(The next in our series of advisory pieces on how to do extremely dangerous and barely legal things. (No, this isn’t about street racing.)
So you think you can’t afford a Porsche. Or a race car. Actually, you can do both. If you can afford a $20,000 car, you can own a stripped-down, pumped up Porsche that’s built for the track, not the street.
That’s how much marketing executive David Myers spent on his ’87 Porsche 944 Turbo (pictured above). His car, complete with racing suspension, racing brakes and racing tires cost him less than 20 large. And on weekends, he takes it track driving at places like Toronto Motorsports Park. “I bought my car through a guy in the Porsche Club of Canada”, says Myers. “All you need is a reliable car that hasn’t been beat up over the years – and it shouldn’t cost you too much.”
At the track, drivers who crave speed can test the limits of their cars – without the risk of a speeding ticket. “The point of it is to get the average joe off the public roads and have him exploit the handling parameters of his car in a safe environment,” says Myers.
As for special training – it’s not necessary – but Myers thinks it’s a good idea. “If you don’t know what you’re doing, you can get into trouble pretty quickly,” he says. Myers got his racing license at the Bridgestone Racing Academy.
If you’re already lucky enough to own a Porsche, Toronto mechanic Jasper Mark (416.757.8037) can modify it to suit your racing wishes. “Depending on what you want to do, you can spend anywhere from six to 30 grand modifying your car,” he says. Mark also modifies other European cars such as VWs, Audis and BMWs for the track. Right now, he’s also working on modifying a fleet of cars that weekend warriors can rent out to test on the track.
“To rent one of the cars will cost between two and nine grand for a weekend,” he says. “Right now that’s something I’m working on, to fix up enough so people can rent them.” So even if you can’t splurge for $20,000 for another car, you can still have at least one weekend of speed.