pinchvalve MegaDork
12/1/10 10:33 a.m.

Who said Heaven is all fluffy clouds? I think it's full of great roads, a track, warm weather and turbo Miatas!

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Tom Heath
Tom Heath UberDork
12/1/10 10:53 a.m.

Way back in August, my wife and I took some time off, sent the kids to visit their grandparents, and headed west to Grand Junction, Colorado. Why? To meet up with other enthusiastic lunatics for the Flyin' Miata Summer Camp get-together.

I'm happy to report that the car performed flawlessly except for insufficient air conditioning. Our cooling system is noticably improved since we added the RunCool hood louver, although sometimes we had to slow down a bit to keep temperatures from creeping up. Most of the trip happened with the top down, and the car was a joy to drive cross-country when there was enough breeze or cloud cover to keep us from baking.

For us, the highlight of the Flyin' Miata summer camp experience is always the track meet. Taking our trusty steed on track right in the middle of a 4700-mile road trip caused us some level of concern, but we had no reason to worry. The car performed brilliantly.

During our sessions at the Grand Junction Motor Speedway, we turned in laps in the 1:06.5 range. That was among the top 10 times for track day participants, and may have been the fastest time on the board for a car on street tires. We couldn't resist sampling a few other examples of Flyin' Miata's machinery, however, so our fastest laps of the day came when we were driving their V8-powered Miata dubbed "Elvis." Elvis was devilishly fast, and even with a conservative "borrowed car" driving style our times dropped to a 1:04.6, the fourth fastest time recorded that day. In the end, it was Miata luminary Skip Cannon at the top of the leaderboard with a 1:03.541 driving his turbo Miata-powered Caterham.

The weekend continued with some terrific group drives to the Grand Mesa and Colorado National Monument, along with a fun gathering at the local Sonic drive-thru. Once we'd had all the fun we thought we could stand, we began our trek back to Florida. Although it also went without a hitch, a heat wave followed us east and made for some challenging days of slugging water in an attempt to stay hydrated. The car proved tougher than us, because even though all parties made it, the car didn't whine about it.

You can see more on my blog.

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