You asked: What vehicle would make a good basis for a racing car?

“Hello, I would like to start lapping on the weekends on a racetrack and am looking for an affordable car that would allow me to enter this motorsport. However, I have a very small budget of around $ 15,000. Which vehicle do you recommend? ”

– Kevin

Hello Kevin,

There are indeed still a few places where it is possible to do amateur-caliber automobile racing. What should be remembered when embarking on this kind of motorized adventure is that the ideal vehicle must be driven by reliable mechanics that are inexpensive to maintain. The vehicle in question must also already have good weight distribution, good road holding and mechanics that can easily be modified. Here are some ideas.

2012 Honda Civic Si

Honda Civic

Although the Honda Civic was never originally designed to race, it is a compact whose reliability and handling are good enough to make it a pretty spectacular track beast with only a few modifications.

Our recommendation would be to target the 2006 to 2015 vintages because of naturally aspirated engines with an excellent reliability record. The Si versions of these years are also remarkably competent. Additionally, the world of tuning has ensured that there are a host of performance parts available for this model, allowing it to quickly transform into a reasonably priced racing car. It is even possible to find on the used market an older generation of a Honda Civic (1996 to 2000) already modified with the mechanics of a more recent Civic, giving it a remarkable power / weight ratio.

Honda Civic Si 2009

Mazda MX-5 (Miata)

Did you know that the most widely used production racing car in the world is the Mazda MX-5? Indeed, Mazda’s little two-seater has made an exceptional reputation on the racing circuits for its impeccable weight distribution, its degree of precision in the turns and its solid and easily modifiable mechanics.

1998 Mazda MX-5

Like the Honda Civic, there is an extensive repertoire of performance parts for this model, and the older generations, for the most part, are still in good condition due to the fact that these were mostly vehicles that drove during the season. summer. It is therefore possible in the second-hand market to get your hands on a Miata in good condition for less than $ 10,000. With little money invested, this convertible can quickly become a strong competitor on a circuit.

2009 Mazda MX-5

Mini Cooper

The fact that the resale value of a MINI Cooper is not very high means that you can get your hands on a model cheaply in the used market. This Germanic subcompact offers its owner remarkable handling and reasonable acceleration given its size.

MINI Cooper 2006

Granted, it’s true that a MINI costs a bit more to maintain than a Civic or MX-5, but the extensive repertoire of performance parts offered by the tuning industry makes it adored by cars. amateur racing drivers. For less than $ 10,000, it is possible to own a MINI Cooper S with more than reasonable performance.

MINI Cooper S 2009

Subaru BRZ / Toyota 86 / Scion FR-S

Designed specifically to satisfy passionate driving enthusiasts, the Subaru BRZ, Toyota 86 and Scion FR-S have exactly what an amateur racing driver needs. Lightweight, manoeuvrable and supported by an extensive repertoire of performance parts, these rear-wheel drive cars are often found on the racetrack due to their noteworthy dynamic prowess.

Scion FR-S 2013

In the second-hand market, it is common to see FR-S and BRZ from the 2013 to 2015 vintages going below the $ 15,000 mark. Some of them have often already been modified for lapping, which will give you a head start in your projects.

2013 Subaru BRZ

As with any used vehicle, be sure to get the vehicle’s history through Carfax Canada service and submit it to a good mechanical inspection before purchasing it. And once on the track, make sure you follow the site’s safety instructions, that your vehicle complies with regulations, and that you wear a helmet during the events. Good race!


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