Tag Archives: spokes

Miata Optimizes Form & Function at Autocross

Seeing an older model car that has been well taken care of is always a pleasant experience & also an inspiration.  On top of that, if it is driven in occasional competition events, that’s even better!

Autocross events tend to feature many Miata models in varying states of performance & condition. At the SPOKES 2009 Autocross #5, Chanh-Duy brought his well maintained 1994 B-package model Mazda Miata.  What I first noticed was the paint – it still had its showroom luster.  This car has 137K miles…

The next noticeable things were the real carbon fiber hood & trunk, along with the slick more modern looking low-profile, dual headlights (with integrated NACA ducts on the carbon fiber light covers).  Very striking and makes the car newer & more up to date looking.  I really DO like those headlights!

Chanh-Duy has added some aesthetic & functional enhancements that look & work well – they do not detract form the form or function of his Miata.  The Garage Vary Urethane Front Lip Spoiler & the rear trunk spoiler also make the car more distinct & aggressive looking.

I asked Chanh-Duy about the LEDs mounted to the rear of his Boss Frog roll bar.  Since the carbon fiber trunk lid does not have a third brake light (like the OEM lid), he positioned them to be easily visible out the back window when the top is up.

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get a shot of the engine bay.  I’m sure it would have been good, based on what I saw of this Miata’s outside condition.  Here’s what Chanh-Duy told me about his car’s upgrades & modifications:

  • Moss Motors MP62 supercharger
  • Jackson Racing headers
  • Racing Beat Power Pulse exhaust
  • Tein Flex coil overs (7kg/mm front, 6kg/mm rear)
  • Racing Beat 1-1/8″ front sway
  • No rear sway
  • TR Motorsports 15″x7.5″ ET42 wheels

In addition to all of this, Chanh-Duy is an active member of the Tejas Miata Club, based in Austin, TX.

This whole Miata package fit so well.  It was not at all over the top – very attractive.  I like!

Racing Ready likes well-integrated packages…my time will come!


Triumph Autocrosser Debuts Other Spitfire

Robert, a big time vintage Triumph Spitfire autocrossing enthusiast, brought out another of his Triumph Spitfires to the SPOKES 2009 Autocross #5.

This dark blue model is from 1978.  It’s a relatively stock 1500 model.  The exceptions to that configuration are as follows:

  • Wheels & tires
  • Dual SU carbs
  • headers
  • lowered springs

Autocross Videocam Footage

As usual, Robert had fun.  He was trying a variety of Motorsports HERO Wide placement options, even trying shooting video from his helmet.  The following video is from his “helmetcam” mounting:

Although the camera was at an odd angle, it really gives you a good illustration as to how you need to be looking toward the next set of cones that you’ll be going through.  Anticipation is one of the keys to successful autocrossing – our brains tend to to tell our arms to steer toward what we are looking at.  Thanks Robert!

Racing Ready offers these tidbits of competition advice.


Upcoming Divisional Style SASCA Autocross #5

The next SASCA autocross (June 7th, 2009) will be of the Divisional-in-a-Day style.  What this means is that competitors will have the opportunity to run 2 courses in one event.  Specifically, the course will be run in one direction in the morning, then re-arranged somewhat, and run in the opposite direction in the afternoon.  Each competitor will have only 4 attempts at each course variation.

These types of autocross events make for some good competitive fun.  In addition & as a bonus, this event will be a combination SASCA & SPOKES event.  It should have a grand assortment of competitive cars & people to make for a very fulfilling day.

Here’s the morning course, running counter-clockwise – click for full image:

Here’s the afternoon course, running clockwise – again, click for full image:

Here are the autocross event details from SASCA.org:

SASCA AutoX #5 for 2009 at AT&T Center
Sunday, June 7th, 2009

SASCA’s 5th points autocross of 2009 will be on Sunday June 7th at the AT&T Center. The AT&T Center is located at #1 SBC Center, San Antonio, TX, 78219.

IMPORTANT!!! All Drivers MUST have their Proof of Insurance (POI) on file BEFORE this event. If your POI is already on file, and it hasn’t expired yet, you are good to go. See this topic for full details: www.sasca.org/forum/index.php/topic,2568.0.html

Setup starts at 7:00 AM
Registration opens at 7:30 AM
Late registration begins at 8:30 AM (additional $10)
Registration CLOSES at 9:00 AM
Novice Walkthrough at 9:00 AM
Driver’s meeting at 9:30 AM
First Car out at 10:00 AM

Register online at www.axwaresystems.com/axorm

Overview Map to the site

Map for entering the AT&T Complex

Image of the event lot

Google hybrid map

This should be a fun event – Racing Ready will see you out there!


1976 Cosworth Vega Does Autocross Debut

At this past Sunday’s SPOKES 2009 Autocross #5, there was a classic hot car from the 70’s – a 1976 Chevy Cosworth Vega.  Cliff, the owner, said he’s had this car new since he has in college.  Now that’s true car ownership dedication!

My brother had a standard issue Vega that he took cross-country, back in 1984.  It was an adequate, well-rusted (from the Northeast US) although unexciting little car form the 70’s.  But Cliff’s car model added excitement to the compact Chevrolet line at the time.

Cliff has done very few modifications in the car’s lifetime – it’s relatively stock.  The 4 cylinder engine is 122 cubic inches, AKA, 2 liters.  Most changes were to improve an issue that declining performance necessitated.  Here’s what few items are no longer stock or updated:

  • Dual Weber Carbs kit (instead of fuel injection) with 45mm venturis
  • A milled head
  • MSD ignition module
  • A more supportive, up-to-date driver’s seat

I never did find out how many miles have been clocked by Cliff.  It’s in relatively good original condition for its age.  These original wheels still look good & functional (tire size is 205/60 R13’s – much more aggressive rubber than existed in 1976!).

Cliff had a great time autocrossing his 33 year old ride – it’ll be good to see him back at future autocross events…

Racing Ready wonders how different life would be today with the possession of a car like this sweet little Vega, during college days.  Hmmm…hindsight is SO 20-20!


Last SMA Autocross For This Year, Well Done!

Yesterday, the fifth SPOKES autocross of the year took place at the San Marcos Municipal Airport (SMA).  It was noteworthy!  There were 138 entries – they ran 4 heats with 5 runs in each heat.  There were also 25 novices.   To top it off, there was a “web reporter” from the Austin-American Statesman newspaper.  And sadly, this was the last SMA -based event, for now.

It had been some time since I’d attended an autocross.  It was good to talk to familiar faces & see familiar competitive vehicles & note some changes since the last time.  I was able to visit with a number of the novices & document info & pictures of their rides for upcoming blog posts.

Here’s what Rick, SPOKES club president wrote about yesterday’s events – I can’t put it any better:

Wow.  All I can say is wow.  What a perfect “last” event at San Marcos Airport.  Where should I start?  How about the absolutely perfect mid-70 degree autocross weather?  Or the 138 entries?  Or the great course set out by Dan and Dani?  Or the excellent burgers that were consumed all day (all 150 of them!)  Or the awesome hospitality shown by the Harris Hill Road crew after the event.  I can honestly say this was the best single-day Spokes event that I’ve ever been a part of!

Thanks out to Dan and Dani (and helpers) for hustling on the course in the morning, thanks to our BOD for flawless execution, thanks out to those that were up for the challenge of learning the computer at a very important event, thanks to the cleanup crew for staying late and going the extra mile for the airport by sweeping up rocks and debris after the event, and extra thanks to Eric, Bo, Cameron, and everyone out at H2R for putting on a great after-party, that was one for the record books.  Good competition, good friends, good food…this is what Spokes is all about!


For those that are interested, here are the event results, online:

Racing Ready is humbled to be a part of such great autocross camaraderie!


Hard Chargin’ SRT Dodge Charger

Daniel came all the way up from Corpus Christi, TX to compete at the SPOKES 2009 Autocross #4.  That was a 3+ hour drive for him!  What dedication to compete.

This 2006 SRT Dodge Charger has that big, honkin’ 6.1L Hemi engine.  Daniel has made it even more powerful by optimizing a special AIRAID cold air intake system.  In the photos below you’ll see the dyer vent hose duct entry by the front, left fog light.  This drives dense cool air to the airbox, allowing the engine to breathe more freely & make more power.

Daniel says his car generates a conservative 415WHP!

To gain more control of this better breathing power, Daniel has installed 2 HiFlow catalytic converters & 2 pairs of electric cutouts – 1 pair in front, 1 pair in back.

This car had more power than the tires could take, but you could tell Daniel was having fun.  He has so dedicated this car to compete, that all the seats (except the driver’s) have been removed!

This was an aggressive car.  Too bad there was no passenger seat, as it would have been fun to participate in this powerful thrill with a ride along…

Racing Ready is intrigued by observing car owners push their car’s performance limits.


Hot Running Mazdaspeed MX-5

Jake brought his 2004 Mazdaspeed MX-5 to the SPOKES 2009 Autocross #4.  It’s easy to understand why I use the term “hot running”.  Take a look at his car’s gearshift knob – that’s a hot water faucet handle…!

This performance version of the Miata model has only 30,350 miles!  His other car, a daily driver, is a 1992 Lexus SC 400 – also sweet!

Jake made it a special point to show & explain the installation of his Boss Frog Double Hoop Max roll bar.  These are 2 separate roll bar hoops solidly connected to the car’s floorpan & also attached at the center, between the seats – very solid!

The turbo charged engine is stock, with the addition of a Flyin’ Miata coupler Mazdaspeed kit, cold air intake, turbo back exhaust.  Jake is saving up for a special, upgraded management system he’ll be able to control from a laptop, to resolve the lean under boost situation he’s concerned about.

Jake’s car has been rated at 180HP measured at the wheel; this means that the under the hood power is probably closer to over 200HP.

Racing Ready documents these interesting modifications to share with this blog’s readership – I know you want more!