the way I see it, if you are getting into racing to be competitive, you better plan on spending a LOT of money. When I was teaching motorcycle track schools, I would always tell the new "I wanna go racing" guys that the best way to make a small fortune in racing is to start with a big one.
In racing, money without talent is a dead-end, but so is talent without money.
So most of us get into it with something uncompetitive, and we just have fun. Many of us find local club-racing where class-structures are created around the cars that show-up. they'll put you into a class where your car should be competitive, and then when you start kickin' everyone's a** every weekend, they move you into a different class. It's a low-stress, low-budget way to go racing.
So at that point, for me, it's all about how much fun am I having? And that has everything to do with what I'm driving / riding. My bike or car may not be the fastest on the track.... but my pits are the ones that EVERY spectator has to stop and gawk at, and ask questions, and get hooked the same way I am.
I remember one year I went racing with a brand-new Honda CBR600RR, a fully-built 1974 Yamah RD400 and a 1998 Ducati M900 that was SERIOUSLY customized. The Honda was fast enough to win races, but nobody wanted to see it, and I didn't particularly love riding it. The other two bikes, on the other hand, were constantly scrutinized, with people asking questions and wanting to know more. And you could see the fire light-up in the face as they imagined "one day that could be me...".
That's what this Ferrari race car would be about at my house. And it'd have to be damn good at it,..... since I'd be living alone if I bought it.