After all the hoopla surrounding the 25 Hours of Thunderhill with Team 949 Racing and Team Supermiata, it’s back to work on Monty and racing it again. I plan for a March debut in the NASA WERC 2012 series at Infineon, so as a shakedown before that important race, I tried out some new alignment settings and suspension components for Monty at the debut round of Miata Challenge 2012 at Buttonwillow Raceway.
It had been a while since I have competed in an MC event. Also, this is the first time Monty has been to MC. And with the 2012 rules changes, which includes a new modification points cap on Modified class, Monty fits in well enough to be a real contender. For sure, I was looking forward to MC in more ways than one.
Monty did perform well and won it for me in Modified class with a 2:06.196. But I know it could have gone into the 2:05s (Spec Miata lap record territory) if I didn’t have a warped brake rotors and a slipping clutch, both I couldn’t have noticed during prep for MC. The last time Monty was raced was at the Chumpcar 14-Hour race in October and I didn’t drive the second day of the weekend, from when I think both problems originated.
In terms of fine tuning the handling characteristics, I think it was a good improvement from the last time Monty was at Buttonwillow. Aside from driving in daylight, the already good handling is improved and the car went a full second faster. With Round 2 at the Streets of Willow Springs coming, I’m going to look forward to fixing the clutch and brakes and playing around with another suspension modification, assuming the parts come in time for me to do so.
I leave you now with some pretty shots from the Speed Ventures/949 Racing Miata Challenge 2012.
Group shot of the Miata Challenge cars (left) with the S2000 Challenge cars (right), photo by Aaron Kupferman.