UTV Race Vehicles

After watching the growth and popularity of UTV racing, I was thinking on building a vehicle for desert racing but am questioning if it would be best to buy a used UTV race vehicle with all the necessary racing parts already installed. This will certainly reduce the initial cost of building a race vehicle but am curious if these 2017-2018 vehicles would still be competitive with the 2020 models…any thoughts??

The associations that we would like to race would be DP4, AVE, District 38, and an occasional BITD event.
 

JerryB

Well-Known Member
I would definitely recommend buying one already completed unless you have a bunch of money to throw at a build. There's a few solid cars for sale here in the classifieds. My car is technically a 2017 with a modified chassis. Wheelbase and track width is the same as a 2020. As far as engine and trans, you can always drop a 2020 spec into a 17. It's the tune and clutching that's going to make the difference really with the UTV. Look for one with a chassis that's already been score tagged.

You could buy a new 2020 and dump 30k or so into it, or buy one of those 17-18 X3's for sale, built with a 100k + budget when it was built and be race ready for the same price or less with more of a car. Just look at the cars history do a good prep every race and you'll have a great car to go racing. We'll be at the DP4 race in Johnson valley on the 23rd, you're welcome to stop by the pit if you have questions. Good luck
 
JerryB...thanks for your input. The X3 racecars listed in the classifieds are all BITD/Score approved and have all the race goodies. The Hostile and Hein cars look pretty good and have a good price point, do you agree that those 2 cars are a good start for a race vehicle?

A friend of mine races DP4, if I am there on the 23rd I'll stop by. Good luck and thanks for your opinion.
 
I would seriously consider buying used. After building my car, I spent a lot more upgrading and figuring out what it takes to show up and be competitive. I've only raced twice, but we've made a lot of improvements. The learning curve is steep and what no one tells you, is that if you don't show up with a dialed car, you wont be competitive, and "dialing it in" on a full custom build is pretty damn hard.

Also, my RZR is a full chassis 26g fuel cell BITD/ SCORE car. I have the same goals as you, smaller series with 1-2 BITD. My car is really built to shine in a loner 200+ mile race, and I don't plan on having the time/ money to do a full BITD series. I'd seriously look at an X3 2 seater, lighter and you could even do a WORCS race if you wanted. I did a full video series with a cost breakdown on my youtube channel. I used to think used race cars were all hammered, but you learn so much in the first few races, make adjustments and upgrades, so you can show up and run. I got beat by an RS1 and non Turbo Talon at the D38 race, I have tuning to do for sure, just saying that in these series you can have a ton of fun and be competitive in a cheaper/ stock build.
 

JerryB

Well-Known Member
JerryB...thanks for your input. The X3 racecars listed in the classifieds are all BITD/Score approved and have all the race goodies. The Hostile and Hein cars look pretty good and have a good price point, do you agree that those 2 cars are a good start for a race vehicle?

A friend of mine races DP4, if I am there on the 23rd I'll stop by. Good luck and thanks for your opinion.
While I have not seen either of those cars in person, reading the breakdown of what they have, yes I would say those are good cars to start with. And yes I agree, great price point, especially if you compare to cost of a new car, then start a parts/build list and you will see it quickly run into the 10's of thousands, without even factoring in the labor (unless you have a full fab shop of your own). Can you take a basically showroom stock 2020 RC and add a few safety items to meet the rules of the stock class in BITD, DP4 or D38, sure. But I guarantee within a year or 2 the car will be destroyed (bent/broken chassis) and lets face it, not finishing races takes all the fun out of it. Nor do you want to end up with a worthless pile of scrap metal after a season or 2, unless you have CanAm or Polaris tossing you a few new cars every season, which I do not! Like I mentioned earlier, you can take a 2017 X3 chassis which has been built/gussets/modified already at someone else's expense, good suspension components, radiators moved to the rear, seats, fuel cell, etc and drop a 20 spec motor in it and you will have the exact same thing as building a brand new 2020 from the ground up. To me, cost wise, it's a no brainer.

I race on a budget, because I love desert racing, I drive it not like I stole it, but like I have to fix it. That doesn't mean I don't push to be competitive, but finishing is our priority. We finished 19th in Pro Turbo at Parker in January in only my second UTV race. Prior to buying this I had never even ridden in a UTV.

I got into UTV racing late last year after being involved in racing various other classes for a while, I purchased an already built/raced car from a reputable builder/owner. Chromo chassis, suspension dialed, engine/belt cooling not an issue....all the major concerns addressed when it comes to a "racing" UTV vs a good trail or dune UTV. Building your own car is a great challenge and something to be proud of when it's complete. But I have been around racing long enough to know I am not a fabricator, I'm a mechanic. Realistically all I can claim credit for at this point is doing all my own prep, can't take credit for the build or design. And i'm not the least bit sorry about it! So my opinion....buy one of those cars, tear it down and give it a good prep to make sure it's solid and go have fun.

I am sure there are some solid RZR's for sale too, but my only experience is with the X3, so I'm kinda partial to them.
 

JerryB

Well-Known Member
I would seriously consider buying used. After building my car, I spent a lot more upgrading and figuring out what it takes to show up and be competitive. I've only raced twice, but we've made a lot of improvements. The learning curve is steep and what no one tells you, is that if you don't show up with a dialed car, you wont be competitive, and "dialing it in" on a full custom build is pretty damn hard.

Also, my RZR is a full chassis 26g fuel cell BITD/ SCORE car. I have the same goals as you, smaller series with 1-2 BITD. My car is really built to shine in a loner 200+ mile race, and I don't plan on having the time/ money to do a full BITD series. I'd seriously look at an X3 2 seater, lighter and you could even do a WORCS race if you wanted. I did a full video series with a cost breakdown on my youtube channel. I used to think used race cars were all hammered, but you learn so much in the first few races, make adjustments and upgrades, so you can show up and run. I got beat by an RS1 and non Turbo Talon at the D38 race, I have tuning to do for sure, just saying that in these series you can have a ton of fun and be competitive in a cheaper/ stock build.
Don't feel bad Nick, I did the D38 Christmas classic in December for our first UTV race, came in second to that kid in the RS1 too! Remember, he's probably got us by 5-600 pounds between the narrow car and no co-driver. Not downplaying his driving skills either.
 
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