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The 5 best flavors of motorsport, according to you

Motorsport is arguably the heart-and-soul niche of the car community and a gateway for many enthusiasts. The uncompromising, aggressive, and performance-focused cars are stimulating to pilot but also thrilling to watch from afar. Our readers have spoken about their favorite ways to burn rubber or watch the action. Here are the top five flavors of motorsport that speed freak Hagerty readers can’t get enough of.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2019/09/09/best-flavors-of-motorsport-according-to-you

Under “Anything Affordable”, I’m kinda disappointed that you guys didn’t even mention professional kart racing. Kimi Raikkonen and Michael Schumacher started off with karting! And besides, there’s virtually no other motorsport where you can get a sub-$20K racing vehicle and transport everything you need in the bed of a pickup truck to the track!
I have a kart myself, and it makes 25 MPH and 7ish HP feel much, MUCH faster!
Plus, engine rebuilds are easy to do on a one cylinder engine!

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I don’t really feel that $20K is affordable compared to Autocross where you can take any running car that can pass a safety inspection, a gallon of Gas, a $100 helmet and a $20 entry fee and that gets you in. I have Auto crossed my daily driver and seen more than one family car weaving through cones. That is affordable racing in the cheapest form.

Trouble is Autocross is NOT racing! It is a time trial. If done with a street/family car it is just wearing the rubber off the side walls of your tires at a screaming 35 miles per hour! That sure is every penny it costs NOTHING !

Under anything affordable, I know low budget racers have to do it for fun because it is mostly a financial loss but it would be nice to play on a level field when competing. The worst thing about racing in the low budget series is the guys who, can’t make it in the big time but have a big budget, come in and essentially “buy” their wins. Money makes fast cars. Not always, of course, but you see that in all forms of competition, even Bar-B-Que cookoffs where the guy with professional chef’s training and professionally built smokers competes and wins against the home town teams who do it for fun. Or the local car shows where the professionally built car competes against the man and/or woman who built theirs in their garage after work or on weekends learning as they progressed. Then you have the clique who are “allowed” to win. An example of that is when my neighbor’s grandson raced Briggs & Stratton go carts. He finally learned why certain competitors’ karts with supposedly stock engines were not only faster, but much faster than the others. He built an engine that couldn’t win but at least compete with the clique and he was protested but they seldom were. My friend did protest once but it went nowhere nor did any of the other protests by the “also rans.” I know things will never change because there are those who will go to any extreme just to win. Everyday life is like that. And I am not knocking those who have money. But it is disheartening when the low budget team in a low budget, non professional series who would like to win a trophy as well as have fun must compete against a team with a seemingly unlimited budget.
However, they can sometimes be beaten and that is quite satisfying and makes it all worthwhile for those who do it. I think the best major win I ever saw was when independent NASCAR driver Alan Kulwicki won the 1992 NASCAR championship as an independent against the big guys with their multi car teams. But he could only do it with his perseverance, his engineering ability, his driving talent, his team’s attitude, loyalty, cohesiveness and talent, and Hooters’ big bucks sponsorship. It didn’t hurt either that in 1992, if you weren’t driving a Ford in NASCAR you were going to lose. The second best win I ever saw was Alan’s 1988 Phoenix win when he created the Polish Victory Lap.

Many old time USAC, IRL and NASCAR drivers got their start in go karts. I don’t follow NASCAR anymore but multi champion Jeff Gordon got his start in karting. While I never competed, I used to drive my friends’ karts a lot. But at 70 years old, I even put karting far behind me. Broken bones at my age don’t heal like they used to but the one you drive does sound like fun and very satisfying.

Autocross may be a TT but it is a challenging one where anyone can participate with a DD or full-zoot race car. Budgets are commensurate with ones level of participation. Most wheel to wheel racing (including Lemons) raise the stakes a bit more since these are not street cars (tow rigs required). Frankly, drag racing can be seen as a TT. If that is ones cup of tea, then Pro Solo might be an option. Last time I autocrossed, the fast cars were in the low 40 sec, often hitting their rev limiter. My limiter hits at 65mph - just a tad faster than 35.
Tires and brakes are consumables for any auto racing event - heck, just DD. Therefore, using up tires/brakes is not the measure of competition be it a TT or WtW. I thought we were assessing the fun factor here, not which type of event qualifies as motorsport.

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^Well said.
And don’t forget that in sanctioned events cars are classed. So the Vettes aren’t racing against the family truckster.
You can also run PAX (handicap) if you can’t afford or just don’t want to bother with ‘R’ compounds.

Agree with the last posters about autocross. Yes it is a TT, but so are hillclimbs! I started out running stock in my '82 Scirocco, but had such a great time that I eventually modified it to E-Prepared! You can go through tires and brakes and sometimes mechanical “issues”, but no body damage to repair. One year I completed 32 events including going to Solo Nationals in Topeka, KS. Try telling over 1,000 participants at that event that they’re not racing…

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