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Old 02-03-2007, 12:26 AM   #21
Geezer
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Here's where you can find all the information you need to start:

www.rally-america.com
www.specialstage.com
www.rallyclassified.com

Rally America took over the SCCA's Pro rally program about three to four years ago. Rally America is bigger than the NASA program.

Special Stage has excellent forums where you can ask any questions. It's frequented by the best rally people in the country.

Rallyclassifieds is a listing of most cars currently available. In Rally America you must start in a two wheel drive normally aspirated car (Group 2 or Production classes). After you have proven yourself you are permitted to move up to faster cars including forced induction two wheel drives and four wheel drive cars. You can apply for an exemption to this rule if you can prove you are a very accomplished driver in some other motorsport (SCORE, SCCA roadracing etc.). Rallycross or autocross experience won't cut it.

I got out of rally several years ago due to costs. Be prepared...it has become outragously expensive. Entry fees are now in the 750.00 to 1000.00 range. Insurance for the events is slowly killing the sport. Car prep has become intense as well. A cage per the rules will easily cost 1500.00. A DMS, Ohlein, Bilstein or Hotbits suspension can easily cost 2000.00 just for shocks (DMS closer to 3000.00). You have to replace harnesses every two years now etc. etc. Helmets are only good for five years now (10 before) and they're taking about requiring HANs devises which are very good to have regardless but very expensive. Hopefully you have a six figure salary, a very rich girlfriend or parent, or national sponsorship. Its hard to do it without one of those. Budget 1500.00 to 3000.00 for a weekend of rallying. God isn't racing fun!!!
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Old 02-16-2007, 02:47 PM   #22
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Anyway you slice it, rallying is rather costly. Like was said above, unlike the scca. RA has you start in production or g2 based car. Which has its goods and bads(mostly bads) and is really more geared towards the very wealthy of north america. Many people dont have the chance to buy, or build more than one rally car. Once you are tired of of 2 wheel you have to buy or build another car. But i can tell you the rich like; Block and Pastrana, and countless others, it seems as if the rules are waived for them because they have massive amounts of booty stashed away. they can start in open. The amount of 4 wheel drive cars for sale swamp the production and g2 cars. I think they should make an adjustment to let people start in PGT so if they want 4 wheel drive they can start in a safer 4 wheel drive car. Also the quality of the builds on newer awd cars seems to be a little higher in standards than that of g2 cars in my opinion. Either way if it is supposed to make rallying safer, i and most people can get their 2 wheel going 100mph through the woods. Just a little rant

DMS: i think for the the price went up for the focus and i could almost garuntee they run 4000-4500. I had DMS 50's on my open class impreza and i thought they were terrible. they were still very unstable and there was still a lot of correcting to do. I am not a fan of DMS.
RSSP Suspension is the way to go. they are only a grand or so more than DMS and a whole lot more stable and they have remote resevoirs.

But g2 would still be a really fun way to go. building however is not cost effective. it truley is cheaper to buy turnkey unless you can do the fab work. then it would be ok.

just my 2 cents
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Old 02-16-2007, 05:18 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Squareleft View Post
-snip-

But g2 would still be a really fun way to go. building however is not cost effective. it truley is cheaper to buy turnkey unless you can do the fab work. then it would be ok.

just my 2 cents
No kidding - check this out, $5900 and you're ready to go:
http://www.rallyclassified.com/class...hp/listing/607

Don't know if it matches what you can run, but unless the building is a labor of love...
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Old 02-19-2007, 06:33 PM   #24
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There is one exception I have seen to being able to start in a four wheel drive car rather than a normally aspirated two wheel drive car. In several cases people (rookies) were allowed to drive older 1.8 and 2.2 liter normally aspirated Imprezas. These cars are relatively slow when compared to the turbo versions. You can then swap in larger motors relatively easy and cheaply as you progress and are allowed to do so. I have heard of people trying to press the envelope and ask for waivers for 2.5 liter RS versions and I believe all these were denied.

The reason for the two wheel drive requirement is not necessarily only a speed issue. It's proven that you develope much better handling skills with a two wheel drive car. I learned in a rear wheel drive car (RX7). Driving a front drive and a four wheel drive car is now much easier as a result.

And yes.....speaking from experience....buy a pre built and proven rally car. It's tons cheaper in the long run. Let the previous owner work out the bugs and eat the parts depreciation. I built my own and would NEVER do it again!
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Old 02-19-2007, 08:36 PM   #25
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I hope you're not planning to rally your daily driver...???
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Old 02-21-2007, 07:38 PM   #26
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he can just buy old mk2 golf or gti. cheap enough to buy and cheap enough to fix and really fun to drive
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Old 02-22-2007, 08:29 PM   #27
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Definitely start with a built race car, and make sure your budget can handle rebuilding it several times. As a rally rookie, you WILL go boom, probably a few times. I'd probably budget at least $5000-$10,000 a year just as a parts and repair reserve. I would also budget for;

Truck/trailer or a trailer for the rally car.
Tools (Pnuematic tools, specialty tools, air compressor, etc.)
Liscensing (Not 100% how RA does it, but it was going to cost about $3,000 for me to do the Road Race school to get my comp liscense with SCCA)
Spare Parts Fund
Travel Expense
Safety Gear (suit, helmet,etc)
etc etc etc

I certianly want to encourage anybody to go racing, but I just want to make sure they know what they are getting into.

Also, don't worry about getting a fast car right off. You won't be fast as a green rookie no matter what and you will likely damage and/or wreck your first car.
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Don't waste another minute waiting on parts, or anything else. Just get out there and start racing! You will suck at first, and you will be slower than many other cars, but the only thing you will regret is not starting earlier...
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Old 02-26-2007, 10:35 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Squareleft View Post
he can just buy old mk2 golf or gti. cheap enough to buy and cheap enough to fix and really fun to drive

Old second and third generation golfs and jettas make "excellent" rally cars. Parts are very inexpensive when compared to any other car. Bilstein makes a rally suspension for them which is realitively inexpensive. But once again....find one that is already built if at all possible! PS (the older 2 valve GTI motor seems to be the ticket since it is a non-interference style motor. I heard horror stories when timing belts on the 4 valve models slip (jump time) or break).
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Old 02-27-2007, 12:40 AM   #29
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rally on

I saw your question and the responses you're getting are off the wall! This prompted me to join the forums and add my two cents. I've been rallying going on 3 years and I just built my second rally car, which happens to be a focus...just competed in my second race with it (doo wops rally, Aberdeen WA) and I hope what I say will make clear some of the responses posted for everyone reading.

I'm glad you've chosen a focus, we need more representation out there. Over half the entrants in rallies are usually impreza's which means you have the guts to turn something less proven into a rally car. For those of you who say driving fast down a dirt road is not fun, then to each their own, but I'm definitely not of that opinion and neither are millions spectators who make rally one of the most popular forms of motorsport in the world.

But first, places to buy rally stuff:

www.safedrives.com - good safety equipment in general for racing and driving
www.rallylights.com - these guys sell a lot of the gadgets you need for rallying, like computers and racing lights
www.p-sport.com - Sells rally tidbits

A lot of your more focus oriented sites I'm not an expert with, but there are many floating around. Obviously buying direct from dealers is an option, and unless you know somebody authorized to deal parts, I often times find I pay the same price whether going to a middleman or not. Fordracingparts.com has some of the upgrades you may be thinking about, and they are conveniantly listed under NASA's spec focus rules and parts list. As somebody else mention that is a great place to go to see a starter list of what you may want to upgrade.

Any kind of racing is a lot of money and there are definitely things you should do if you have the money. But if you don't, I say still go for it. I started racing when I was still in college, and basically put the money into preparing the car. If you do that much, and show up to race, everything else will fall into place. As long as you're a nice guy, people will help if you have problems, as I've often had other teams give advance offers to tow us if we crashed at an event. Just this last weekend, we were trying to fix the car at service and people from other teams were just coming over to help without us even asking. There was one guy at the race who probably put 3 or 4 grand into car buying, prep and travel and was pumping up his tires with a manual pump! We've even set up a tent before to save hotel costs, and we never pay for premium gas. With rally you're going to be faster if you have skill at cornering, then if you have 30 extra HP.

As for some of the other discussion people have been posting: All rally cars are street legal. If it's not, then you're breaking the law and rally rules. (there are ways around this if you're really desperate, like getting temporary registrations just on rally weekends that do not require car testing and such). DMS runs about $4500. You can probably get an equal suspension if you know the right people (people who know a lot about suspension and mod work, not people who sponsor) for $2000. I raced an MR-2 for 2 years on stock suspension and never broke it. However, my second race in the focus and I bent my front left strut, but I was also going around a corner at 80 mph, into a dip with a car sized pot hole at the bottom. If I had slowed down to spare the car, I garuntee I would not have bent the strut. So you only need to do suspension if you know you're not going to slow down for anything, and when you're a novice, I garuntee you want to slow down for these types of things. Check out this video of what happens when you're a novice and don't slow down: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5trPo2M4CM. The first 3 competitors have been in the sport for years, the rest are all new.

Buying your first rally car used is cheaper. I bought the MR-2 (also in the video above, but with the new owners) for just under 3 grand. But I had to put TONS of work into it becuase it had been thrashed for 2 years from rallying! Everything seemed to be breaking on it. So there are trade-offs. With the focus, I bought it for just over 5k, in perfect running order, and there are very few things I have to worry about breaking. Little things don't break everytime you race it, like with a used car.

There are rules for starting in low power cars becuase people were literally killing themselves and spectators in overpowered 4wd monsters that they couldn't handle. And it was those kinds of things that helped to make insurance rates go up. IMO, these rules are good! A focus has more than enough power to get you into a deadly accident anyways. It really isn't about teaching people proper driving techniques, it's just about being safer, as it isn't a requirement to go through a racing school before you rally.

People already mentioned www.specialstage.com. That is a good place to frequent if you're serious about rallying.

And one more thing, take out the blasted Fuel Cut-off switch or your car may die when you hit a bump really really hard, which may cause you to DNF if you don't know about fuel cut-off switches.

-Lou

Focus Rally Car #251
Monster Dog Racing
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Old 02-27-2007, 12:42 PM   #30
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thanks dude you have been extremely helpful
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