Racing isn't cheap. It is, however, something that a lot of us wish we could do. Sure, you can prep a car and take it to your local track day. You could get a crew together and run an inexpensive car at LeMons, ChumpCar, or an AER event. Maybe you just want to go autocrossing or hit a Time Attack? All of that is obtainable and easy enough to accomplish. Real racing with fully prepped and purpose built race cars, however, is another thing entirely, and it's typically on the prohibitive side of expensive. Exotics Racing is looking to change that.
We were invited out to Fontana's Auto Club Speedway to sample the latest in spec racing excitement, and it's called the LV02. This is a tube-chassis race car wearing a fiberglass body shaped to look like a number of DTM series competitors. Under the skin sits a 2.0-liter four-cylinder Renault engine, which is good for 230 horsepower. It's paired with a six-speed SADEV sequential gearbox, so you only need a clutch to get the 1,600-pound machine rolling forward. After that it's just a tug of the paddle and you're in the next gear.
There's no power steering. There's no traction control. There's just you nestled within the roll cage and chassis left to stare at a RacePack dash and the twisting circuit in front of you. This is racing, and you're going to be out there with any number of other folks staring at the same display and the same circuit. You're wheel to wheel, mano-a-mano, and you're able to do so for around $5,000.
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That's not cheap, certainly, but compared to most other forms of car-based motorsports it's an absolute bargain. A new spec Miata costs over $50,000. A Lamborghini Super Trofeo car runs you around $300,000. To maintain, transport, repair, crew, and properly operate such machines you need many thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours of time. Exotics Racing allows you to arrive and drive, and you don't even need to bring your own gear if you don't have any.
The $5,000 level gets you into a sprint race. This means a 20-minute practice session followed by 20 minutes of qualifying and then 20 minutes of racing. You can jump up to multi-drive endurance multi-hour racing starting around $10,000. These numbers on first glance seem large, I get it. But when you step back and compare it to the real costs of true automotive racing, however, they start to shine.
The cars shine, too, as they're a true blast to drive. Additionally, they're not terribly complicated. The power-to-weight ratio is perfect for both beginners and seasoned professionals. A fresh driver won't get in over his or her head, while a pro can make the car do wonderful things. Exotics Racing offers this series at both its Las Vegas and Fontana-based facilities, and it has plans to expand to other circuits. There will be more tracks, more races, and more opportunities for those of us who wish for more seat time to get just that.
It's time to turn off the simulator, save up some cash, and check out what real wheel-to-wheel action feels like.