fusion66
fusion66 Reader
3/4/22 12:11 p.m.

I am looking at attending the 2022 Miata Reunion for some track time as it is being held at a bucket list track for me (Barber Motorsports Park) if I can get signed up before it sells out. Based on the Googles it is 630 miles each way which makes things a bit more interesting in terms of having the car prepped for the track with minimal hauling capacity to change things over once I arrive.

My primary focus needs to be on making sure that the car is as reliable as possible to avoid things going south during the event or on the way back home. I replaced a known weak point (radiator overflow bottle) two years ago but I am still running the original radiator and hoses (2006, 125k Miles). Brake hoses replaced with SS lines 2 years ago and fluid flushed 2-3 times a year. Not sure on the accessories belt so that seems like a no brainer to replace. Oil and filter every 5k miles or after (2) track days) so I would plan to have fresh oil before departing. Power steering fluid partial flush and fill twice a year (evacuate as much as I can and fill, repeat twice over a week of driving). Transmission  and differential fluid both have 12k miles on them. Will check wheel bearings and steering components before first rack event and again before Miata Reunion.  

It had Hawk HPS+ on when purchased and they are good for autocross but marginal for the track. I will purchase and install something more aggressive before my next full track day (May) and see how they do if I leave them on for a few hundred miles of street driving to replicate how they might do on a 1200 mile trip with track time at the half way point.

I will need to figure out a way to carry a spare tire. It either consumes most of the trunk (RX-8 space saver spare) or an alternative would be for it to ride shotgun and figure out a way to strap it down securely while not damaging the seat.

I will plan to carry basic tools plus a torque wrench for lug nuts, spare brake pads, oil, tire pressure gage, portable air compressor, and I am sure a few other items that I will think about when the real planning begins. Any other key items you would want to have for this type of trip?

Anyone else on the forum plan to attend? If so, planning on track time or other activities?

JAdams
JAdams GRM+ Memberand Reader
3/4/22 12:39 p.m.

I'll be there! I'm only traveling down from Huntsville,AL though so the logistics are a bit easier. Could you install a small trailer hitch and build a small harbor freight trailer for the trip? Sounds like it could make your planning a bit easier. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/4/22 12:54 p.m.

I'll be there. I was involved in the Reunion from the start (including coming up with the current name for the event wink) and FM has always been a sponsor. My profile pic was actually taken at the Reunion.

You're unlikely to have problems related to things like differential fluid as long as you're not low. You're far more likely to have problems related to a stressed cooling system. Definitely make sure you're on top of all maintenance of course, including belts.

I'm not an HPS+ fan based on what I've seen happen at our local track. I'd be tempted to bring along a set of something a little more aggressive for the track and swap them out.

 

Rodan
Rodan SuperDork
3/4/22 2:10 p.m.

We would be planning to go if it hadn't ended up being scheduled for the hottest part of the summer.  Barber is a bucket list track for us as well.

Get online right when registration opens.  When we attended at Laguna Seca in 2017, most of the track groups were sold out in under 10 minutes.  That happens almost every year, and I don't expect it will be any different this year.

I'm with Keith that you should focus on the cooling system... if it's still stock, it's 16 years old, and may not be operating at peak efficiency.  I would definitely consider replacing all the hoses.  HPS pads were nowhere near sufficient for our NA with stock 1.6 power on track.  I wouldn't expect things to be any different on an NC.  You might think about getting a compatible pad that you can swap to for the track, and then back to street pads for the drive home.

An event like this isn't really about setting lap records.  It's just a lot of fun being on a track with other Miatas.  Drive accordingly, and your equipment should survive without any issues.

+1 on a hitch and tire trailer... it would definite make packing a lot more flexible if you can't trailer the car there.

ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter)
ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter) HalfDork
3/4/22 2:45 p.m.

Barber is really, really hot and humid in the summer.  I would definitely replace the radiator and hoses before going; in addition to better cooling capacity, I feel like the original plastic radiators are ticking time bombs at this age, you don't want the be the guy dropping coolant all over the track and killing everyone's track time.

 

Also think about your own comfort.  When I was driving my Miata to the track in the summer, I got one of these Coleman sun shades.  Folds down to the size of a lawn chair, and keeps you out of the sun.  A+

https://www.coleman.com/tents-canopies/canopies/daytripper-beach-shade/SAP_2000014807.html

 

I also think you'll want to swap brake pads at the track.  Something like a GLoc G10 or a Hawk DTC60.  You can probably borrow a jack, no need to pack one.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/4/22 3:01 p.m.

Cars don't mind humidity for cooling, they don't depend on evaporative cooling :) But yeah, a radiator that's not old enough to drive the car is a good preventative measure. So is watching the gauges and be willing to do a couple of laps short shifting to let the car cool.

KyAllroad
KyAllroad MegaDork
3/4/22 5:03 p.m.

So which car to take?  The turbo NA (100% Miata) or the Zoomboni (approximately 60% Miata)...

fusion66
fusion66 Reader
8/1/22 8:57 a.m.

I attended the Miata Reunion at Barber Motorsports Park this past weekend and had a great time. Based on the organizers comments it fell well short of the events held on the west coast so I am not sure it will make its way east of the Mississippi again any time soon. I am very glad I attended when the opportunity presented itself.  The track groups still had open spots in all but the Saturday novice group even after they opened up to all makes of cars.

My 12 year old Great nephew made the 1300 mile round trip with me from northern Indiana with a 10 hour drive down Friday, Track Day on Saturday, and 10 hour drive home Sunday. He has ridden with me once before in Autocross and this was his first time on a big track. I kept things “sane” but he certainly had a great experience and I pushed it hard enough that he had all of the proper track day sensations of speed, cornering, and braking forces.  We ran in the “D” group which was the next step up from Novice as it aligned to the experience level of the other two local STR autocross class Miata friends that also made the trip down. Drivers in the group did an excellent job giving point by’s as needed and we had clear track 98% percent of time.

The track itself was beautiful in terms of the grounds it is located on, the facilities in general, and the track layout itself. I had the opportunity to drive on the track once before at conservative speeds and it was great to be able to drive it at 9/10’s. It was a bucket list track for me and I hope to be able to return and run it again some day.

The NC Miata did well on the trip and the track which is all I can ask of it. The two local STR friends that also went down were both driving ND Miata’s and we are all closely matched in autocross and that held true on the track as well which made it fun to run with buddies.

Overall it was a great event and we all had a wonderful experience while learning a new track and meeting lots of fellow car/Miata enthusiast. Thanks to Flyin’ Miata for being a sponsor of the event and the free t-shirt for my Great nephew. He had to wear it on the drive home Sunday smiley

Warning - shaky video of one lap during my last session of the day

 

 

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