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The plan and the reality



icek

ClioSport Club Member
  4GTS/7.5R/182
I both wanted a car that didn't break the bank to use regularly on track, and really wanted that car to be a 182 - long story for another post!
So off I went to the classifieds, looking at the low-mid price range and saving myself some extra money for any immediate maintenance and those coveted track-oriented mods.

Of course I quickly forgot the purpose of this purchase and ended up with a 60k miles, nearly standard 182 FF from a forum member.
I immediately gelled with the car - had an mk2 1.6 as my first car and the nostalgia hit hard. I could swear that even the smell was the same, I was smitten. The awkward, horribly offset driving position was somehow lovely. The handling was fabulous. I couldn't possibly leave without making an offer!

Next day I remembered this was meant to be a track car, yet I'd just bought a lovely standard car that I could not bear to strip down and wanted to keep as original as possible.

I will still largely use the car on track but am leaving the rear seats in. I've spent the track mod budget twice over on non-essential maintenance alone. My time has gone into deep cleaning the interior which will be followed by some fun time with the DA polisher. I'm considering getting the front bumper resprayed as it is horrendously pitted.

And my wife thought the midlife crisis was buying the car in the first place... before I spent about half of its value on top :whistle:
 

Darren S

ClioSport Club Member
Why not try the best of both worlds?

@Niall has made his car track focused, but it's clearly had plenty of TLC chucked at it as well. A track car doesn't always have to be a track shed. :)

 

jameswrx

ClioSport Club Member
I’d say you’re doing the right thing.

IMO with Clios there’s a point of diminishing returns and that comes after decent road tyres and brakes.

When you go on track and see how fast a Honda type r is you’ll realise you just need to have fun with what you have. If you want to go mad on a track car & be the fastest start with an Integra or civic.

Race brake fluid
PBS Pro-Race pads
New brembo HC discs
Decent tyres (not even semi slick)
Fresh std suspension
Enjoy & remember it’s not a race

A stock’ish clio is an awesome little car to have fun in. In a lot of ways I prefer the way my completely stock 172 drives over my more track biased 172.

There’s also tyres which (again just my 2p) could be the difference between fun and serious. A good quality set of road tyres are still good but you can really feel the car on the limit a lot quicker on stock suspension and road tyres and play with it. On semi slicks and track suspension it obviously clings on a lot harder but remember if things do go wrong you’ll be going faster and it’s all just a bit more sudden and less forgiving over the limit. If you’re going for semi slick tyres I’d honestly say they should go hand in hand with a proper roll cage, seat & harness as your cornering speeds will be up and the consequences will be worse. Having watched someone I know totally f themselves up on track after a big crash going fast with no cage or harness it hammers it home.

Start with a plan of what you want to achieve and build around that IMO. If it’s a once a month fun exercise the list above, if it’s more serious sell it and buy a proper track car as it’ll save you a fortune & also save a nice car (by sounds)
 

jameswrx

ClioSport Club Member
Not serious, just interested. Thought maybe my car was lacking power as they walk away on the straights.

One of the best cars I’ve seen on track are those new meganes, seem amazing.
 

Coops Mk1

ClioSport Club Member
  Lots of Scrap...
hehe, no worries chap, just love that gif so any excuse really!

I've never had one 'walk away' even when I've used the daily on track. unless its a very obviously modified one. Stock for stock there isn't much in it
 

jameswrx

ClioSport Club Member
hehe, no worries chap, just love that gif so any excuse really!

I've never had one 'walk away' even when I've used the daily on track. unless its a very obviously modified one. Stock for stock there isn't much in it

I guess you never really know what power hondas are running with the tuning potential. Last time I was on track there was a couple and they’d have the legs to pass down the straight. Mind you I was thinking an old Corsa was going well til I found out it was running over 200bhp & I could Just get by that in a completely stock 172 somehow.
 

JamesBryan

ClioSport Club Member
  Titanium 182
Why not try the best of both worlds?

@Niall has made his car track focused, but it's clearly had plenty of TLC chucked at it as well. A track car doesn't always have to be a track shed. :)


Just been ceramic coated too, it's mint.
 

icek

ClioSport Club Member
  4GTS/7.5R/182
Why not try the best of both worlds?

@Niall has made his car track focused, but it's clearly had plenty of TLC chucked at it as well. A track car doesn't always have to be a track shed. :)


Thanks for this, loved that build and pretty much where I'm headed. If only I was as handy as you lot to do so much of the mechanical work myself, I'll always have to rely a lot on specialists. But then again I'd rather spend the time doing my day job and the spare time driving the thing!

I’d say you’re doing the right thing.

IMO with Clios there’s a point of diminishing returns and that comes after decent road tyres and brakes.

When you go on track and see how fast a Honda type r is you’ll realise you just need to have fun with what you have. If you want to go mad on a track car & be the fastest start with an Integra or civic.

Race brake fluid
PBS Pro-Race pads
New brembo HC discs
Decent tyres (not even semi slick)
Fresh std suspension
Enjoy & remember it’s not a race

A stock’ish clio is an awesome little car to have fun in. In a lot of ways I prefer the way my completely stock 172 drives over my more track biased 172.

There’s also tyres which (again just my 2p) could be the difference between fun and serious. A good quality set of road tyres are still good but you can really feel the car on the limit a lot quicker on stock suspension and road tyres and play with it. On semi slicks and track suspension it obviously clings on a lot harder but remember if things do go wrong you’ll be going faster and it’s all just a bit more sudden and less forgiving over the limit. If you’re going for semi slick tyres I’d honestly say they should go hand in hand with a proper roll cage, seat & harness as your cornering speeds will be up and the consequences will be worse. Having watched someone I know totally f themselves up on track after a big crash going fast with no cage or harness it hammers it home.

Start with a plan of what you want to achieve and build around that IMO. If it’s a once a month fun exercise the list above, if it’s more serious sell it and buy a proper track car as it’ll save you a fortune & also save a nice car (by sounds)

The car did really well on track as it is, the road tyres and forgiving suspension setup enabled me to lift off round corners and at no point the car wanted to bite. After 15 mins the tyres do start to give away but I like keeping sessions short anyway so wasn't fussed at all. These cars are definitely fast enough imo to have fun.
I fully agree re: slicks / roll cage/harnesses, some people would even argue for them regardless of tyres, it all depends on the track and whether other drivers are being sensible / how risk adverse you are.

Your comment re: your stock / track biased 172s makes me feel better about not having gone crazy.

I had a 265 Cup which was not only much faster round a track but very very hard to fault, but I only really truly enjoyed it in the wet. I suppose I like cars to be a bit mobile and the 265 was just too competent.
 

jp_lcr

ClioSport Club Member
I bought mine standard deliberately to race in MSUK sprints in standard class. All suspension and brakes refreshed, off to Diamond Motors for belts, dephaser, water pump, big service PS3s and full pro detail. 18 months later best car related decision I ever made. Its great fun, I take kids to school in it and race at the weekend. After the big initial hits its been perfect. Not missed a beat on track or off. And this is best car forum for advice of any. There are enough full track prepped cars out there so if ever wanted to go that way would sell and buy one or buy a second car. The other aspect it more likely a standard car will appreciate than a track car so you're on to a winner, stay standard and enjoy 👍
 

Kev@KAM

ClioSport Trader
  Badass Toyota
Cooling ducts are worth it on the Clio 2RS especially if you start driving the car hard on track.
 

Bankrupt_drunk

ClioSport Club Member
  Clio 172
I've done something similar. Bought a cheap 172 as a town car and occasional track use and really fell for it: I've spent 1.5 x the purchase price on new bushes, suspension and a gearbox box refurb. I just love driving it.
The clio is now my go to transport for any trip that doesn't involve passengers or long stetches of motorway. I bought a bucket seat, base, rails and harness with the intention of stripping the interior but I'm not sure it's worth it. I use the car 2-3 times per week and will probably only do 4-5 track days per year.
 


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