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 Post subject: NP01 operational costs
PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 2:18 pm 
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On ApexSpeed.com I've been conducting a survey of operational costs for each class.

Here I'm only looking at the predictable costs that vary between the classes. I'm not trying to calculate total operational costs.

Some costs are more or less the same between classes, such as towing, hotel, food, entry fee, and so on. I am ignoring those costs.

Some costs are personal choice, and not inherent in the class, such as how much you choose to spend on your tow vehicle or RV, or paying people to support you. I am ignoring those too.

Some costs, while having some correlation to the class, are unpredictable and so difficult to quantify, such as crash repairs or engine failures. I am ignoring those too.

That leaves me with:
  • tires
  • engine rebuild (by a professional)
  • gearbox rebuild
  • fuel
  • brake pads
  • other, depending on the class

I guess there are other smaller but predictable maintenance costs, such as oil changes, brake rotors, brake fluid, etc. If you think the NP01 has above or below average expenses in these areas, let me know, and I will include them.

Drivers from many of the classes have responded with data for their class, and the result is:

a spreadsheet in Google docs

Here's what I have for the NP01. If you have changes, please reply below, and I will update the spreadsheet.

Class name: NP01
Engine make: Mazda
Engine model: MZR
Displacement: 2000
Power at crank, HP: 185
Torque at crank, ft-lbs: 145
Weight with driver, lbs: 1,720
Purchase new, $: 86,000 turn-key, pro build
Purchase used, $: 73,000
Tires set, $: 907
Tire competitive heat cycles: 20
Engine rebuild, $: 5,000
Engine competitive hours: 80
Fuel $/gallon: 3.00
Fuel gallons/hour: 10
Brake pads set, $: 278
Brake pads hours: 17
Gearbox rebuild, $: ?
Gearbox hours: ?
Other operational costs, $:


Regarding the engine, here's the scenario: You have a fresh engine producing power that is competitive in a Majors race or the Run-offs. It produces this power for some amount of time, and then starts to fall off, and at some point is no longer competitive. You send the engine back to the builder, who does whatever is necessary for that particular engine (some classes more, some less) to make it competitive again. How much does the builder charge for this? And how many hours did the engine operate competitively before becoming non-competitive?


Thanks,

Greg Holmberg


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 10:02 am 
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Great Idea and Thanks!
I suggest adding the cost (frequency + price) of brake rotors. Some heavy cars replace them all the time with very expensive rotors, other may last an entire season and be cheap too.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 6:12 pm 
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It's been a week, and no one cares to share what they spend on tires, engines, gearbox, fuel, and brake pads?

As it stands, the NP01 has one of the lowest operational costs of the classes listed. It would be nice to get some confirmation of these numbers.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 11:27 am 
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Location: Denver, CO
Tires @ $888 a set. Figure a new set every three weekends to run at the very front every session. If you want to stretch them like I do, you can run them for four or five weekends (and still do quite well). I have a brand new set coming for the last part of the season for no cost through Toyo contingency.

Engine - no one has had to rebuild one yet and several are pushing 100 plus race hours. Best estimate is 180-200 hours or 4 to 5 seasons. Rebuild is ~$6k.

Transaxle - no one has had to rebuild one yet and several are pushing 100 plus race hours. Complete unknown. Last time I inspected (90+ hours), the gears and dogs looked brand new.

Brake Pads - they will easily last 1/2 a season or a full 25 hour race. I've only paid for one set, the rest come for free courtesy of Hawk Brakes and their contingency.

Brake Rotors - Fronts seem to last between 1/2 season and a full season depending if you over use them or not. Rears probably 3 times as long as fronts. They are $130 each to replace.

Fuel - The car uses 91/93 pump gas at ~$3 a gallon. Cars see between 8mpg and 12 mpg depending on the track. I just did a complete weekend on 15 gallons total.



Based on all of that, I figure < $5k per year if you are putting aside a slush fund for engine and trans rebuild after 4 seasons. For 6 race weekends, you are looking at $800 a weekend worst case.

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Dave Balingit

NASA-RM Regional Director
NASA Prototype National Series Leader


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 1:08 pm 
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Very good. Thank you, Dave.

I entered those numbers in the spreadsheet. Total per weekend (8 sessions, including Friday practice) for tires + engine + fuel + pads + gearbox + rotors = $801. Less than a lot of classes! And for the speed, engineering, and safety of the car, it can't be beat.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2017 3:36 pm 
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Does anyone know what the lap time for the NP01 would be around Thunderhill without the bypass? I.e. over the top in turn 5?

Apparently NASA only runs TH with the bypass.

Alternatively, can I estimate the NP01 time without the bypass by adding a certain number of seconds? Perhaps six seconds? I see a 2002 BMW 330 running at the 25-hours with best time of 1:59.1. I know the SCCA record for Spec E46 is 2:05.1, so that's a difference of 6.0 seconds.

If so, then I see the NP01 running 1:51.7 at the 25-hours (bypass), so add 6, and get 1:57.7 for over the top at TH?


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2017 3:21 pm 
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You are better off asking on the Facebook page (NP01 Owners and Enthusiasts). We rarely come here.

I'll echo Dave's info:

My front Rotors lasted a season. Rears are still fine (2nd season) I'm still on original brake pads...YEP! (2 seasons), with plenty more left. I have 2 sets of new pads just sitting there That I received from Contingencies.

Do not pay retail for tires. I negotiated with a local tire shop, and they will take the Toyobucks also. I get out the door, Unmount old set, Mount, balance, tax etc for ~$900 set total. Thats is before handing them $300 or so in Toyobucks.

I just change the oil in the engine and trans every 2 race weekends, I could easily do it every 3 races.

Engine rebuild- No need

Trans Rebuild- No need but you can have anyone rebuild it- it does not have to be Elan for sealing since gear ratio can be checked on locked ECU.

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Thanks,
Chad

Elan NP01 Chassis #20/Car Number #02
Porsche 911ST 2.5L


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:34 am 
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I agree with Dave and Chad on the costs. I built my car in 2017 and started racing in March. Tires last a long time and do not drop off significantly. I ran 30 cycle tires during practice at Western Region Championship at Thunderhill and was only about 1/2 second off my sticker time. Brake pads last a long time but I did have to replace the front rotors $129 each due to cracking. They have a fix to add a heat shield to reduce the thermal cycling, so I will see how that works. I had to replace the front corner splitters 4 times due to off track excursions. They are $72 each. I change engine oil and transaxle oil every 2 weekends.
Overall I am very happy with the car. Very reliable and not much maintenance or work at the track. I came from Spec Miata and NP01 is comparable or less cost to race.


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