Track Day 3 & 4 - Now with more downforce and a fresh clutch!

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Between the last track session and this one we were able to accomplish a fair bit! Coming into the track weekend we'd sorted out, fixed and upgraded the following.

  • We got a new clutch put in. Exedy "pro" clutch which is slightly stiffer and more durable than stock.
  • A new clutch primary/secondary cylinder configuration with a stainless line.
  • Stainless braided brake lines all around
  • RX8 front hubs
  • Reinstalled plastics over the Roll bar
  • A lexan spoiler

Overall, the modifications we made weren't terribly performance gaining besides the wing. Most of the work infact was just to get the car working as good as it should be and durable, such as the clutch, lines, RX 8 hubs, and plastics over the roll bar. The lexan spoiler however, was a performance upgrade.

This track round, I didn't need to drive the car. While my C5 corvette was having issues, they didn't render the car undrivable so I was able to focus on driving my car. The Miata thus was nearly exclusively driven by my GF, who had an absolute blast as ususal driving it. She set some personal best lap times, pushed herself to improve her shifting around the track (by actually shifting) and in general improved her driving while having that much more fun.

The spoiler was a resounding success. She felt that it improved handling both driving to and from the track, along with on the track. She specifically noticed it in the sense that it removed a lot of twitchiness the car had while driving and a lot of the "go-kart" feeling it had where the steering always felt a bit wandery/squirrely. I didn't test it myself to confirm, but if she felt it, I'm calling it a win! Added bonus, the Miata looks AMAZING now!

Takeaways from the track day and future plans:

So the biggest takeaways from the track day for the Miata that I noticed, was that it desperately needs better seats and harnesses. Riding shotgun with my girlfriend in the car for even the 60mph restricted parade lap was a concerning experience as I had to brace myself all over the car to attempt to stay in place. That's gotta go!

Skills wise, the GF just has to get more comfortable shifting in more places. She's still pretty new to driving a manual, and most of her practice driving has been in fairly flat terrain. If she were dealing with more hills she'd get more comfortable going from say... 4th down to 3rd to get that extra pickup. So the plan is to put together some drills where she's lugging her way through a turn and then downshifts for extra power!

Some video from the track weekend:

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