Spending the day at the track is one of the great joys of being a car enthusiast. You can cut loose without fear of a speeding ticket, enjoy exploiting a car’s grip and handling as intended, and refine your high-speed driving skills. Of course, you can build a car specifically for the track to give yourself every advantage in shaving off tenths of a second. Still, sooner or later, you’re going to realize that carpets, soundproofing, AC, and safety systems are heavy, as are power-sapping emissions systems. Then your car isn’t road legal anymore, and you’re going to need a trailer, and space to store it and your race car. And you’ll have to invest in a towing vehicle. However, if you have a spare spot in the garage, you can buy a stripped-down hardcore track toy that’s just barely street legal and comfortable enough to drive to the track.
Here, we’re going to focus on cars specifically designed and built for hot laps, not hyped-up versions of production sports cars. However, we can’t guarantee that you still won’t get passed by a kid in a battered 300,000-mile stock Mazda MX-5 that puffs blue smoke on the downshift.