An update for My Girlfriend’s Miata Project has us dipping our toes into the world of aerodynamic performance. I feel as this is an often overlooked aspect of street car performance and another area we shall address as we try to improve all aspects of our Miata platform. We’ll hold off on improving downforce/reducing drag for a future article and instead start with improving reliability through better control of the air for the cooling system.
As luck would have it, the girlfriend had to work out of town and the semi-local track that we do all of our testing for the Professional Awesome Evo, Gingerman Raceway, was hosting a weekend track day. This would be the perfect opportunity to take the Miata, with or without her knowledge, up to the track. With tech and driving support from PA Motorsports owner, Grant Davis, it looked like the perfect opportunity to take the car around this wonderfully challenging racetrack to get some data on what the Miata could do. With the roll bar, seats, brakes and cooling system ready to go, it was also a great time to track test these systems to ensure everything was up to snuff and baseline the car for future improvements.
I had a dream. In this dream a man would drive a car on the track. He wouldn’t own this car, yet he would have all the joy and happiness as if he actually owned it. His expenses would be low and his debt modest due to his loving girlfriend’s trust and/or gullibility. This was a beautiful dream that would leave me slightly sad when I awoke. Surely I couldn’t become this man. With my awkward personality and face only a mother could love, no girl would date me, let alone be foolish enough to let me drive her car at speed. But this my friends, is America. Dreams still come true and slowly, the dream has started becoming a reality. First the girlfriend, then the Miata, then the rollbar, seats and brakes to get it track ready. The last piece of the puzzle was improving the dumpster fire Mazda calls a cooling system in NA Miatas. With the help of Koyorad, my vision, foretold many years ago, is ready to be fulfilled.
We’re doing it people. The impossible is becoming possible. We’re taking a car that I don’t own or insure and slowly turning it into a track vehicle that is someone else’s day-to-day responsibility. That being said, in order to keep up this ruse, I can’t screw up its daily manners too much or the girlfriend might catch on to my plan. This was a big concern for me when I was planning one of the most important systems for the track, the brakes!
Spring in the midwest is a lovely time of year. A pat on the back is earned for making it through winter without committing suicide and this can be a big challenge in an area with snow, yet no mountains to make any use of it. Gray immediately turns to green. As if out of nowhere, all sorts of bugs and birds appear and try to have sex with one another. More importantly, racetracks open up and whatever project you’ve been procrastinating on calls out to be finished up post haste.
I’ll start off with a little bit of background for those that don’t know me. I occasionally drive the Professional Awesome Evo, and in 2013, the first version of the car was wrecked at Road Atlanta. Wise decision or not, I still had a loan on the Evo and there was a significant balance still remaining at the time of the accident. The monthly payment was nothing to scoff at and therefore, I like to consider those years I spent paying off that loan as my time in the "Valley of the Poor." It left me a changed man. I went in a naive money waster, I came out a tightwad.
Sure, there are some advantages to having a girlfriend, but as a car guy, the negatives can get in the way of more important things. Who’d want to go on long walks on the beach when you could be looking at cars, working on cars, day dreaming about cars, reading about cars and winning online arguments about cars? Trying to carve out a few minutes to actually listen to your significant other can be a real bummer. Luckily for me, Flyin’ Miata produces a slew of cool parts that work on my girlfriend’s 1993 Miata. This allows me to “bond” with her while, more importantly, improving her car for my own driving enjoyment.