The more motorsport categories I shoot, the more budget friendly ways to go racing I find. Yes, motorsport is expensive, it always has and always will be, but there are certainly some cheaper options to get on track.
Hillclimb, khanacross/autocross and local track days are most definitely the cheapest route into gaining experience on a racetrack. But if you want to take the next step and jump into a competitive spec series, then there are now quite a few options depending on what discipline you prefer.
If you want to race on dirt ovals or paved circuits, Legend Cars are one of those options.
During the final round of this year’s Hi-Tec Super Series held at Calder Park, I got to take a closer look at this racing series, something I’ve been wanting to do for a while.
Back in 1992 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Bruton Smith and track president at the time, Humpy Wheeler, noticed a market for a low-cost form of racing car, that was cheap to maintain and easy to work on. These 5/8th size 1930's-esque Chevrolets and Fords are what they came up with.
Designed originally so it could fit in the back of a Ford F-150 and be taken to the track, whilst being the same price of a bass boat (which is what most people were spending their money on at the time), these Legend Cars have spread way outside from the USA.
To Mexico, across to the UK and Northern Europe, to Italy, France, and over here in Australia, these Legend Cars are raced on dirt, asphalt and even ice across 30 countries. And every one of them is built in Harrisburg North Carolina by Legend Cars International, who produce the largest amount of racing cars in the world.
In Australia, these cars are raced across the country on our main circuits, whilst also travelling to dirt speedways in Western Australia, Queensland and NSW. In addition, our infamous Aussie Racing Cars are based off the Legend Car platform.
With fuel and driver onboard, they weigh 560kg, and are powered by a three-cylinder Yamaha engine, with drivers getting the choice of the air cooled XJ1250 and FJ1200 or the water cooled FZ09 powerplant. To keep the racing fair and costs down, the engine is sealed up and only the clutch is allowed to be replaced by an aftermarket piece.
All the teams and drivers can do is adjust suspension, camber, toe, ride height, tyre pressure and the gearing. With all cars being the same (other than the body shape), it's all down to setup and driver skill.
This racing recipe, including a fixed rear axle and a 6-speed sequential gearbox makes for some great competitive racing and some hairy cars to drive, meaning overall a successful product.