OMG what a year! I almost don't even know where to start!
Early in the spring the car needed some maintenance, so a timing belt kit and water pump was installed. Huge shout-out to Eric C. for helping me get the crank bolt loose! I also ordered up some 5X racing coil-overs to install on my Bilstein shocks along with some extended lower front ball joints. This is almost the same setup used by a lot of the spec Miata drivers. After an alignment from Jeff Fross (The Alignment Guy), the car was ready to go for the year!
During the 2021 season I continued to instruct with Impulse Performance at Dakota County Technical College (DCTC). This campus has a "Driver Training Facility" located just south of St. Paul, Minnesota. Instructing at DCTC always means turning a ton of laps in my car, as well as, riding and driving other peoples cars on track.
2021 also lead me to some new tracks!
I was invited to do a private "test and tune" day at Raceway Park of the Midlands (read more about it in the blog post here). This was my first experience driving a full size track in my Miata, and the car preformed great! The track was challenging with both increasing and decreasing radius corners.
SCCA Track night in America. For the first time SCCA's Track Night In America (TNIA) was at Brainard International Raceway (BIR), and I had to go! Another great experience street driving the car to and from the track. (See more here.)
New Livery I had a "meatball" or as I called it the "target" red dot on the car for about two and a half years, and had kept talking about updating it, so we snuck in a quick new design in the week between BIR and going to Final Bout for media!
Final Bout media Lissa and I went to FinalBout4 to shoot media: it was absolutely nuts! Event after event the Final Bout crew always one-up the prior one and exceed all expectations. (We did a few posts about it on the blog.) It was super-cool to see Pro Formula Drift drivers like Ken Gushi and Kazuya Taguchi both on the track and in the pits.
ClubFR's DD83 After being at FinalBout4, I wanted to get back on the drifting track at USAIR in Shawano, WI. Their track is a large go-kart track and it is large enough to host autoX's drifting and super-moto racing. I haven't been drifting since my purple 86 days, so it took a few donuts in the parking lot to get back into it. Happily, I found myself on the advanced course before lunch! (See blog post and video's here.)
What an amazing season! In total I did over 3000+ street miles, 350+ track miles, drove in 5 states, and drove on 4 different tracks! Can't wait for 2022! We have gotten a small trailer to tow behind the Miata to make track day packing a little easier. For next season, we plan on even more track days, more drifting, more driver instruction, some HPDE, and hopefully...add some hill climbs to the calendar!
2021 was definitely the best driving season I had, and I want to give some shout-outs!
#1 shout-out to my wife, Lissa and the kids. They have gone to almost evert track day with me and are my pit crew; I would not be able to do any of this with out their support! Lissa also took over as the Strait Design Production Manager at the start of 2021. She oversees most of the blog posts, social media posts as well as, completing web and specialty orders!
Impulse Performance They host a whole season worth of track days and have me as one of their instructors; it's always a great time! Photo Joe (Joe Wilson) He has been at most of the track days, and takes amazing photos!
Jeff Fross ( The Alignment Guy ) Pat/Ann at USAIR
Club FR Staff
SCCA Track night in America staff