Tag Archives: Grand Touring

Post Card from PWC Grand Prix of Lime Rock

Greetings from an amazing first day of the PWC at LRP.

I love this track.

I love this series.

I love this assignment.

This is my first time since last year working as a back-up starer for a pro event (or for any event period) and it just so happens that last year it was PWC at LRP as well.

Despite the wet weather and the alternating mist and light rain, the racing has been especially good. Only the PWC series are present though they are broken up in bits to make more racing happen. There’s the Sprint X headliner featuring GT (Pro-Pro), GTA (Pro-Am), GT Cup (Am-Am) and GTS (up and coming Pro’s)… the TC group grew so big with all the new BMW 235M’s that they get to race on their own… I think I counted over 30 cars, and it’s especially nice to see the familiar yellow Turner cars #95 & #96 re-join the series. TCA and TCB round out the support races with a pretty large field as well. Really neat to see this racing up close from the Starter stand. I love it! Didn’t take many pix, but the few I did I’d like to share:

And so my day went absolutely perfectly… I truly enjoy working Start and my PWC series colleagues were awesome to me. Despite the rain I thought the racing was very good. No stupid crashes. It was very competitive, very tight and mostly clean with minor incidents here and there (only a few full course cautions)… so I’m grateful for that. Lime Rock Park fed us at the end of the day and I was happy to spy a bunch of Mazda’s at the track including a Miata parade early in the morning and a few Mazdaspeed 3’s and 6’s in the camping area.

I decided not to tent it in the wet, and instead opted for the 2 hour and 100 mile trek home… which was fine in the evening, but I’m sure tomorrow morning I’ll be regretting it. Oh well… looking forward to another great day at the track!

Mazda MX-5: Join Russ on his Miata Road Trips, Foodie Adventures & Fun!

A few years ago Russ bought a Miata.

A big chunk of this blog is dedicated to this new hobby.

Russ likes the little Roadster. Russ travels the world meeting other MX-5 owners and shares his stories and pictures on this blog.

If you’d like to meet up, get in touch with Russ!

 

 

 

some shortcuts:

MiataFiata.com

MX-5 Road Trips & Meet Ups

Miata Maintenance & Mods

Mazda MX-5: Jacksonville Miata Mini-Meet on my Florida Road Trip

I’ve been trying to organize a Florida Miata get-together ever since I bought my car and nothing seemed to pan out, until now! I finally managed to meet up with a local MX-5 owner in Jacksonville on my way to Daytona Beach, Florida… yay!

I’ve been communicating with the owner on Miata.net for a little while now, following on mods he’s been doing to his car and sharing information on my little projects. This opportunity to meet up and share ideas over dinner was great. I especially liked checking out the stuff he’s done in person… like the $38 eBay trunk lip spoiler which I’ve been considering doing myself. Or the larger windshield washer tank that is only available in Canada and not the US. Or his most recent mod: the hood struts which standard Miatas don’t come with. Or the custom steering wheel that is almost double the girth of the original. It was pretty neat!

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If the car looks a lot like my Miata, it basically is… both are 2007 GT PRHT models… same exterior in Copper Red and same interior in Camel Brown or Orange or whatever the hell it is. But this car has a Manual Transmission while mine is an Automatic. It also has a cone K&N filter while mine is stock…. and the few things I mentioned above that I wanted to see to decide whether I should get them too.

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I do really like the idea of the hood struts, that makes things easier.

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And the finish looks like it came from the factory like that.

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Come winter time I’ll probably wish I had this larger Canadian washer bottle.

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As much as I like the idea of a fat steering wheel, the fact it cost over $400 to ship and install, I can say it is nowhere near the top of my wish list.

I’m really grateful for the opportunity and for my new friend shouting a tasty seafood dinner… not something I was expecting but hopefully I could repay the favor in the future.

Mazda MX-5: New ND Miata Display at Road Atlanta During Petit Le Mans

2015 Petit Le Mans Presented by Mazda was well represented by Mazda’s. The two P2 Prototypes in the IMSA TUSC series were as slow and unreliable as they typically are, but the MX-5 Cup race was quite exciting and full of Miata’s in action. There were also plenty of Miata’s in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge support series which did incredibly well. But let’s face it, there was a ton of attention on the new – latest generation ND MX-5 Miata.

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Two of them, specifically the future Global MX-5 Cup race spec cars were running impressive laps alongside the current MX-5 Cup cars in practice and qualifying. Watching them go into turn 1, they seemed far more stable under braking and turn-in than their NC counterparts. The two cars were bump-drafting down the front straight, and going just as quick if not quicker than the older cars.

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They had quite the presence on track… without the noise current MX-5 Cup cars make… definitely “stockish” exhaust note.

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Besides the MX-5 Cup cars there was also an MX-5 Pace Car:

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It too made quite an impression on track.

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And of course the street car drew a crowd in the vendor village on top of the hill. Though I’m still unhappy that the booth girl tricked me to fill out an owner’s survey only to tell me they ran out of “Mazda” hats… a day before the event. What BS!?!

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I do like the new look of the ND MX-5 Miata… perhaps I’ll get one eventually to replace my current 2007 MX-5 GT PRHT.

Mazda MX-5: Monmouth Cruise – Tinton Falls to Atlantic Highlands

I love when Miata owners get together for a meet and cruise. This latest one organized by the Delaware Valley Miata Club took place on Wednesday, meeting up at Wawa in Tinton Falls and following a twisty route down the Jersey Shore to the Atlantic Highlands.

I had spend a good part of my day prepping for this trip while running some errands, but ultimately I left Northern New Jersey late meaning I had to rush to get to this event which during the 5pm rush hour the GPS suggested would take a little over an hour. Luckily I missed most of the traffic, but that was thanks to some maneuvering, taking the GSP to i80 to the NJ Turnpike, back to GSP and then local roads to the Wawa.

The turn out was quite good. I think I counted over a dozen cars. I suspect most were already members of the Delaware Valley Miata club because when I showed up a few people sort of guilted me into joining. One person suggested that it’s not fair to everybody else that paid their membership fee and I’m the one freeloading on their cruise… Hmmm… more about that later.

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I’m glad I arrived when I did because shortly after the group settled up and headed out for the cruise. If I had hit any traffic I would have been shit outta luck on this one.

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But I made it, so I got in line to follow the convoy through Central Jersey towards the Jersey Shore. I got some great Dash Cam footage of the cruise, although I discovered that the velcro that the dash cam is attached to is making the camera loose, which resulted in some bouncy video especially when roads were rough. I also had noticed a metallic ticking noise coming from the right front tire, shortly after we had pulled over on the side of the road to wait for the tail end of the convoy to catch up after getting stuck on a red light. I wasn’t happy hearing that noise because it sounded like I caught a nail. At one point I pulled over to take a look, felt around the tire and didn’t notice anything obvious. A short distance later the noise stopped so I assume it wasn’t a nail but a small rock that had lodged itself into the groove of tread on the tire, and was making a ruckus while I drove. But I’ll have to check tomorrow to make sure there isn’t a puncture.

Our first stop was Mount Mitchill Scenic Overlook with an amazing view of the New York City skyline at sunset, and Sandy Hook below.

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From there many of us headed out down to the waterfront, with a planned dinner at a restaurant in the Marina. But it wasn’t meant to be. The wait line was well over an hour and it would have been quite late for most people on a Wednesday night to stick around. At this point a few people left while about six of us picked a plan B and headed to Applebee’s in Middletown, NJ for a bite to eat.

As always I really enjoyed the company of the Del Val Miata club. The members are good people, mature, there’s no burnouts or people getting pulled over at their cruises, everything is organized nicely. But I must have been naive to think that this was a public event. During my very first interaction I was told I’d have to either join the club to continue coming to their events or stop taking potential spots away from club members by attending. I was on the fence before about joining the club. I am not a big fan of the idea of club membership for a number of reasons, many are similar to those I’ve shared on this blog a million times about my SCCA membership. But when it comes to a car club, I think after this experience I’ve made up my mind not to join. So there probably won’t be any more Del Val Miata Meets or Cruises in my future. Why was I naive? Well, I had honestly thought people organize these events for the fun of it, I mean that’s the reason I attend. I certainly don’t agree with the idea of taking anything away from other club members by being there. Its not like there was food provided by the club, or some sort of raffle or prize give away. I didn’t take anything FREE of charge from the club. I was there for the company of other Miata owners. Would I pay just to hang out with people like that? No, I wouldn’t.

The highlight of the event for me was seeing all the cars. There were both the Copper Red and True Red cars, Stormy Blue and Winning Blue, a bunch of darker color NC’s, a few NB’s and a beautiful NA. That was awesome!

Mazda MX-5: A118C B40 Pro Dash Cam Installed

Good news! I’ve finally installed my dash cam.

I ordered a $66 Chinese made A118C or B40 Pro sold by a slew of sellers on eBay which arrived within a week from an LA shipping address instead of waiting 30 days for one to arrive from China. It came in a genetic looking box, with genetic looking parts, along with genetic looking hard-wiring cable.

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The install process was pretty straight forward even though I’ve never done anything like this before. I unscrewed a few hex bolts holding the header in place and got access to where I wanted the wire to sit, sticking out directly above the dash cam on the windshield:

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I routed it along the A-pillar down to the dash, and threaded it further down to the kick panel by the driver’s door where the fuse box is located. I used an add-a-circuit I also bought on eBay to complete my install. Crimped the wires in place, plugged in 15A+3A fuses for the camera, and was pretty much done.

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Was pretty impressed how quick and easy the install was. And most importantly everything seems to work as expected, and there’s no loose wiring hanging off anywhere, which is great. A professional finish.

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Since the install I’ve driven around for a few days now and am pretty impressed with the video quality. I wanted to move the dash cam up and place it higher so it’s less visible from the outside.

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I’ve shared some videos from the dash cam on facebook, so check them out there. No point in uploading them to YouTube as the video quality gets absolutely destroyed. Hopefully I never have to use any of the footage off the camera for anything insurance related. But I’m looking forward to getting some nice cruising footage from the next Miata get together, which is coming up this week.

PS. I took the opportunity to do a side by side comparison between the A118C B40 Pro and my GoPro Hero 3+ they’re pretty similar in size:

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Intermittent Wiper Switch install on another MX-5 Miata

I’m really pleased with the local Miata community. I’ve been on a lookout for an intermittent windshield wiper switch for my car for a little while, had been sending best offers through eBay time and again, and received nothing but rejection or high counter offers. And then BAM! One day both of my $30 best offers were accepted. One I went to pick up locally in Linden, NJ and mounted on my car for the road trip to Watkins Glen last weekend while the other was shipped from Texas. I reached out to a Delaware Valley Miata Club member through facebook to see if he knew of anyone interested and before I know it another member of the club was on his way to pick it up. I went ahead and installed the switch for him to make sure it works.

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I also took the opportunity to compare the NC3 Miata with my NC1. Call me crazy but visually the NC1 looks more slender than the NC3.

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But even though this 2013 model in beautiful Black Mica was a good 6 years younger than mine, it’s nice to see that little was changed. Jerry, the owner also had some comfort mods installed like the Cool Breeze vent mounted top/center of his windshield, and a nice elbow rest on the driver side door.

delaware valley miata club cruise sandy hookThe last time I saw Jerry’s car was on our Sandy Hook Cruise a few weeks ago… and hopefully the next time we meet up will be on another Miata cruise somewhere. Read more about our Cheesequake to Sandy Hook Cruise here.

Regular Car Reviews should review my NC GT PRHT

In a short, not too distant future there will be a YouTube video of my car with Mr. Regular from the Regular Car Reviews making a snarky comment about how this guy (me) wanted his crappy car reviewed so bad he made a blog post about it. (this one)

And I’m OKAY with that.

I want Regular Car Reviews guy or people, however many of them there are, to do a thorough and sarcastic review of the NC Miata using my 2007 MX-5 GT PRHT with an automatic… AUTOMATIC!

I think it would be the coolest thing ever. I’m prepared to go on a Road Trip all the way to Pennsylvania to make it happen too… how far could it possibly be? I got the free time. I would love to drive the car more… summer’s coming, etc. Let’s do it!

So would any of my people get in touch with their people and make it happen? I’ll probably even buy a t-shirt from the Miata videos they’ve already made, and you could too… here’s the link:

http://www.redbubble.com/shop/regular+car+reviews+t-shirts

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But more importantly go back and watch the damn videos, they’re hilariously funny… Here’s the original:

Track day bro! Yo… Hoosiers, bro… Cones. Gonna Tear it Up! lol…

It’s the Best! The BEST!

Naturally Aspirated 1990 Miata… The feminine version.

I’m a fan of the Regular Car Reviews, ever since I saw one of their early videos shared on Jalopnik. It was the one with the Volvo S60R. I don’t always get the humor and the references but I can’t wait to see what they could muster with my car.

What would be really funny is…  if this actually happens.

Link to the awesome YouTube channel:  www.youtube.com/user/RegularCars/