The MX-5 car bug… once you get one

MX-5 10th Anniversary
MX-5 10th Anniversary… 6,500 miles, plus a few more on the Alpine Circuit at Millbrook

Over the last 18 months, I’ve caught the MX-5 bug and taken to the track. The MX-5 thing started when Mum and I went off to Milcars Mazda, Watford, the local Mazda dealership, to choose a Mazda 6 estate to replace our Mazda CX-5. Adorning the showroom floor was a 1999 Mk 2 MX-5 10th Anniversary Edition in sparkling Innocent Blue with only 6,500 miles on the clock.. Mum and I took a liking to it. A deal was done and an estate and a sports car joined the Pollard stable.

The exorbitant cost of insurance meant that I rarely got to drive the first MX-5 – a couple of times on the Alpine Circuit at Millbrook and a car control day at Rockingham.

A second MX-5 arrives

Mazda MX-5
Mazda MX-5 2.0 Sport boosted to 205bhp thanks to the guys at BBR GTI

It didn’t prove too hard to persuade Dad to flog his rather conservative VW Golf and invest in a Mk3 MX-5 2.0 Sport. A Super 200 upgrade at the excellent BBR GTI, the leading tuner of MX-5, was arranged. The Super 200 adds a worthwhile 47 bhp & 26 lb.ft of torque through a high flow panel air filter, a stainless steel 4 into 1 exhaust manifold, high performance intake and exhaust camshafts,  a BBR StarChip ECU remap and Koni suspension.

New rims were essential. A set of Traklite Gear rims and Kumho Ecsta KU39s arrived from MOT Motorsport and enhanced the car’s “track ability”. The Kumhos did a decent job on track but were superseded by a set of Yohohama Advan Ad08Rs from Black Circles. Stopping power has to be factored in, if you’re upgrading an MX-5, so upgraded discs and pads and braided brake lines were next up  

Track day debut

Bedford Autodrome
Track day debut at Bedford Autodrome

2016 say my debut on a track day. The track of choice was Bedford Autodrome, the ideal beginners track – nice wide track and plenty of run off for those moments when you think you’re better than you are. Regular attendance at Bedford in the BBR MX-5 was a great way to develop my skills. Lap times started to come down… from 3mins 25 secs on my debut as a raw novice to 2 mins 50secs on my latest visit.  Dad’s ability to change a set of brake pads also improved…. Snetterton featured, plus a great day at Spa in Belgium and a Friday track day and Sunday Mazda Sprint Series at Anglesey on an extended visit in August.

Arrival of the third MX-5

MX-5 Race Car
It’s gonna need some work. I’ll get AB Motorsports on the job

With my eyes set on a step up from track days in 2018, we started looking around for a competition that would be a good choice for a novice racer and wouldn’t require a crippling budget. (If you’re thinking of following my lead, bear in mind that motorsport isn’t cheap; if you’re looking for cheap, then stick to cycling).

The BRSCC Mazda MX-5 Championship was the one I went for…. which meant the acquisition of a third MX-5 into the Pollard Mazda family, a Mark 1 to almost complete the set. I just need to convince Mum that a Mark 4 MX-5 RF would be a better choice than a Mazda 6 Estate. Better get her down to Milcars Mazda again….

Find out about Getting Started – my beginner’s guide to going racing – and the car that I’m going to be racing in 2018.