Rupert Berrington Photo

Mazda Champion: Myles Goertz

In his second attempt, Goertz wins the SCCA RallyCross National Championship Prepared Rear-Wheel Drive Title in a Miata

In terms of sheer number of events, Myles Goertz was practically a rookie when he went to Topeka, Kan., for the 2017 SCCA DirtFish RallyCross National Championship on the Heartland Park Topeka grounds. Although he had placed fourth at the national championship event the year before, he was still pretty new to the sport.

“I’m probably under 10 RallyCrosses in my career,” Goertz admits. “I had tried Nationals once before, but I really had no experience. I ended up getting fourth, so we knew we had a competitive car. We came into this year, got rally shocks for it – that was my graduation present for graduating from college. My dad put a lot of time and money into the car. He said, ‘If we’re going to be competitive, we need to have every single tire, we need to have every condition covered.’ It ended up being absolute slop, and we had the tires for it.”

And so the recent University of Iowa graduate, now selling real estate in Des Moines, took the Prepared Rear-Wheel Drive title co-driving with car owner Kyle Nilson, who finished third. The NB Miata they share is a platform that Goertz is familiar with; his father Kurtis, raced Spec Miata for years. That familiarity played a big part in his championship, he says.

“I think it’s my connection to the car. I jive really well with the NB Miata. I know the car in and out, I’ve pushed it to the limits at local events, and when I get to these national events, it all clicked into place. I was in the lead going into the Sunday runs. It was my first experience being in first place and it was difficult, because you don’t know how hard to push the car. I’m used to giving it everything I absolutely had, so it was hard to be in first place and not playing catch-up. You have to find the fine line of out-of-control, yet cautious, because if you hit a cone in RallyCross, there goes your lead,” Goertz explains.

After winning his championship, Goertz sent Mazda Motorsports an unsolicited video in hopes that they might consider him for the Road to 24 Shootout, a competition that has selected drivers primarily from amateur road racing championships to win a scholarship to compete in the Battery Tender® Global Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires. While he didn’t get any further in that competition, he still says he’d love to get a season in Spec Miata or MX-5 Cup to see where it goes. “I love the Mazda setup and how they have the ladder. It seems like they’re the only manufacturer that has this setup to get people into racing. I love that Mazda Motorsports gives us that opportunity,” he says.

Whatever is next, it’s clear that Goertz has some serious dirt driving skills to continue competing in RallyCross. And next year he won’t be nearly as new to the sport.