For the past two plus seasons, Mazda Motorsports and Ron Bauer have been developing together a 2016+ ND (4th generation) MX-5 Miata for autocross. The pairing started early on at the 2015 National Championships with Ron driving a car as an exhibition in Street Touring R (STR) along with fellow Mazda drivers, Erik Strelnieks and Tara Johns.
After two seasons of developing the car for C Street (CS) and STR, Ron is now moving to the next category, Street Prepared. Unlike most of the previous generations of Miata, the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) has classed the ND in B Street Prepared (BSP), rather than C Street Prepared (CSP).
Street Prepared has been around for much longer than Street Touring, but the rules have many similarities. The good news here is that it allows us to take what we learned in STR, and build on it. Key differences include the ability to run E85, flare and/or cut fenders, update/backdate (we’ll cover this more in a later article,) clutch changes, and the big one, tires.
“Street Prepared was the obvious next step in developing this platform. Coming from Prepared class in my previous NC MX-5 Miata, it’s going to be awesome to get back on actual race tires. Hoosier makes incredible tires and I’m looking forward to working with them also on this project. We’re planning to test out their new for this year 295/35/15 tire using 949 Racing’s new 15×12 6UL wheels,” says Ron.
“I have already added a number of parts from the Mazda Motorsports catalog along with other upgrades. Early season testing has been limited, but looks promising. Of course, the only way to see for sure is to travel to National level events and compete directly with the benchmarks,” he adds.
Ron plans to run at every opportunity he can this season locally and Nationally. He’ll be attending the Fontana Pro Solo in late March, along with the Crows Landing National Tour and Pro Solo in April. Anthony Porta, 2016 National Champion, will also be at these events in his 2004 Mazdaspeed, so this obviously gives an easy benchmark.
Later in the season, he’ll be attending the Packwood National events, and finishing the season off at the National Championships in September in Lincoln, NE.
“There’s been a lot of interest already in this build, and I’m hoping the car proves to be competitive to get more people interested in bringing these cars out in BSP. The past two seasons have gone quite well, with top 5 finishes at the National Championships and a couple of wins at other National level events in STR. I’m proud of all that we’ve done to bring the ND to the top of the podium, and hope to do the same moving forward. I’d like to thank Mazda for all of the support they provide, along with our other partners at BF Goodrich, Cusco, Swift Springs, and Drift Office,” Ron adds.
Watch for future articles following Ron’s progress through the season. We’ll also provide information on some of the parts available through our parts catalog, including installation information.