What’s the Best Budget Track Car for Beginners?


A photo of a track-ready Mazda Miata in red.

Is the Miata the best budget track car for beginners?
Photo: Steve DaSilva

We’ve all been there, you’re watching a race one weekend and can’t help but think to yourself, “I could do that.” Obviously, you can’t hop straight into an IndyCar monster, you have to start small. So you begin looking up nearby track days and find one that looks like fun. But, you don’t want to take your precious car onto the track, there are other cars there that might scuff up its paintwork.

If that sounds like you, then you might start browsing the local classifieds for a second car that could become your track day toy. But if you’re on a budget, what kind of car makes a great starting point for your track day adventures?

That’s exactly what we want to uncover today, we want to know what you think might be the best budget track car for beginners.

If you ask our Steve, he’ll tell you that the best thing to do is buy a Miata, fit new seats to it, and then discover you’re too tall to fit into it. But maybe don’t do that, unless you’re absolutely sure you’ll fit inside once you put all that work in.

If you know you won’t fit in a Miata with a roll cage and race seats, why not try something like the Nissan 350Z? You can pick a decent one up for a not insane amount, and it’ll come with a lovely 3.5-liter V6 that kicked out 306hp and 268-lb-ft of torque when it was new.

But what other options are there out there? Head to the comments section and let us know your picks for the best budget track car for beginners. We’ll round up some of the top suggestions in a slideshow on Monday.

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