2010-11-22

Jinba Ittai revisited

A good while ago, when I was still autocrossing my C-Street-Prepared NB Miata, I wrote about how excellent Mazda is to people who compete in Mazda cars. They are still just as excellent, but I have found new appreciation for the feeling of unity with my car.

These days, I run a 1990 Spec Miata (very few original 1990 parts though!) on track, and never before have I trusted a piece of machinery more in my life.

It's almost eerie. When I drive my little Miata, I can tell what each of the four wheels is doing, whether any of them are slipping, how much more the car could turn, and how much more it can accelerate without breaking loose.

When I drive the little car, I don't really think of it as much as driving. It's more like "wearing" the car on track. I don't think about the car as separate from myself out there, much like you would not think of yourself separate from the pair of pants you put on in the morning. They're just there. And you move together.

Autocross is really not scary. Track can be. Having been in moderately scary situations now with my little white number Fourty, I can say now that I trust this car with my life.

Literally and figuratively.