September 25, 2009
This 3 day event at Thunderhill was put on by the people at Team Miata. This event is only open to Miata drivers, so it is also a great way to meet lots of other Miata drivers and check out lots of great Miatas. This was my very first time driving on a track and it was hands down the most fun I have ever had in a car. If you ever have a chance to take your Miata out on a real race track I highly recommend doing it, it is an experience you won’t soon forget. I shot some in-car video at the track.
The event is spread over three days. The first day (Friday) there is no driving. Everyone meets at the Elks Club where you get a dinner, then an instructor goes over track safety and technique. Then the best part of the evening, the prize giveaway. Unfortunately I did not win anything, but lots of Miata owners went home happy. Saturday morning was started off doing on-track exercises. We did three different exercises, threshold braking, slalom and apexing. Although the exercises themselves where helpful, the morning was rather hectic and unorganized and people ended up waiting in lines a lot and not getting much time to do the actual exercises. Some people didn’t even get to do some of the exercises at all. The second part of the day is track time. Since it was my first time on a track, I got started in the beginners group (where I belonged); we did a lot of time on the track following the instructors, watching and learning the racing line by example, and then the instructors would follow you and see how you were doing; this system worked out really well. As the day wore on the speeds increased and we got a little more freedom.
Sunday was pure track time (Miata heaven). For the first half of the day, I and another individual were constantly getting held up by others in our group so the instructors decided to move us up to the second skill group (nice little ego boost). I really enjoyed the move; I was no longer getting caught up behind traffic, but I also wasn’t getting passed all the time either.
Anyway I took a bunch of pictures of the track and some of the amazing Miatas that where there. If you ever have the chance to make this event, I highly suggest it, the Miata is absolutely amazing on the track. Enjoy the pictures, and if you should happen to see a picture of your Miata send me an email with the details of your car and I will add it to the page.
A nice turbo Miata with some low profile headlights.
An absolutely gorgeous 93LE Miata with a Greddy turbo; the owners of this car made sure to keep this car looking great all weekend with some waterless car wash. I wish I had thought of that.
Here is the interior of the 93LE Miata from above. This was the first 93LE that I had seen in person and I think I have to say that this is my favorite first generation Miata that Mazda ever produced.
A shot of the paddock showing just how many Miatas were there. And this pic doesn’t even come close to showing them all.
Here is a pic of my car showing the I/O port racing camera mount. This thing worked out wonderfully.
Another group shot.
My car is the second one and I think that’s 4score right in front of me. The BMW behind me was an instructor.
Another shot of me and my Miata about to go down the back straight.
Somebody coming up over the infamous turn five.
Another shot of a group coming over turn five.
A group coming in after a session; this was always my least favorite part of the day.
A striped M1 flying down the front straight.
One of the instructor’s S2000. This car sounded so amazing coming down the front straight. I really wanted to get a ride with him around the track; but whenever it came time for instructors to go out, this guy had a line of people wanting rides.