be interesting...

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Well my most recent track day / vintage race started out well but then went south quickly; basically third gear in the option I 4speed went south during Friday practice session two. The icing on the cake or salt in the wound was once the time sheets came out I discovered I was 3 seconds a lap faster then the next fastest car in the group and 4-6 seconds faster than 3rd through 7th on the time sheet

Steve Villata (sp) in his 510 wagon (Tinsley's old car) and his brother Ron where in my class, Steve ended up going a couple of seconds faster than I realistically would have by Sunday so hats of to him. Where my 1200 is elbows out drive like a fiend the wagon looked very planted and secure. The straight line speed difference wasn't as big as I thought it would be, a large part of this was down to the 1200s lighter weight / higer corner and exit speed.

The only bonus is the busted box as got me to pry open my wallet and get a ultra close 4 speed (the 5 speeds are beyond my threshold pain)



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