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Posted: 9/18/2009 7:45:43 PM EST
Been a rally fan for years, and finally want to get into it. Getting my rally license as soon as I get a physical
(i'm diabetic and apparently its required, no big deal). I've been under the impression that you need to start out
in a 2wd car (correct if wrong please), so aside from getting the evo 8/9 as my dailey when I move to MO
I have a chance to get another inexpensive 2WD vehicle to start building for rally.

Which inexpensive car would be a good base to start out with? I was thinking getting something along the lines
of a FWD 00-03 focus ZX3 manual, or a 98 impreza but thats 4wd so I'm not sure.

I'm new the whole competing so I'm not sure the cans and can nots for a novice driver. Any help would be great.

Thanks.
Link Posted: 9/18/2009 8:23:24 PM EST
Originally Posted By llamanator:
Been a rally fan for years, and finally want to get into it. Getting my rally license as soon as I get a physical
(i'm diabetic and apparently its required, no big deal). I've been under the impression that you need to start out
in a 2wd car (correct if wrong please), so aside from getting the evo 8/9 as my dailey when I move to MO
I have a chance to get another inexpensive 2WD vehicle to start building for rally.

Which inexpensive car would be a good base to start out with? I was thinking getting something along the lines
of a FWD 00-03 focus ZX3 manual, or a 98 impreza but thats 4wd so I'm not sure.

I'm new the whole competing so I'm not sure the cans and can nots for a novice driver. Any help would be great.

Thanks.


Like any formal competition, get the rule book from the sanctioning body.
Link Posted: 9/18/2009 8:29:21 PM EST
spec focus is a GREAT way to start out in rallying

pretty cheap (relatively) and FWD is a good way to start to get your foot in the door with rallying
Link Posted: 9/18/2009 8:40:22 PM EST
I met some guys from NY and VT that do some rallies up here and they started rallying with their daily drivers which were an Impreza and a WRX, and i'd have to say that offroad, AWD is more user-friendly than RWD/FWD. understeer/oversteer are easier to deal with in an AWD. I say a Subaru.
Link Posted: 9/18/2009 8:52:02 PM EST
Originally Posted By DevilPig:
spec focus is a GREAT way to start out in rallying

pretty cheap (relatively) and FWD is a good way to start to get your foot in the door with rallying


I'd rather start off in AWD but I'm pretty sure I have to start in FWD. Not biggy. My grand parents own alot of
property up north MI, which is surrounded by lots of woods and good roads(more like trails), perfect for practice
which I've been making notes for and practicing with my current dailey driver FWD car. I was also considering an 02/03
manual lancer or something.

Originally Posted By Burntrubber87:
I met some guys from NY and VT that do some rallies up here and they started rallying with their daily drivers which were an Impreza and a WRX, and i'd have to say that offroad, AWD is more user-friendly than RWD/FWD. understeer/oversteer are easier to deal with in an AWD. I say a Subaru.


Once i graduate to an AWD vehicle, i'll probably get a salavged STI/evo or a 98 impreza or soemthing along those lines.

Link Posted: 9/18/2009 9:01:49 PM EST
If you can do RWD an old fox body mustang may be worth a peek.

Me I'd have to be diffrent and run a jeepspeed style Cherokee
Link Posted: 9/18/2009 9:21:42 PM EST
If you would go for RWD I have a 95 Mustang GT just sitting here for cheap. It runs good.
Link Posted: 9/19/2009 7:21:42 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/19/2009 7:23:58 AM EST by DevilPig]
Originally Posted By Burntrubber87:
I met some guys from NY and VT that do some rallies up here and they started rallying with their daily drivers which were an Impreza and a WRX, and i'd have to say that offroad, AWD is more user-friendly than RWD/FWD. understeer/oversteer are easier to deal with in an AWD. I say a Subaru.


Of course AWD is the best for rallying.

Unless youre mr. moneybags, its not the best to START in though.

I built race cars for quite some time, and was gearing up to start rallying and did a ton of research on this. I have a bunch of friends who've all done raced for a long time as well, in every governing body you can think of.

If you build a spec focus car, you can use it for a couple seasons and likely sell it and make back most of what you spent on it. Some times you can make money off it.

It always pays to start in the lower classes and get accustomed to things and then move your way up. It is RARE that you see someone succeed in NASA, SCCA, etc when they start off in the higher classes. Again, like I said, unless they are loaded. If youre just a middle class guy like myself, start low, get a feel for things, then upgrade and move up.
Link Posted: 9/19/2009 7:57:21 AM EST
Link Posted: 9/19/2009 9:27:32 AM EST
Originally Posted By Quintin:
Toiyabe66 is the man you need to talk to.


I'm sure he'll pop up sooner or later
Link Posted: 9/19/2009 12:15:58 PM EST
Originally Posted By Quintin:
Toiyabe66 is the man you need to talk to.


Absolutely - great guy
Link Posted: 9/19/2009 4:21:53 PM EST
Originally Posted By DevilPig:
Originally Posted By Burntrubber87:
I met some guys from NY and VT that do some rallies up here and they started rallying with their daily drivers which were an Impreza and a WRX, and i'd have to say that offroad, AWD is more user-friendly than RWD/FWD. understeer/oversteer are easier to deal with in an AWD. I say a Subaru.


Of course AWD is the best for rallying.

Unless youre mr. moneybags, its not the best to START in though.

I built race cars for quite some time, and was gearing up to start rallying and did a ton of research on this. I have a bunch of friends who've all done raced for a long time as well, in every governing body you can think of.

If you build a spec focus car, you can use it for a couple seasons and likely sell it and make back most of what you spent on it. Some times you can make money off it.

It always pays to start in the lower classes and get accustomed to things and then move your way up. It is RARE that you see someone succeed in NASA, SCCA, etc when they start off in the higher classes. Again, like I said, unless they are loaded. If youre just a middle class guy like myself, start low, get a feel for things, then upgrade and move up.


Oh..believe me, I know all about starting from the bottom..You can get an older Impreza for pretty cheap nowadays but I see what you're saying..you aren't going to be competitive with the faster AWD cars. And +1 for talking to Toiyabe, he sent me some cool prizes last week.
Link Posted: 9/19/2009 4:24:45 PM EST
I've seen some guys running neons if you can use FWD.
Link Posted: 9/19/2009 4:36:36 PM EST
Originally Posted By Burntrubber87:
Originally Posted By DevilPig:
Originally Posted By Burntrubber87:
I met some guys from NY and VT that do some rallies up here and they started rallying with their daily drivers which were an Impreza and a WRX, and i'd have to say that offroad, AWD is more user-friendly than RWD/FWD. understeer/oversteer are easier to deal with in an AWD. I say a Subaru.


Of course AWD is the best for rallying.

Unless youre mr. moneybags, its not the best to START in though.

I built race cars for quite some time, and was gearing up to start rallying and did a ton of research on this. I have a bunch of friends who've all done raced for a long time as well, in every governing body you can think of.

If you build a spec focus car, you can use it for a couple seasons and likely sell it and make back most of what you spent on it. Some times you can make money off it.

It always pays to start in the lower classes and get accustomed to things and then move your way up. It is RARE that you see someone succeed in NASA, SCCA, etc when they start off in the higher classes. Again, like I said, unless they are loaded. If youre just a middle class guy like myself, start low, get a feel for things, then upgrade and move up.


Oh..believe me, I know all about starting from the bottom..You can get an older Impreza for pretty cheap nowadays but I see what you're saying..you aren't going to be competitive with the faster AWD cars. And +1 for talking to Toiyabe, he sent me some cool prizes last week.


If he doesn't show up in this thread, I'll send a PM his way soon. Thannks everyone for the replies so far.

Link Posted: 9/19/2009 7:18:35 PM EST
A Ford Contour is cheap as hell. Finding a SVT would be even better.
Link Posted: 9/19/2009 8:04:21 PM EST
Dodge Neon.
Link Posted: 9/20/2009 10:33:14 AM EST
You need to start in 2wd, both from a rules perspective and from a driving perspective.
Learning to drive fast begins in a FWD car.

Really, if you're looking to go cheap, don't worry about being competitive - because you won't be.

The top three choices for cheap, capable rally cars, where you can get your money back when it's time to move on, are, in order:

1) VW A2 GTi.
2) Dodge Neon.
3) Ford Focus.

The Golf is going to be the fastest.

We currently run a A2 GTi, and have been fairly successful with it. It is every bit as fast (or faster) than a PGT WRX.
We have actually set fastest stage times at Rally America events in it.


This is what you need to know about rally:

1) It's really expensive. There is no money in the sport - at all. You will pay for everything out-of-pocket, even if your name is Travis Pastrana.
2) It's all about the driver and codriver. The car is immaterial. A good driver will be fast in anything, and a slow driver will be slow in anything.
3) You have exactly .00000000000000000000001% chance of ever getting a real ride. You're not going to the WRC, no matter how good you are. We have the highest 2wd speed factor in the sport, and we spend a lot of money doing it. Last year we were ranked top 5 in speed factor overall, in the Golf. My driver and codriver are immensely lucky that I'm willing to pay for anything. There are maybe 10 drivers in the whole sport (in North America) who are not 100% self-funded.
4) Past success does not equal anything. I've got an SCCA PGT national championship, two USRC 2wd national championships, three ESRC 2wd championships, two NARC championships, and it means nothing. Well, not exactly, it means that manufacturers will speak to you.
VAG offered to sell us three '09 GTis for this season. At list price. With no backing. Nice.
5) You will not get much seat time. There are very few rallies in this country, and every year there are fewer. Great rallies, like Rally WV, have had to be canceled for lack of entries. We were the title sponsor of that one, so it hurts. Most competitors in the US go to one, maybe two rallies a year. It's rare that someone goes to every one in a championship. As a result, some of the championship winners have been relatively mediocre drivers, who won by amassing points by showing up and finishing.
6) It's a huge amount of fun.

You can realistically expect to pay $10k for a safe ready-to-run car.
It probably won't be competitive, but neither will you at the beginning.

Budget at lest $2500 for each event.
Between tires, fuel, entry fees, hotels, food, your service crew, broken parts, towing, etc... You're going to spend that even if you shoestring it.

If you have any further questions, ask away.
Link Posted: 9/20/2009 11:15:41 AM EST
Originally Posted By Toiyabe66:
You need to start in 2wd, both from a rules perspective and from a driving perspective.
Learning to drive fast begins in a FWD car.

Really, if you're looking to go cheap, don't worry about being competitive - because you won't be.

The top three choices for cheap, capable rally cars, where you can get your money back when it's time to move on, are, in order:

1) VW A2 GTi.
2) Dodge Neon.
3) Ford Focus.

The Golf is going to be the fastest.

We currently run a A2 GTi, and have been fairly successful with it. It is every bit as fast (or faster) than a PGT WRX.
We have actually set fastest stage times at Rally America events in it.


This is what you need to know about rally:

1) It's really expensive. There is no money in the sport - at all. You will pay for everything out-of-pocket, even if your name is Travis Pastrana.
2) It's all about the driver and codriver. The car is immaterial. A good driver will be fast in anything, and a slow driver will be slow in anything.
3) You have exactly .00000000000000000000001% chance of ever getting a real ride. You're not going to the WRC, no matter how good you are. We have the highest 2wd speed factor in the sport, and we spend a lot of money doing it. Last year we were ranked top 5 in speed factor overall, in the Golf. My driver and codriver are immensely lucky that I'm willing to pay for anything. There are maybe 10 drivers in the whole sport (in North America) who are not 100% self-funded.
4) Past success does not equal anything. I've got an SCCA PGT national championship, two USRC 2wd national championships, three ESRC 2wd championships, two NARC championships, and it means nothing. Well, not exactly, it means that manufacturers will speak to you.
VAG offered to sell us three '09 GTis for this season. At list price. With no backing. Nice.
5) You will not get much seat time. There are very few rallies in this country, and every year there are fewer. Great rallies, like Rally WV, have had to be canceled for lack of entries. We were the title sponsor of that one, so it hurts. Most competitors in the US go to one, maybe two rallies a year. It's rare that someone goes to every one in a championship. As a result, some of the championship winners have been relatively mediocre drivers, who won by amassing points by showing up and finishing.
6) It's a huge amount of fun.

You can realistically expect to pay $10k for a safe ready-to-run car.
It probably won't be competitive, but neither will you at the beginning.

Budget at lest $2500 for each event.
Between tires, fuel, entry fees, hotels, food, your service crew, broken parts, towing, etc... You're going to spend that even if you shoestring it.

If you have any further questions, ask away.


Thanks for the reply. I'll probably have lots of questions as time goes on. I'll pm you directly. I'll probably look for an older GTI
or a focus in the coming weeks. And as far as progressing in the sport/making money, I thought as much. But it just looks to be
worth it. Again, thanks.
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