Could a V8 Miata be the next UTCC champion? | #FastFriday

By Colin Wood
Jun 25, 2021 | Audi, Honda, Mazda, Miata, #FastFriday, Ultimate Track Car Challenge, Accord, RS3

How do you make a humble Miata lap a track as quickly as a factory-backed GT racer? Double the number of cylinders, of course.

That’s exactly what Nine Lives Racing’s Johnny C did, and he was able to run laps at Road Atlanta as fast as a GT3-spec race car with his LS1-powered 1999 Mazda Miata—with the help of some of his signature aerodynamic kits, of course.

The question, though, is will that extra power and increased downforce be enough to win the 2021 Tire Rack Ultimate Track Car Challenge?

What is the Tire Rack Ultimate Track Car Challenge? It’s our annual no-holds-barred track competition. The rules are simple: Car and driver must pass a NASA safety inspection. Period.

Here’s a closer look at this week’s selection:

Thanks to its built LS1 heart, Johnny C’s 1999 Mazda Miata is good for “500-ish” horsepower and “500-ish” lb.-ft. of torque. That, coupled with a total weight (including driver) of 2400 pounds, means that this NB might be one of the fastest examples around.

When asked what the greatest strength of his 2016 Honda Accord V6 Coupe is, Gino Manely simply replied, “None, it's a freaking Accord.” We wouldn’t discount this entry, though, as Gino has experience running in a number of series, including the Michelin Pilot Challenge and World Racing League.

Once again, Vinnie Lima is bringing a 2019 TCR-spec Audi RS3. It may only be using a turbocharged, four-cylinder engine, but it’s important to remember that this RS3 was built from the ground up by Audi’s motorsport division, making it a tried-and-true track machine.

View these cars, along with the rest of the field, on the UTCC website. If you think you have what it takes to win, enter your car here.

The Tire Rack Ultimate Track Car Challenge is presented by Tire Rack in association with Wilwood EngineeringHP TunersSPA TechniqueXClutch and KW Suspensions, with trophies from BimmerWorldFalken TireHoosier Tire and Mach V Motorsports.

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View comments on the GRM forums
accordionfolder SuperDork
6/25/21 3:13 p.m.

We need pictures of the back of the car! He has a crazy diffuser on it that I want to put on my car for no reason other than "because." 

sleepyhead the buffalo
sleepyhead the buffalo Mod Squad
6/25/21 4:01 p.m.

but I thought Johnny's gone around singing NB King's classic "The Fwing is Gone", the last two months?

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