Miatas at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca (Part 1)
Mazda Raceway Laguna Raceway. First established in 1957, it is now host to many famous races such as the American Le Mans Monterey, MotoGP, Ferrari Racing Days, and various “Reunion” events, the most recent being the Rennsport Reunion. I’m sure many of you are familiar with this track and have either raced on it in various video games such as Forza Motorsport or Gran Turismo, or have been fortunate enough to race on the track in real life. Needless to say, the video game version cannot compare with the rush of being on the real track. I was merely a passenger while going around the track three times, but it was a pleasure each and every time.
The days leading up to this event were one of the most exciting and tiring days of work ever. Shaikh, Paul, and I worked on “Senna,” the ’95 Merlot Miata belonging to Shaikh. We literally spent Thursday and Friday of last week pumping out hours of work to prepare the car for the event. To put it in perspective, I worked from Thursday afternoon to Friday morning (4am) and from Friday afternoon to Saturday morning (5am). On the same Saturday morning, I woke up at 745am in order to get to Laguna Seca by 10am. I picked up my friend Joseph at 830am and we were on our way. The best part of the trip was that on the way up there, it was literally pouring and it was getting hard to see the road. In addition, we got lost because the GPS lead us to the physical address of the place, but where we ended up was not an entrance, but a wall. -__-
I decided it was too difficult to navigate the roads blind and lost (duh), so we pulled over into some random parking lot and waited out the rain…for 30 minutes. Fun. Afterwards, the rain finally died down and after adjusting the destination, we were on our way again. We soon ended up at the Laguna entrance (finally), and made our way towards the track. Upon laying our eyes on the track for the first time in our lives, we were blown back. Aside from the general assembly and the speeding Miatas making their way around the course, the general size of the track itself was amazing. Yes it was my first time being on the track, but I didn’t think it would have impacted me the way it did. The only experience I had with Laguna Seca was by playing Forza. The real track is grossly misrepresented in-game.
We cautiously made our way to a parking spot and parked. We got out of the car and as soon as we got to the paddock area, we surprisingly found Shaikh making his way towards the Fat Cat Motorsports garage. We chatted a bit and talked about how his day was going. I asked him right off the bat if I could get a ride and he told me I could after other people did. Apparently, his 12-point Blackbird Fabworx roll cage caused quite a stir and many people were begging to get rides with him. Soon after our talk was over, Joseph and I decided it was time to head to the track to grab a few pictures before lunch.
As soon as we got to the entrance of the track itself, we approached one of the track attendants. We spoke briefly about the cars and she talked about one of the crazier Miatas that she’d seen. It apparently was so loud, the crew needed to pay $$$$ just to go above the 95db limit. The car was rated at 105db – O_O. Joseph and I took some snaps of the cars coming by and was able to get on the flagman’s post .
I’ll be starting off this post with the pictures in chronological order. It’s a mixture of on-track snaps as well as cars in the parking lot and in the paddock.
Here’s the aforementioned 105db car which Joseph and I nicknamed “CrazyBus” because it was obnoxiously loud and, well, crazy. You’ll see in the later pictures.
Here’s a random snap of a Flyin’ Miata sponsored NC
Driver speaking with the track coordinator
Another Flyin’ Miata sponsored NA with a V8 apparently?
There were no cars passing by, so I decided to take a quick break and take a snap of this lonely NA Miata
Here comes CrazyBus!
All of the cars went off the track for the “Parade Lap,” slated to start during lunch. This meant anyone could drive whatever car they wanted around the track, as long as they had the wristband, of course. Joseph and I left the track as well to do some photog work and walk around the area and explore.
We found this awesome Porsche 964 along the way:
Holy 100 Octane Batman!
Then Joseph and I came across this beastly-looking car.
The owner of the car and the company who made it (Evil Genius Racing) saw us taking pictures of it and asked if we’d like to hear it start up. We asked what kind of engine was in the car and were told that it was a snowmobile engine. A SNOWMOBILE ENGINE?! The car was completely stripped of the interior and there was literally no dashboard. The motor was started with a pulley like those you’d find on a lawnmower. The owner got in the car and started to drive around in the rain with it, and boy was that thing loud. Did I mention it had 150hp?
As I turned around to look at some other prospective cars to take pictures of, I saw this NA Miata rolling slowly towards me. I was immediately amazed by how it looked that I started firing away with as many shots as I could take.
After I was done taking pictures of that, we continued walking and I saw this Miata just sitting in the parking lot. I thought the license plate was funny. I’m going to safely assume it’s boosted.
Here’s Brian Goodwin’s NC Miata. He’s a great person and is one of Fat Cat’s vendors for NC parts and bump stops.
A quick snap of Shaikh talking with his fellow Miata buddies and rockin’ the Blackbird Fabworx hat.
Ah CrazyBus, we meet again. I was able to finally get near this beast and took a few pictures of it as well. Pardon the poor lighting conditions.
The Blackbird Fabworx cage in Shaikh’s Miata
949Racing’s orange NB Miata
I finally took pictures of the wheels (Wedsport MA86) of the awesome NA upclose.
Run Devil Run
Project-G was reppin’ hard during the event. This was one of the cleaner builds that I saw there and because they were parked so close together, it was hard to get any clean shots of their cars (that and because everyone was in my way).
That’s it for now. Part 2 will be coming up tomorrow after I get finished with another round of edits. Hope you enjoyed this first part!