It’s midday on race day, I should be prepping for the third race of the round, but instead I’m heading home to Sydney, from the final MRA 2016 round, to fix a broken car. You’ll hear it twenty times a meeting, but hey, that’s racing.
Most people would struggle to smile after bowing out of a race day so early, but even with the car problems I can’t help but feel as though I’ve had a little win today. A new competition PB, and a third place qualifying position. It feels like an eternity since my first door to door race, even though it was just two rounds earlier.
I chose MX5 cup because you can run the series in a street car without too many problems. The car is still registered and externally looks pretty stock. It’s the next logical step from club based track days on the way to production sports racing.
That first race day was a real eye opener. It was the second round of the Motor Racing Australia series, all the way back in May. The NA6 has always been fast as a street car, running a T25 turbo and Haltech engine management, it has converted many a non-believer to the ways of the Miata, however stepping up to MX-5 Cup made it look positively slow. The front runners of this cup series can, and do run consistent 1:06 times around NSW’s Wakefield Park, with a sprinkle of 1:05s for good measure.
That day the car managed 10th place overall in a field of 16. Not a bad go for my first attempt at door to door racing, but I was instantly hooked and wanting more.
A few tweaks saw us make it to 6th place in the following round. It was clear big things would be needed to match it with the big boys.
Custom injectors and a new tune pushed the already impressive numbers even higher. The torque figures on this stock internal 1.6L rivalling many V8s.
There was many a test day along the way, dialling in suspension settings, camber & caster, tyre pressures and more.
To anyone considering making the step up to ‘real’ door to door racing I cannot encourage you enough. It’s hard, there are times when you will want to scream, but at the same time it’s incredibly addictive, not to mention rewarding when you finally get that personal best time you have been chasing.
Snap back to the morning of my latest race round, I was running third, punching out consistent 1.08 times, when an unfortunate exhaust leak managed to cook one of my ignition coils. Gutted, I limped the car back to the pits.
As I open the bonnet to inspect the damage a couple of things occur to me: this car has come a hell of a long way, and it still has plenty more to give. One thing is for sure: we’ll be back.
Car: 1993 Mazda MX5 NA6
Engine: Stock B6ZE
Ignition: SB Auto Custom
Injectors: SB Auto Custom
ECU: Haltech S2000
Interior: Sparco Evo II, Brown Davis Rollbar, Passenger Seat delete, Nardi 330mm classic, Custom extended shift knob
Exterior: Craft Square Carbon Mirrors, GV Lip
Power: 255hp / 698 nm
Sponsors: SB Auto, BEGi, Lomac Flooring, Castrol & Ultra Motor Body Repair