A Fun, Budget Miata

Benjamin had found a great deal in his new (to him) Miata.  I visited with him, asking about his 1993 Mazda Miata, at the 2009 SPOKES AutoX #2.  I was strangely drawn to the variation of red on his car.

Apparently, the previous owner, a female, had driven it off the road into a ditch, through a barbed wire privacy fence.  She decided to get it repainted a sort of lipstick rose metallic color.  It’s different, but not bad…it has a strange shimmer in the sunlight.

This car has only 102K miles on it & it only cost Benjamin about $1200.  Not bad, at all.  It makes the different color that much less of an issue.

As you can see the interior is clean & well-maintained.  A very good buy & value for an “as is” purchase.  Benjamin said that he really hasn’t done very much in the way of maintenance.  But he has already been out to autocross – I recall seeing this Miata at a previous SASCA autocross this year, as well.

Racing Ready reports about the differences in unique cars & why they are that way.


2008 Mitsubishi Evolution Autocrosses Hard

At the 2009 SPOKES AutoX #2 I met Fred, the owner of a hot, blue, nicely modified 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution (aka, the Evo X).

Like many, this was Fred’s first experience on a concrete surface with 3 different friction coefficients.

You can see a lot a good, additional horsepower modifications under the hood.

  • Engine is tuned with a Cobb Access Port
  • Front-mounted, upgraded intercooler
  • Intercooler pipes
  • Full turbo back Perrin system
  • 330 wheel HP / 340 foot pounds of wheel torque!

It not only looks & sounds good, it goes good, as well!

Here’s even more with the Evo X aggressive tire/wheel combo.  Fred says the tires are stock Advan A13C, but the rims are Advan RZs 18×9 +25 offset which is more aggressive then the stock +38 offset.  Also, he  mentioned that the car responds better in the autocross with the ASC (automatic skid control) turned off.

Just by looking at this car, you know it’s a serious performance machine.

As modified & prepared Fred’s car is, you can understand why he was frustrated that a vintage Volvo was still beating his times.  They are both in the SM vehicle class.  Here’s a shot of that nice, metallic sky blue Volvo through the Evo X’s open hood.

Racing Ready Is enjoys the irony of competition like this…


Bone Stock Accord Autocross Novice Has Fun!

I met Gabe, an enthusiastic autocross Novice, at the 2009 SASCA AutoX #3.  He was having his first time fun competing in his recent model Honda Accord.

Here is a great example of “run what ya’ brung”!  This goes to show you that anybody can bring any kind of car to autocross.  One of his friends, who is an online participant at the StrictlyEA.com forum told him about this autocross & Gabe decided to check it out.

I’m sure Gabe will be back.  As to whether he’ll continue in his Accord, or a different vehicle, time will tell…glade to see you out there, regardless!

Gabe also brought along his significant other – I couldn’t tell if she was enjoying this experience, or not.  I sure hope so!

Racing Ready is pleased to see more new participants at autocross events.  So, go ahead, share this information with family & friends – we’ll see you out there.  And maybe you, too, will get your “15 minutes of fame” by being posted on this blog… 🙂


Formula 1 Rule Changes Video – 2009 vs. 2008

Sebastian Vettel narrates this short, but well-detailed, animated video about the very drastic rule changes that have completely changed the Formula 1 race car.  Sebastian, from Germany, is one of the drivers for the Red Bull Racing Team.

My favorite change is the return to slicks after an 11 (!) year absence.  Enjoy & absorb the video!

Racing Ready is always on the look out to keep up to date in the racing news!


Musings About A Second Car Replacement

This is a future pondering post – another one of those “What if” musings…

If you’ve already been reading here for some time, you know I’m planning on replacing my ‘Big White Whale‘ (2000 Nissan Maxima SE, 5-speed) with a Mazda Miata, hopefully by the end of this year.  Besides saving up for this vehicle change, the other issue I will have is going from a roomy 4 door sedan, to a nice, but snug, sporty coupe – no room!

So, we would need to use my wife’s car for shopping, other errands & outings.  Her current car is also a 4-door sedan, but not as roomy or nice as my Maxima.  So…it would be best to get a better (& newer) 4-door, possibly a crossover or wagon.  It has to be an automatic.  Isa can drive a standard just fine (see my Awesome Racing Birthday Surprise), but she prefers not to have to shift.

Well, I’ve become impressed by the growing crop of DSG-style automatics out there by VW, Audi, Nissan, etc.  There are some good offerings within these manufacturers that would please my wife, my driving enthusiasm & our budget.  Here’s a couple of vehicles I’d seriously consider:

  • VW Jetta Sportback TDI w/DSG (yes, a diesel)

  • Audi A3 2.0 T SportBack w/S tronic™ (their DSG variant)

I spent some time on both the Volkswagen & Audi websites, configuring these cars, moving around option choices & so on.  Both were under $30K, with the VW only about $2500 less.  I was surprised!

I’m sure there may be other candidates out there.  What’s your informed opinion?

Racing Ready is all about informed choices…


Justin Boots Bailout by General Motors

This posting is somewhat off topic.  But it IS a follow-up to my Pontiac G8 Sedan Test Drive Bribery post from 3 weeks ago…

As you may recall, I was incentivized to do a Pontiac test drive in exchange for some free Justin boots.  I took up the offer, registered on the Internet, visited my local Pontiac dealer & did a “too short” test drive.  With the special code granted by the salesperson, I was able to complete the registration on the web.  I then received my free boots certificate by FedEx.

Per Justin Boots, I was advised it would be best to visit a local Justin Boots retailer to make sure of my boot size – they say boot sizes can be different than your regular shoe size.  I finally got around to sending the boots gift certificate in by snail mail only last Saturday.

It may seem like I had had to go through many steps, but I felt it worth it for the retail value of $120.  Just yesterday I received my boots already – SO quickly!

The boots were just as advertised.  I started to break them in last night – my first pair of real Texas boots, albeit the basic model.  That works just fine for me.  I’m happy & GM got somebody to experience their awesome Pontiac GE sedan model.

Racing Ready is now ready to strut its stuff!


Mazda RX-7 Autocrossing With a 20B Motor

Here’s another vehicle I wasn’t able to learn very much about – Beth’s 3rd generation Mazda RX-7 with a 20B motor (that’s 3 rotors, folks!).

Beth felt more secure driving fast, than talking to me about her car.  She mentioned that I could find all sort of specific details of her Mazda at: sevenpants.com, under “Strelnick’s car”.  Sorry Beth, that site doesn’t compute…
My bad – as corrected from the helpful comment below from Dan, the website is:

Apparently this is a championship winning car that Erik has enjoyed.  Unfortunately he was not able to accompany Beth at this SPOKES autocross event.

This is a dramatic car.  I think Beth drove it to this event.  It almost doesn’t look street legal, but I’m sure it is.

The Hoosier tire & wheel combo…they seemed to do the grip & stick job just fine.

The graphics on this car are interesting & I’m sure they have many stories.  Hopefully I can hook up with Erik and get more information at future event.

It was thrilling to watch Beth fly through the course.  That 3 rotor, 20B engine sang very sweetly under her control.

Racing Ready strives to give you all the facts, or at least verifiable researched Internet links for your learning & enjoyment pleasure.  Sometimes, though, without complete success…