Jun 7, 2007 update to the Mazda STS2 Miata project car

Huntsville: Comraderie breeds Competition

Another STS2 win at Huntsville!
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Sometimes the best competition experiences are born of adversity and such was the case at the SCCA National Tour in Huntsville this past weekend. Not that we had anything go wrong, but one of the other STS2 competitors had his car rendered inoperative as a result of his co-driver’s off-course excursion. And even though the car owner (Rick Cone) is one of the strongest drivers in the class, we immediately offered up a co-drive in our car. This changed everything since our car is better developed than most and we’d now be on completely equal footing. Not only that, but he would drive second, having the advantage of knowing where the bar was set.

Our entire mental outlook changed with the new arrangment. Rick was able to turn very fast raw times (some faster than ours), but coned away his fastest runs each day. Could he have done it cleanly? We’ll never know, but the experience made us bring out our A-game that we usually reserve for the National Championships in September. Lots of mental focus, and strong discipline in putting down fast clean runs.

In the end, we won by over a full second. Also, we scored first overall on the PAX index amongst all competitors at the event. A lot of the credit for that has to go to our new Bridgestone (we were on the new 195/50-15 size) since they have given an extra boost of performance to everyone who is running them.

Speaking of the good folks at Bridgestone, they were out in force with an 18-wheeler support vehicle and lots of knowledgeable staff. We took the opportunity to mount up a fresh set of full-tread RE-01R’s to use as rains and also on the street. We immediately noticed how the extra tread depth really improved the ride quality versus the shaved tires we run in dry competition.

We’ve got two weeks off now before the next leg of our national competition season (DC Pro, Peru Tour, Milwaukee Tour) begins. Time for a little R&R, some honey-do’s, and a few more development tweaks.

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