Another grassroots racer is turning professional; it has been a longtime coming.
Mike “MEATHEAD” Collins has been a member of the Mazda Motorsports family since the beginning of Spec Miata. As the founder of MEATHEAD Racing, one of the largest club racing teams in the country, Mike helped grow Spec Miata from a regional-only class to one of the largest fields in SCCA history.
Collins knew that even the most successful class, in light of changing technology, would not be around indefinitely. In 2010, he promoted and developed the rules for Spec MX-5, a club racing class for Mazda Mx-5s – 2006 and newer. Today the class is a staple of every regional racing schedule.
For those of us who know Mr. Collins, leadership is an attribute he was born with and continues to exhibit in motorsport. Collins has held a number of SCCA leadership positions both nationally and regionally, including serving on the Spec Miata Advisory Committee.
Of course, Collins himself has been competitive behind the wheel. He regionally pilots his Spec Miata as a member of the SCCA Washington, D.C. region. Also, he holds a national license, contending in both the SCCA Majors and the SCCA Runoffs. In 2012, he made his pro racing debut driving a Sheetz sponsored Freedom Autosport Mazda MX-5 in the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge race at Watkins Glen with Sylvain Tremblay. After a successful multi-year partnership with Sheetz, Collins looks forward to bringing new partners on board for 2016.
This year, Collins will participate in the Idemitsu Mazda MX-5 Cup, marking his first full season in pro racing. While he will be vying for wins and the championship behind the wheel, his drive as a leader will not be put on hold. MEATHEAD Racing will field at least two of the brand new MX-5 Cup cars in the series. To tackle this effort, Collins took off most of the 2015 season to undergo surgery on both knees, repairing damage incurred during his time in the United States Marine Corps. He continues to ramp up his physical workout routine to rebuild his knee and improve his overall health and fitness. Collins and MEATHEAD Racing will be formidable.