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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Over the last two years I started taking my car to the track and eventually got a competition license. Did my first race in Feb, and was a blast. What was interesting to me was how similar the cultures were. Anybody else have a similar take?
 

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I did Drivers Edge in my brothers NSX, but driving cars fast is just way too expensive. It cost him $1000 to put on new tires that last 2 weekends, whereas I can put on new tires for $80 and the last a few months.

Some technics such as straight line braking are very compatible, but for the most part, i don't think bicycles and cars handle very much the same.
 

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I was just thinking that road bike racing is a lot like stock car racing. It's not the fastest car/rider that always wins- you conserve fuel by drafting and not going full out until it matters, often work as a team, sometimes work as a team with riders/drivers who are on different teams, etc. It seems big differences are that road bike riders don't have to conserve their tires (a big issue in stock cars) and stock car drivers don't have to eat as much as cyclists.
 

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Did that..

Hey, been there.

The two are about equally addicting, but bike racing is a little more 'sustainable' when it comes to expenses. When you are racing cars, there is no limit to the money you can and will spend. No matter how much you DO spend, there will be someone to out-spend you. The saying is: "Nothing beats cubic dollar$" My drug of choice was racing Porsches. I built a GT-2 class 928 racecar that was quite competative with the current crop of Porsche factory GT Cup cars, which were selling for about $160k (fob Germany) at the time I was racing (a few years ago) ..and at some 'club races' (no prize money or sponsorship) there were entries with over 60 of those Porsche factory racecars cars! "cubic dollars" Needless to say, I ran out of spendable income in just a few years and resumed bicycle racing.

I used to take my race bike to the tracks in my car hauler and go out early in the morning on the road courses. Make about 10 laps to get my blood pumping on the bike before I got down to the business of changing tires, tweeking suspension, etc etc.

Fun stuff, but when companies like Honda withdraw from racing because it's "Too expensive".. (F-1, but still..) you soon understand that no matter what you spend..someone else will spend a little more and get their car going a bit faster...

Putting doping aside..there is only so much training you can do as a bike racer and only so much technology..then you have to race on a similar level to the other guys. Not so with the cars..Many of the guys I race against had unlimited funding for their race budgets..buy the best of everything..Million dollar a year budgets for PCA club racing..

But, they couldn't pedal a bike, I bet.
Don Hanson
 

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T-Doc said:
Over the last two years I started taking my car to the track and eventually got a competition license. Did my first race in Feb, and was a blast. What was interesting to me was how similar the cultures were. Anybody else have a similar take?
glad someone else brought this up. i hate to put some people's rants in perspective, when i've heard the same tone in off-road bike racing, on-road motorcycling racing, kayaking circles, and some of my musician circles.

scoring sweet equipment. that one good time when it came together. getting money to support your habit. haggling with wife over dollars spent. getting ready for a show/race/outing this weekend. and....."my buddy who is a pro said ...."

i think it's more guy stuff that any one sport.
 

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Gnarly 928 said:
Hey, been there.

The two are about equally addicting, but bike racing is a little more 'sustainable' when it comes to expenses. When you are racing cars, there is no limit to the money you can and will spend. No matter how much you DO spend, there will be someone to out-spend you. The saying is: "Nothing beats cubic dollar$" My drug of choice was racing Porsches. I built a GT-2 class 928 racecar that was quite competative with the current crop of Porsche factory GT Cup cars, which were selling for about $160k (fob Germany) at the time I was racing (a few years ago) ..and at some 'club races' (no prize money or sponsorship) there were entries with over 60 of those Porsche factory racecars cars! "cubic dollars" Needless to say, I ran out of spendable income in just a few years and resumed bicycle racing.

I used to take my race bike to the tracks in my car hauler and go out early in the morning on the road courses. Make about 10 laps to get my blood pumping on the bike before I got down to the business of changing tires, tweeking suspension, etc etc.

Fun stuff, but when companies like Honda withdraw from racing because it's "Too expensive".. (F-1, but still..) you soon understand that no matter what you spend..someone else will spend a little more and get their car going a bit faster...

Putting doping aside..there is only so much training you can do as a bike racer and only so much technology..then you have to race on a similar level to the other guys. Not so with the cars..Many of the guys I race against had unlimited funding for their race budgets..buy the best of everything..Million dollar a year budgets for PCA club racing..

But, they couldn't pedal a bike, I bet.
Don Hanson
I didn't have my license when the 928 was introduced, but my brother was into cars and was getting the magazines, and I still remember the first review I saw about it- with a front engine V-8 it's more of a Pontiac than a Porsche.
 

· Fat'r + Slow'r than TMB
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From a marketing stand point, bike racing should learn some lessons from Nascar. I actually got 2 -3 friends started watching bike races simply because I explained the technology and tactics for a successful race to them. They said it reminded them of a Nascar race. Nobody understands it is a team in Nascar just like they don't know it is a team in the big bike races. Only difference is we don't wear nomex, of course that might help in crashes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I totally agree...the sport is very addicting, but unlike cycling, the expense is actually akin to heroin...cycling is more affordable, more healthy, and just as fun...
My race car is an '82 911 sc totally sorted out for the track: cage, race seats, fuel cell, race suspension, etc. I think the only thing that keeps Porsche racing from being the most expensive is Ferrari racing. I can go twice a year. The rest of time i'm on the bike.
BTW, when asked why I ride a Colnago, my favorite answer is:"because I can't afford a Ferrari!"
 

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"Stock Car racing"?

California L33 said:
I was just thinking that road bike racing is a lot like stock car racing. It's not the fastest car/rider that always wins- you conserve fuel by drafting and not going full out until it matters, often work as a team, sometimes work as a team with riders/drivers who are on different teams, etc. It seems big differences are that road bike riders don't have to conserve their tires (a big issue in stock cars) and stock car drivers don't have to eat as much as cyclists.
If you are thinking NASCAR, those racecars are totally custom, not one part of them is made by any major brand of car manufacturer. Ford, Chev, Dodge, Toyota?...they have nothing to do with those cars other than as sponsors..Hardly stock cars.

Your 'stock car' analogy to bikes might be more appropriate to track bike racing. The cars used are not very versatile except to go round and round on a circular track. The drafting concept is similar. But take a NASCAR onto a road course..be like racing a Beach Cruiser at the Tour de France..NASCAR racecars even have carburetors still..Sheesh! and pushrods!..

Wheel to wheel racing of anything, it's not always the fastest _____ that always wins. Strategy and racecraft are as important as pure speed in the end. In bike racing as well as car racing, however, you have to "pony-up" enough speed to at least be there with the pack.

One big difference is that brakes are more important in car racing than acceleration..The car that can slow down for corners better will always turn faster laps...A bike racer that can slow down better will......get to the coffee shop first?...

Its all fun
Don Hanson
 

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wipeout said:
What's wrong with pushrod technology? Some of the fastest production cars in the world use pushrods.
There are three ways to get more out of an engine. Spin it faster, make it bigger, or raise compression. Pushrods are fine if you have a big enough engine, but they severely limit engine speed. There isn't an engine out there with pushrods that spins at 22,000 rpm.
 

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I used to track also. It was fun for about 3 years. I just started riding a road bike and it is physically challenging. Driving a car on the track is about tire traction and staying on the proper line but riding a bike is about how fit your body is.
 

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Couple a more similar Car/bike racing things..long

The 'progression' into both sports as well as the delusions that we have as we get going?..very similar..

You start as an enthusiast. Maybe you join a club or attend a club events of some sort. Then you get 'hooked' and start trying to improve your speed, to improve your equipment, to learn. Buy the magazine, follow the news, Tivo all the videos.. You go on weekend outings, either to the track (for Drivers Ed or Track days) or you do some group rides with your bike club.. You see others going faster, so you begin to train off some weight, build some strength (for the bike) or you build up your car's motor and maybe take out the spare tire and the jack. At the next club event, you are a little faster... This is the stage where the self-delusions begin..

Bike racer wannabees delude themselves by saying stuff like.."Shoot, now I can keep up with_______(fill in the name of your bike club's cat 4 racer here) on our Sunday rides, so now I'm a racer now, too. I could be competative, if I just took the time and went and did it",,,Or "I beat everyone at the "tour de cure century ride" so that means I am one of the faster bike riders around. I could win races, easy!"

Car racer wannabees have a similar progression. A few track days, maybe an Autocross or two, take the stereo out of the car and put on some 'high performance' tires and alloy wheels.."instant racer" We say, to ourselves and others, stuff like.."Nobody passed me at the last track day..I was the fastest one at that DE (drivers ed)..I could beat some of those guys at Le Mans, if I had the time and money" Maybe we don't speak the last part outloud, but we think it..

Well, not many ever get beyond the delusional stage. We(most non-racers) have jobs, families, other too-convenient excuses to not try racing...If and when we do actually try to race, we have our eyes (rudely?) opened.

Racing, either cars or bikes, takes it onward to another level. Sure, as an enthusiast you may have learned to go much faster than the 'normal' cyclist or car driver. You may think you are, but you ain't no racer yet. You just be getting started.

Once you have the speed, when you can go out by yourself and ride along quickly or drive a fast lap, at race pace, on an empty track then...You still have to learn to RACE.. That's the part that, both in cycling and in cars, most enthusiasts don't understand or don't acknowledge. I've heard lots of similar excuses from car and bike guys, too...used some myself, to explain why I 'should have won, except for_______-' funny...

Took me a few years racing my car to understand that being able to execute the fastest line round a corner wasn't worth squat doodley if someone else was there first...I am still learning about bike racing after 20 some years of doing it...The bottom line in either type racing is actually the finish line, I guess.

One thing I have learned is that being "fast" as a Non-Racer is not the same as being a fast racer.

Don Hanson
 

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Gnarly 928 said:
The 'progression' into both sports as well as the delusions that we have as we get going?..very similar..

You start as an enthusiast. Maybe you join a club or attend a club events of some sort. Then you get 'hooked' and start trying to improve your speed, to improve your equipment, to learn. Buy the magazine, follow the news, Tivo all the videos.. You go on weekend outings, either to the track (for Drivers Ed or Track days) or you do some group rides with your bike club.. You see others going faster, so you begin to train off some weight, build some strength (for the bike) or you build up your car's motor and maybe take out the spare tire and the jack. At the next club event, you are a little faster... This is the stage where the self-delusions begin..

Bike racer wannabees delude themselves by saying stuff like.."Shoot, now I can keep up with_______(fill in the name of your bike club's cat 4 racer here) on our Sunday rides, so now I'm a racer now, too. I could be competative, if I just took the time and went and did it",,,Or "I beat everyone at the "tour de cure century ride" so that means I am one of the faster bike riders around. I could win races, easy!"

Car racer wannabees have a similar progression. A few track days, maybe an Autocross or two, take the stereo out of the car and put on some 'high performance' tires and alloy wheels.."instant racer" We say, to ourselves and others, stuff like.."Nobody passed me at the last track day..I was the fastest one at that DE (drivers ed)..I could beat some of those guys at Le Mans, if I had the time and money" Maybe we don't speak the last part outloud, but we think it..

Well, not many ever get beyond the delusional stage. We(most non-racers) have jobs, families, other too-convenient excuses to not try racing...If and when we do actually try to race, we have our eyes (rudely?) opened.

Racing, either cars or bikes, takes it onward to another level. Sure, as an enthusiast you may have learned to go much faster than the 'normal' cyclist or car driver. You may think you are, but you ain't no racer yet. You just be getting started.

Once you have the speed, when you can go out by yourself and ride along quickly or drive a fast lap, at race pace, on an empty track then...You still have to learn to RACE.. That's the part that, both in cycling and in cars, most enthusiasts don't understand or don't acknowledge. I've heard lots of similar excuses from car and bike guys, too...used some myself, to explain why I 'should have won, except for_______-' funny...

Took me a few years racing my car to understand that being able to execute the fastest line round a corner wasn't worth squat doodley if someone else was there first...I am still learning about bike racing after 20 some years of doing it...The bottom line in either type racing is actually the finish line, I guess.

One thing I have learned is that being "fast" as a Non-Racer is not the same as being a fast racer.

Don Hanson
even though I was sure I could beat anyone given the same car, I always left a room for michael schumacher.:p
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
What I meant by cultural similarities:
1. both sports require technology and therefore,
2. There are a lot of tech. junkies...just like on this board where threads go on and on about the latest frame materials and components, it is even worse in the car racing world.
3. Lots of ego wrapped up in the sport, even on the amateur non-racing level: on the grid there is a lot of posturing before the start of the track session, similar to the start of a group ride.
4. Style is a big deal...fred versus lance wannabe is just as bad in the car racing world.
5. In the race itself, race craft is as important, if not more important, than speed. Learning to be patient and watch for the other guy's weaknesses is the key to winning, especially in the more advanced groups.

The sense of similarity is somewhat difficult for me to articulate, but these are just some of my observations.
 

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If any regular old NASCAR fan could get past the lycra, they would find track racing to be just as exciting as stock-car racing, for all the principle concepts listed above.

Auto-X is a lot like criteriums – hard sprints that emphasize outright horsepower, corners that demand handling prowess, and lots of crashes. :( Back when I used to campaign a '90 RX-7 Turbo in ASP (badly I might add), I saw tons of crashes into curbs and trees, often from guys pushing tires more than they should've. Then I got into cycling once I killed my RX-7's engine (and as a junior in college with an appetite for pizza, I needed to get into shape), and I witnessed plenty of the same kinds of guys wipe out in the local industrial park criteriums.

Basically, the same personalities are into racing, both car and bike: kinda type-A dudes, with a love of gadgetry and a need to go fast as hell.
 
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