Been out of AX/HPDE for 2 years--here is the new "race car" - Ford Mustang Forums : Corral.net Mustang Forum
 
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post #1 of 17 Old 02-10-2011, 11:47 PM Thread Starter
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Been out of AX/HPDE for 2 years--here is the new "race car"







1991 Miata. Only options are AC and power steering.

I will run locally in STS. I live within 30 mins of Nelson Ledges, 1.5 hours of BeaveRun and 2.5 hours from Mid-Ohio.

This should be fun.


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post #2 of 17 Old 02-11-2011, 07:55 AM
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So.. that's a 5-liter motor out of a Mustang in that thing?

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post #3 of 17 Old 02-11-2011, 09:38 AM Thread Starter
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Eventually maybe.

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post #4 of 17 Old 02-12-2011, 05:18 AM
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I think I would've stayed outta the seen a couple more years until I didn't have to autocross my sisters daily driver.
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post #5 of 17 Old 02-12-2011, 09:13 AM
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post #6 of 17 Old 02-13-2011, 09:22 AM
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I've been on track with some Spec Miata's that were pretty dang fast. They were really set up well. They didn't have the HP to hang with me on the straights, but I had my work cut out for me keeping up in the corners.

The car looked like fun and was definitely easier on brakes than my Mustang

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post #7 of 17 Old 02-14-2011, 01:56 PM
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What is it about Miatas that make them so popular for AX/HPDE? Yeah they're light, but what else? Honest question.
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post #8 of 17 Old 02-14-2011, 02:04 PM
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Like A79 stated.....wear/tear items are probably HALF of what a Mustang/heavy RWD car is.

I can see THAT appeal, but for a big Southern hillbilly like myself, I can't get motivated in the LEAST bit about hoping in a car with <100whp and "racing" it.

Some of them probably feel the same way about dumb-estic RWD archaic pony cars, though.

I'll just leave it that i've passed more than have passed me on-track. As long as they're having fun and respecting the rules of the track/HPDE, that's all I really care about.
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post #9 of 17 Old 02-14-2011, 03:52 PM
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Miatas are cheap, light, plentiful and well balanced right from the factory. There is no need to go crazy re-engineering the suspension like we have to on the Mustangs. Throw some bushings, springs, shocks and swaybars and you are good to go. Want more power? Add a blower!

To get good lap times out of a Miata, you have to be a good driver as you don't have the power to make up for mistakes like overbraking or overdriving.

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post #10 of 17 Old 02-14-2011, 09:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by a79coupe View Post
Miatas are cheap, light, plentiful and well balanced right from the factory. There is no need to go crazy re-engineering the suspension like we have to on the Mustangs. Throw some bushings, springs, shocks and swaybars and you are good to go. Want more power? Add a blower!

To get good lap times out of a Miata, you have to be a good driver as you don't have the power to make up for mistakes like overbraking or overdriving.
All true, I know quite a few Mustang guys that have switched to Miatas because they were getting more serious about tracking.

Tracking a car that in some cases can get a whole season on a set of pads and tires allows more money for entry fees and doing more events.

Can't see myself going that route, but I do understand it.

I think a used 2011 V6 Mustang on 18s would still be a fairly fast car and should eat less pads and tires than the 04 does.

That scenario I could possibly see myself doing.

A Miata would need a blower or turbo.


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post #11 of 17 Old 02-15-2011, 12:11 AM
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I have auto-x'ed a friends turbo miata (~6 lbs., he was scared), and it was AWESOME. The car does everything right when it has power.

I have also daily driven two stock miatas and, other than the convertible top being cool, they sucked. Dog turd slow and you had to rev the piss out of them to go anywhere. Plus, you look uber-ghey in them. In fact, one of the miatas I drove was called the Gay Blue Miata (or GBM for short).

Now granted, I have never raced Spec Miata, and I am sure some of those guys are plenty decent drivers, but, imo, Miatas are so friggin' easy to drive at their limit that you don't actually learn much from driving them. I worked corners at TWS for years, and honestly, I think the whole "you have to be a good driver to keep your momentum up in a spec miata" is mostly crap. It's just too easy to modulate brakes and gas in a pond-water slow car when you have all the time in the world to prepare for the next corner (or plenty of time to prepare while IN the corner). No, I think it's a bull#### cover to hide the fact that some people spend hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars building motors and testing exhaust systems to gain 3, three!, frakkin' horsepower. I think a guy on C-C said he DYNOed his spec miata with 40 different muffler and exhaust configurations to get all the horsepower out of the car he could. F'ing retarded.

It's simple math: remove a variable and things get easier. Miatas remove the power variable. You put a miata driver in a live axle car with 250+hp, they #### themselves. You put the pony car driver in a miata, he gets bored while setting a track record for that car. Proof: SCCA Solo 2 champions who have a background in auto-x'ing fox bodies.
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post #12 of 17 Old 02-15-2011, 09:24 AM
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i wish i fit in miata's... i'd have one as a daily driver/weekend autoX star... but at 6'5" its a bit tough

If you can tell me how i could comfortably drive/race one... i'll pick up the next clean 1st gen miata i find

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post #13 of 17 Old 02-15-2011, 11:05 PM
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past few weeks i've decided i will be picking one up to play with. autocross and track days for a year or two while i acquire the parts for a 5.0 or ls swap.

not a big fan of any convertibles, but i really want a miata. trying to get away from the drag thing lol.

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post #14 of 17 Old 02-16-2011, 12:24 AM
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I have auto-x'ed a friends turbo miata (~6 lbs., he was scared), and it was AWESOME. The car does everything right when it has power.

I have also daily driven two stock miatas and, other than the convertible top being cool, they sucked. Dog turd slow and you had to rev the piss out of them to go anywhere. Plus, you look uber-ghey in them. In fact, one of the miatas I drove was called the Gay Blue Miata (or GBM for short).

Now granted, I have never raced Spec Miata, and I am sure some of those guys are plenty decent drivers, but, imo, Miatas are so friggin' easy to drive at their limit that you don't actually learn much from driving them. I worked corners at TWS for years, and honestly, I think the whole "you have to be a good driver to keep your momentum up in a spec miata" is mostly crap. It's just too easy to modulate brakes and gas in a pond-water slow car when you have all the time in the world to prepare for the next corner (or plenty of time to prepare while IN the corner). No, I think it's a bull#### cover to hide the fact that some people spend hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars building motors and testing exhaust systems to gain 3, three!, frakkin' horsepower. I think a guy on C-C said he DYNOed his spec miata with 40 different muffler and exhaust configurations to get all the horsepower out of the car he could. F'ing retarded.

It's simple math: remove a variable and things get easier. Miatas remove the power variable. You put a miata driver in a live axle car with 250+hp, they #### themselves. You put the pony car driver in a miata, he gets bored while setting a track record for that car. Proof: SCCA Solo 2 champions who have a background in auto-x'ing fox bodies.
Could not disagree more. First you can't learn jack from a corner station. If you want to know what is hard and what is easy you have to put a steering wheel in your hand.

As far as putting a driver from a low HP car into a high HP car and watching them Shyt themselves.....I call BS. I have driven both varieties of cars and I can assure I have learned more about driving CORRECTLY in my RX7 than I ever did in my Mustang. I have also seen guys like Chris Albin (ITB USRRC Champion) get out of his Vw Golf and get into a GT1 Camaro and kick ass and take names. The ITB car has around 110hp and the GT1 car had over 600hp.

I'm a mustang guy and it was hard to transition to my RX7 but what I learned is that it makes absolutely NO difference what you are racing as long as you have some cars running the same speed to race with. Talk about a challenge - try gaining and protecting track position in a car with no torque and a power band that doesn't start until 5K PM. You find yourself trying some pretty wicked crap on the track to get the job done.

Regarding the high cost of the quest for speed.....racing is expensive and in a spec class 3-5HP is a HUGE deal. It is a difference that you can see on the track and on the results sheet....been there and done that.

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post #15 of 17 Old 02-16-2011, 07:34 PM
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Could not disagree more. First you can't learn jack from a corner station. If you want to know what is hard and what is easy you have to put a steering wheel in your hand.

As far as putting a driver from a low HP car into a high HP car and watching them Shyt themselves.....I call BS. I have driven both varieties of cars and I can assure I have learned more about driving CORRECTLY in my RX7 than I ever did in my Mustang. I have also seen guys like Chris Albin (ITB USRRC Champion) get out of his Vw Golf and get into a GT1 Camaro and kick ass and take names. The ITB car has around 110hp and the GT1 car had over 600hp.

I'm a mustang guy and it was hard to transition to my RX7 but what I learned is that it makes absolutely NO difference what you are racing as long as you have some cars running the same speed to race with. Talk about a challenge - try gaining and protecting track position in a car with no torque and a power band that doesn't start until 5K PM. You find yourself trying some pretty wicked crap on the track to get the job done.

Regarding the high cost of the quest for speed.....racing is expensive and in a spec class 3-5HP is a HUGE deal. It is a difference that you can see on the track and on the results sheet....been there and done that.
Maybe YOU don't learn jack from working a corner, but I do. I've flagged at TWS off and on since the mid-90s. I've damn near seen everything there is to see at a track during that time. When you are up in a deer stand, you can really see how lines, weaving, blocking, etc., affect things. You can also get a feel for which group of drivers have a more difficult time getting 100% out of their car just as you can see that some cars are really easy to drive fast at the limit.

I have NEVER seen someone who learned how to auto-x or HPDE in a slow grip buggy EVER hop into a fast RWD car with no grip not spin, and usually within 2 laps. Very rarely, I have seen one of those drivers be naturally fast in said RWD car after the spin. Most just have bad habits reinforced by years of driving a car that was so forgiving that it covered those bad habits up. It may not take them long to unlearn those habits, but they are, imo, there (especially among auto-xers).

Maybe you learned more about what you think is correct driving in your RX7, but that doesn't mean you learned more car control. When you have grip and no power, and good brakes, it's just too easy to push a car. Yes, the window of error for a "perfect run" may be small, but it's even smaller with a more difficult car as there are more variables that are harder to control. As a result, it is harder to run a "perfect" lap in a car that has power, worse handling, worse grip, and worse braking. Think about it this way: you have a road racing track and a variety of vehicles: 1) is a go-kart that tops out at 10MPH, 2) is a Spec Miata, 3) is CMC2 car, 4) is a crazy insane Viper. Each car has a theoretical perfect lap, right? In the easier to drive cars, it's easier to come close to the theoretical perfect lap (% wise). This is why the top racing series all over the world feature cars that are HARDER to drive at their limits: it separates the professionals from the weekend warriors. There's a reason why Spec Miata races aren't televised on Fox.

Now, track position, that is something different. I will give the Spec Miata crowd points for learning how to take advantage of every inch of track position. Because the cars are so evenly matched, AND because they are so easy to drive, Spec Miata races turn into, usually three parades: 1) those who have gotten every iota of horse power out of their car running together up front, 2) those who are down on power, 3) those who are newbs. In each of the three trains, it's so damn hard for the miatas to pull off a clean pass because the cars are easy to drive at their limits (i.e., a higher % of the field can do it than in more powerful, less grippy car fields. You NEVER see a train like that in CMC, CMC2, AI, AIX, etc., or at least I never did). Whoever captured pole almost always wins unless he has a mechanical failure or he makes a boneheaded mistake OR unless the guy behind him goes super ballsy and pulls off some insane late braking and makes the pass stick.

Yes, I know racing is expensive. But having to dyno 40 different exhaust systems for 3-5 HP is GHEY. Honestly, if I were in charge of ANY spec class, to keep costs down, I would design the class so that it has a max HP rating, as tested by a dyno, of 5-10 HP (or some small percentage) less than what the allowed motor rules will allow. For instance, if spec miata stock engine makes 100 hp (I have no idea what they make), then I would limit the class to 95 HP (and I'd probably consider limiting area under the curve to prevent sneaky shenanigans with cheater cams, etc.). A) This levels the playing field between the haves and the have nots, B) the motors themselves probably last longer, which also helps to keep costs down, and C) it's simple stupid to enforce at tracks that have a dyno (such as TWS just got).

Last edited by aurdraco; 02-16-2011 at 07:42 PM.
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post #16 of 17 Old 02-16-2011, 10:32 PM
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Aurdraco we will have to agree to disagree because what I have seen and experienced in 20yrs with the SCCA in Solo and Club Racing is completely different.

Thanks for working corners.

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post #17 of 17 Old 02-17-2011, 10:59 PM
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What is it about Miatas that make them so popular for AX/HPDE? Yeah they're light, but what else? Honest question.


as you can see by this shot of the driveway.. i could fill you in.

Miata's..... . handle. WELL.
Are very well balanced from the factory.( 52/48 for mine when i bought it)
Need about 20-50 more HP to be exciting.( or 100-300lbs off them)
Cheap in tires. 185/15's are cheap..
Easy on brakes.
Need a front sway bar. decent shocks(400-1000$) and some nice tires to pull over 1G.( road and track was at 1.04 or 1.08 with this set up)
CHEAP. that sunburst yellow car was picked up for 1500$.
Can win you local solo events very cheaply.
Can be moved into HPDE with little work.
Its fun to work a guy in a porsche through turns in a car that costs a 1/8th of there's.
are gutless in a HP standpoint stock.
Front engine. RWD. many Factory LSD cars. DOHC eager motor.
The 1.6 was built from a turbo engine. and take boost well( factory piston oil squirters, oil feed boss is just plugged from factory)
Go to a local SCCA Solo II race. the MAJORITY of cars will most likely be miatas....
Get under the car and the suspension is a VERY advanced and tunable for a 20 Y/O POS.
2000lbs doesnt need alot of work to be capable in turns.

think of them as mini mustang. or put a Turbo on a 1.8 with a small IC . push 250RWHP and then think of it as a mustang with 1500Lbs off of it. Or drop a 5.0 into it and think of it as a 427 A/C shelby.

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