Track Car Project

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  • Track Car Project
  • Back in the late 90’s and early 2000’s I had a dabble at some club racing, and spent a few years racing Alfa Romeos. I had reasonable results, but was always hampererd by my budget, or lack of. I gave it up when a mortgage and ‘real life’ stuff became more of a priority, and funds wouldn’t allow both.

    Since then, I’ve tracked my motorbike a few times, and been to the Nurburgring in a friends track prepped 3 series BMW, but it wasn’t until the Easter weekend that the bug really got reignited by a trip to Croft, and quie a few laps in a generous friends Caterham.

    So, last week I scoured the small ads and watched a load of cars on Ebay, and finally found one that I thought might be a good bet, and one that I’d likely get pretty cheaply. I bought it blind from Ebay, but made it clear to the seller that if it wasn’t as described or was a wreck I would walk.

    Saturday I picked her up. A 2003 Renaultsport Clio 172 Cup.

    It needs a few bits, has some knackered bits and bobs, but in general she’s straight and sound and the knackered bits (bushes/suspension etc) were always going to get junked for uprated stuff.

    If there’s interest I’ll post up any updates as I develop it.

    Pigface
    Member

    Always interested, will you race or just use for track days?

    Always interested in track cars! Apart from the fact its French it sounds exciting (Sweedspeed – Volvo for life!)

    Keep toying with turning my daily driver in to a track car…

    Always interested, will you race or just use for track days?

    Initial intention is to just use it for track days, but I have already had a look at what it could be eligible for, so you never know. πŸ˜‰

    Racing is now so expensive, with all the new regulations and equipment rules, i would have to spend a fortune on the car just to get on the grid, so we’ll see.

    Apart from the fact its French it sounds exciting

    The build quality is awful, I have to admit. And I wouldn’t want one for a road car unless brand new, but it’s quick, light, easy to maintain, powerful enough and there are always bits availabe so it’s a good base.

    mrblobby
    Member

    Looks good. So what’s the plan? Strip it out? Upgrades?

    legend
    Member

    Have the belts been done or do you know the history? Cam belt history is crucial (you probably know this already)

    Apart from that, have fun! I love my 182!

    Premier Icon richmtb
    Subscriber

    My brother and I often natter about potential track cars and buying one between us we can never decide what to go for. I favour light and simple he wants 4WD and turbos!.

    Be interested to see how you transform the Clio

    Looks good. So what’s the plan? Strip it out? Upgrades?

    Car is in for MOT today, so will get a good idea of what it needs.
    Firstly, I’ll do the cam belt, aux belt, and dephaser pulley.
    Full service including gearbox oil.
    Probably a new clutch while I’m at it.
    Strip the interior completely (it’s dirty and tired anway)
    Decent race seat, belts, steering wheel and add a weld in cage eventually.
    Change suspension, just having the coilover vs normal uprated shocks and springs debate.
    Rebush the suspensiion all round with powerflex bushes, new top mounts.
    Fit rear anti roll bar
    Rub wheels down and spray black.
    Fit Toyo Proxies R888’s.

    That should make it quite a bit of fun, for a relatively small outlay. πŸ™‚

    Have the belts been done or do you know the history? Cam belt history is crucial (you probably know this already)

    Apart from that, have fun! I love my 182!

    Belts were done a few years back, but it it due them again, so that’s the first thing I’ll do. Dephaser pulley is rattly as hell, it sounds like a diesel at idle when it’s warm. So this will be changed too.

    legend
    Member

    Are you doing the belts yourself? Worth getting the proper tooling for these engines as it’s very easy to mess the timing up. It seems like 50% of the folk that use the cliosport forum have timing issues due to not using a garage not using them

    hora
    Member

    How much did you pay for it if you don’t mind me asking?

    Has the cambelt been done?

    Are you doing the belts yourself? Worth getting the proper tooling for these engines as it’s very easy to mess the timing up. It seems like 50% of the folk that use the cliosport forum have timing issues due to not using a garage not using them

    Yes, the right tooling is a must for the job. The belts is the one thing I won’t do myself. My father in law has a car business and has an ex Renault Technician on the payroll, so seems daft not to get him to do it.

    legend
    Member

    Dammit, if you had the tools you’d find an extra car in the driveway when mine next need done πŸ˜‰

    How much did you pay for it if you don’t mind me asking?

    Has the cambelt been done?

    Just over Β£1000 and it’s done 74k. The belts are due, and it’s due a service, but it’s got most of it’s history, newish brakes, stainless exhaust, and a lot of the regular known faults have been rectified, so I’m happy enough with what I paid.

    When you’re buying a 10 year old car for Β£1k you can’t be too fussy I decided, and you need to expect to spend a little to sort it. I probably would have done the belts anyway, even if they weren’t due. If they’re gonna break it will happen on track.

    Dammit, if you had the tools you’d find an extra car in the driveway when mine next need done

    LOL.

    There’s a place I saw in the NE that does them for Β£350 all in?? Depends where you are.

    hora
    Member

    Just over Β£1000 and it’s done 74k

    Wow there was one in shed of the week on Pistonheads a few months back and that looked worn/tired etc. 1k for one that just needs a service is bloody good.

    Wow there was one in shed of the week on Pistonheads a few months back and that looked worn/tired etc. 1k for one that just needs a service is bloody good.

    It needs a service + Belts and pulley, MOT & Tax, so reckon Β£1000 was right. With all of that done, you’d probably need to pay Β£1500-2000 I suppose, depending on condition.

    The interior is awfully ratty. The chap I bought it from is a fellow mountain biker and carted his bikes around in it, so it’s muddy and damp and a bit torn, something i overlooked as it’s getting chucked anyway.

    The above picture is after a serious clean and polish too, it didn’t look half that nice when I picked it up.

    Milkie
    Member

    Keep us updated. πŸ˜‰ I have a Puma as a track day toy, great fun!

    Dagnamit I’ve gone away and started looking at tuning my ovlov again after seeing this.

    The finger has been hanging over the buy button on an FMIC, 3″ DP, SS Sports Exhaust and intake! Its threads like this that hurt my credit card!

    legend
    Member

    The interior is awfully ratty.

    That’s just part of the ‘raw’ 1*2 driving experience πŸ™‚

    Β£1k with the work needing down sounds like an alright deal. Only very rarely do they go for less than Β£1k or more than around Β£1.5k

    Another niggle to check is the rear exhaust mount. OEM and cheapo aftermarket ones are naff and last 5mins. There are many good ways of bodging them though, or Prima racing do a good replacement.

    jamesfts
    Member

    Back in the late 90’s and early 2000’s I had a dabble at some club racing, and spent a few years racing Alfa Romeos. I had reasonable results, but was always hampererd by my budget, or lack of. I gave it up when a mortgage and ‘real life’ stuff became more of a priority, and funds wouldn’t allow both.

    Any more info/pics on the Alfas?

    Very nearly bought a cheap 172 cup as a run around but currently getting drawn to something a bit more sensible… tempting as it is!

    FunkyDunc
    Member

    Bargain price for some thing as capable as that. However, personally I would have still gone for a rear wheel drive over front.

    Fit Toyo Proxies R888’s.

    See I’m the opposite I’d go for skinnier less grippy tyres, make it a bit more fun!

    Any more info/pics on the Alfas?

    I’ll dig out some pics. I raced an Alfasud for a couple of years and switched to a 33 after that. Nothing exotic, just cheap 80’s and 90’s tin tops. The Alfasud was a peach, and I regret racing it really, as it did end up getting damaged and eventually scrapped. It was very competitive racing and damage was pretty much inevitable every race!!

    Here is the only pic I have (on the PC) of the Alfasud:

    Here is the 33:

    Bargain price for some thing as capable as that. However, personally I would have still gone for a rear wheel drive over front.

    Yes, I did toy with the idea of an MX5 or similar, but I know where I am with FWD. I know how to drive them quickly, and know how to set them up to go well. The 33 in the above pic was all about turning in on the brakes and letting the car drift contolling the oversteer with the throttle. Great fun. The clio will be the same.

    See I’m the opposite I’d go for skinnier less grippy tyres, make it a bit more fun!

    You just won’t generate the corner speed on crap tyres, and will constantly be losing momentum. Maintaining momentum is what it’s all about. πŸ™‚

    Another niggle to check is the rear exhaust mount. OEM and cheapo aftermarket ones are naff and last 5mins. There are many good ways of bodging them though, or Prima racing do a good replacement.

    I think it’s a KT Racing stealth stainless syste, but it’s not marked up. Seems to be well fitted and solid. πŸ™‚

    mk1fan
    Member

    Clios seem to be one of the default trackcars to go for. Handling is great, light and pretty robust (mechanically).

    I’d consider getting a set of track dedicated wheels after getting the service done. Nearly wore out the passenger side tyres on the new tarmac at Oulton earlier this year. Not good when you’ve a trip back to London after the day.

    Did Cadwell Park last Tuesday. Brilliant circuit, tight but brilliant. Got to decide where to go in May. I’m thinking Castle Coombe, Brands Hatch or Snetterton.

    Rude not to post a piccie:

    Combe is great fun, but Snetterton 300 is superb. All the best bits of the old circuit, with the nice new infield section. Flat out through the bombhole is superb fun.

    Brands Indy is short, but you can get a great rythym going. Paddock Hill is a measure of the man in you.

    If you like Cadwell, go to Donnington, bigger wider and a bit faster, but kind of similar undualting circuit. Craner Curves tighten the butt cheeks if you’re pushing on. πŸ™‚

    CountZero
    Member

    Milkie, enjoyed your Puma run round ‘Combe. Is that a 1.7 Zetec, and what’s happened to your door trim?
    I was watching the open-top go off, I’ve seen many, many people do that at Quarry, guaranteed to bite you in the ass if you’re not careful… πŸ˜†

    MarkBrewer
    Member

    Those Clio’s are brilliant little track cars 8) A mate of mine has got a turbocharged 172 with around 300 bhp 😯

    I’ve seen many, many people do that at Quarry, guaranteed to bite you in the ass if you’re not careful…

    I’ve nearly done it myself a few times 😳

    This was my biggest brown trouser moment in a sprint a few years back, carried a bit too much speed into Quarry which needed full opposite lock to catch it, then snapped back the other way on the way out but managed to get away with just putting one wheel on the grass!

    http://sbkmotorsport.com/p1027878793/h368656af#h368656af

    http://sbkmotorsport.com/p1027878793/h368656af#h3bb4d457

    http://sbkmotorsport.com/p1027878793/h368656af#h38fb6655

    sbd16v
    Member

    a few of my mates have clios now this is one of them

    this one is a turbo’d 172

    and if were doing track car pictures 😳 😳

    this is my old astra, had it for 10 years but got rid of it 3 years ago when I did not have time for it anymore, still have days when I regret breaking it

    sbd16v
    Member

    video of mine from combe, had problems that day so it overheated on the second lap out πŸ™ but the outlap was a 1.21 followed by a 1.20.8.

    Premier Icon totalshell
    Subscriber

    this track days thing then.. hows it work whats it cost..? used to rally a lot back in the day… MN series and euro stuff. cant possibly afford to rally again but i ve always room for a toy..

    sbd16v
    Member

    you buy a car, and take it on track paying 60-300 pound for the day depending where it is (what track etc)

    the only ”limits” are normally noise ones where you need to be under a certain DB, if the car looks blatantly dangerous then you ”might” not be allowed to run but there is no scrutinering, you could take pretty much anything out.

    its good fun but can also be adicctive and before you know it your 1500 pound clio cup that was a bargin has 2ks worth of coilovers a couple of grands worth of throttle bodies bla bla …. LOL

    FeeFoo
    Member

    Nice vid sbd.
    Wanna do another track day now. Just got to save for the replacement tyres and brakes.

    wow…that Astra. A Labour of love.

    MarkBrewer
    Member

    Sbd16v, that’s chips car isn’t it? That’s who’s car I was talking about in my earlier post, small world πŸ˜†

    Pretty sure I met you once too years ago, your astra was still naturally aspirated at the time.

    sbd16v
    Member

    Nice vid sbd.

    Thanks I used to have one with a video overlay from the datalogger but I have lost it πŸ™ you can see the speedo at points and that is gps driven.

    wow…that Astra. A Labour of love.

    yeh you cold say that a lot of time and effort went into it, im glad it went as I really needed to move on, it controlled my life a lot, but sometimes I wish it was still in the garage lol

    m0rk
    Member

    Looks just like my old one (funnily enough) – it’s not WN52 is it?

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