My main competition for the day.

I’ll tell you a secret. I haven’t modified my car in over 4 years. I’ve only maintained it. Because of this, I’ve had 4 years to learn how to get every bit of performance out of it. I like to think I’m consistently close to getting every bit of what it has. It’s no secret that a Miata is a great base for autoslalom. It has taught me a lot and has allowed me to do a great deal of skill growth.

Showing Dad the course.

Showing Dad the course.

At the local autoslalom series, I’ve pretty much had it my own way in the relatively small low HP RWD class called A-Stock. Today was going to be different. A long time PITL veteran would also be driving a stock Miata as a second driver. He’s no stranger to Miatas either. He has a very long and successful history with Miatas. Besting him was not going to be easy. The car he would be driving would also have about 10ish more horsepower, a more usable torque curve, (thanks to variable valve timing) an extra gear, and a stiffer chassis. He said one of the reasons he registered was, “To keep me honest.”

My main competition for the day.

My main competition for the day.

I don’t blame him. I haven’t been bested in my class in a long while. And usually spend entire events giving spectators and other competitors passenger laps at the expense of performance due to the extra weight. Thus going a bit slower all day.

Did I mention this entire time there was a Rogers TV crew filming at the event? And my parents were in attendance? And even some friends came to watch? No pressure!

I told you a TV crew was there!

I told you a TV crew was there!

As expected, he and I traded blows as the day went on. I spent the morning hitting cones. So I was trailing on the time sheets. However, if you ignore the cone penalties, our times were very close. Often back and forth. The fight really hotted up after lunch. Both of us had agreed while discussing the course that a 49 second run was likely possible in our cars and we’d both be happy to achieve that. Going into the last run I was ahead by 0.2 of a second. Not much. My competition threw down the gauntlet on his last run. Knocking 1.1 seconds off his best, he posted a 49.2 second run. Nearly a second faster than me. That was a big blow. I did notice him make an interesting decision with regards to where he shifted. I reckoned by slightly changing where that shift happened I could make it work better.

This was it. One more run. Had to make it count…


Link to video
To see all the runs I recorded that day, head over here.