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Track focused car advice and pic requests

Discussion in 'A3/S3 Forum (8L Chassis)' started by daz-20vt, Mar 2, 2013.

  1. daz-20vt
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    daz-20vt Well-Known Member

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    [Mar 2, 2013]
    hi guys. ive been toying with the idea of stripping my s3 for quite some time and so im after some pros and cons from people that have already done this. just wondering what can be taken away to help with weight.
    how far people have gone with their own cars
    am i realistically going to gain a lot?

    any help would be great. im yet to start doing track days but its what i pretty much bought the car for. just a weekend toy and for track fun. any advice or pics to help would be great. thanks a lot. daz
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  3. 16Klappe
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    16Klappe Princess Clap.

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    [Mar 2, 2013]
    It takes far more than stripping to make an S3 a track car. If you want a real S3 track car expect to invest thousands.

    If you want my honest advice; go buy an MX5 and learn to drive then if you get bitten by the bug look to build a proper car out of your S3.

    But don't rip it apart and devalue it straight away, dip your toe before you dive in.
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  4. daz-20vt
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    daz-20vt Well-Known Member

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    [Mar 2, 2013]
    im not after a track car but something i can use on track and on road. i have the car now and its intended use was always to do this so i either leave as is or do something even if its minor. i do approx 10 miles a week in it usually less so living with it isnt goin to be bad. ive done track days in the past and know thet i enjoy them. i got this as i thought it was a cheap enough car to toy about with and id much rather this than a coupe. not my type of car. im not after a race car. just making my s3 a little more competant on track im happy with keeping it at stage one power i have coilovers and ill upgrade the brakes. just struggling with having a clue where to start with stripping?? thanks for your reply. daz
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  5. daz-20vt
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    daz-20vt Well-Known Member

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    [Mar 2, 2013]
    think i should have been cleaerer in my original post. sorry. daz
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  6. Prawn
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    Prawn My other car is a MINI!!!!

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    [Mar 3, 2013]
    You can take your mx5, and you can take your plastic squirrel, and feck orf :laugh:

    I see where you're coming from Daz.

    I think, with these things, they require a certain level of commitment. Not massive, and by no means turning it into a race car, but to me, there are certain things that should be done in a block, or not at all

    Stripping the interior: Unless you're prepared to fit buckets, harnesses, and a new steering wheel, I'd avoid stripping the interior.

    A stripped car with standard seats looks, and feels, very stupid:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Likewise there is something very confused about a car that's stripped out with buckets, and retains the big fat standard leather steering wheel:

    [​IMG]

    Best thing you can do here is wait until you can afford some nice seats, harnesses, and wheel, then spend a weekend gutting the whole car:

    [​IMG]

    Then weld in some proper runners for the seats:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    And a steering wheel, and you'll have transformed the car :)

    [​IMG]

    I removed just over 140kg from inside my A3, without touching the front door cards, stereo, electric windows, aircon, or remote locking, so on an S3 I'd imagine you could remove nearly 160kg quite easily, then put back in around 25 for the new seats.

    I reckon a stripped S3, on coilovers (You'd need coilovers because when you strip it the back will come up a good 40mm), with good bushes all round, stage 1 power, and some DS3000 pads or brembos, could be a really good laugh :)
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  7. daz-20vt
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    daz-20vt Well-Known Member

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    [Mar 3, 2013]
    hi prawn. this is exactly what im thinking. although i may have kept the carpet as im a tart!! i want it empty but with 2 half sensible bucket seats.i think selling my standard seats will even leave me with money left over aafter buying the new buckets?! i consider this a cheap enough car not to worry about losing value and as i say its a toy. what kind of drawbacks will i get. how noisey will it become? colder?? ive read a lot online about many cars but the a3 s3 isnt stripped a lot. you have any regrets? i really love the look of your car. its kind of my inspiration lol. thanks daz
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  8. Paradox1
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    Paradox1 Active Member

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    [Mar 3, 2013]
    Yeah on start up it will sound louder and when its cold you will feel it more. If you do decide to strip the interior make sure you get a laser alignment to keep the car balanced
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  9. Jason.s
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    Jason.s Active Member

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    [Mar 3, 2013]
    And it gets stupidly hot once its stripped out
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  10. Paradox1
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    Paradox1 Active Member

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    [Mar 3, 2013]
    i wouldn't start stripping it out unless you going to go the full hog. its not really a half hearted job, more all or nothing
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  11. daz-20vt
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    daz-20vt Well-Known Member

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    [Mar 3, 2013]
    i think im happy removing quite a lot to be honest. but im defo going to do at least one day before i touch it. great advice tho guys im feeling really good about doing this now. daz
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  12. Tankman
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    Tankman Member

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    [Mar 3, 2013]
    Daz, I've done a fair few track days in fully stripped out track prepared cars with mad camber, polycarbonate windows, cages the lot. I've also done track days in both of my previous A4 TDi's. Much to the delight of the guys on a stag weekend to Amsterdam and the Nürburgring, I volunteered as 'Ring taxi as I've done one or two laps there. Four up with the luggage for me and the co-driver in the boot, my old 2.5TDi sport managed a 10'10" bridge to gantry.

    The only time removing any weight from a car will ever make any difference is when driving on track has reached a point where you physically cannot get any quicker with your lap times. That is the point where losing weight begins to make sense to improve your power to weight ratio. Before you get to that point however, I would recommend the advice given to me by an expert on chassis handling and suspension geometry. Five things you need to do before you start removing weight and or increasing power.

    1. Instruction
    2. Instruction
    3. Instruction
    4. Instruction
    5. Get your suspension and geometry sorted for track days

    Then when you've done all that, start losing weight and increasing power.

    Just my 2p.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 4, 2013
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  13. Prawn
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    Prawn My other car is a MINI!!!!

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    [Mar 4, 2013]
    ^^^ From a purely driving point of view, this is fantastic advice.

    I'd suggest however, the reason most people do not go down this route, is that as car enthusiasts, we get as much enjoyment from modifying and improving our cars as we do driving them.

    It's true though, £1k of tuition will knock more off any lap times than £1k of mods.

    As for stripping it out, it's amazingly now that loud at all, even now mine remains fairly acceptable, certainly no trouble to have a conversation whilst cruising at 100mph. It's a bit colder first thing on a cold morning until the heater warms up, but nothing major.

    Mine certainly doesn't get hot inside though Jason, not since re-fitting my exhaust heat shield. I removed this at one point and the trans tunnel got STUPIDLY hot and made the car very uncomfortable, but since refitting it never gets anything more than mildly warm to the touch.
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  14. Jason.s
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    Jason.s Active Member

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    [Mar 4, 2013]
    Fair enough, my A4 with only a stripped rear used to get quite warm and a friends S14a at Bedford fully stripped inc minimal dash got stupidly hot. No sure what the heatshield situation was though so could be different like you`ve mentioned if the shields were removed.
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  15. Paradox1
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    Paradox1 Active Member

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    [Mar 4, 2013]
    I think this could go on forever to be honest. I just think anyone considering a track car needs to decide where to draw the line. you can have a half stripped out s3 with all the bits and bobs and still call it a track car. or you can go the whole length like prawn? I think it all comes down to how much you want to spend and how far your willing to go with it.
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  16. Prawn
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    Prawn My other car is a MINI!!!!

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    [Mar 4, 2013]
    oh yea, totally marty, I was just saying, with regards to certain things, I think it should be a case of all or nothing, like stripping the car and keeping standard seats, it just looks, and feels very odd.
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  17. Jason.s
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    Jason.s Active Member

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    [Mar 4, 2013]
    Yeah Prawn has an all out track car but still kept some comforts in the front like a full dash and aircon for traveling to venues. I still had pretty much a full interior in the front of the A4 and carpet cut under the front seats so it was still in the front wells just not the rear. 1 bucket for the drivers seat with standard passenger seat, all 4 door cards and managed to cut out about 110kgs. Weigh bridge recorded 1220kgs with 1/4 tank of fuel. Not too bad for a saloon without going extreme on the front half of the car.

    But on the seats like Prawns mentioned before it makes a HUGE difference in driving. When i had my seat and harness fitted it made the car feel completely different. It felt like the cars handling had improved massively but it was just me being able to control it without sliding all over the place.
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  18. Paradox1
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    Paradox1 Active Member

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    [Mar 4, 2013]
    No doubt Prawn,

    I mean I would love to fit some bucket seats in my car, even more so as its just a daily car driven on weekends. reason I havent done it yet is because i dont want a half done job. eg,1 bucket seat, 1 standard seat, or harness on standard seats......wtf

    In my case, until im prepared to join the all out track car group, I'll have to compromise, such as CG locks and making the handling as good as possible with what I already have
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  19. Prawn
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    Prawn My other car is a MINI!!!!

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    [Mar 4, 2013]
    Good approach mate :) You'll enjoy it more for gutting it and fitting the nice stuff all in one hit.
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  20. jcs356
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    jcs356 Brum brum

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    [Mar 4, 2013]
    I appreciate it's not an S3, but here is my old Ibiza. I took a lot of weight out of it, it was a rechipped 2l 8v, with mid 130's bhp, I never had it weighed but it can't have been much more than 1 tonne. It remained completely road legal.

    [​IMG]

    Rust eventually got the better of it, but replaced it with a valver Cordoba SX - so now have low 180's bhp in a car which weighs not that much more :)

    Just remember that track day cars rapidly get expensive what with performance mods and consumables.
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  21. daz-20vt
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    daz-20vt Well-Known Member

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    [Mar 4, 2013]
    some great advice here thanks guys. thats a little further than my plans jcs!! but would love to have the bottle to do that!!! i know a lot of this is a learning curve and that my gains are mainly going to be with learning how to drive etc. but i just love the stripped look plus it will be beneficial. ive been looking in to i structor courses where they teach track driving but they are soo expensive!! are the ones they do on the day any good? thanks all! daz
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  22. Tankman
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    Tankman Member

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    [Mar 17, 2013]
    Daz, can you tell me how the stripped look will be beneficial? There is no benefit in saving weight if your driving and suspension has not been addressed.

    If you're going to be happy enough with a stripped out car that gets overtaken by everything else on track, but you enjoy driving it all the same, then that's fine, go for it.

    Otherwise, follow my advice and learn how to steer, accelerate and brake properly first. Even F1 drivers have regular coaching, like weekly/monthly sessions not once a year.

    Maybe if you can define your goals and what you hope to achieve from doing track days, you will then be able to prioritise what you should do next. It's only advice and you don't have to take it. Just do whatever makes you happy.
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  23. Tankman
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    Tankman Member

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    [Mar 17, 2013]
    PS. Instructors: No they're not cheap but they are always worth it in my opinion. Try and pre-book with someone who has been recommended or with ARDS qualified instructors attached to the track day organiser.
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  24. Paradox1
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    Paradox1 Active Member

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    [Mar 17, 2013]
    Good advice!

    start by doing the suspension first.this makes a big difference.your car won't handle in standard suspensionblike it does when fully bushes,coilovers,and a rear roll bar. when you derk comfortable with that then you car up the power(if needs be) and then stripping.stripping should be the last thing.take your time and decide what you really want from the car :)
    #23
  25. Tankman
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    Tankman Member

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    [Mar 18, 2013]
    The previous A4 I owned was a 3.0TDi Quattro S-Line the 204bhp version not the 230bhp. I had the standard suspension aligned properly at Center Gravity in Atherstone and practice what I preach when it comes to tuition.

    My mate's son will testify to the effectiveness of tuition and a decent suspension set up. I was at Spa along with a load of classic 911 owners, my mate Steve and his son Sam were there in his 911. Sam came out with me for a few laps and we caught up and overtook an R8. Air con keeping us cool, Kruder and Dorfmeister making it even cooler with some chilled sounds and no clanky, rattling, noisy stripped out car to contend with on the way there and back either.
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  26. Prawn
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    Prawn My other car is a MINI!!!!

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    [Mar 18, 2013]
    Tankman is very keen on you getting tuition, it's a good idea.

    As I said above though, half the urge to do these things is because we enjoy doing the work and changing things up a little
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  27. MBK
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    MBK Active Member

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    [Mar 18, 2013]
    I agree with Tankman's views about good tuition, the guys at Motorsport Events have helped me improve my on track driving greatly. Track time is so much more enjoyable once you understand how to get the most from the time and your car.

    As for stripped out a Renault Megane R26.R and Westfield Sport 2000 were extreme enough for me. Whatever you decide to do the main thing is to enjoy the car and pushing your own limits.
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  28. MBK
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    MBK Active Member

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    [Mar 18, 2013]
    Prawn, that's a great track toy you've got there, really enjoyed watching some of your Youtube videos, excellent driving Sir!
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  29. daz-20vt
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    daz-20vt Well-Known Member

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    [Mar 18, 2013]
    hi guys. yeh i know im going to be slower as a driver but i am looking into tuition on some level. even if its on the first track session i do. i hear most trackdays you can pay to take someone with you. is that worth it? i have coilovers on the car. and upgraded brakes, and im in the process of getting correct alignment done. which i guess will need redoing once i strip the car. i just really like the stripped look tbh. plus as i say its a toy for me so it wont be entirely for show.. i was thinking of doing abingdon first as its very local. any thoughts? input has been great on this thanks guys!!
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  30. daz-20vt
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    daz-20vt Well-Known Member

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    [Mar 18, 2013]
    i went to the ring in 2007. no idea on times as i didnt want to push myself too hard seeing i was new to it. so who here has had tuition? any recommends? daz
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  31. Paradox1
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    Paradox1 Active Member

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    [Mar 18, 2013]
    Abingdon is a for a trackday, lots of run of space!
    im looking to book a day there too
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  32. Tankman
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    Tankman Member

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    [Mar 18, 2013]
    Would recommend Gary Marsh and he is local to Abingdon. Have spent a day with him and have another half day owing to me sometime this year. www.aneed4speed.co.uk. It's not cheap as you say, but pound for pound it's the most effective way of getting faster.

    Have had instruction from Audi at the ring on 3 occasions now, and some laps with that German girl. Consequently, I do this in a 200hp 944 . . . .

    http://youtu.be/MndhHXBZZss
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  33. MBK
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    MBK Active Member

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    [Mar 18, 2013]
    I agree Abingdon is a good place to start especially as it's local for you. If you go with Motorsport Events (most of there events will be close to you) they charge £25 for 20m instruction or £60 for an hour. I highly recommend them, friendly bunch, well run non competitve days. Top quailty instruction that helped me and my Mrs improve on track. she was a nervous driver on road before a few track sessions now she is a tidy & confident track driver. They often have a car control area (slalom, circle etc) where you can push the limits in safety.

    Like anything in life there is no secret to it, track driving is a set of techniques to learn and then practice (the fun part!). I've been visiting the track for a few years now and I'm still learning every time I go.
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  34. daz-20vt
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    daz-20vt Well-Known Member

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    [Mar 18, 2013]
    Ok great. So i reckon ill do abingdon fairly soon. And start with an hours tuition from the track guys. Ill do this before i do anything else to the car. Just see how i get on from there. Really pleased with the help on this one guys. Thanks a lot. Really looking forward to getting one under my belt now!! Daz
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  35. MBK
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    MBK Active Member

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    [Mar 18, 2013]
    Nice one daz-20vt, enjoy, I'm sure you'll be grinning from ear to ear. Get some pictures and tell us how you got on. It's a big fun adventure you're about to go on.
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  36. s33nyboy12
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    s33nyboy12 Well-Known Member

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    [Mar 18, 2013]
    I'm thinking of booking a full day track tuition and I don't think £500 is that bad. Saloon first, theory for bit, break then , track car laps, de brief, ect ect

    im sure if I was to track my own car it would cost £100 fuel, £200 tyres, £100 break pads.... So bargain considering the tuition is insured too!

    Sean
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  37. daz-20vt
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    daz-20vt Well-Known Member

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    [Mar 18, 2013]
    the places i found were upwards of 400 not including tracktime and you use your own car. that will easily add up to scary figures. id be happy to do the on the day stuff first and see how that takes me. the one good thing is you could take upto 3 people.but then you lose the 1 on 1benefit. ill see how i get on. where are you looking at goin sean?
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  38. markyR
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    markyR Member

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  39. Tankman
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    Tankman Member

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    [Mar 18, 2013]
    Good man Daz. Have fun.
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