After coordinating repairs on the 93 Miata T-Car it was turned over to me for a few hours to do my worst on the home course. It felt great to get back in the car and even better to take it up into the red zone on 35. The road has been repaired in patches since my last excursion up here(April) and the road surface is a mixture of bumpy new asphalt, pitted old concrete, and slippery terafirma pushed onto the road by the wind. To say a horrible job was done is an understatement.
The car felt solid, planted in a way that only a Miata can. It gave confidence in every corner and the straights were managed without issue. The brakes were spot on every time and showed no signs of fade, shifting was direct and precise(if not a little notchy from 2nd to 3rd at high rev). The tires did what the could and didn't give me any grief, nor did they make much noise. I think this is combination of the cold weather and the run being done around 60%. Even with the lighter course speed I could feel the difference in the early 4.3 gearing and the 4.1 I had in my car. The T-Car has proven once again to be a great control for any tests I run, and while the motor is down 20 Horsepower the revs are in the same place they always were, albeit a bit slower in speed. This confirmed that the gearing of the 4.1 car does indeed slow it down, as the 4.3 car could navigate the uphill return section in 3rd gear at the same speed the 4.1 car would be while going back and forth between 2nd and 3rd in each corner. Top speed was not affected, but the car lacked umph(no surprise with a tired 1.6) and I think a good compromise would be a 4.44 in a stock 1.8.
The only complaints were with the driver. Traffic was light and the night was clear bringing the conditions to about as perfect as they were ever going to be at 8PM on a Tuesday. The line was still there, just faintly visible and the braking markers were about the same, though my judge of speed is way off and my feel of the car is just at a basic level. I was braking way too early, turning in way too late at times, and I missed a few apexes. Having been out of the game for a quite a while, this doesn't discourage me, it only makes me want to get back to it even more.