It was the best of times, it was… well, it wasn’t the blurst of times, that’s for sure. I spent my weekend at Laguna Seca behind the wheel of Flyin’ Miata’s newest California-legal turbo ND MX-5, part of a five-driver team (me, Danger Girl, IndyCar standout Alex Lloyd, LeMons racer Zandr Milewski, and FM customer Richard “Rick Deckard” Dekker) that drove the car in every single session of the two-day “Miatas At Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca” event. I’m pleased to report that the graphite-grey Miata ran flawlessly for fifteen hours at speed. The only problem we encountered was a clunking noise in the swaybar, likely caused by my habit of putting two wheels in the air every time I drive the Corkscrew and easily rectified during Sunday’s lunch break.
In addition to driving thirteen separate twenty-minute sessions in the turbo ND, I also drove a supercharged ND and the “Habu” Miata powered by a 525-horsepower LS3 V8. I’ll have some video up in the near future. As you can see from the above photo, Keith Tanner and the Flyin’ Miata crew planned everything to the last detail including the brake pad swaps — what you see above is what remained of padset #3 after I brought the car in from the last run of the weekend.
The cars were cool, and being in central California always fills me with a sort of wistful longing for the Spielberg-film childhood I’ll never have, but the true pleasure of the trip was having the chat to meet, and speak with, about two dozen of my readers. Every one of them had a unique and important story to tell me about themselves and their interactions with what I’ve written. Arriving as they did at the tail end of a year where I’ve spent far too much time feeling sorry for myself due to various injuries and professional disappointments, these single-serving discussions were both gratifying and inspiring.
Alright, let’s roll the tape from last week.
For R&T, I introduced the readers to “Ava”, our new MX-5 Club, and briefly reviewed a $78,000 F-350 Limited pickup.
This week I’ll have a review of the Range Rover Evoque and the first of our PCOTY preview articles. It’s time to meet the manual-transmission GT3 HEAD-ON!