Track Day 13+14 - SOW CW + CCW - New PB, Amazing Car that is just begging for a 2.5 swap!

Coming into the track weekend with the MX5 Miata there really wasn't anything new mechanically to speak of. Tires were still fine, brake pads were without issue, everything was happy on the Miata. We just got straight to the point of shredding it, and despite the heat the Miata continues to be a standout car with amazing handling that is an absolute blast to shred around the track!

Track Day 1 - CCW

The first day out on the track we were running CCW. Boh at first had some issues with her phone overheating, and I did as well over in my C5 Corvette. She also had connectivity issues with the bluetooth GPS device we use to get 10hz sampling. Those headaches aside though, Boh was abe to run her own personal best in this direction of 1:36.2. We don't get to run this track in this direction very often, so we tend to run a bit slower in this direction, but despite that Boh has made major improvements to her driving as she's learning to rev match down shift way better along with heel toe a bit here or there. It's also worth noting Boh swears she is faster in this direction as she gets a nice high top speed with the big downhill leading onto the front straight.

Track addicts lap time/speed display showing Boh's personal best of 1:36.206.

I also hopped in the NC Miata for a session, which is something I haven't done in a while. I have to say, this Miata is an ABSOLUTE BLAST to drive! It corners amazingly! I can dive into turns with a vengance and corner much harder and with speed much better than my C5 Corvete can. Unfortunately, as I exit the lines and step on the gas pedal the car pretty much falls on it's face. This car is definitely begging for a 2.5 swap! I also struggled to sidefoot ("heel/toe") this car like I can with my Corvette, and consequently ran much slower than if I'd been able to heel toe more effectively into the braking zones. I still managed to run a 1:32.5, which was fun. Other observations about the car from me in it were that the new tires are definitely worth the cost over the Federal 595RS-RR's as they work very well, and are definitely not quiet nor too much tire. 

Boh hopped in the Miata with me for a few laps and her main takeaway was that I am just way more comfortable sliding the car than she is, so I am more willing to explore the cornering limits and even go beyond the limits into mild sliding territory. Comparing the two best laps, you can see I am carrying way more speed through the majority of the turns and through some of the more complex S sections like the waterfall and playground. I'm just that much more comfortable controlling a car at the limit, which to be fair probably comes from decades of shredding on snow. It is interesting to see that she carried significantly higher speed through the skid pad than I did. On subsequent laps I carried much closer speed to her speed through there, so perhaps I had run into some traffic. I was dropping into an intermediate level group at the time.

Jesse's est time in the NC Miata at SOW CCW of 1:32.5.

Track Day 2 - CW

The following day started out a bit tough for Boh, as she felt some chest pains. We got her pulled out of the track and the heat and got the onsite ambulance to check her out, and it was fortunately just high blood pressure. She's actually struggled with it ever since she got COVID and it's just a thing in her life. With a lot of fluids and cool down time though she was able to get right back at it and get back out on the track! Boh put down a best time of the day of 1:35.7, which doesn't quite beat her best time nor her personal goal of beating my friends best time in the NC Miata, but a pretty good bit of driving considering the temperatures were quite high at 100 degrees plus! I bet on a nice cool 70 degree day she can put down way better times.

Boh's best time of the weekend at SOW running CW of 1:25.7

Areas to Improve the Miata, Someday...

The main takeaways for me after driving the Miata around the track were:

It needs more power. Yep, I said it, and you can heckle me all you want, but when you leave a turn and it just rolls out of the turn, it's just not the same exhilirating experience as the car provides cornering. With acceleration G forces that even remotely compare to the NC Miata's cornering G forces ,this car will be exhilerating absolutely everywhere.

I'm focused primarily on reliability with this car though, so I'll likely just go with a 2.5 swap and be done with it. A lot of folks are turbo charging their cars. I don't trust boost though for reliabilities sake.

The original deal was I would swap the engine up to the 2.5 when the 2.0 dies... but so far it hasn't. It honestly may not make it, we're having just way too much damn fun!

The pedals suck.  Folks have all disagreed with me, and I think they just haven't experienced how good big pedals actually are. No ankle twisting foot yoga nescessary, just cover the brake with the ball of your right foot, rool the outside of your foot as nescessary, a nice natural movement.

Maybe some sway bars? The car feels pretty darn good with the coilovers as is. Sway bars might help a bit with keeping the car flat? It wasn't screaming at me as an obious problem like other cars have. TBD on this one.

Maybe a limited slip diff? The car is an open differential. I've not once had a problem with that either, but... maybe there's something in there I'm giving up and don't know about? This will likely be a much further down the line modification!