BEGI Massaged 2004 Mazdaspeed MX-5 Miata

Jim is a frequent SPOKES autocross participant.  I spent some time talking to him about his 2004 MSM MX-5 (Mazdaspeed Miata) at the 2009 SASCA Autocross #6.

Once Jim popped the hood of his ’04 MSM, I recognized the BEGI componenets right away.  Of course, you couldn’t avoid the BEGI graphic on the top of the windshield.  I don’t know the correct name of the color, but I call it a pleasant “Strawberry Metallic” (must have something to do with the Boone’s Farm hat Jim was wearing that day).  🙂

Per Mazda, Jim’s ’04 Mazdaspeed MX-5 was rated at 170HP when it was stock.  Now, with all the BEGI mods, it was measured at 271 wheel horsepower – wow!

To help handle all that power Jim’s put in Tein coil-overs.  He is running the stock 17×7 alloy Racing Hart wheels with Falken Azenis tires.

Routing out all that power, it’s vented through a 2.5″ exhaust.  BEGI strongly suggested Jim go with a 3″ for even more power output, but Jim was content with what he had installed.

Jim, like many of this event’s autocross competitors, is a SPOKES member & a regular competitor.

Racing Ready continues to look for & share inspirational & competative rides like Jim’s!


Breathing New Life Into Miatas With BEGI

I saw this on a local autocross forum post & thought it would be of interest.

Well, Corky has superchargers on his mind.  We need a 1.8l NA and 1.6l NA for a simple cold sided supercharger install.  We install parts at no charge and sell them to you at our cost.  If you are interested please shoot me an e-mail or call the number below.

Incidentally, we do want to install another NC turbo kit. Discounts offered…

BEGI/Bell Engineering
PHN# 830-438-2890
FAX# 830-438-8361

Here is how they introduce their business/passion on their website:

Turbocharging, Supercharging & Customized Forced Induction

Welcome to BEGi™ (Bell Engineering Group, Inc.). For 27 years we have been on the leading edge of the engineering and manufacturing of high performance products. BEGi™ is the oldest Turbo Kit maker in the USA. From our line of rising rate fuel pressure regulators to our industry standard turbocharger and supercharger systems, BEGi™ can give you the performance you’re looking for with the engineering expertise you demand.

I know of some local autocross competitors who have some of this BEGI equipment installed & they swear by it.  This will be a future blog post project to work on, to talk, visit & tour their facilities.  I’m told that Corky, Stephanie, et al, are great people to work with.  Their facility is only about 30 minutes NE of my location in San Antonio, TX.  Another reason to go – this would be a great little road trip into the foothills of the Hill Country with my future new Miata!

Racing Ready is moving forward, with Miatas on the mind…


1997 BMW M3 – Street Driver to Track Racer

This past May 23rd, the Strictly European Autosport club sponsored the SEA Track Attack, an HPDE (high performance Drivers education) event.

Harold is a very active member of SEA & he facilitated this event.  He brought his evolving 1997 BMW M3.  I say evolving as he keeps on adding go/handle fast parts.  He say it is less comfortable to drive on the street, but is getting better handling on the track.  Don’t feel sorry for him.  He also enjoys the ownership & driving experience of a 7 series BMW.

Harold was kind enough to forward me specific pieces of information about his M3 Track Racer.  It’s a 4-door automatic with manual override and sports package.  It has several track days on it along with loads of spirited street driving out in the Hill Country, which is how it began to take form.

Here’s an extensive list of the various mods/upgrades Harold has completed on his M3:

  • Suspension is Bilstein PSS9 coilovers with BMP design shuttle type shock mounts. Powerflex bushings, UUC Sway bars with adjustable end links, and an early design Bmp strut brace.
  • Brakes were recently upgraded to Powerslot rotors with Hawk HT10 pads with solid guide pin bushings in the calipers and UUC stainless 6 line brake kit.
  • Tires and wheels are Koni challenge Hoosiers on BMW DSII wheels.
  • Exhaust is an early version UUC system U cat back.
  • Engine management is the Turner flash program.
  • Transmission software is the Dinan program.
  • Minor engine upgrades are the true cold air intake with heat shield and the ASC (traction control) delete, lower temp thermostat, alluminum thermostat housing, and lower temp fan switch, Spal electric fan, Stewart water pump, and Samco hoses.
  • Cosmetic/aerodynamic improvements are fog light deletes, Reiger GTcup front lower splitter, Depot projector beam headlights, rear wing, and painted rear lower diffuser.

With all these changes, Harold’s never opened up the motor.  BMW should be proud!

Inside the car Harold has added three gauges below the dash, a Nivola DSX steering wheel with a lap timer added, an in car camera mount, and a Schrothe harness.

This is considered to be a lightly modded car compared to a lot of other cars out there yet it performs extremely well on the track.  Harold began building a very nice street car but somewhere he has crossed a line into what is now becoming a dedicated track car.  A roll cage is on the way to making this a legal M3-Spec racer.

Racing Ready is proud to know amateur racing enthusiasts like Harold, who support this blog.  You can see more about the SEA club and visit their forum.


Hot Summer Days of Autocross Arrive Early

Tomorrow will be 2009 SASCA Autocross #6.  It’s gonna be a HOT one!  The past couple weeks have been in the 100 to 104 degrees Fahrenheit range – this is more like August weather…

I will not be competing, but going into “low key” blogger mode.  I say “low key” for 2 reasons: there’s no need to over exert myself with the heat & I’m going to look over Miatas in a more thorough (like I’m buying one) way.  Since I’ve been seriously looking at used Miatae, starting last week, I’m getting a much better idea as to what to look for & what to avoid.

I may pretend that I’m pursuing my next car purchase among the various Miatas I review at this autocross.  In other words, I may use this event as an education to fine tune what other things to look for & notice.  It should be interesting.

This task of pursuing & investigating a Miata as my daily driver replacement is taking away from my regular blogging time.  So, please bear with me as the frequency of Racing Ready posts is temporarily diminished.


Truely On A Miata Quest, Finally!

Okay, I’m in…

Discussions over beer can result in fruitful action.  Last Friday evening I was out with friends (a rare occasion for me) & talking about my ‘Big White Whale‘ (2000 Nissan Maxima SE) selling project.  That is, the idea that I want to fix it up to get a better selling price.  I was convincingly guided that I would be MUCH better off putting it up on craigslist.

My former car salesman friend & neighbor, Richard, assisted me with the correct description verbiage & away it went.  Within 20 minutes of posting the ad I got my first call.  I’ve gotten a steady stream of interested callers & some have been actually serious.

Yesterday, on the way home from work I decided to swing by CarMax, just to satisfy my curiosity about what they might offer me.  In the past, from my experience & hearing from others, you can’t expect much.  Well, 45 minutes later I was pleasantly surprised with what they would offer me – it was substantially higher than what I was asking for it on craigslist.  I have till next Wednesday to accept their offer.  I have since pulled my ad off of the Internet.

On the other side of this, I’m trolling the Internet, making calls & starting to visit local Miatas.  There’s some crud out there, but I’m sure there’s a hidden jewel in the rough waiting for me out there – we shall see.

Craig, my good Miata buddy (& the guy who suggested I advertise the Nissan as is on craigslist – no relation) has been offering lots of good advice & encouragement.  He also suggested I put out feelers for people in the local autocross community to keep their eyes peeled for a possible Miata for me.  Here’s the communique I posted out on a number of choice Internet places:

I’m seriously looking to buy a nicely used Miata within the next couple of weeks.
Here are the specifics of what I’m looking for:

–   NA series from 1994 to 1997 (with a preference for the ’96 or ’97 model)
–   5 speed manual (of course)
–   Torsen limited-slip differential
–   Working, cold AC
–   Reasonably appropriate amount of mileage
–   Prefer a clear title
–   Relatively stock – this has to be my daily driver 1st, weekend autocrosser 2nd (would prefer to keep it in the stock class)
–   A straight & relatively dent-free body
–   And, hopefully in the $3500 or less price range

I live in the northwest side of San Antonio, but if I hear of a good prospect & I get good info with pix to support the prospect, I WILL drive the distance to see & possibly buy it!

Please keep your ears to the ground & let me know what hear about out there that’s worthwhile.

Thanks in advance for your assist!

We’ll see what happens – I will keep you up to date.

Racing Ready is very anticipatory about this quest.


How To Sponsor Your Autocross Civic

At the SPOKES 2009 Autocross #5, Chris brought his 2008 Honda Civic Si, completely stock.  What I noticed that was very different about his car was his class ID & number “placard”.  It was professionally done  He also had another magnetic panel of the company that crafted his ID.  It looked very professional.  In actuality it was advertising to help support Chris with what autocross expenses he has.

Chris is a regular autocrosser – I had seen him last year at some SASCA events.  He was having fun, competing with other friends in his class.

The only “real” modifications to his Civic are the club identification stickers he has placed with pride on his car’s rear window.

Again, with the exception of the graphics, the car is stock, as Honda designed it.

There are times that “run what ya’ brung” works just fine for autocross.  Just have access to a helmet, put some additional air pressure in your tires & you are ready to compete!

Racing Ready wants to help YOU be ready to compete, sponsored or not!


Weekend Racing Review – a Triple Play!

Yesterday, Father’s Day, was a good day for the couch potato race fan.  From midday to early evening, I was able to relax & grill our dinner, while watching 3 different professional racing events on television.

  • The IndyCar Iowa Corn 500 (promoting Ethanol) a 7/8’s mile quick oval
  • The Formula 1 British Gran Prix race at Silverstone (the last F1 race here)
  • The NASCAR race at Sears Point, err, Infineon Raceway, near Sonoma, CA

I still enjoy the dicing for position & pedal to the medal performance of the IndyCar race participants.  They are really enjoying their sport.  Of these 3 events, this was the only one that I left the couch ONLY during commercials.

As to F1, this was the first event I have had a chance to watch this season.  My opinion was swayed little.  It’s still boring & this year’s version of the F1 racing car looks goofy!

I’m not normally a fan of NASCAR, but I make exceptions when it comes to road races.  This track is a fun one to enjoy watching ANY series race on & yesterday’s event was no exception.  Also, I appreciate that the COT (Car Of Tomorrow) looks a bit closer to what’s in the showroom, sort of…

There is little relative personal association I can make to the reality of these racers & their professional abilities.  Racing Ready is here to accept that & enjoy these events as inspirational entertainment.  The push, from this blog, is to get yourself beyond the wish & wonder stage.

Just get out there & see what your local amateur racing community is doing.  Ignorance is no longer an excuse, what with Google & other search engines.  If you really want to do this, it’s out there – even on a shoestring budget like mine.

Keep watching!