Targa Miata
Click to see the next entry
August 3, 2014 - FM Summer camp track time!
This is a tough event for the Targa Miata. Two days of double sessions, giving rides to FM customers in brutal heat. I figure I did over 100 hard laps of the track in two days. Everything worked well. Despite the heat and the short, tight track, the car ran at normal temperatures. I wasn't taking it terribly easy on the brakes, and they also dealt well with the heat.

The blue car in this awesome picture by Travis Ingram is Elvis, another V8 car. It's got AFCO suspension with a bit less spring rate and the same basic tire setup that I do - and it provided a very dramatic visual example of how effective the aero is on the long sweeper as I came rampaging up on his rear bumper with a very high closing speed. Quite exciting for the passenger in Elvis as he saw me bearing down, too. There was also a great example of the wing's wake when a drone above the track got thrown around by the rooster tail from the car - I'll try to get the video of that.

I found the car to be pushing a bit on the tight track with the setup that had been working so well at High Plains a few weeks ago. There was no time for tuning, so I just drove around it after softening the front sway bar. I've found the car is fastest with a little bit of aero-induced understeer on the fast sweeper, but it was a bit more than I prefer. Next time, I'll try playing with tire pressures although they were right at my target. Even after about 150 laps of this track and the recent High Plains track day, the tires are looking good. The Toyo RR is my new favorite track day tire.

There was one small area of concern. At the end of the last session, I had an odd noise in the steering. A clunk at a specific point of steering angle. Fearing the worst, I got under the car - and found that a motor mount heat shield had moved out of place and was making contact with a bolt on the steering column. Well, that's an easy fix! Whew.
tags: testing, summer camp